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Photo Credit: Dave Sandford

WWYDW: The first-round pick

The Oilers didn’t win the draft lottery. Hell is freezing over!

We’ve talked about it before, but now that we know exactly where the Oilers will be picking come draft day in June, it’s time to bring it up again. What should the Oilers do with the 10th overall pick?

Bob McKenzie went on Dustin Nielsen’s show the other day to talk about the draft. McKenzie suggested that this is a “Top Nine” draft in which there’s a bit of a fall off after the top nine prospects. That’s kind of unfortunate given the fact the Oilers slid down from ninth to 10th, but it isn’t the end of the world. Somebody before the Oilers is bound to go off the board and Edmonton will more than likely end up with one of those players in the McKenzie’s suggested top nine. That is, of course, if they decide to keep the pick.

That brings us to this week’s What Would You Do Wednesday question. What should Edmonton do with their pick? Should they use it and grab a player at 10th overall? Or should they use it in a trade to acquire a player who can help the team immediately? There’s certainly an argument for both sides. The Oilers need cheap, entry-level talent coming through their system, but there’s also a lot of pressure to have a rebound season after 2017-18’s disaster.

Trade the pick

I think the biggest argument in favour of Edmonton trading their draft pick would be their recent success, or, well, lack of success in drafting and developing prospects.

The last time the Oilers selected 10th overall was in 2009. They picked Magnus Paajarvi who, despite boasting an incredible amount of talent, never figured it out at the NHL level. He’s carved out a decent career as a depth player, but he’s far from the player anyone expected him to become.

More recently, the Oilers picked Darnell Nurse seventh overall, which is pretty much in the same range as 10th in which you’re getting a very high-upside prospect but it isn’t a sure thing. Nurse, finally, in his fifth post-draft year, seems to have found his stride as a good NHL player.

Jesse Puljujarvi, selected fourth overall in 2016, has struggled adapting to the North American game and Edmonton’s development of the young Finn has been far from admirable. Kailer Yamamoto, selected 22nd overall in 2017, looks like a steal at this point. We’re a few years away from assessing either pick, but what we can say right now is that it’s completely unreasonable to expect the 2018 10th overall pick to step in and help the team in 2018-19. It might even be a bit much to expect that player to help the team in 2019-20.

The Oilers badly need help in a couple of different areas. They need a puck-moving defenceman who can produce offence and they need a high-quality scoring winger. Off the top of my head, I can think of two players who fit those needs — Justin Faulk and Mike Hoffman. The Canes might not be ready to move Faulk for a draft pick, but the Sens, given the disaster that was the Matt Duchene trade, might be willing to pull the trigger on a deal. I’m not saying trade the pick straight up for either of those players, but those are who come to mind when thinking about what the Oilers need right now.

Keep the pick

There are a couple of obvious arguments when it comes to keeping the pick and just selecting a player at 10th overall.

The biggest is the fact the Oilers need cheap talent on entry-level contracts coming through the system. For all of the high picks, the Oilers have had the past decade, their farm system is shockingly empty. Puljujarvi is still a prospect, Yamamoto is another one, but beyond that? Ostap Safin and Kirill Maksimov each had nice seasons, Tyler Benson is also intriguing but made of glass.

Regardless, there aren’t many names that seem poised to help out the team very soon. Adding a guy at 10th overall this June would certainly help that.

The top three of the draft, Rasmus Dahlin, Andrei Svechnikov, and Filip Zadina are pretty obvious. After that, you have righty defenders Evan Bouchard, Adam Boqvist, and Noah Dobson, all of whom would be a welcomed addition to the Oilers’ system. There’s also small-but-incredibly-skilled puck moving defenceman Quinn Hughes, rugged winger Brady Tkachuk, and the highly-killed Oliver Wahlstrom from the USNDTP. It’s hard to say who will fall to Edmonton at 10, but there are a lot of intriguing names.

My other qualm with trading the pick would be Peter Chiarelli’s trading record. He pretty frequently ends up on the wrong side of trades and him shopping the 10th overall pick after a horrendous season when he’s in the hot seat is a recipe for disaster.

What say you, Nation? Should the Oilers keep their pick or should they trade it? 


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  • oilredemption

    Trade for Faulk involving buffalo…

    To Buffalo: Andre Sekera, Ostap Safin, 10th overall, 40th overall
    To Edmonton: Justin Faulk, Alexsi Saareta
    To Carolina: Ryan O’Reilly, 4th round from buffalo

  • canesfan98

    I seriously doubt that Carolina will give up Faulk for picks/prospects. They are entering their window now, with the addition of Zadina/Svechnikov+Necas and all of their top defense talent. They do, however, need a top center to really enter the upper echelon. How does Nuge for Hanifin sound?

  • HockeySense

    We pick 10th , We should trade the pick , We should use the pick, what would you do with the pick? … Tomorrow’s article… what would your mom do with the pick??

  • IceMan11

    Absolutely trade the pick, but only for exactly what you stated…a puck moving, scoring Defenseman or the speedy, scoring winger.
    The window we have with our core guys is not large. We need help now, not 2-4 years from now.
    It would obviously be a different story if we had great upcoming talent in our system that was coming next year or the year after, but we don’t.
    TRADE IT!!!

  • TKB2677

    What it comes down to for me is this. The Oilers roster needs to be get better. I don’t think it needs to be overhauled, just tweaked but when I saw tweaked, I don’t mean bringing in someone new to replace Pakarinen or Slep who are borderline NHLers. So the question I would ask anyone is if you don’t trade the pick, how does this happen? Trading off Nuge or Nurse or Klefbom for a different player doesn’t help make your team better. Drafting what sounds like will probably be a dman who will be 3-4 yrs away from being a full time NHLer doesn’t help you get better anytime soon. If by some miracle one of the few forwards in the top 10 falls to you, adding in another 18 yr old who probably won’t be realistically ready to be a full time NHLer for 1-2 yrs, doesn’t help you get better anytime soon. So if you keep the pick, how do you get better?

    • C U Next Tuesday

      How do they get better? By drafting what they need now four years ago. You know, like all the good teams do. Just because they’ve been blowing it for years isn’t an excuse to keep blowing it.

    • A-Mc

      My response is based on a few opinions:
      1. I think the Oilers defense by committee works just fine for now. It was successful in 16-17 and i believe that the Klefbom and Sekera injuries were the reason it failed in 17-18.

      2. I believe a large portion of a goaltenders success is a direct result of the 5 guys in front of him. These guys were decent in 16/17, and they flopped due to injury and lack of PK experienced personnel in 17/18.

      With these 2 things in mind: I think the team will be better naturally because they’ll have a healthy Klef and Sekera. I think the team will be better because the special teams will be better; they can’t get any worse and they weren’t that bad with the same/similar personnel the year before.

      I think chiarelli needs to add 2-3 RH players.
      1x 3rd pair RHD and if he has a decent shot with some offense to his game, then that’s a bonus.
      1-2x RW that can play in your middle 6. These aren’t first line guys and they aren’t plugs. They’re the guys you can sign and/or trade for for very little. Think 35pt-45pt guys like what Teddy Purcell was.

      Chiarelli already got a backup goalie to push Talbot. This is something that was likely a requirement but i dont like the 2.5M they are spending to get him. This signing is iffy IMO.

      • A-Mc

        Add to this the possibility of Yamamoto and/or JP having some reasonable success at the NHL level (35-40pts?) and i think the team rebounds nicely.

        Keep the pick. draft whatever you want (D/F). stay away from the big signings that will sewer the team financially in a couple years.

    • NoBuBlackOPS

      @TKB2677 one thing though there is another expansion draft coming up. If the pick is kept that player is not eligible to be taken in the expansion draft. If we deal the pick that’s another player to protect. With sekara lucic and Russell having no trade clauses that 3 players that have to be protected unless convinced to waive them. Better to keep the pick I think.

      • TKB2677

        I know there is an expansion draft coming. If everything comes into place, the Seattle team would start the 20-21 season. But there is still 2 seasons to play before that comes to pass. As a fan, I would like my team to be good for those 2 seasons and beyond. I am not prepare to sit back and wait 2 more seasons before they decide to be good because they are scared of losing ONE PLAYER to expansion. Let me say that again. They will lose ONE PLAYER. Assuming the rules for expansion will be the same for Seattle and the Oilers end up going 7-3-1. That means the best forward they are exposing is who they deem their 8th best forward, so a 3rd liner. I know everyone hates the Lucic contract and he has a no move so they will have to protect him. I for one am not a fan of it BUT even I don’t think in 2 years Lucic is going to be any worse than their 7th best forward so he would be protected anyway. After next season, Sekera’s contract goes from a complete no move to a 15 team list. I fully expect when that happens, he will be dealt because he will be passed but others. After next season, Russell’s contract goes from a full no move to a modified with a 10 team, then a 15 team list the last year. I fully expect as soon as that happens, he will be moved because he will be passed. So when expansion happens, I think those guys are gone. So on defense, they would be exposing who they deem their 4th best dman. I would hope that by that time, the Oilers have some decent dmen coming or playing on their 3rd pair so if they lose their #4 dman on the depth chart, they have someone else ready to take the spot.

        So the way I look at it is if they can use that pick to bring in say a right shot, offensive dman, you do it because that will help your team be WAY better right now and past the expansion draft. If it costs you a Larsson who’s a defensive dman and would be a UFA at the end of the 20-21 season when Seattle would start because you can’t protect him. Oh well. With the way the game is going, a guy like him might be obsolete anyway. Regardless, the Oilers in expansion will only lose 1 player. If losing 1 player cripples them in 2 years, well that is a real big problem.

    • Craig1981

      Having a D-man that is 4 years away that can replace either Larson or Kefbomn if they decide to walk….or at worst replace Russel or Sekera when their contact is up, is a smart way to have a constant contender for McDavid’s next 8 years

    • Fire Woodcroft!

      The team will get better once personnel decisions are made thinking of the long term.

      Continuing the knee-jerk reactions and the changes based on ‘winning now at all costs’ will keep the Oil sunk deep in the toilet.

      Remember that taking on a high-end prospect now doesn’t mean you need to carry them through all the way. You have much more ammunition to make trades with when your cupboards are stocked. Look what the Islanders got for Griffin freaking Reinhart for example…

  • LordRuggles

    Draft a right D Boqvist Bouchard, trade down a spot or two and get bode Wild. Then trade next year’s first for one of the missing pieces for the upcoming season. I have high hopes we would be drafting much later than 10th next year, so that puck seems more expendable

  • HardBoiledOil 1.0

    Doubtful anyone goes of the board and hands us Hughes or Dobson on a platter. I too noticed it was a “top 9” draft and it sucks that we didn’t stay where we did. I say trade the pick but ONLY if Chia makes a good deal that will help us now. If we lose the deal AGAIN, then fire him !!!!

  • Gravis82

    Our depth is terrible. We need to build a winner before McDavid is 30. Keep all draft picks. If we wanted to be a winner now we shouldn’t have traded Hall.