30 DAYS

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.

INTERVIEWS

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.

COMBINE TALK

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.

  • Lexi

    My sense is the target is Monahan, with Lazar/Horvat the backup plan. I trust they have their best offer ready for Carolina on the draft flloor and what they need to receive to justify moving into the teens.

    The two games I saw Horvat in, I thought he looked more dynamic than Lazar, but his plus/minus looks so low for a dominant team like London. I would love to see his Vollman usage chart.

    • HardBoiledOil 1.0

      I think Horvat was used as their shutdown center.

      In the m cup he was out a lot against Nathan and Drouin .

      When you are playing against the top competition your plus minus can get hammered

  • go-oil

    I think Oilers will try for Barkov as will Calgary

    If they stay at #7 there could be a few players available

    Monahan
    Nichushkin
    Lindholm
    Nurse
    Zadorov

    If Nichushkin is available I think they would have to take him unless they trade their pick. He would be the BPA.

    Lindholm would also be hard to give up and trade down for.

    Nurse is 6 ‘4 and 193lbs

    Zadorov is 6 ‘5 230 lbs

    From what I’ve seen very little Nurse looks more mobile and will only get stronger.

  • go-oil

    It’s good to hear all these audibles prior to the draft and that all scenarios seem to be considered.

    It’s such an interesting draft because of it’s depth, because of all the teams that don’t have a 1st round draft pick (Minnesota, New York Rangers, St. Louis, Los Angeles, Boston and Pittsburgh), and because of all the teams that have multiple picks (Buffalo, Columbus, Calgary and Dallas).

    I think many, if not all those teams would have interesting roster players to offer for the Oilers 1st round pick – especially defenseman or power forwards.

    It sounds like Lindholm is going to stay in Europe for another year, but I’d still hate for the Oilers to pass up on him or Nichuskin for a defenseman if either of them fall to 7th.

    • Lowetide

      There’s always risk. The Parise NJD was badly done anyway, as historically you’re paid more to move down a couple but the Oilers ended up with a late 2nd in exchange for moving down quite a bit.

    • MKE

      Im with you. You could hit a home run and draft Perry and Getzlaf.

      Then again you can end up….well….Pouliot.

      Past the top 3 it can be a crap shoot.

      Although this draft should have a number of solid NHL players.

  • Quicksilver ballet

    Will the Oilers be winners, or losers at this yrs draft. No pressure Craig. You have 5 fairly good pieces in place. It’s up to you to beg borrow or steal the rest.

    A Shock and Awe type summer, is far preferred over just bold. Start peddling your wares.