Steve Tambellini put it out there yesterday: in order for Edmonton to give up the first overall pick it would have to be a "significant proposal" from another NHL team. What would it look like?
THE CHESS GAME BEGINS….
I doubt the Oilers would trade down past #5 overall, so that reduces the possible trade partners. It’s also true that teams just below Edmonton are unlikely to trade a tremendous amount because no matter who goes ahead of them there will still be an outstanding talent available.
The top 9 or so players in this draft are Yakupov, Murray, Galchenyuk, Grigorenko, Reinhart, Teravainen, Forsberg, Rielly and Dumba. Is that fair? Your mileage may vary, but let’s go with that list.
- Columbus: 2nd overall and Ryan Johansen for #1 overall? TOO MUCH. 2nd overall and Fedor Tyutin isn’t enough because of Tyutin’s contract. Is there a middle ground? Nikita Nikitin is an interesting player but he is not a proven player. We know the Oilers love Marc Methot but again that’s not in the range of value that can bridge the gap.
- Montreal: Max Pacioretty and #3 is a giant overpay, and yet Montreal has such a strange roster it is genuinely hard to find a player who is both somewhat expendable and paid at his actual value. Crazy roster. I like Lars Eller, but trading down likely means missing out on both Nail and Ryan Murray. Don’t really see a match.
- NY Islanders: Now we come to the crazy house on the block, the Islanders. The Islanders ALWAYS have quality youth and if they’re willing to talk about players like Travis Hamonic then the Oilers would have to listen. It is unlikely.
- Toronto: This is the most likely scenario for a lot of reasons. First, Burke’s ego allows him to dream big and somewhere in that Providence-trained cranium there exists a lust for the spotlight. Dealing up from #5 would be difficult, but Toronto has Jake Gardiner, Cody Franson, Nikolai Kulemin, Luke Schenn and a host of other hockey players that might interest the Oilers.
I think Toronto is the obvious option. Tambellini says they would have to see an outstanding offer. Columbus has Craig Patrick helping steer and they’re in a rebuild–the Jackets will be right back at the top a year from now. They want a the best player available but need help at all positions. The Islanders are building a nice little team for their condemned building, so drafting the 2nd best Russian just adds to the talent base. Montreal is a mess, hell I can’t make any sense of that group except to say they appear to be royally (insert your choice of words here) for the next couple of seasons until contracts burn off.
Toronto? They have a lot of the elements required for such a deal. Edmonton could walk away with one or two pieces for the future and still get "their guy" in Griffin Reinhart (if that’s their guy).
WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN?
The Edmonton Oilers–barring some craziness from Brian Burke–will select Nail Yakupov first overall.
Lots to discuss on the show today, noon on Team 1260. Emails welcome at firstname.lastname@example.org or you can post comments or questions in the comments section. @ItsNationRadio or lowetide_ are the twitter accounts.
Scheduled to appear:
- Jason Gregor from the Jason Gregor Show and Oilers Nation. We’ll discuss the Oilers at the draft, the coaching search, Ryan Smyth’s contract and the Oilers shopping list this summer.
- Terry Jones from the Edmonton Sun. Terry was all over the Oil Kings run and wrote some excellent items on the OKC Barons this season, we’ll touch base on those items and talk about the Oilers summer.
- Kent Wilson, Nations Overlord. I’ll ask Kent about the hiring of Bob Hartley in Calgary and what that could mean to some of the Flames high profile roster players.
- Jonathan Willis from Cult of Hockey, the Nations and various other prominent hockey sites. We’ll talk about Steve Tambellini and Kevin Lowe, specifically delving into the coaching hire, the #1 overall pick, the holes on the team and how to fix that blue.
Noon today, these are all terrific guests and we welcome your comments and questions for each of them.