TRADING DOWN (BUT NOT OUT)

2012 draft

The Edmonton Oilers are locked and loaded to pick No. 3 overall at the 2014 NHL Entry Draft, but as we get closer the thought of dealing the pick for immediate help moves front and center. Would the Oilers move out of the first round? Unlikely. Move down? Depends on the return.

As Robin Brownlee indicated in his article today the No. 3 pick may be in play, depending on what’s available. He mentioned Evander Kane, your mileage may vary. The point being, if Edmonton trades out they should get good value, and trading down might give them a nice player and of course a later first round pick. Let’s break down the top 15 overall, assuming Edmonton’s needs are center, size and defense.

FIRST CLUSTER

  • C Sam Bennett—Some questions about strength/durability.
  • D Aaron Ekblad—He’ll go No. 1 or 2. Possible franchise defenseman.
  • C Leon Draisaitl—Big center with possession skills.
  • C Sam Reinhart—Highly skilled player, some say he’ll find a home on the wing. 

Edmonton will have two outstanding prospects still on the board at No. 3 overall. In order to trade out, they’d need very good value (more than a second round pick, as an example) UNLESS they valued someone in the second tier equally.

SECOND CLUSTER

  • L Michael Dal Colle—Something tells me he’ll be a Canuck draft day. NY Islanders are crazy.
  • L Nick Ritchie—He’s a monster. High risk because we don’t know about offense.
  • R Jake Virtanen—Power winger who can score goals. Outstanding release, very physical.
  • L Nikita Scherbak—Skilled, rugged winger impressed with range in his WHL debut.

Now, I want to point a couple of things out. There are many prospects in play inside the top 15 not listed here, but one doubts Edmonton has targeted William Nylander. Again, you may feel a player should be on the list, and that’s cool, I’m looking for player who fit our original idea (size, bigger, etc) along with being a center or defenseman.

As you can see, there are no centers and no defenders, meaning (in my opinion) Edmonton would need to acquire an established defenseman or center as part of the deal to trade down. 

WHAT WOULD IT LOOK LIKE?

As an example, let’s use our good friends the Toronto Maple Leafs. Let’s say both Ekblad and Draisaitl are gone, and let’s also say Toronto has a powerful urge to draft Sam Bennett or Sam Reinhart. The Leafs could offer a sweetener to trade up from No. 8 to No. 3, but it would have to be center or defense.

As the Leafs don’t have impact C or D who are young enough to grow with the cluster (Gardiner and Kadri are good, but not that good) chances are Edmonton will stand and deliver at No. 3 overall with Bennett or Reinhart.

WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN?

dog afraid

The No. 3 pick may well be in play, but the priorities that have to be addressed remain the same:

  • Center
  • Defense
  • Skilled men with size who can play with the brilliant kids.

The Edmonton Oilers have been dancing around this issue (under previous GMs) for years now, and one of the results is inertia and poor results. Adding another high pick who may play this season is interesting, but not terribly compelling. Adding a 25 minute a night defenseman or a center with size who can play in the top 6?

Bold. There’s one problem: you have to find a partner.

      • HardBoiledOil 1.0

        Ha… Glad you aren’t GM.

        Remember when the Islanders traded Chara and a 1st (Spezza) for Yashin. It set them back 10 years.

        Your trade has that sort of potential. I’m not a Yak fan, but giving up on him now is what Infinibuild Islander teams would do.

    • oilerbuff

      If trading the third overall pick can.land.Tyler.Myers plus another pick, I would love to see that go down. Pull the trigger on that any day. there’s a very gifted offensive d-man, Deangelo ranked 14th overall among North American.skaters. he’s not very big but he’s got game, not afraid to throw his weight around or drop the gloves. 71 points for Sarnia this year. I think he’d be a nice consolation prize to Ekblad.

    • Zarny

      No one in this draft is considered exceptional. It’s like 2007 but with no Patrick Kane. You could trade down to 6th or 8th and still end up with the best player in the draft so the Oilers should certainly explore their options.

      I think there are a few scenarios where the Oilers trade down.

      The first would be flipping picks with Cgy, NYI or Van. It would be contingent on the Oilers preferring Draisaitl, Cgy, NYI or Van really wanting Bennett or Reinhart and the Oilers believing Draisaitl would fall to 5th or 6th. If you believe all that perhaps NYI offers up a 2015 2nd round pick or Josh Bailey to get one of the Sam’s and Edm still gets the player they want.

      The second would be trading further down which is likely part of a bigger trade for Phaneuf, Coburn or Yandle that also involves swapping the 3rd for 8th, 13th or 17th. The Oilers wouldn’t get Draisaitl but could land 6’2″ 207 lbs D Hayden Fleury or Ritchie or Virtanen plus whatever they get in the trade.

      The third option would be to flip picks more than once. If they flipped with NYI and Cgy drafts Draisaitl the Oilers could look at moving down again if they thought there was no difference in who they could draft 5th versus 9th or 11th (for example).

    • HardBoiledOil 1.0

      ^it’s because A-Mc fans are so easily persuaded into changing their opinions over what the media says about a player. as soon as they say about any player things like “slow” or “needs to improve defensively” or anything, the red flags immediately go up and fans start to peck away at these kids. soon you hear things like “bust” and other nonsense about that player and how your team needs to be picking someone else. (forgetting that most players have warts!). sure am glad fans don’t make the draft choices!!

    • Quicksilver ballet

      trade our 3rd,ganger and klfbom to toronto for there 8th pick,kadri and phenuaf.

      trade the 8th pick,next years 2nd and yak for tyler myers

      or just go one stop shopping and trade pick with philly,throw in klefbom and ganger and our 2nd next year for coburn and coutourier

    • Quicksilver ballet

      Pssst, hey buddy.

      I’ll trade you these 3 brand new 20 dollar bills, for your one pocket worn 100 dollar bill.

      This is what trading down is in the Oilers case. The Oilers just aren’t smart enough to pull this off.