The not-so magnificent seven

With two games left in the season, the Edmonton Oilers can finish no lower than seventh overall in the pre-lottery draft rankings, and could finish as high as the second overall pick if everything breaks right (wrong?).

The Standings

Important games tonight include:

  • Carolina vs. N.Y. Rangers
  • Tampa Bay @ Boston
  • Nashville @ Detroit
  • Calgary @ St. Louis

Both the Lightning and the Predators can pass Edmonton with a win tonight. They’re only a combined 4-13-3 in their last 10 but both clubs are coming off wins. Tampa Bay is a long-shot, having played last night and facing Boston tonight, but Nashville is rested and facing a tired Detroit club. Calgary and Carolina, meanwhile, can add some space to their leads on Edmonton.

The Prizes

From NHL Numbers consensus draft rankings, here are the top-12 players available; the Oilers will almost certainly be selecting one of them.

The Oilers would need some Steve Tambellini lottery magic to grab Seth Jones – not only the best player available but also the best fit for need – but there are a lot of players to like here. I admit I’m partial to Aleksander Barkov, a guy who plays a complete game and has size, speed and skill, but that’s also because I’m more familiar with him than with the other prospects available here. The other big centre, Sean Monahan, likely also appeals to the Oilers, and of course the big defencemen group – Nurse, Ristolainen, Zadorov – all have a lot of appeal as prospects.

Recently around the Nation Network

  • Ducey

    What about trading a player ( Sam Gagner) and a second round draft choice for another first round pick …… the top 10?

    We would have some real options then but would need to rely on the UFA’s to round out the team…….risky strategy but the draft seems to stronger than some have suggested.

  • Ducey

    Question, Nishkinen, Barkov, Jones, and Mohnahan are gone. Do we take Druoin or Mckinnon, or do we grab a worse player with some size and let these two potential future stars fall to someone else?

  • Ducey

    Listen ppl we are not unloading any top 10picks thats just stupid in my eyes. the oilers should pick in this order if they finish in bottom 5 or better. valeri nichushkin, Darnell nurse, Rasmus Ristolainen than Sean Monahan. I like Darnell Nurse hes a mean in your face sob. hey can move the puck well and hes tough as nails. oilers need players like that!! On a side note NFL DRAFT DAY BABY!!!! GO RAIDERS!!!!!

  • Truth

    The Oilers will screw everything up and win both of the remaining games. Calgary will win the Lottery. I bet the Oilers are going to trade down in the draft to grab Lazar much higher than he should go anyway.

    I’m still frustrated about that season finale win a few years back over Calgary that put the Oilers in 6th position, only for the 5th position Blackhawks to win the lottery and get Kane. I wonder if they would have won the Cup with Gagner instead?

  • Truth

    Whoever we pick better not be on the opening-day roster in the fall. Allowing prospects a year or two getting bigger, stronger and used to North America (as the case may be) is what good teams do. MacT needs to replace 3 centers this summer – Lander counts as a replacement if he’s ready and willing to play 4th line minutes.

    Ott and Vermette are my wish list for the 2C and 3C – size, grit, not a complete loss offensively and both over 56% on faceoffs. And they have a lower cap hit than the Gagner/Horcoff combo. Vermette has 2 years left on his deal and Ott 1 – perfect timing to bring Barkov/Monahan along slowly and properly.

  • BTW, doing some more watching, here is the remaining schedule for teams in that bottom area:

    Away vs. Wild (very likely a loss)
    Home vs. Canucks (probably a loss)
    Predicted finish: 41 pts

    Away vs Coyotes (likely a loss)
    Home vs Wild (likely a loss)
    Predicted finish: 37 pts
    (note though, if they somehow won these two and the Oilers lost their two, the Avalanche would finish ahead of Oilers)

    Away vs Bruins (likely a loss)
    Home vs Panthers (likely a win)
    Predicted finish: 42 pts

    Away vs Red Wings (likely a loss)
    Home vs Blue Jackets (likely a loss)
    Predicted finish: 41 pts

    Home vs Rangers (likely a loss)
    Away vs Penguins (likely a loss)
    Predicted finish: 42 pts

    Away vs Blues (could go either way)
    Away vs Blackhawks (likely a loss)
    Predicted finish: 42 pts

    So by my guesses, I have the Oilers likely finishing 4th last. But there’s possibility they could finish even 2nd last if they really blow it and Colorado wins both theirs, and TB gets at least 1 point in their remaining 2 games (could be likely).

    I wouldn’t be surprised if the Oilers finish 3rd, with Panthers locking up #1, and the Avs #2. But it will be hard for the Preds to jump ahead of the Oilers, I figure.

    I don’t think the Oilers will get any points vs. the Wild or Canucks though.

  • CaptainLander

    Hmmm, trade the first overall to tampa for their first overall and oh, I don’t know Ben Bishop? They get their defender they so badly need, we get our back up goalie to push Dubnyk, and we also likely still get our big centre depending on where Tampa’s pick is.

  • Truth

    Oilers likely to garner 1-2 points in final 2 games and subsequently may finish in 7-8th position . If so , our draft could be in play if fab 4 and Nicushkin are gone , to acquire a star of note probably defencesively . Slepechev would be another 6-2 player we could get in second round with any luck . Remember , Detroit banner years carried 3 star Russian players of note . Yak it up boys .

    From your list of six on down I,d prefer to trade for a star of note for center and/or defence .

  • Truth

    Nichushkin has been ranked much higher on other lists. If he falls to us though, that could be the perfect partner for Yakupov. Russian, big, centre. Though I still think Barkov is the standout here, as he would make our nordic line a bit better then Lander.

    Well here’s hoping for four first overalls in a row and we get Jones, but if not him then one of Barkov or Nichushkin.

  • Seth Jones may be the best player and at a position of extreme need but he is not a player that Edmonton can use to solve their immediate problems.

    If by some reason they lucked out with the lottery then they should be looking to move the pick.

    Hell even at #7, if the value is there they should unload the pick.

    • Oilers will be bashed no matter who they draft. They’re still getting bashed for drafting Hall ahead of Seguin. Someone prior to the draft in 2010 said it would be the biggest mistake in Oilers history if they drafted Hall instead of Seguin.

      • match16

        Seriously, stfu. Oilers fans will “bash” because we are a losing team and I suspect it won’t stop until we start to win. We “bash” because we care and are passionate about our team. This aint some community rec league where everyone gets a free ribbon for “effort”. And btw, for every fan that is “bashing” mgmt for selecting Hall over Seguin, there are 5 fans who support the pick.

  • Quicksilver ballet

    Is it time to put a bow on that second line center position?

    If you’re in MacTavish’s (won the draft lotto) shoes Jonathan, would you take MacKinnon in that first overall spot. Seth Jones isn’t likely to be the best D’man in this draft anyways.

    If the Oil don’t win the lotto, they should trade up to that probable second spot and get their guy.

    Deadwood out, new life in. I heard The Sports Closet in the park is taking pre-orders on Shea Weber Oiler jerseys for the fall.

    • I like Jones a lot; a 6’3″ point-per-game WHL defenceman appeals for a lot of reasons. I’ve only seen him at tourneys but I’ve always come away impressed.

      I think if you’re the G.M. you have to rely on your scouting staff to tell you which of these guys is the absolute best; they’ve seen them a lot more than you have.

  • I must admit, on one hand, I want the Oilers to win their last two because a guy like Hall that’s carried this team on his back as best as he can deserves it. On the other hand, I’m all for drafting Barkov. There is a very very good chance he’ll be gone before we draft at 5… at 4 he MIGHT be there.

    Barkov is definitely the guy I want from this draft, assuming we can’t get Seth Jones by moving up in the draft (which, really… any team would be crazy to move that #1 pick this year). Monahan would be a good consolation prize, but I still think its a consolation prize.

  • I’ve got this goofy feeling like the Oilers are going to finish 3rd and win the Lottery. Obviously they dont need to do that and hoping for it is completely selfish in a Karma sort of way, but the Oilers could be in 3rd VERY easily by the end of thursday night’s scheduled games.

    For the Record, I think 4th is very reasonable and Barkov would make me a very happy camper.

    Alternatively, if the Oilers DO NOT win the lottery and choose to trade the pick I would be ok with it if the return was a legit top pairing Defenseman.