Pick Bait

Oilers CEO Bob Nicholson has made it clear that Peter Chiarelli will continue as General Manager. Peter Chiarelli has made it clear that he needs to make this team better. He also made it clear that his first-round pick in this years draft could very well be available. “At some point yes I would put that pick in play, it would have to make sense,” said Chiarelli on Wednesday.

Let’s start with this; does it make sense to move the pick at all? The only reason I would hesitate to move the pick is because another expansion draft is looming. It may be poor asset management to move a pick that will become an exempt asset for a player that will need to be protected. While you contemplate that, I’m going to lay out the only three options I see making sense for the Oilers.  I wanted to put together a list of five or ten names but in the end, if it’s not one of these three guys then you are probably just wasting your time. 

Oliver Ekman-Larsson

Contract: $5,500,000 (UFA 2019)

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He doesn’t shoot right but Chiarelli seemed to be ok with that when he was talking about the need for an offensive presence on the back end. Not to mention, his name has been in the rumour mill for over a year at this point. To put it bluntly, Ekman-Larsson would be the best defenseman this team has had since Pronger left town.

Suggested Deal:

To Arizona: Oscar Klefbom, EDM 1st in 2018

To Edmonton: Oliver Ekman-Larsson

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Larsson is a UFA at the end of next season but the Oilers would have time to get him signed to a long-term deal.

Projected Blueline:

Larsson – Larsson

Nurse – Russell

Sekera – Benning

Tyson Barrie

Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

Contract: $5,500,000 (UFA 2020)

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I know there have been constant rumblings that Tyson Barrie could be available for the right price but he is now coming off a career year. Barrie had 57 points in 68 games for the Avalanche this season, that’s good enough for second in the league in points per game among defensemen behind only Erik Karlsson.  Would the Avs still be willing to move him?

Barrie checks off a number of the boxes for the Oilers.

26-years old. Check.

Right Shot. Check.

Can run a power-play. Check.

I tried to make a deal work financially without including Klefbom but I couldn’t get the job done without moving him. 

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Suggested Deal:

To Colorado: Oscar Klefbom, EDM 1st in 2018

To Edmonton: Tyson Barrie, Matt Nieto, COL 3rd in 2018

Projected Blueline:


Sekera -Larsson

Russell – Benning

Justin Faulk

Contract: $4,833,333 (UFA 2020)

You have to think there will be significant changes in Carolina this off-season and it’s something the Oilers need to take advantage of. Faulk will most certainly come at a more reasonable price tag than any of the other defensemen we have talked about. The Hurricanes have enough top end talent on the backend to move Faulk. He does have some issues defensively but that’s something the Oilers will have to live with at this point.

Suggested Deal:

To Carolina: EDM 1st in 2018, Matt Benning

To Edmonton: Justin Faulk, CAR 3rd in 2019 and Derek Ryan’s negotiating rights.

Projected Blueline:

Klefbom – Larsson

Nurse – Faulk

Sekera – Russell

If you are able to sign Derek Ryan before he becomes a UFA, like my friend Bob Stauffer has always wanted, it gives you some flexibility with Strome. Could open up something like this for next season.

Nuge – McDavid – Rattie/Grabner as UFA

Strome – Draisaitl – Puljujarvi

Lucic – Ryan – Aberg

Caggiula – Khaira – Kassian

I’m sorry; I couldn’t get through this piece without throwing some projected forward lines into the mix just for fun. Having Ryan and Strome has options for third line centre would really open up even more combinations for McLellan, not sure if that’s good or bad at this point.


Personally, I think the pick should be moved for scoring help on the wing but it sure seems like the General Manager is, for some reason, more concerned with his blueline.

The Oilers have been looking for an offensive defenseman since before Chiarelli took over and for that reason alone I’m not sure he can drop the puck on another season without one.

Could Dougie Hamilton be a sleeper out of Calgary? Would the Sens finally be willing to move Cody Ceci and if they do does he even have offensive upside at this level?

If the Oilers don’t move up in the lottery I’d be surprised if they keep their pick and at this point, it seems like a defenseman is the likely target if they do plan on moving it. Buckle up.


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Recently by Dustin Nielson

  • Jonrls99

    Wait and see how Ethan Bear turns out in the next couple of years first. because otherwise we might be acquiring someone that we might not need 3 years down the road. Klefboms surgery might help too… if he could Get the job done in the 16/17 season then who’s to say that he can’t again next year. Sure these are both “risky” options but they’re also free options that dont create Holes in the line up and the depth chart

  • Soccer Steve

    EL is going to Vegas for a truckload of money.
    Barrie is exactly the kind of player the Oilers (and the fans) will chew to pieces.
    Faulk has tasted East travel and won’t want to come West.

    • crabman

      I guess it’s a good thing Faulk doesn’t have any kind of NTC and has no say where he could be traded.
      And who knows maybe if he comes here and has success he might get used to the travel. When the pp gets back on track I’m sure the QB of that pp will enjoy a nice bump in scoring and cash in on their next contract. I’m sure Faulk would be fine with that too.

  • Arfguy

    If the Oilers are smart, they’ll keep all their picks. They will need to continue building through prospects. Get people involved that are looking to develop young players, so there can be a continuous stream of them. Trading for maybe a couple of years of players like Karlsson, Faulk, OEL is dumb. They will ask for too much money that the Oilers cannot afford to give.

    This organization needs to stop trying to find the quick fix with their cap situation.

  • RJ

    It must be awesome to be Klefbom.

    No matter how bad he plays, no matter how brittle a player he is, Oilers media always act like he’s a better defenceman than Nurse. He’s not. I take Nurse over him all day.

    You can’t build around a part-time player.

  • Arnie

    I think Russell would approve a trade to Calgary. Offer them our 1st next year 2019, our 1st last year Yamamoto and Russell for D. Hamilton ( if we have to throw in a 3rd or 2nd from this year) That way we keep our 1st this year in a deep draft and we keep Klefbom. Sign the best UFA goalie we can and Michael Grabner, sign Nurse to a bridge contract to help keep us under the cap until Sekera’s contract is up. Get rid of Cammalleri and Autivu then sign the rest of the RFA’s for similar to what they are making now. Bingo.

  • TKB2677

    I am of the opinion that unless you win the lottery, they should look long and hard about moving this pick. You can’t be worried about an expansion draft that is 2 or 3 yrs away. They need help right now. In 2 or 3 yrs, we don’t know how some players will have developed. Assuming they are still here, in 2 yrs you can move Sekera or Russell because their No Moves change to modified No Moves. I am going to assume that a Seattle team will do EXACTLY like Vegas. So if an expansion draft happens, you can make trades with Seattle to make them leave certain guys alone.

    When it comes to the trade. I don’t move this pick for a forward. I know people complain about the wingers but when you have 21 mill in Leon and McDavid, you have to find cheap options. Plus I think part of the Oilers scoring woes are because they lack a lot of offense from the blueline. Go look at the Preds. They are a deep team and have lots of pretty good forwards but do any of their forwards blow your socks off? Forsberg was their top score with 64 pts but they offset that with a ton of offense from their blueline. The Oilers have a guaranteed 100 player in McDavid. They have a guaranteed 70+ pt player in Leon, they have a couple 50 pt guys in Nuge and possibly Lucic assuming he bounces back. If they could even get 1 dman capable of putting up 45+ pts a year and run a PP, they would take off.