Photo Credit: Sportsnet

The Oilers should trade their first round pick

Last night, fate fell short this time as the Oilers lost out on the draft lottery sliding back from 9th to 10th.

The impact of the slide isn’t huge, but this year’s draft will be for the Oilers and they should capitalize on it by trading their first round selection.

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The one time Oilers GM Peter Chiarelli traded the team’s first round draft pick it blew up in their face. 16th and 33rd overall for Griffin Reinhart will go down as one of the worst trades in recent times given that the Islanders were able to select Mat Barzal with number 16 and Reinhart played in all of 30 games for the Oilers.

Given that, I hold some concern in regards to moving their first round selection.

If the Oilers look to move the pick – which I think is the right decision – the team will be needing to address immediate needs on their roster and will need to make a good deal.

The most glaring holes for the Oilers right now are a top-six scoring winger and a puck-moving defenceman that can put up points.

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Peter Chiarelli admitted in his year end press conference that he wold be interested in moving the Oilers first round selection and it wouldn’t surprise me in the least for him to field calls.


The best thing about trading the pick is that the Oilers should have options. When we look at the draft order, we see Buffalo with the chance to select a generational talent in Rasmus Dahlin which everyone expects will happen.

Next, Carolina and Montreal will have their choices between Andrei Schvechnikov and Filip Zadina – who many say will be selected there.

Buffalo is a weak defensive team outside of Rasmus Ristolainen, a player that the Sabres will want to keep around to mentor Dahlin. He also has a favourable contract with a cap hit of $5.4 million for the next four years.

At two, Carolina is a team that might be looking to deal one of Jeff Skinner or Justin Faulk, according to 630 CHED’s Bob Stauffer.

They have an opportunity to select a future high-end goal scorer and it was reported that there was a rift between Skinner and his team landing him on TSN’s Trade Bait list ahead of last season’s trade deadline.

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Skinner is an interesting prospective player to trade for. He has accumulated 379 points in 579 games for the Hurricanes since he was drafted seventh overall in 2010.

He has put up two 60-point campaigns, two 50-point campaigns and two seasons with over 30 goals.

With one more year on his deal that is paying him $5.75 million, the Oilers would need to ensure they would be able to lock him up to a new contract. He could slot himself in on the top line next to McDavid, should he waive his no-trade clause.

On the otherhand, Faulk is a player that I have always been a fan of.

The puck-moving, offensive defenceman is coming off of year that saw him put up 31 points in 76 games. Faulk is a definite top pairing defenceman in the NHL and someone that as a right-shot could slot into the Oilers top pair.

The Hurricanes are very deep on defence with guys like Noah Hanifin, Brett Pesce and Jaccob Slavin. In the system, they still have Jake Bean and Haydn Fleury – both guys who project as future NHL defencemen.

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I think if the Oilers are targeting a Hurricane it should be Faulk. His price tag might be lower than that of Skinner and he also comes with two years left on a deal paying him $4.83 million.

The Oilers will likely have to move out some salary in one way or another if they want to make a move for either of these guys.

  • I agree. Moving that pick for immediate help is the right thing to do. It’s a here and now move that has to happen. Oilers have to be more competitive game in and game out, even if it means being a middle of the pack team. Can’t be bottom feeders forever.

    This however means the cupboard remains bare. Scouting in later rounds is of utmost importance and has to be excellent.

    • GinYYC

      We have 8 years of McDavid coming up. Build the team properly (draft and develop) so we can have the best chance of being an elite team at some point during this 8 year window. Making trades now so we’re “middle of the pack” right now at the expense of the talent we need in the pipeline for the next 8 years is not the right approach.

      • “Draft and develop”

        That ship has sailed. Should have done that over the last 10 years. Oilers tenth overall will need 3-5 years to have an impact, if any, and that is only one player. Do you think McDavid wants to wait 5 years? Oilers been doing the wrong thing for so long, I’m surprised you’re willing to wait another decade.

        At some point, like now, Oilers need to ice a competitive team. The culture of losing has to stop.

        • Lets list our players that we did not draft and see what it takes to get them.

          – Larsson (Taylor Hall)
          – Sekera (NMC + term + $)
          – Russel (NMC + term + $)
          – Strome (Jordan Eberle)
          – Lucic (NMC + term + $)
          – Reinhart (2 picks that we would still have in our system)

          As you can see, this approach comes at a very high cost.

  • Braindead

    Oilers won’t make playoffs next year
    1.Salary cap issues
    2. No top 6 wingers for Leon
    3. D is not good enough
    If the Oilers trade the pick they still have to unload a contract or two.
    Oilers should draft Grigori Denisenko. He is Russian version of Yamamoto but better and bigger. But like all Russians he needs to work on his back-checking..

  • FanBoy

    If we keep the pick, I want Dobson, Boqvist, or Bouchard (one of them should be available).

    If we trade the pick to Carolina, I wish it would be 10th overall, Sekera, and Åberg for Faulk. It’s good for both sides because we rid ourselves of Sekera’s contract and he might bounce back on their team along with another pick they can use to either replace Faulk, or add another forward. Aberg just doesn’t fit on our team and this clears space for us to sign roster players in free agency

  • Ever the Optimist

    If Faulk is the target then IMO Strome plus the first would be the best play. We eat a bit of salary but it sets us up to be able to trade Russell and/or Sekera next summer for magic beans to restock the pipeline.

      • Ever the Optimist

        Having both of them playing 3rd Pair and special teams will allow them to put a good season in statistically and regain some trade value. Also this is not a large worry to me as the expansion draft isn’t likely till 2020 or 2021 and we can pay a prospect or pick to seattle to avoid the players we want.

    • BringitbacklikeSlats

      What’s wrong with his article dude? You don’t like him speculating on potential trade targets in the off season why? It’s a hockey website. It’s what they do here. Talk about hockey. If you disagree with them going after Faulk like Zach suggests, just voice an opinion on why not… otherwise you contribute zero hero.
      BTW Zach Faulk is a good call. Hopefully they cut bait on Sekera and or Klefbom and get a true top pairing guy like him.
      Sorry to the Corsi believers and star struck Oscar Klefbom fanatics out there, but you’ll not convince me that he’s a top calibre Defenseman… ever

    • Dr Dragon

      Its the Oilers off season they need something to talk about and would draw interest from fans and by the looks of it hes doing a good job by all the comments he garnered even tho the idea of trading the pick sounds so stupid to me. This team needs to seriously start focusing hard on drafting well and developing the prospects the right way end of story

  • Here is what you do:
    Trade Oilers 1st for defenseman that can play NOW.

    Sign a UFA winger like Vanek. Don’t know why he would sign in Edmonton, but you never know.

    Sign that goalie from the KHL, if Oilers scouts think he can play. Otherwise sign a capable backup like Bernier.

    Surround McDavid with the support he needs to turn things around. Don’t burn him out like all the other 1st rounders. Otherwise,

    “City of losers”

    • OilerForLife

      If an NHL team doesn’t have players graduating to to the NHL on a regular basis, you are forced to trade or sign free agents on a regular basis. You don’t always get the best players and you overpay monetarily, on term and assets and additional no trade clauses.

      Until the Oilers start supplying the majority of their own players, they will never control their own destiny. We are nearly there and it would be sad to dismantle it now by a trading the pick, that will fulfil a need. If we miss the playoffs next year it would suck, but I’d rather have a team that makes the playoffs nearly every year instead. I don’t think Faulk is the answer, but if Klefbom returns to form, and I think he will, then we have the PP point man that we need. It’s not a player problem when McDavid had the most even strength points since Jagr in 95-96. Clearly our PP system failed us, if we can do better 5 on 5, than on the PP then something is wrong. If we are the best on the PK on the road, but the worst on the road then its mental, and its fixable, and it’s not a lack of talent.

      That said, some smaller deal like the backup goaltender, or forward or D man on a short term deal so if it fails we aren’t stuck with a bad contract.

      Oiler have to do things right, not necessarily quick.

  • Spydyr

    So two years of Faulk and have to protect him in the expansion draft instead of nine years of a player that you don’t have to protect?

    Sounds like something the ” Oiler Braintrust” would do.

  • Braindead

    Oilers won’t make playoffs next year
    1.Salary cap issues
    2. No top 6 wingers for Leon
    3. D is not good enough
    If the Oilers trade the pick they still have to unload a contract or two.
    Oilers should draft Grigori Denisenko. He is Russian version of Yamamoto but better and bigger. But like all Russians he needs to work on his back-checking.

  • Rama Lama

    Asking PC to trade this pick and get something meaningful in return is pure lunacy. The last time he tried to pull a rabbit out of the hat he traded ( as you mentioned) two highly sought picks and got diddly squat in return. I think Reinhart is playing in a senior men’s league, if I’m not mistaken?

    If Past behavior is a excellent indicator of future behavior than I’m seriously worried!

    • Cleets

      Id like to know how much chia had to do with that trade. He’d been on the job for a couple weeks at that point, and old boys club was in love with reinhart during his draft. Still at fault but i don’t think it was his move

  • Oilers can’t come back with the same roster that closed out this last season.
    Having said that, someone or something has to go. Puck moving right shot defensemen don’t grow on trees. Larsson isn’t that, but look at what he cost. The price was high, and to his credit, Chiarelli did what had to be done. No, I wouldn’t have made that trade, but that was the price and he paid it. To get help on defense, it will cost Oilers their 1st rounder. Maybe more.

    And to all you morons who think next year will be great with the same roster, dream on.

  • arab05

    Only way I move the pick is if you can also move one of Lucic, Russel, or Sekra. If we have to protect all three of these players in the next expansion draft the oilers will lose a really good player.

  • Hockey123

    1. Buffalo Rasmus Dahlin
    2. Carolina Andrei Svechnikov
    3. Montreal Filip Zadina
    4. Ottawa Adam Boqvist
    5. Arizona Quinn Hughes
    6. Detroit Noah Dobson
    7. Vancouver Brady Tkachuk
    8. Chicago Evan Bouchard
    9. New York Oliver Wahlstrom
    10. Edmonton Jesperi Kotkaniemi

    Keep the pick the damage has been done with the Reinhart trade. The gift that keeps on giving. Thanks Peter Cap issues not many prospects.

      • Dr Dragon

        I agree draft Bode Wilde unless one of the other ‘Dobson Bouchard Boqvist Quinn’ Dman fall to 10. Appanrently Craig Button thinks Boqvist is gonna drop to 10 on his mock draft. All eyes on Chia now with this draft might be his last hopefully he doesnt sabotage it like he did in 2015

    • Dr Dragon

      I dont mind if they draft Kotkaniemi. I hope they dont draft Ty Smith alot of mock drafts has the Oilers taking him ill take Bode Wilde over him all day. I dont see the point taking another left handed dman with a 1st rounder unless its Quinn Hughes [Hes gonna be special youll see} when the Oilers have Klefbom and Nurse on the left side for the next decade.

  • Gravis82

    The only way to get good young players is to draft them. This is a terrible idea. Sure they might not work out, that is why you never trade your picks and draft as many as possible

  • YoketheJoker

    IF Chia trades the pick, I think he should look at trying to get 14 and 19 from Philly. I think the Flyers are in “win now” mode. Trade 10 plus, if need be, for 14 and 19. Philly can flip 10 for a roster player (or take the pick, dealers choice) and the Oilers can get 2 good prospects, and they’re lottery protected. From the mock drafts and rankings I’ve seen, one of Farabee, Smith, Valeno, Kotkaniemi or Hayton should be available at 14. Hell, maybe we get lucky and Dobson is available at 14. At 19, Lundestrom, Sandin, Denisenko or Noel could be had. I’m not saying trading the pick is the best option, but if they could get the Flyers picks, it could help boost our prospect crop and set us up well for 2 or 3 years from now.

    • Finnaggled

      Great thought, although then id take the pick at 14 and swap the 19th and say benning for faulk, i think theyd make that deal being in rebuild mode. We upgrade at rd and still get a good prospect.