Trading draft picks started BEFORE the beginning of the universal draft  in 1969. It was, for the most part, a failed experiment.

This is Sam Pollock. He rarely lost a trade, owing to access and attention to detail. One of the very few deals he "lost" came about because of waiver worries. The winner of the trade explains:

  • Bill Torrey: "My organization-building philosophy is to build from within. The only draft choice I gave away (with NYI) was to Sam Pollock, when I took a little goalie from Muskegon (in the old IHL)–number four on his depth chart–Chico Resch for a draft pick. It was the only draft pick I gave up early on in the history of the Islanders. Fortunately, he was a good one."

Early in the expansion era–this would be 1967 through about 1975–the new teams had very little in terms of assets. The established clubs would take their first and second round picks in exchange for older veterans who were close to being a spent force. Terrible deals, but what are you going to do when the owner wants a winner in Oakland and you need a scoring left winger?

It was awful, made the NHL a two tiered league and took forever to level the playing field. Nowadays, the draft picks–especially the first rounders–are held tightly and rarely sent away without a similar draft pick (and something extra) coming back in return.

IF the Oilers decided to deal their pick, where would it go?


If we’re discussing the possibility of another General Manager having a big enough ego and enough creativity to make something happen, we should begin with Brian Burke. The man with elan has engineered some incredible draft moments, the biggest being the Sedin draft of 1999 in which Burke acted like an orchestra conductor in convincing the other men at the top of the draft to give him the two best players available.

Burke does have some nice things to pass along to Edmonton:

  1. 5th overall pick
  2. NHL defensemen in a variety of price ranges, from a lovely Urban satchel courtesy Louie Vuitton (Phaneuf) to a fetching gold faux leather item from a Music City shopping spree (Cody Franson) and everything in between.
  3. Expensive but perhaps undervalued wingers who could fill important roles on the team (Nikolai Kulemin).

Now, before we go any deeper into this, a couple of things. I am in no way suggesting EDM trades the number one overall pick or suggesting they do business with Toronto. This is more of a blue sky, "what if" discussion. Second, I’m not saying the deal would be 1st overall for #5, Phaneuf and Kulemin.

We’re just talking over a Glenfiddich. A little early in the day but we’re sophisticated enough to pull it off.


I don’t for a minute  believe that the Edmonton Oilers will deal for Dion Phaneuf, but Carl Gunnarson might be a player of interest and I strongly suspect the organization believes they could make things simpler for Luke Schenn and allow him to establish himself as a quality NHL: defender.

The big question I have is "how much do the Oilers value Ryan Murray?" and then a followup being "is Griffin Reinhart close enough to Murray for the Oilers to risk moving to #5?"

Should the Oilers believe Reinhart can provide the kind of blue they’d like to see rolling out over the next decade or more, then this deal (whatever it might look like) probably has some chance of happening.

If we estimate the top 5 with Edmonton at 5th and TOR at #1, it might go like this:


How much would Toronto have to give up to make the difference in draft pick attractive to Edmonton? Schenn & Kulemin? Gunnarson and ????


My guess is that the Oilers want to walk out of this draft with an impact player, either Yakupov or Murray. Could they move down from one, draft Murray and add a legit top 4D?  My guess: that is something close to the ideal scenario for Edmonton. I don’t think Toronto lines up well with the Oilers, unless Burke can move up from 5 to given Edmonton a sure fire way to "get their guy."

Up next: the Habs.


    Can Yakupov play LW?
    Hall and Yakupov on LW with Eberle and Hemsky on RW would make a very dangerous top 6.

    If not, would it ever be sweet to move Hemmer for a mid 1st round draft pick plus a quality defender.

    I’d just try my best to sign Justin Schultz, instead of trading the pick to Toronto for Gunner.

    Especially if I’m not getting a Blum, Bogosian or Pietrangelo.

    I’d really like Zach Bogosain on this team.

    What’s everyone’s thought on trying to move Whitney in a package to upgrade him?
    Would Garrison be an upgrade? Ryan is only 28 and had that one solid year here but I don’t know if I believe in him with those bad ankles.

  • Lowetide

    There are a few things. speeds over at the blog posted this, and it’s an important item.

    speeds said:

    Before injury at the WJHC:

    26GP 21G 32A for 53 pts, +21

    After injury:

    16GP 10G 6A for 16 pts, -6

    Small sample sizes, and all that, but I would be investigating that knee pretty closely if I were the Oilers. If he had been playing through a bothersome knee for the rest of the year, and is expected return to 100%/has returned to 100% by the combine, it’s a factor to consider.

    Before he was injured, my memory is that there were people suggesting he was trending better than either Hall or RNH were at that time in their draft year, but that’s just my memory.

  • The Farmer

    Very very nervous to hear all the chatter about moving down in the draft. If Yakupov is as good as they say, why not draft him, and trade from whatever area of strength (skilled forwards) is least painful. I hate the thoughts of passing up on a franchise player, for a handful of “useful” players that could be picked up much easier in free agency, once this team shows it can win.

    • Yeah, but they missed out on Eric Staal.

      Florida also traded out of the number 1 to pick up Bouwmeester and Nash went no 1.

      Florida should be an example of what not to do. They are a perpetual suck machine.

      I think history has shown you take the best forward available… I heard MBS on the radio and when asked what was the biggest difference between him and the former regime he said that he doesn’t swing for the fence… No Niinimaki’s or Rita’s or Pouliots.

    • D'oh-ilers

      Not sure I’d call that one a win.

      Florida never made the playoffs in the 6 years Horton was there. Meyer has only played 20 NHL games and Mikael Samuelsson became a UFA and left after only 37 games with the Panthers.

      That year, Eric Staal was the consensus #1 overall. Florida already had Luongo, so no need to draft Fleury. I’m not saying Staal would have made Florida a playoff team, but that trade didn’t help Florida at all in the long or short term.