There’s a chance that the "top level" forwards will be gone by the time Stu MacGregor and the Edmonton Oilers step to the podium at the 2013 draft. If so, where do they go? Reach for a lesser forward? Pick a defenseman (like Darnell Nurse, in video)? Trade down?
In his time away from the Oilers, Craig MacTavish no doubt saw a few interesting things he’ll bring to the procurement table this summer for the Oilers. A recent Terry Jones article contained a couple of MacT quotes that got me thinking:
- MacT: “We’re definitely going to look at doing something with that pick. I think we’d be very receptive to moving back and picking up another pick potentially."
- More MacT: “It’s a very deep draft in my mind. There are tons of players out there who excite me. Or possibly we could pick up somebody that could help us immediately and another pick.”
The Oilers have moved up in the draft (dealt two picks to move up for Riley Nash) and moved down (dealt the Zack Parise pick for Pouliot and Jacques) with results that could be described as "infamous" and remain understated; however, with the club already owning their jacks and kings, perhaps this plan allows them to improve depth.
Personally, the only way I can see it happening is if the following players come off the board 1-6:
- Seth Jones
- Nathan MacKinnon
- Jonathan Drouin
- Slava Barkov
- Sean Monahan
- Elias Lindholm
Should that happen, Edmonton would be left with an abundance of blue (Nurse, Risto Ristolainen, Nikita Zadorov) but perhaps a bit of a gap between those six forwards and the next level (Nichushkin, who may fall due to contract and performance concerns, Hunter Shinkaruk, Max Domi, Curtis Lazar).
Just thinking out loud, but maybe you deal #7 overall to Winnipeg for #13 and #43. If Curtis Lazar (above) is still there, the Oilers continue the Oil King caravan of tough, physical players. The club would have no need to push him into immediate action, rather allowing him to mature in the WHL–something that paid dividends with Jordan Eberle.
AND WITH THE EXTRA PICK?
The Oilers received good value (so far) from the BCJHL last season when selecting Jujhar Khaira from the Prince George Spruce Kings. He had a fine season at Michigan Tech and is one of the best ‘forwards with size’ among the organization’s prospects.
Although it might be awkward, the Oilers could use that second round selection on Adam Tambellini of the Surrey Eagles. He’s on his way to North Dakota (NCAA), so there’s no worry about him needing to be signed any time soon. He’s also an emerging power forward–this article has him currently at 6.02, 205–and has a scorer’s touch.
WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN?
History tells us selecting defensemen at the top of the draft rarely results in true value. If the Oilers don’t feel it’s wise to use the 7th overall pick on a defender, perhaps trading down is the right call.