THREE WEEKS FROM NAILING IT

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.

SERIOUSLY?

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.

 

NATION RADIO

Lots to discuss on the show today, noon on Team 1260. Emails welcome at nationradio@theteam1260.com 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.

  • Lexi

    LT,

    I hope when you talk to Willis you spend some time talking about Cooper as a coaching candidate as Willis has been a big supporter of his.

    I was reading up about him last night as Norfolk was dominating the Marlies and he has succeeded everywhere he has been. When I look at that Norfolk team there is nothing jumping out at me that says dominate AHL team. They don’t have a ton of AHL vets like OKC or Hershey and they don’t have practically every player under 23 in the org playing like the Marlies, who also have Scrivens playing like 93 Roy in their nets. TB is one of the notoriously worse drafting clubs, there are no obvious stars and I remember the Oil playing TB in March and they had at least 6 AHLers in their lineup yet somehow Norfolk was in the middle of winning 28 games in row.

    If the Oil gets Yak they become a high risk, high reward team to coach, I think you definitely want an innovative, cutting edge coach with this team. I think Sutter might be too convential, Maurice is solid but not going to be one of the top 5 coaches. Nelson and Eakins should be solid NHL coaches in the future, but they seem fairly convential. I really like Krueger, but I do feel this team needs some fresh blood. If the coaching derby was the draft, than I think Cooper is Yak. I also think Yzerman doesn’t want to lose him but Boucher is too good of coach to get rid of and his biggest fear would be Cooper getting the Washington job and maybe his Team Canada relationship with KL and ST would help.

    I have no real idea if Cooper is as good as he appears, but if I was betting who the next Babcock is, Cooper would be my bet.

  • Couple thoughts:

    -I don’t know if CLB would offer 2 + Johansen, or MTL would offer 3 + Pacioretty. I also don’t know if EDM would turn those offers down. But if EDM made either of those trades, they could look back on them with regret.

    -NYI is kind of interesting because they may have the pieces to land the #1 without including their pick, if for example they were looking to land both Sarnia F’s. Not sure if they’d be interested in that much change to their core, but it seems like they’d have the pieces.

    It might be unlikely, but if EDM is willing to trade down to 4 or 5, as part of the deal, NYI may have more enticing pieces than TOR if both teams are looking to move up.

    – Why do you doubt the Oilers would move down past 5, LT? What’s so different about picking 6-8, if the rest of what you’re offered to move down is substantially better than you can get from NYI or TOR? Not to mention that you could move down to 6-8 with an eye on moving back up if possible, and at a good price.

  • I draft Yak and don’t look back. Bowman compares him to Pavel Bure? Do I want us looking back 5 years from now and see him racking up 50 goal seasons with some other team.Taylor Hall believes he’ll score 25 this year. Having that 1-2-3-4 punch on the wings is too important to give up. Yak,hall,Eberle and Hemsky make those first 2 lines top notch. Speed and skill are our teams philosophy. You want the Bruins go cheer for them.

    The Oilers biggest concern is not the defence. Its the goaltending.DD has to be the guy. His mindset has to be locked in on starting next season as the number 1. Bulin must be kept to under 20 games this year.

    The defence will improve as the teams offence improves. PP. Kill them on the PP. Detroit made teams pay for years. Vancouver has feasted on the PP.
    The old adage remains true. The best defence is having the best offence.

  • Lowetide

    I have a feeling that trading for picks 20-25 this year wont ne as difficult as it is most years,
    Edmonton could trade the 31st, plus a prospect or roster player to get into the 20th-25th spot and draft a guy like Ceci, Koekkoek, Pouliot, or even center Samuelsson.

    Theres no clear number one dman in the top five..lots of dmen later in the first round that were either injured alot, are physically immature..or played in Europe..
    Pretty sure there will be a Klefbom type somewhere in the 20s..

    If oilers want a pp quarterback, why not just bring Marc Andre Bergeron back until Gernat matures?

  • The only #1 overall trade scenario that makes sense and “might” be doable is indeed with Toronto. You’re right, Burke craves the spotlight and neither he nor a multitude of predecessors have delivered and Leaf Nation is parched, longing for a sip of anything resembling ‘the best’!

    The top pick is enough to quench and distract, thick smoke and a shinny new mirror, all needed for the ongoing delusion that is Leaf hockey.

    If BB will part with Jake Gardiner and his #5 in return then I see an attractive scenario that could solidy the Oil back end for years to come. It’s been well documented that Justin Schultz and Jake Gardiner are close friends who would love to play pro together. Acquiring Gardiner may very well land Schultz and fifth overall could mean Griffin Reinhart.

    If Tambo leaves Pittsburgh with those 3 pieces in return for a #1 that is the best in this show, but “not” a Crosby / Ovechkin, then I believe he wins the day!

    My only question is whether or not BB will deem Yak enough for Gardiner and #5? It the Oil need to sweeten the pot a bit, how sweet, who? Klefbom? Pitlick?

  • They both played for Canada at the U18’s, one had 10 points and the other 12. I don’t think the gap is as wide as it looks offensively as it may appear.

    Tournament of small sample sizes.

    Rajala was beast mode in the U18’s as well.

    Vic Ferrari once said, “I truly believe top defencemen have to make a difference on the powerplay.”

    I’m concerned about Ryan Murray being able to do so.

    Which leads me to the question, “Why take the unnecessary risk when you have the 1st OV?”

    • Lowetide

      Which is why I think–as with Larsson a year ago–Edmonton will take the forward instead. I don’t think any of the top end D in this draft are going to be PP monsters outside of Rielly, Dumba and maybe Maata.

  • Lexi

    I know that #2 and johansen is an over payment for for Columbus but it is the only deal that I would accept.

    Rishaug was saying on the radio yesterday that lowe and howson had been sitting together for 15 minutes having a serious conversation. There is a chance for both teams to win this trade

    Edm
    – #1
    – gagner or mps
    – khabi
    Cbj
    – #2
    – johansen
    – mason

    Both teams can win a trade here I am not saying it has to be this trade but I do believe that if the oilers value something different than yaks these teams can work something out.

  • Lexi

    LT,

    I think they should take Yak, but to me the best bets for a trade down are the teams in the 8 through 13 positions as that is where there are teams like Carolina and Dallas that need a star. The 2 through 13 picks are such a crapshoot that I could see Faksa being the best Centre and Trouba the best Dmen. I mean Dumba or Reinhart scares me at 2 but could be great picks at 8. The types of guys we could be looking at include Skinner, Sutter, Faulk, Hedman, Kane, Bogosian, Carlson, Myers and Benn.

  • Lowetide

    I don’t think there’s any doubt Dumba brings superior offense, but it’s also true Murray is rated higher because overall skills.

    They both played for Canada at the U18’s, one had 10 points and the other 12. I don’t think the gap is as wide as it looks offensively as it may appear.

  • Every year for the past 2 we have heard the same story and song. There are so many ‘tell’ signs it’s crazy. I understand the need to not disclose who your actual pick is for bargaining reasons etc…

    What I find more interesting though is the answers fans get. Just like the complaints go out there by MSM and fans alike, that players interviews are so rehearsed its annoying. OV is different because there is not a polished interview. I personally like when a player just says it like he thinks it. Sometimes people can read far too much into a players comments when he is not polished.

    My example? Yakupov. His answer in one liners are so refreshing. The guy puts a smile on my face just watching a interview. Imagine if he can back that up on the ice? This guy has incredible compete , and things like back checking and defensive work can be taught to a player who is a hard worker and highly skilled.

    High end skills and good work ethic with compete out of this world can not be taught. It’s Nail Yakupov more this year then it was Taylor Hall. I would say the % chance for getting Yakupov is about the same as it was last year picking RNH. They knew well in advance.

    Great article Lowetide, agree 100% with the trade possibilities. Only potential one is swapping with BlueJackets and getting Johansen. NOT HAPPENING. Or Montreal and getting a swap and PK Subban. NOT HAPPENING. For me, a swap with Toronto and one of those defencemen? DONT LIKE IT. Oilers lose on that IMO unless they could guarantee getting Galchenyuk or Grigorenko. A loss for sure in my eyes.

  • Loganoil

    Lowetide – by comparison, Matt Dumba played on a weak offensive team and finished 2nd in points.

    There are some defencemen that drive offense. Then there are others who are more passengers.

    Ryan Murray appears to be more of a passenger.

    • I like it alot, I don’t think MPS will be much more than a third line player, Pacioretty is already a first liner, I can’t see MTL doing that, but I would do it from a Oilers point of view.

      • Depends on perspective. Most people believe the team who got the best player wins. From this perspective MTL probably wins this trade because they get a 9 and a 5 for two 7/8s.

        We have a couple 9s on the team already so it might be a decent chance to risk a trade like this based on total overall value of the players.

        If I’m MTL I do this trade – if I’m EDM I’d have to think twice but in the end I’d probably do it.

        Let me put it another way – if you are MTL do you do this trade if it’s Hall and MPS for the #3 and Pacioretty?

        • Jordan McNugent-Hallkins

          It must be a close trade in my opinion, it would be a tough decision.
          I’m thinking it totally depends on who BJ’s draft, If they took Murray
          I would be willing to bet Galchenyuk and Pacioretty would be a better
          combo than Yak and MPS for the Oilers going forward. You figure MTL
          would do that deal, and I’m thinking there would be alot of contemplation
          going on(both sides). I do agree the team that trades for the best player wins 99% of the time. Yak should be the best player, but I’m thinking
          Galchenyk won’t be to far behind him keep in mind he plays a different game, and I don’t think it’s close or ever will be close between Pac and MPS.

    • Lowetide

      The only problem with that is the Oilers would likely lose out on Ryan Murray. I like him much more than Griffin Reinhart.

      But, having said that, it’s a trade EDM would certainly have to consider. Pacioretty is a top flight young player.

      • I don’t see this as a problem. The Oilers can take their big center at 3.

        Speeds could be right, they may end up regretting it, but I don’t think it’s an unreasonable bet that Pacioretty/Galchenyuk > MPS/Yakupov.

        Futhermore, I have a bad feeling the Oilers are going to chase size at all cost, and something like this could be more palatable than the alternative.

  • Lowetide

    In regard to Murray, I think it’s important to factor in the quality of team he played on. We know defenders rarely drive the offense, but Murray was “in on” his fair share of the goals for this season.

    RYAN MURRAY WHL EVERETT 2011-12

    RYAN MURRAY (46 GAMES,9-22-31 (.674), EVERETT WITH MURRAY 46-127-2.76 EVERETT WITHOUT MURRAY 26-58-2.23

    If Everett had been better, or even average, I think we would have seen a more impressive total.

  • Mitch

    I’m going to ramble a bit..

    MacGregor and Tambylinna both scare me in their interviews..

    -for some reason they(and everyone else on the planet except for me) seem to think the oilers offence is set..its great..its dynasty material..
    I disagree, who do the oilers have here long term in the top six?
    Hall-check
    Hopkins-check
    Eberle-check
    Gagner-half check
    The rest are either holes or question marks..
    Paajarvi-maybe, Horcoff-no, Hemsky-too injured too often, Hartakainen-maybe, Lander-likley btm 6
    Rieder-one day..maybe, Pelss-maybe maybe, probably not, Smyth-not longterm..

    So three guarantees..lots of defensive prospects on the way..(gernat, musil, klefbom,marancin, forgotten Fedun, just to name a few)
    These will all more likely than unlikely become nhlers at some point, much better group than our offensive prospects.

    The way I see it is Yakupov is head and shoulders above the rest, 105 points a year ago..a year earlier than Hall and RNH surpassed 100 point seasons in junior..this year injuries slowed him down but his PPG improved, probably wouldve had around 112 points.
    Murrays numbers in Junior arent close to what Drew Doughtys were, all the other dmen in the draft are question marks…
    coukd be better, but not much to show..Yakupov has shown by far the most that he can be an elite player in this league.

  • Lowetide

    I could see Edmonton trading #1 overall for Johansen and #2, or for #5 and Jake Gardiner. But those offers aren’t forthcoming because (imo) the Leafs might end up with a player who is just as good in Galchenyuk.

    There are about 9 names that seem to be clear of the rest. Nail’s #1, but how far is it to Galchenyuk? Not far enough to get a really big piece of the future, I’d guess.

  • Drafting Yakupov seems like a foregone conclusion now. It doesn’t sound like anyone is willing to give up 3 or 4 assets for Yakupov so Edmonton will be stuck with him.

    A year from now we’ll be talking about turnovers, defensive struggles, and injuries. Using the 1st overall pick to draft another winger is huge mistake.

    Oilers 1st in 2013 + Gagner for #4 and Calvin de Haan.

    or Edmonton’s 2013 1st + Paajarvi & Marincin for #4?

    If the Oilers can get another Centre or 2 Defenseman this draft will be a success, but drafting another winger is a recipe for disaster. Even if Nail Yakupov is the BPA and scores a lot of goals.

  • Lowetide

    Sliderule: I think Gunnarson and the guy from Nashville are interesting and do like Schenn but not at that cap number.

    jmo, but a guess would be the Oilers are deciding between Nail and Murray in a way similar to the Nuge-Larsson decision one year ago.

    The interview from ST yesterday with Greg Brady in which he made the distinction between help immediately on defense and what the draft could offer gives us the strongest clue yet about their thinking.

    The most immediate help in the draft is Yakupov.

  • I hope your right and the oil will take Yakupov unless they get a knock your socks off offer.I guess his compete level in workout wowed all the spectators .

    The defencemen Toronto could offer are just as much suspects as prospects.Didn’t they have a worse defense than oilers statistically?

  • Wax Man Riley

    How can that be an issue? Biases for or against religions is NOT how the Oilers (or any other team for that matter) do business. Religion is a non-issue. Oilers will take the BEST PLAYER AVAILABLE! They won’t skip out on a player because he’s Muslim, Christian, Jewish, etc. It doesnt change how the dude plays hockey. Honestly, what a joke of a comment.

  • Are you f%^*ing serious right now? Good vs Evil?

    I’d like to petition for this guy to get at least a temporary ban on here before he spouts more horrible stuff. This is a hockey site, he can keep his backwards opinions about religion to himself.