ekblad capture

It’s draft week, and that means up is down, left is right and right is wrong, and you better decide which side you’re on. Rumors about William Nylander or Nick Ritchie drawing into the top five, about Vancouver and Winnipeg and Toronto trading up—it’s madness!

Into this Poe spring I’d like to throw out some verse about the Edmonton Oilers. Let’s roll.


My scenario begins with the Sam’s going 1-2. It doesn’t matter the order for our purposes, but let’s assume it’s Reinhart and then Bennett. Edmonton, drafting third would have their pick of giants:

  • Aaron Ekblad, the man caught in a body the approximate age of One Direction.
  • Leon Draisaitl, whose nickname appears to be Dangler, but he’s making it work.

In that scenario, which player do you take? I’m leaning toward the dangler, but Ekblad could be a 15-year defenseman playing 20+ minutes a night and keeping the opponents honest and popping 10 a year on the power play. Sheldon Souray, but more mobile. That has value.

For the sake of this morning, let’s say Edmonton takes Ekblad, and then Calgary—still a little zonked from the flight in to Philly—decide they’re smarter than everyone and takes Nick Ritchie.

You KNOW Garth Snow wants to make a deal. You KNOW he wants a winger for his team because that pick he gave to Buffalo can’t be No. 1-5.

Question: do you trade what it takes to get No. 5 and take the German?


I imagine you’d have to give a combination of assets, central being an NHL winger of note. Whether that’s Perron or Yakupov (oh stop, we’re just talking here) or even Samwise Gagner is open to question. The Oilers have some other things:

  • Young defensemen
  • Next year’s first-round selection


Totally get that line of thinking. Why in hell would you do this?

Because the Oilers are weak sauce up the middle and could solve it (or really help) in one day. It has a certain appeal. Also, the new GM would be putting his stamp on the team in a major way. Don’t discount that, it’s kind of an important detail. 

dog skipp


This is the week you can skip from rumor to rumor, but this isn’t one. We’re just blue-skying on a bright sunny day.

What does making this deal mean? You know what it means? It means bankruptcy and scandal and prison! Sorry wrong speech. It means two things:

  • the cluster’s age is moved back once again
  • the Oilers are finally future strong up the middle. 

Pick your poison.

  • misfit

    If Florida and Buffalo remain at #1 and #2, then I could see a situation where Ekblad is available at #3. If Florida moves their pick, I would imagine Ekblad is gone by 3 (yeah, I know Van wants Reinhart).

    So if we have the choice between Ekblad and Draisaitl, then I can’t see any way we don’t take the defenseman. I think Draisaitl fills a bigger need, but Ekblad is just too much to pass on.

    IF Draisaitl is sitting at 5 and the Islanders are open to moving the pick, I’d be all over such a move. If Yakupov is the target, I’d need more than the #5 soming back. Perron would be on the table (begrudgingly), as would Gagner, but I doubt either gets it on their own. And while our young D have value in a trade, they’d probably do little to help the Islanders’ need for the “here and now”.

    As much as I like the idea of adding both Ekblad and Draisaitl, I’m not a fan of making our on-ice product worse for next year. I might just sit tight with Ekblad and use some of our non-roster tradable assets you mentioned to add a top 6 forward or two if the cost to acquire the #5 is too dear.

    • Zarny

      These are my exact thoughts and worth repeating.

      I would even consider to offer Gagner, OKC D prospect and the 2015 first for Josh Baily and the #5.

      Not sure I want to give up the 2015 first though as I do not see us making the play-offs.

      • RomZ

        I’m in agreement with misfit.
        However i disagree with you as i would not complicate the deal by asking for Bailey in addition to #5. If any one of the top 3 centers are still available at #5 i would offer the Isles any one of Gags (for obvious reasons), Yak (but ONLY because i firmly believe that 1 more season of Eakins publicly shaming him in post game press conferences will send him scurrying back to Russia and we will lose a perennial 35+ goal scorer; so either Eakins goes or we better get what we can for Yak now and let him develop elsewhere), or Perron (because having a tag-team 1-2 line center with RNH is much more valuable than a second line winger). I would offer to throw in any Barons prospect of their choosing not named Marincin, Klefbom, Lander or Arcobello and if i had to i would also add Buffalo’s 3rd rd pick this year BUT absolutely not our 2015 #1 under any scenario unless we have the option to defer it to 2016.

        These moves would also have the benefit of leaving lots of cap space to fill other holes in our lineup.

  • You’re delaying the rebuild by trading current roster players for draft picks such as that Islanders’ pick. I don’t think anybody wants to delay a return to the playoffs any further.

    At the same time, there are sufficient holes in the core group of young players, that I don’t think you can pass on one of these top 4 prospects. Adding a young 2nd line centre or a top pairing Dman to the mix of current young talent is just too compeling and probably necessary if this team intends to compete for the Stanley Cup.


  • Zarny


    It’s revisionist history to say the Oilers could beat any team on any given night during the lockout season under Krueger.

    That simply wasn’t the case. They finished 19-22-7 and went on a 10 game losing streak that year. Last year, the difference was simply the first 21 games where the Oilers started 4-15-2. Over the remaining 61 games Edmonton was 25-29-7 which is virtually identical to the results under Krueger.

    The PP is also a red herring. The Oilers scored 46 PPG over 271 opportunities last year (17%). To match the PP production during the lockout year (20%) they only needed 8 more PPG over 82 games. 8 more goals won’t do squat to move a team up the standings.

    • Thanks for the numbers to poke holes in my view of how the last few years have gone. I’m surprised that 8 goals is the difference between a power play that is top 3 in the league, to one of the worst in the league. That seems like people are making a huge deal of nothing if thats the actual spread between first and last.

      Would it be fair to say, as I originally wanted to, that if both our power play and penalty kill were at the point they were under Kruger, that would lead to more points. And combined with decent goal tending the team could be in for a marked improvement. Maybe not Cup finals, but a marked improvement from last year?

      Also, I think the point I was making is that under Kruger, the special teams were great, but they couldn’t win a face-off, their even strength scoring was brutal, and they constantly were outshot.

      Under Eakins, at least for a while at the beginning of the year, they were not getting outshot, they had a good face off win percentage (which tanked right around the time Gagner came back and took over for Arco, hmmmm), their possession numbers were better, and their even strength scoring was greatly improved. But their powerplay and penalty kill sank, and the goal tending was the worst it has been in years.

      As for beating any team on any night, this year there were just nights you’d go into Rexall and know the team was going to get blown out, no hope. Second last game against LA is a good example. But under Kruger, he felt like a coach that knew his team was likely not as good, and did everything he could to try and win. He tried everything he could, but this year there were games that felt like they were over before they began.

      Am I just coming at this from personal experience and opinion, or would you agree with any of this?

  • #ThereGoesTheOilers

    I really don’t think Ekblad will be there at 3, but even if he is we should probably draft center.

    Is there any chance though that the teams ahead of us are completely delusional and leave Ekblad and Reinhart to choose from?

    To me, that’s a more loaded choice.

  • Quicksilver ballet

    Welcome to the dark side Allan, even though you’re just visiting. This should’ve been the chosen route starting 4 yrs ago. In with entry level players, out with underperforming overpaid veterans.

    This rebuild is obviously failing while they sit idly by taking the minimum due to them every summer. They would’ve been further ahead aggressively going after a second lotto pick instead of chasing players who’d never come here to begin with, unless they’re forced to. The need A type players to come in. The current state has even the B and C level guys staying away on mass.

    The patience wearing thin thing. It’s pure rubbish. Screw the fans that grow impatient, someone else will take their place in a heartbeat. Their input is irrelevant with the way things are being done. They’ll buy anything no matter how bad it is, and them complain the portion size is too small.

  • Tikkanese

    I’m not so sure Buffalo passes up on Ekblad.

    They already have at Center: Tyler Ennis, Cody Hodgson, Mikael Grigorenko, Zemgus Girgensons, Cory Conacher, Luke Adam(ahl all star)

    All young and lots of potential. Unless some of them have been moved to the wing already, I don’t see an organizational need at Center for the Sabres.

  • Tikkanese

    In the dark days, Taylor and migrant drafts they should have went hard trying to squire more first rounders. The guys would then get to develop eat the same time. This should have been the plan.

  • Trade this year’s first, yak, and one of our best dman prospects to buffalo for their 2015 first round, and Myers.
    That would leave buff with 2 top 3 picks this year, and Yak to build on never mind a quality D prospect.
    We will take their current good Dman, and have a very good chance at the top two pics next year. Not to mention our own possible chance at a top 5 next year.
    I want to see some moves that look lopsided in the wrong way, but can really help both teams. Gambles pay off.