Photo Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

WWYDT: Trade up, down, or stay at No. 10?

I know, I know. It’s supposed to be What Would You Do Wednesday. But sometimes in the lovely, sunny confines of Riverdale with the birds chirping and Family Feud on the TV, we completely forget what day it is. So here we are! What Would You Do Wednesday Thursday Edition! 

The draft is right around the corner! The Oilers currently hold the No. 10 overall pick, which is kind of an odd and unfamiliar place for them to be in. After year after year of picking right at the top of the draft, we figured the period of rebuilding was over and we’d be watching the Oilers pick at the end of the first round for the foreseeable future. Instead, the Oilers are picking sort of in the middle. The pick isn’t high enough to get a surefire star, but it’s still high enough that there’s pressure to get an impact prospect.

Another thing about where the Oilers pick is how they’re right on the outside of the Top Nine. According to Bob McKenzie, there’s a distinct top nine in the draft before things start to take a dive. There’s a chance one of the teams ahead of the Oilers goes off the board, but that isn’t certain.

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That brings us to this week’s What Would You Do Wednesday Thursday Edition question. Should the Oilers trade up or down at the draft? Or should they stand pat and use the No. 10 overall pick?

Photo Credit: MARTIN BAZYL / Agence QMI

Trading up…

Peter Chiarelli has said that he’s open to the idea of trading up at the draft.

“Well we actually dropped down one [spot] in the [NHL Draft] Lottery. We’d been planning at number 9 for a while but we knew we could drop down. I know there are teams ahead of us who have positional needs different from ours so that usually means there is an ability to move up. We would look at that.”

As McKenzie said, there’s a clear Top Nine. The first pick is obvious. It’ll be Rasmus Dahlin and Buffalo isn’t trading that lottery ticket away. After him, the Hurricanes are going to select Andrei Svechnikov. Nobody after that is set in stone. The following seven of the top nine are big Czech winger Filip Zadina, gritty forward with professional bloodlines Brady Tkachuk, versatile Swedish defenceman Adam Boqvist, dynamic offensive defender Quinn Hughes, smart and versatile forward Oliver Wahlstrom, Memorial Cup champion defender Noah Dobson, and offensive defenceman Evan Bouchard.

Any of those players would be great for the Oilers to grab. I love the idea of adding Tkachuk to the forward group and righty defencemen Dobson and Boqvist jump off the page based on their positional need. The Red Wings are open to dealing the No. 6 overall pick, the Habs with Marc Bergevin are always a wild card so No. 3 could be in play too.

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As Chiarelli said in that quote above, there are teams above the Oilers with different positional needs which creates potential to move up. Good Young Content Boy Tyler Yaremchuk recently looked at teams moving up in the draft and it’s a mixed bag of results. The only good recent example of a team in a similar situation to the Oilers was the Senators back in 2016. They moved up from No. 12 to No. 11 to draft Logan Brown. They gave up a third-round pick and New Jersey picked Michael McLeod right after.

The one difficult thing about the Oilers moving up is that they don’t really have a big surplus of picks in the draft to use. They have their own first-, second-, third-, fifth-, sixth-, and seventh-round pick this year.

Jan 31, 2017; Edmonton, Alberta, CAN; Edmonton Oilers defensemen Matt Benning (83) defends against Minnesota Wild forward Zach Parise (11) during the third period at Rogers Place. Mandatory Credit: Perry Nelson-USA TODAY Sports

Trading down…

The reality of the Oilers not having many depth picks brings up another interesting possibility. If the team doesn’t feel like it can get one of those Top Nine prospects and there’s a big drop off after that, how about trading down to stock the shelves in the farm? There’s no secret the Edmonton’s farm system is pretty barren, so why not add some quantity?

There are plenty of examples of moving down and, again, it’s a mixed bag.

Oilers fans should be pretty familiar with this whole thing. Remember back in 2003 when the team traded down with New Jersey? The Devils picked Zach Parise and the Oilers got Marc-Antoine Pouliot and Jean-Francois Jacques? Yikes.

I know that makes trading down seem off-putting, but there are some good examples. The Ducks had the No. 22 overall pick in 2011 and the Leafs really, really wanted Tyler Biggs for some reason. The Leafs sent Anaheim two second-round picks in exchange for Toronto moving up and the Ducks ended up using them on Rickard Rackell and John Gibson. Damn!

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Again, it’s a bag. But if the Oilers can’t get their guy at the top of the draft, and they believe in their scouts, maybe they can talk to a team like Florida who picks at No. 15 and No. 34. Maybe they can, as we’ve talked about a lot, trade down to dump a bad contract.

What say you, Nation? Is there a player in the Top Nine of the draft you want the Oilers to move up and grab? Do you like the idea of trading down to add depth to the system? Or should the team just stand pat and pick at No. 10? 


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  • QuitForRealThisTime

    Since I feel like getting punished I did this:
    Lucic Klef 10th Strome to Ott For Duchense Gaborik (Ristolainen) 2018 3rd

    Karlsson Ryan Ceci (Lucic) 2020 1st to Buff For 2 x 2019 1sts O’Rielly Ristolainen Bogosian Moulson

    -out $13 mil
    Lucic Klef 1st Strome

    -In $16.275 mil
    Duchense, Ristolainen, Gaborik

    -Out $29 mil
    2018 3rd
    2020 1st

    In $22.875mil
    2018 1st (10th)
    2019 1st (Buff)
    2019 1st (SJ)

    – Out $21.97 mil
    2019 1st (Buff)
    2019 1st (SJ)

    -In $24.25 mil
    Karlsson (signed)
    2020 1st

  • Drivefastfinishlast

    This would be the typical ON respond.
    We won’t trade anybody.
    We will sign everybody back.
    We will pick #10
    JP is NHL ready.
    We have a back-up goalie now to push Talbot.
    We have 3 new coaches.
    We will make playoffs next year.

  • Bashful

    They need to trade up, Dobson or Wahlstrom, they need to make whatever deal with whatever team to get up and get one of those 2 players.
    This is a time to get aggressive and mortgage later picks to get players now that can be quick to contribute with McDavid, now is the time to be aggressive to trade up and get exactly what you want and need

    • The Whispererer

      I am not averse to moving up at the right price and both of those players are good targets. However, with Dobson just being 18 and Wahlstrom commited to Boston College both are likely 3 or more years away from the NHL so “be quick to contribute with McDavid” shouldn’t be your motivation for moving up.

  • Carbonrod

    This draft is shaping up to be an interesting one. It is full of wingers and D-men and those are what the oilers need. The rankings have so much variance in the 4-15 range and there has been a ton of movement up and down so there is no way to tell what the other GM’s are thinking. The players I would love to see drafted the most are Bouchard or Dobson as the stud RHD that we need and Chia should be doing cartwheels to the podium if either of those guys are available when we pick. We could also potentially benefit from trading down and picking Ty Smith or Hayton and getting another piece back. but players like Wahlsrom and Kotkaniemi or Boqvist could be available for us at ten and we wouldn’t have to do anything, and there could be some GM’s who will go off board and pick out of order.

    Its very tough this year. I would trade up for Dobson or Bouchard if it was a fair deal, like sending away our extra 3rd next year and maybe a depth player to jump up 2 or 3 spots. The most important thing to do is to get the pick right this time. There is no room for another Yakupov or Paajarvi-Svensson, we can’t miss with it.

    • wiseguy

      The last time Chia did cartwheels to the podium was to pick JP. I would hesitate to pick guys who’ve dropped significantly as there is usually a reason others are passing on the player.
      Remember Magnus Paajarvi and Schremp were also players that the Oilers were surprised were still available when we picked because they were ranked much higher.

      • Elasmus

        Didn’t Mittlestadt drop last year? Isn’t he one of the best prospects right now? Didn’t Filip Forsberg drop from the number 2 spot to 11th? I think teams just want there guy, rather than someone they didn’t think would fall to them.

      • That reason is because teams already have a guy in mind before the draft begins, we see it all the time in the NFL draft. It’s why Seth Jones fell, Florida was secretly in love with Barkov and Tampa made it public that they were wet for Drouin. Through pre-draft interviews and the combine teams start to form relationships with these prospects and get to know them better. Kekkalainen loved that Dubois could play 2 positions and probably fell in love with his character, just like MacT fell in love with Nurse. I don’t think there are any GMs who’se draft plan is to just wait at the bottom of the crapshoot and blindly take whatever comes out.

  • BringtheFire 2.0

    “There’s a chance one of the teams ahead of the Oilers goes off the board, but that isn’t certain.”

    Sure it is! Every year a GM wants to prove they know something the other 30 doesn’t!!! That’s how we got Chucky!!

  • IRONman

    At 10 you get a solid forward. Not sure what PC plan is, but the only way the Oilers get the RD 40 pt stud is thru the draft. Right handed D are too hard to come by. So moving up makes sense

  • RexHolez

    I’d stay put and draft the best available player. Drafting for positional need makes no sense for me since you have to assume these guys are 3-4 years away from really making an impact.

    It’s a deep draft, Guaranteed there’s going to be a player picked after 9 who has an impactful career. It’s up scouting to figure out who that is

    • hammer313

      Agree, take the trade away from the GM, can’t trust him to make an intelligent one. Let the scouting, now that they seem to have their heads out of their @$$, make the pick. Just quit screwing up!

    • Carbonrod

      I agree with you %90, but the one exception for me would be to get an elite RHD prospect. We paid a heavy price to get Adam Larsson, and we haven’t had a good powerplay quarterback and balance on our blue-line for years, and it will be worth going for it. It is a hole that has won’t go away because we don’t draft the players that can fill it. If Bouchard, Dobson and Boqvist are all gone by 10, we will likely have an amazing forward to add to the prospect pool.

      • TruthHurts98

        There will be some gem RHD later in the draft, plenty of them this year. The hard part is figuring out who they are! Even might get a good RHD with their 40th pick.

    • Bashful

      agree with drafting the BPA, however, if you feel that going up a few spots gives you that BPA before someone else grabs him, why wouldn’t you want to trade up and get the person you want?

  • Drivefastfinishlast

    I don’t buy into the draft pick rankings and scouting reports too much. It all depends on the player and how they develop.
    The Oilers always have a tendency rushing the forwards. We just seen it the last 2 years. Not enough winger depth so Yamamoto started the year. 2 years off JP ELC and for what? 28 points in 93 games and playing 4-11 minutes a night
    How many teams passed and Barzal.
    That is why Oilers should go off the path. If they can’t pick a D then trade down and grab Denisenko.

  • Kepler62c

    I’m all for picking BPA at #10 or trading down into #10-20 and #31-45 – trading up seems silly from this position unless you are getting #1 or #2 and that’s not realistic. There will be a great player at #10-20 and only 5-10 years from now will we know who was the best pick.

  • Spydyr

    I would try to move up and get the offensively gifted RHD that the team has been looking for for forever. The one sure thing I would do is ask Howson, Mac-t and Lowe who they would take. Then take another kid.

    • I still contend that the 3 amigos being here is not helping at all. The Oilers contacted Kovalchuk. I can imagine how that went.
      PC, Hi Ilya its Peter Chiarelli GM of the Oilers, we would like to talk to you about joining us.
      IK You are the GM? They finally fired those idiots? Thought so , it has been five years since I left and their dismissal was overdue back then.
      PC, No, actually I answer to 1 of them, 1 other is my assistant GM, and lets be honest, nobody really knows what the third guy does, but he did a great job in Columbus.
      PC Hello, Hello, did we get disconnected?
      IK CLICK

  • crabman

    I’m looking forward to McKenzie’s last draft ranking to come out, I believe tomorrow. Then maybe we can stop wrongly talking about the top 9 of this draft. McKenzie’s list is comprised by the average rankings by 10 different scouts. There was a majority top 9 and at 10 things got funky. He never says there is a top9 in talent then a drop off. his quote is, “Based on our survey, there is a huge drop off in consensus after No. 9.”
    Kotkaniemi was 10 but but almost interchangeable with 11-13. Now by most scouts and scouting agencies he has cemented himself in the top 9 and possibly even 3rd yo Montreal.
    “There was almost nothing separating Boqvist, Wahlstrom and Dobson in the spots between six and eight. They appear to virtually interchangeable, based on voting results”, now many lists have Boqvist 10 at best and falling. So this narrative of a top 9 has been wrong and I guarantee you when his final draft rankings come out the top 9 will be different.

  • Hockey123

    I think the consensus top 9 includes Kotkaniemi and Boqvist drops.

    Oilers at 10 will choose from Boqvist, Smith, Hayton, or Kravtsov.

    I’m sure the Oilers like Dobson, Tkachuk, Whalstrom and Kotkaniemi and would have to move up to get one of these.

    • TruthHurts98

      You’re right. Just watched the panel with Gene, Jack and Bob. Sheesh. Glad they’re not picking. Hayton is slow and they need speed. Boqvist would be what they want right? Not Ty Smith, why add to the leftorium. Or take a winger. But then you might as well trade down and not take a stretch pick and gain another pick later in doing so. I think one of the teams might go off the board of the consensus top 9 or there might be a trade. Too many variables and mock drafts are never right either.

    • Carbonrod

      This years draft I just can’t figure out. Lot’s of movement and variance between the rankings, and i feel like we are going to be surprised at what’s available for us. Dobson or Bouchard are worth moving up for in my eyes. We might be gifted a Wahlstrom or Kotkaniemi at ten anyways.

    • Lausbube

      Kravtsov will be the steal of the draft for where he is ranked as he should be there for the taking for the Oil. A couple years of development and this big speedy Russian will be fun to watch!

  • Rama Lama

    We have a chance to get a solid player……..of course this depends upon which player we draft? Get it right and everyone will dance in the streets.

    We have had enough of drafting players that do not have the requisite combination of skill, speed, and attitude. If there is a player that has all three…….draft him and forget all the other shiny ponies.

    • Kneedroptalbot

      BPA…I always wondered about that statement.???
      Who knows who will be the BPA? Maybe highest ranked player on a consolidated draft list? or highest scoring forward?

  • I haven’t really done much research but from what I can tell the top-10 to 13 prospect pool is really deep. I would either trade up or stay put but definitely not trading down. If this offseason does work out well and the team has a bounceback year then this will be the highest we’ll be picking in a while which is why we need to capitalize on this as much as possible, maybe it’s summertime optimism but I think the new coaching staff already has us in a better position then last year.

  • crabman

    to answer the question, I wouldn’t trade up. We don’t have assets we can afford to add to 10 to move up significantly and there will be a quality player at 10.
    Staying at 10 is probably what will happen and probably the right move.
    I would like to see what is available in a trade down scenario. What would need to add to the 10 to get Philly’s 14 and 19. Or what Dallas would be will to add to 13 to move up to 10. could Faska or Honka come back?
    trading back in 2003 was just as much a scouting problem there were still great options available to Edmonton at 22. Kesler, Richards, Perry, Eriksson, Bergeron, Webber, Crawford.
    This draft isn’t as deep but there will still be highly skilled players 13-20 and even through much of the 2nd round. I would trade the 10 for either of my scenarios depending on what else we would need to add.

  • DavidMcDavid

    I think you have to take the best player available at #10. There are a lot of good prospects from #3 to #13. Farabee, Hayton, Veleno – even Bouchard could all drop there. EDM needs depth at all positions. Our organization and fan base need to exercise more patience in drafting and development. With Yamamoto and JP continuing to develop, there isn’t a pressing short term need to prioritize scoring wingers over other positions.

    The only way I would move the #10 is if it’s the “centerpiece” in a deal for Erik Karlsson that includes a prospect (Caleb Jones or lower on the prospect list – NOT JP, Yamamoto, Ethan Bear), and a Dman.

  • Dallas Eakins Hair

    The oil should just stand pat and use the 10th pick to take someone. To move up a few spots is going to cost us, and no team isnt going to ask for the moon. Considering how lopsided the trades have been for the Oil the last while, we would be giving up way too much to move up so little. So I say keep the pick, pick at 10 and lets hope they draft a good player

  • Alphonse

    Team doesn’t have much 2018 picks or A/B prospects to trade up. Need to try and what would take to move.
    If they can get a good A2 forward prospect or 2nd and 3rd picks to move down do it

  • Hockey123

    I believe this is the top 9 rankings.
    1. Rasmus Dahlin
    2.Andrei Svechnikov
    3.Filip Zadina
    4.Noah Dobson
    5.Jesperi Kotkaniemi
    6.Brady Tkachuk
    7.Evan Bouchard
    8.Quinn Hughes
    9.Oliver Wahlstrom

    Oilers will pick Vitali Kravtsov, Barrett Hayton, Adam Boqvist, orTy Smith

  • What-a-Mike

    IMO, the only best trade up spot for the Oilers is #6 with Detroit as I keep hearing that pick is available. This is where I think the Oilers should target, if and only if certain prospects like Tkachuk, Wahlstrom, and Bouchard are left. I truly believe that by then Dahlin, Svenichkov, Zadina, and Dobson will be gone by five…. and for some deep inside feeling, Montreal is going to go after Kotkaniemo at #3. I also think the Oilers won’t have to break open the bank with Detroit at #6 with by saying give them the #10 and a prospect like say Caleb Jones. At this point, I would love that the Oilers could happily grab Tkachuk or Wahlstrom (or one of the other top four supposedly already gone by then). I believe then the Oilers can try to trade for a top 4 PP quarterback type D this summer or sometime next year for sure. Last is that I hear the 2019 draft is going to be stronger than this one…starting with that hot prospect kid Jack Hughes. If this one type draft trade “scenario” fails to occur then by all means …..keep the 10th and get any of the top ten named or even Bode Wilde, Veleno, Farabee. Hayton would be solid but he does not have top speed which these others Veleno and Farabee while Bode Wilde fits great being a great two way offensive PP type “big” defender (RD). Do not trade down.

    • Tooleybuc

      A gritty, scoring winger, with lineage (so not nearly the gamble as others) that competes every night and is hard to play against. Someone who would look outstanding playing alongside McD for the next 8 years. Please raise your hand if you want someone like that.

      Well, he’s not available at 10. He’s likely not available at 5, 6, 7, 8, or 9. He is likely available at 3 or 4… and his name is Tkachuk. Chia better be wheeling and dealing with #10 to make this happen. Throw in Bear, or some other asset and try and get this done.