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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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    • Freddie the fog

      Adding a 3rd round pick is not going to move u up 6,7 slots in the draft. Say a team does that…now they don’t get what’s almost surely an impact player in the NHL next season. For our #10 who’s probably at least a couple years away….and magic beans ( a third rounder) . Not going to happen

  • Arfguy

    I think trading the pick would be a very bad idea. I think the best thing to do is not think about a forward, but getting a defenceman. Yeah, the defenceman may take longer to develop, but I’d rather have players in the system that is developed than looking for a short-term fix by trading for a player that may or may not work out.

  • vetinari

    Out of curiosity, I was talking to my brother-in-law, a diehard Habs fan and he suggested this: trade RNH plus our 1st rounder (10th overall) to Montreal for Pacioretty and Montreal’s 1st rounder (3rd overall)? It solves Montreal’s centre issue and gives us a consistent 60 point winger. Coincidentally, RNH has never put up 60 points in a season. We would also save $1.5M next season in the process but we would have Pacioretty for one guaranteed year while they would have RNH for three. However, we would have the 3rd overall pick to add a right shot defenceman or a quality forward who is expansion draft exempt to make up for the difference or we could use that pick in another trade. Would this make sense from the Oilers side?

  • AlexTheOilersFanSince2006

    Keep it. Absolutely 100% keep it. This organization needs to recognize that Seattle is coming and they need to plan for that. If theyre smart, they’ll draft someone (hopefully Boqvist or Dobson if available).

    • C U Next Tuesday

      I just bought a beet farm. I’m going to be rich I tell ya. Oilers will miss the playoff by 8 points. Which would actually be good considering this season. Chia fires MacT and Howson and lives for another season.

  • NoBuBlackOPS

    I think the pick has to be kept. With another expansion draft on the horizon. We are going to need players that are exempt from the expansion draft. Trading it just brings in another player we are going to need to protect. Seeing as the expansion rules are the same as what vegas had. With Lucic Sekara and Russell all needing protection that’s 30% of the players we have to protect under the 7-3-1.

  • Kevwan

    Never day never but I would be loath to trade the pick. A great prospect will be taken with that 10th pick.

    I’d much rather Chia offer Yamamoto and a lower pick in a trade

  • Kneedroptalbot

    Oilers should keep the pick and develop some depth in the system, many good D-men in the top 10.
    Ciarelli is desperate this season to make the playoffs and save his job. Unfortunately he will trade the pick for imediate help.

  • Keg on Legs

    Keep the pick and develop the kid, we’ve had to many of the “draft and to the NHL” kids, this is why we have no depth, all of our recent drafts are on the Oil or have been traded to save cap space

  • That's My Point

    Keep the pick Sergachev was a #9 pick and he has 40 points in 83 games and 4 points so far in 7 playoff games. This is what the Oilers need at #10.

      • TKB2677

        You are right. Dahlin is the for sure #1 based on all the scouts. So the fact that there is zero debate by anyone who is #1, means there is a drop to #2. Svechnikov is the consensus #2. So the fact that there is no debate on him, tells me there is a bit of a drop from 2-3. After that, it seems 3-9 is all over the place. Then most scouts have said and I even heard Stauffer talking to Bob Green today that there is a drop from 9-10. So by the time the Oilers pick, that is 3 drops in talent. So any dman who is drafted at #10, probably is several years away .

      • Craig1981

        I would argue its like the 2012 draft (but deeper) were there were a ton of highly rated D man that had the scouts rating them close. In the end of you look, there current value isn’t that indicitive of if they went 4th or 9th…..though I do wish we could be a couple spots ahead

        • HardBoiledOil 1.0

          i’d even be OK with LD Ty Smith. what side he plays or how big he isn’t doesn’t matter to me. he’s a good skater and apparently good defensively, as well as terrific offensively and exactly the kind of player the Oilers could use on their D in a few years. he’ll likely still be there at #10.

  • GreasyOilChef

    I wouldn’t make too much about the “top 9” and a drop off in talent after that. I’m curious to know where Erik Karlsson fit in 2008 discussions with Stamkos and Doughty getting all the attention or 2010 with the Taylor and Tyler and players like Tarasenko and Kuznetsov going later in the 1st round. Subban, Josi, Weber…none of them 1st rounders. There’s talent to be had if the right people are employed to find that talent. Keep the pick.

    • Tooleybuc

      Move up in the draft order and secure Brady Tkachuk. He’s the perfect fit for the Oilers with virtually no risk. Other than Rasmus, all of the other D have steep development curves. Based on getting Nurse with pick #7, I say NO THANKS. I don’t want to wait 5 years for someone to pan out. At this point in the McDavid era, it’s all about now. Tkachuk is a sure thing. Give up #10 and a warm body (Ethan Bear, perhaps?) and move up to 3-5 to secure Tkachuk.

      • Freddie the fog

        That’s play station trading. Every team in the league wants to get better. Accept our fate. Keep the pick…draft, DEVELOP, touch up the roster with low on cost light on term veterans while you continue to bring good prospects into the system via drafting maybe a college F.A. signing here and there ..get your special teams back into the top half of the league, hopefully get a little lucky and stay mostly healthy. Let young players continue to grow. That’s the only way . Their is no quick fix. And as long as Chia is at the wheel do u really want to make trades ? He doesn’t get equal value on the really significant trades. Nobody wants to hear it ..but you have to be patient now. We blew through too many picks , and made some really bad trades. We have a great core of what a half a dozen players ..it’s going to take some time. More than a year or two to be a contending team if we stay the course …but I don’t see any other way.

        • Big Nuggets

          Exactly! Thank God other people are saying this. Hopefully that way Chia doesn’t feel too compelled to make a rash decision.

          Keeping the pick is the right thing to do regardless of Chia’s trade ability, or lack thereof. Its a depth issue. Last season we had AHLers and other team’s cast-offs making our roster late in the season.

  • Craig1981

    I don’t rhink Ottawa would move a player for a pick. They are missing their 1st next year, which means the GM need to make sure he finishes as high as possible to not sure the trade doesn’t appear as bad.

    You trade a proven player for a pick only on a rebuild….and you dont rebuild on a year you don’t have a 1st

  • Carbonrod

    Keep it unless the trade is a CLEAR win for us. Winnipeg, Nashville, Tampa, and are teams that should be trading picks for help in the playoffs because they have stacked systems and will not be selling their future out. The Oilers aren’t a team that has to win now, we finished with 78 points and the 9th worst record in the league. One of the reasons we got here is because management is in too much of a rush to “win now”. The Reinhart trade, all the missing draft picks form signing Chia and TMac are what has depleted our system, (Hall and Eberle trades too). Win Now mode is what made us rush Pul and stunted his development and think it was a good idea to start a 155lb Yamamoto in the NHL straight out of the draft.

    A 10th overall will help us immensely, once they develop. And will help our expansion and cap situation long-term, not hurt it. We have McDavid, Drai, Larsson, Klef, Nuge, and they are all still young and have term.

    Drafting is the one thing I have faith the Oil can do well. Keep the pick. Pick the best winger or D available & then park them in the AHL until they are at least 20. Do the same thing again next year too if we miss the playoffs.

    The Oilers will be a better team next year if Talbot returns to average, Sekera takes another step forward, Klef starts healthy and Luc returns to his career average shooting %

  • Raisin

    Keep pick. Most of team had terrible year, things will only improve. Why continue to panic and sell low? When will lucid decision making take hold? We need to introduce young talent, utilize rookie contracts, and stop wasting money. The Oilers need to stop acting like a crack addict with an unlimited credit card.

    • Carbonrod

      As much as I liked the playoff run last year, it was the worst thing the could have happened to this team. Made us think we were right there. There were still holes in the roster and everybody being healthy and having career years changed our expectations. Oilers will be better next year just based on better health and regression to the mean for lots of our players. After next year when Russel or Sekera’s contract becomes tradable, get rid of one of them and

      Trading a top ten pick is something we can’t afford. Faulk or Barrie for #10 will not make us contenders, depth will. Management and some of the fan base has been acting like a gambler trying to break even for years. Keep the picks, develop them and 2-3 years from now we have a scary bunch of guys to play against.

  • Danoilerfanincalgary

    The concensus appears to be to keep the first round pick which is probably prudent but there are numerous other rounds available to use for trades. Carolina is ripe for the picking their new owner seems like a bit of a bozo maybe a trade in our favour is available. John Carlson would sure look good here.

    • Big Nuggets

      this is the problem is people start imagining how.things would be if we could just add a Carlson or whomever and they get anxious for moves to be made. This impatience leads to poor moves. The best bet for building a good team has always been through drafting and developing. Trades can help to fill need or push a team over the hump into contender status. We are not in a position to trade to push us into contender status and our depth is so bad that we can’t trade to fill a need without making a new hole. There is only one way out and it is developing the required depth through drafting, IMO.

  • Freddie the fog

    Keep the pick. Chia is horrendous making big trades. Draft smart..DEVELOP even smarter. We just can’t trust Pete to make a good trade. I hate saying it ..but it’s probably going to take a few years maybe more of drafting and developing intelligently to be a contending team. With Chia at the wheel anyways….perhaps a more competent GM that gets back fair value in a trade could get us back quicker. But Chia is in self preservation mode now…So he’ll probably move the pick for a player that can play on the roster now . But the return won’t b good enough.

  • AlexTheOilersFanSince2006

    Someone on Twitter put out a copy of the Jets lineup, showing how much of the team was made up (draft/trade/FA). Almost their entire team is composed of players that have been drafted by the organization. Of course you have to draft well for this to work. Point is, Winnipeg took the smart approach and they’re successful.mid say we need to try and do it, but outside of last year, we’ve been doing that (poorly) and have zilch to show for it