With one playoff appearance in twelve years for the Edmonton Oilers organization, and only one appearance in three years for Peter Chiarelli, Todd McLellan and the rest of the current regime, there could be some internal pressure to try and improve the roster immediately, and dangling the 10th overall pick to acquire an NHL ready player will be tempting.
But the Oilers should avoid that temptation, and instead make a smart selection at #10.
Recent history suggests the Oilers will be able to land a very good player with their selection.
- Ryan Nugent-Hopkins
- Gabriel Landeskog
- Jonathan Huberdeau
- Adam Larsson
- Ryan Strome
- Mika Zibanejad
- Mark Scheifele
- Sean Couturier (Flyers acquired this pick, Jakub Voracek and a 3rd rounder from Columbus for Jeff Carter).
- Dougie Hamilton
- Jonas Brodin
- Nail Yakupov
- Ryan Murray
- Alex Galchenyuk
- Griffin Reinhart
- Morgan Reilly
- Hampus Lindholm
- Mathew Dumba
- Derrick Pouliot (Pittsburgh acquired this pick, Brian Dumoulin and Brandon Sutter from Carolina for Jordan Staal).
- Jacob Trouba
- Slater Koekkoek
- Nathan MacKinnon
- Aleksander Barkov
- Jonathan Drouin
- Seth Jones
- Elias Lindholm
- Sean Monahan
- Darnell Nurse
- Rasmus Ristolainen
- Bo Horvat (Vancouver acquired this pick from New Jersey for Cory Schnieder).
- Valeri Nichuskin
- Aaron Ekblad
- Sam Reinhart
- Leon Draisaitl
- Samuel Bennett
- Michael Dal Colle
- Jake Virtanen
- Haydn Fleury
- William Nylander
- Nikolaj Ehlers
- Nicholas Ritchie (Ducks acquired this pick, Stefan Noesen and Jakob Silverberg from Ottawa for Bobby Ryan).
- Connor McDavid
- Jack Eichel
- Dylan Strome
- Mitchell Marner
- Noah Hanafin
- Pavel Zacha
- Ivan Provorov
- Zach Werenski
- Timo Meier
- Mikko Rantanen
- Auston Matthews
- Patrik Laine
- Pierre-Luc Dubois
- Jesse Puljujarvi
- Olli Joulevi
- Matthew Tkachuk
- Clayton Keller
- Alexander Nylander
- Mikhail Sergachev
- Tyson Jost
- Nico Hischier
- Nolan Patrick
- Miro Heiskanen
- Cale Makar
- Elias Pettersson
- Cody Glass
- Lias Andersson (Rangers acquired this pick and Anthony DeAngelo from ARI for Antti Raanta and Derek Stepan).
- Casey Mittelstadt
- Michael Rasmussen
- Owen Tippett
Unless the Oilers are going to acquire a goaltender, history suggests they will lose a trade involving their 10th pick. Columbus gave up a lot to land Jeff Carter, and then subsequently moved him to LA for Jack Johnson and a 2013 first round pick (Marko Dano, 27th). Man, those were two bad trades for the Blue Jackets.
Carolina did okay with Staal, but Pittsburgh acquired Dumoulin, who has developed into an excellent defenceman and then moved Sutter to Vancouver for Nick Bonino.
The Ducks got Silverberg and Ritchie for Bobby Ryan. They got younger, cheaper, grittier and two players who played very well.
If the Oilers move the #10 pick, they likely will need to add another young player to the package to acquire a veteran. The Oilers prospect cupboard is still pretty bare. I don’t envision a move that helps them long-term. It could help them for the next year or two, but this team needs to formulate a plan that keeps them competitive year after year, not just for one season.
VALUE AT #10…
The other factor is the quality players who are available around the 10th pick. Often the best picks come in the first or second slot — not always, but often — but then the gap between #3-#10 is very little, most years. Often, the players closer to the 10th pick are just as good, if not better, than those taken earlier.
In 2011, it is clear the group of 7th-10th pick (Mark Scheifele, Sean Couturier, Dougie Hamilton and Jonas Brodin) is much better than the 3rd-6th cluster of Jonathan Huberdeau, Adam Larsson, Ryan Strome and Mika Zibanejad.
Six years after the 2012 draft, Jacob Trouba at #9 is a much better defender than Ryan Murray (second) and Griffin Reinhart (fourth).
From 2014, William Nylander, Nikolaj Ehlers and Nick Ritchie (8-10) have looked better than Sam Bennett, Michael Dal Colle and Jake Virtanen (4-6).
The quality of picks from #7-10 in the 2015 draft is very strong, with Ivan Provorov, Zach Werenski, Timo Meier and Mikko Rantanen.
In 2016, Auston Matthews and Patrik Laine were great top two picks, but Clayton Keller (eighth), Mikhail Sergachev (ninth) and Tyson Jost (10th) have already had solid starts to their career.
It is very early for the 2017 Draft, but watch for Michael Rasmussen (ninth) from Detroit. I felt he was the best forward in the WHL last season. He looks to be very good.
THIS YEAR’S CLASS
We know Rasmus Dahlin is going #1 to Buffalo and it seems very likely Carolina will take Andrei Svechnikov second overall, but after that many scouts believe the gap between #3 to #12 (depending on who you talk with) is very small.
Filip Zadina, Brady Tkachuk, Quinton Hughes, Adam Boqvqist, Oliver Wahlstrom, Noah Dobson, Jesperi Kotkaniemi, Evan Bouchard, Joel Farabee and Barrett Hayton are ranked in various spots.
Here are some rankings: #3-#12 by a various draft sites/individuals.
|Rank||Craig Button||ISS Hockey||HockeyProspect.com||McKeens Hockey|
NHL teams can often view players differently than draft rankings, but the gap in this year’s class, at least on draft day, doesn’t seem to be that significant from picks #3 to #12. Drafting 18 year old players, even some who have yet to turn 18, is far from an exact science.
Often where a player is drafted can influence their NHL career. For example, if the Oilers draft a right winger he will have a much better chance of producing points playing with Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl than a right winger will who is drafted by Detroit, Vancouver, the Rangers, Ottawa etc.
There are many uncontrolled variables at play in the draft. Teams don’t completely know how much more a player will develop physically, mentally or emotionally. Ask any parent if they truly know how their 18-year-old son or daughter will mature and develop over the next five to ten years. We all hope our kids make the right decisions, and work hard, but we don’t truly know.
The 10th overall pick has good value, and the Oilers drafting record over the past three seasons has improved significantly from the previous decades. They at least have some young prospects outside the first round who are trending to be decent pro players.
Trust Keith Gretzky and your scouting staff to make a good pick. Don’t make a desperation, quick-fix trade that ends up hurting you down the road.
In the past three years, I believe the Oilers drafting in June has been much better than their trading in June.
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