The Edmonton Oilers actual draft list is unavailable to us, but the organization does give us ‘clues’ leading up to each season’s entry draft. If you’re really interested in knowing the players Edmonton may select this summer, a little digging could go a long way.
During the period leading up to the draft, the Oilers will make the media rounds to talk about the draft and specific players–without tipping their hand. Recently, Stu MacGregor spoke to Jason Gregor and others about the draft, and one got the feeling that the club liked Sean Monahan and a couple of others at #7. Craig MacTavish followed that up with very specific center talk–MacKinnon, Barkov, Monahan–and excluded Swede C Elias Lindholm, indicating that they either don’t consider him an option or they’re running a counter trey using the media (history suggests the Oilers are in fact not considering him at #7.
During each season’s NHL combine, the Oilers interview many players (tons, really–some aren’t on the combine list) in an effort to uncover every possible piece of information before the draft. They also tip their hand (and possibly send out signals to other teams) by re-stating previous items in different forms. For instance:
- Craig MacTavish, late April:“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.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.”
- Kevin Lowe, this week: “Because the draft is deep, as you move along, if someone offered us something we felt could fit in with our group, a different age and a certain type of positional player we need, we wouldn’t be opposed to moving the pick. Maybe where teams are positioned with the [salary] cap going down, all those sorts of moons aligning could lead to something.”
This is also the period where we begin to find out about players outside the first round that the Oilers have interest in. Their website has an interview up with young defender Mason Geertsen (former Oil King, dealt for David Musil) and his interview with the team ("I spoke with 13 teams and it was kind of overwhelming when I first got here but once I got into the groove of it and a little more comfortable in the room, it went by really good. I spoke with the Oilers. It was a good meeting, it was kind of different knowing Kevin Lowe. It was more of a talk instead of a formal situation instead") and he may end up being an Oiler later on June 30th.
WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN?
Based on what we’ve read/heard, I think there are three possibilities for the Oilers in the first round:
- Trading up for Barkov
- Staying at #7 and taking Monahan or Zadorov
- Dealing down to the teens and grabbing Lazar.
Ater that, I’d bet on centers and goalies for much of the draft.