Will the Oilers Trade Up or Trade Down?

The Oilers have the 10th pick in Friday’s draft. We know GM Peter Chiarelli is open to trading the pick to acquire a right-shot, puck-moving defender, but what about moving up a few spots, or possibly moving down to acquire more draft picks?

What would it cost?

There hasn’t been a lot of trades involving teams moving up in the top-ten recently, but since 2007 here are the deals that have unfolded on the draft floor.

2007: San Jose moved up four spots to #9 and took Logan Couture. They gave St. Louis the 13th, 44th and 87th picks.

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2008: Toronto moved up two spots from seventh to fifth and took Luke Schenn. They gave the Islander the seventh and 68th picks in 2008 and the 37th pick in 2009.

Nashville then traded up two spots to get the #7 and gave the Islanders the ninth and 40th picks.

The Leafs ended up with Schenn, the Predators drafted Colin Wilson and the Islanders got Josh Bailey and the 37th, 40th and 68th picks. Pretty good haul for the Islanders, and they still ended up with the best player of the three, as well as three other picks.

We haven’t seen a team moving into the top-ten in a decade. We have seen teams trade  NHL players to acquire a top-ten pick, but since 2008 no team has moved into the top-ten by just swapping draft picks.

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What about trading down?

Again, we haven’t seen many teams trade down from a spot similar to the Oilers. In fact, no one in the 10th slot has, but a few between #11-#14 have moved down.

In 2008 the Buffalo Sabres moved back one spot from #12 to #13. They gave the Kings the 74th pick to move up one spot. It was a great move by the Sabres as they drafted Tyler Myers. The Kings took Colten Teubert at #13.

In 2009 Minnesota moved down from #12 to #16. They got the 77th and 209th picks from NYI to drop four spots.

In 2012 Calgary moved down from #14 to #21 and also received the 42nd pick from Buffalo.

In 2016 New Jersey moved down one spot from #11 to #12 and Ottawa gave them the 80th pick to do so.

In 2017 Winnipeg traded down from #13 to #21. Vegas got the 13th pick, and a 3rd rounder in 2019 and guaranteed they’d pick Chris Thorburn in the expansion draft.

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Trading down from the tenth pick doesn’t happen very often, and if the Oilers want to get a second round pick along with the first pick they move down to, they likely have to move back at least five spots.

It is possible a team will be willing to move up to #10 and give the Oilers an extra draft pick, but if the Oilers really like a player at #10 is it worth it to pass on him, just to get a third round pick, or maybe a second if the Oilers drop back six or seven spots? I don’t think so.

If the Oilers do trade the pick, and I don’t believe they will, then I believe it is much more likely to be for an NHL player than trading up or down.


The NHL awards were handed out last night in a very emotional evening with some of the survivors of the Humboldt Broncos in attendance, as well as a focus on the horrible shootings in Vegas and Parkland.

Congrats to all the nominees. Getting nominated is a great honour and not everyone can win. It leads to great debates.

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The Professional Hockey Writers Association votes on five individual awards as well as the All-Star teams.

Here is how I voted. The winner is in bold. It is important to remember at some point you have to list them in order. The gap for many slots was incredibly small. In some cases, the gap between one and five was very small for me, but at some point, you have to rank them. Feel free to disagree with me about my choices.

HART TROPHY:  To the player adjudged to be the most valuable to his team (five selections).

  1. Taylor Hall
  2. Nathan MacKinnon
  3. Claude Giroux
  4. Anze Kopitar
  5. Connor McDavid

NORRIS TROPHY: To the defense player who demonstrates throughout the season the greatest all-round ability in the position (five selections).

  1. Drew Doughty
  2. Victor Hedman
  3. John Carlson
  4. Seth Jones
  5. PK Subban

CALDER TROPHY: To the player selected as the most proficient in his first year of competition (five selections).

(Note: An eligible player cannot have played more than 25 NHL games in any single preceding season nor in six or more games in each of any two preceding seasons. A player must not have attained his 26th birthday by Sept. 15 of the season in which he is eligible.)

  1. Mathew Barzal
  2. Kyle Connor
  3. Brock Boeser
  4. Yanni Gourde
  5. Alex Debrincat

LADY BYNG TROPHY: To the player adjudged to have exhibited the best type of sportsmanship and gentlemanly conduct combined with a high standard of playing ability (five selections).

  1. William Karlsson
  2. Alex Barkov
  3. Morgan Reilly
  4. Zack Werenski
  5. Anze Kopitar

SELKE TROPHY: To the forward who best excels in the defensive aspects of the game (five selections).

  1. William Karlsson
  2. Radek Faksa
  3. Anze Kopitar
  4. Sean Couturier
  5. Patrice Bergeron

 NHL All-Star Team

CENTER: (pick three)

  1. Connor McDavid (Named to first team)
  2. Nathan MacKinnon (named to second team)
  3. Evgeni Malkin

**If you’re wondering why McDavid is higher here, but MacKinnon was higher in Hart, it is based on wording of the Hart. If the wording was most outstanding player (which is what the Ted Lindsay award is) then I would have voted for McDavid. He is the best player in the NHL.**

RIGHT WING: (pick three)

  1. Nikita Kucherov (named to first team)
  2. Blake Wheeler (named to second team)
  3. Phil Kessel

LEFT WING: (pick three)

  1. Taylor Hall (named to first team)
  2. Claude Giroux (named to second team)
  3. Alex Ovechkin

DEFENSE: (pick six)

  1. Drew Doughty (named to first team)
  2. Victor Hedman (named to first team)
  3. John Carlson
  4. Seth Jones (named to second team)
  5. PK Subban (named to second team)
  6. Roman Josi

GOALTENDER: (pick three)

  1. Pekka Rinne (named to first team)
  2. Connor Hellebuyck (named to second team)
  3. Marc-Andre Fleury

NHL All-Rookie Team

FORWARD: (Pick three)

  1. Mathew Barzal
  2. Kyle Connor
  3. Brock Boeser

DEFENSE (pick two)

  1. Charlie McAvoy
  2. Will Butcher

GOAL (pick one)

  1. Juuse Saros

**All six of these rookies were named to the All-rookie team***


1. Connor McDavid won his second consecutive Ted Lindsay trophy. He is the first player to win back-to-back since Sidney Crosby won in 2013 and 2014. Alex Ovechkin is the last player to win three in a row when he won between 2008-2010.

The other players to win back-to-back include Jaromir Jagr (1999-2000), Dominik Hasek (1997-1998) and Marcel Dionne (1979-1980). Guy Lafleur won three in a row (1976-1978) and Wayne Gretzky won four in row (1982-1985).

2. Only three years in his career McDavid has two Ted Lindsay awards. Only Gretzky (5), Mario Lemieux (4) and Lafleur, Jagr, Ovechkin and Crosby (3) have more.

3. I understand some Oilers fans are upset McDavid didn’t win the Hart. He is the heart of the Oilers, your favourite team, so I get it, but I’d also hope if you are one of the ones upset, you’d recognize you might have a slight bias. Nothing wrong with that, I’d expect every fan base to have some towards their team. It is part of being a fan.

The PHWA voted differently than many Oilers fans wanted, but so too did 1,500 fans in a survey you can see here.

There will never be a perfect system. Voters won’t all agree, nor will fans, and it makes for great debates.

I also read many saying the players know best and the Ted Lindsay is what truly matters. I get that sentiment, but I’ll leave you with this.

In 1986 Wayne Gretzky set the NHL record with 215 points in a season. He won the Hart Trophy that season, but NHL players didn’t vote him as the most outstanding player in the NHL. They voted Mario Lemieux, who had 141 points in 79 games. Gretzky had 215 in 80 games, a whopping 74 more points, but the players voted Lemieux.

Maybe they were tired of Gretzky winning —he’d won the previous four — or maybe they were tired of him dominating them. Either way, it illustrates there won’t always be complete agreement on players, regardless of who is voting.


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Recently by Jason Gregor:

      • That's My Point

        Craig Button was saying Boqvist is a “RED FLAG”. (see Edmonton Sun)
        He was a C- on most scouting reports without the puck and has a laissez faire attitude.
        Oilers will DEFINITELY draft this one!!!

        • crabman

          @That’s My Point

          I saw a tsn segment with Button and he is passionate about his dislike for Boqvist. He questions his character and compete and talked about his offence dissapearing when he made the jump to play with men in the SHL. He fails to talk about the fact he was getting 4-5 minutes a game in the SHL It shows the coach didn’t trust him but not many 17 year old undersized defencemen can make an impact at that level and it’s hard to be productive when you don’t play. Boqvist also scored at the same rate as Erik Karlsson in the Sweedish junior league at the same age and Boqvist was the best defenceman at the Ivan Hilanka last summer and U-18 this spring. Boqvist is a riskier player than some but has one of the highest ceilings of any player in the draft. Karlsson was the 7th defenceman taken in his draft but was arguably more talented than all but Doughty at the time of the draft. I wouldn’t be suprised if the same thing happens in 5 years from now wherw Boqvist is being talked about as being closer to Dahlin than the other defencemen in this draft. I also wouldn’t be suprised if he ends up a bust. The risk is there with this player but the reward is huge.

  • TruthHurts98

    I’ve been listening to other team’s commentators around the league drafting in the top 10. Montreal is all but taking Kotkaniemi, whether at 3 or possibly trading down 2-3 spots. I think the Oilers have a legitimate shot at drafting Boqvist and a long shot at Bouchard or Wahlstrom. I think Keith Gretzky has pulled out some gems in the past year so we’ll see who he likes. No faith in our GM who has made so many awful trades and still has the ability to make more bad moves… sigh. Just draft and develop. Trying to trade for a RHD now will be another big step backward. This draft is deep and there will be some longtime NHL stars coming out of both rounds 1 & 2.

  • JimmyV1965

    I would move up a couple spots if we could get Wahlstrom. I would hate to give up the second rounder this year because there’s still some great prospects there, but a fourth and a second rounder next year would be good. I would also be happy to trade down a few spots if we get another second rounder.

  • Big Nuggets

    If there were still 2 guys you liked left at 10 would anyone trade down to 11 or 12th for a late round pick? Seems to me there are a number of solid picks around 10 this year. I wish we had 2 first round picks this season.

    Nobody seems to be talking about this German character Bokk. He’s probably not good enough to take at 10 but it would be an interesting move to give Draisaitl a little brother to play with.

  • Die Hard Oiler Fan

    Great article Jason. I am very strongly in the camp that says “keep the pick and draft at #10”. As documented in many bloggs over the past few months, the Oilers have very little cap space; almost no NHL ready talent in Bakersfield (although some potential this year, including Benson, Yamamoto and Laggesson, plus some promising results from some of the 2017 picks). In addition, it appears as though the Seattle expansion draft will be a huge consideration in a few years. I take a lot of stock in anything Bob MacKenzie says in terms of the draft eligible players. Based on his year-end ranking show 12 players received at least one top-five ranking from the 10 scouts he spoke with. Kotkaniemi is now highly expected to go in the top 10, and as a result whoever picks at #10 is going to certainly get a good young player that will be exempt from the fore-mentioned expansion draft (an extremely valuable low-cost asset in my opinion). Add in Chia’s trade history (not sure how he wasn’t fired within 30 seconds of the Reinhart trade – almost certainly one of the worst ever).

    Trading up will only cost us valuable assets that we don’t have or simply can’t afford to part with. I am not a big fan of trading down either, however, one option here might be with Philadephia and their #14. Would they be interested in our #10 for their #14 and second round pick (#50). If this type of deal came together, I would like to see the Oilers draft RHD Bode Wilde at 14, and attempt to address the need for an offensive RHD via the draft and develop method, as opposed to another over-pay on a Chia trade. The #40 and #50 picks would still be high enough to add a few forwards with decent talent…our prospect list would be quie a bit stronger.

    Like many Oiler fans I can’t wait for the draft to start. I just hope the the organization have done something to prevent him from trading the pick in attempts to complete a “quick fix” (i.e. a repeat of the dreaded Reinhart trade). Enjoy the draft everyone.

    • Rock11

      Pronman was saying at the Athletic that Bode Wilde is completely off some teams draft boards for work ethic/character concerns. Not sure he would be the guy I’d be targeting. If you want to take a risk on that type of character you may as well shoot the moon and take Merkely as he rates higher from a pure talent perspective.

      • crabman


        Pronman also says some teams have Wilde in their top 20, he ranks him 19 and had this to say,”At the end of the day, there are a handful of right-handed defensemen in the world with his combination of size, speed and skill, thus he grades out high for me as a prospect”.And in his mock draft had him going 22nd to Ottawa.
        Willis at the athletic also compares him to John Carlson in his draft year, for league played, almost identical scoring, similar size and playing style and both right shots.
        I think Wilde at 14 is a bit of a reach but it is still in the range. If Wilde was my target I would look to trade back to 19-21 and see if an earlier 2nd or a 2nd and 3rd would come back the other way. Wouldn’t be my 1st choice though.

    • crabman

      @Die Hard Oiler Fan,

      I’m no draft expert and infact this is the 1st year I’ve been so interested, probably because this is the 1st time I’ve been off work this time of year. I don’t know if this draft is different than most or if it just seems that way because I’ve looked into it more, but this draft sounds like there will be great talent throughout the 1st 2 rounds if you have the proper scouting department to figure out the best bets. I’ve read everything I can get my hands on from scouting reports and draft rankings from NHL.com, Lowtide, McKenzie, Button, Pronman, Wheeler, and on and on. Looking at players from a pure production/math perspective from Willis over at the Athletic and some great work commenters, on sites like this one and lowtide’s, like Jaxson has done. After all that and listenning to the expert guests on tv and radio shows it really sounds like it is a very deep draft even after we get past that 12 player list that all got a top 5 vote.
      I would trade back if my top 9 were gone and try to add an extra pick or 2 in the 1st 2 rounds. Philly seems to be content in keeping their picks but if they were willing to trade 14 and 19 for 10 and 71 we would have 3 top 40 picks. If that happened and we could move back again from 19 to mid 20s and add a mid to late 2nd, even if that meant trading 1 of next years 3rds, we would have 4 picks in the top 54 for Gretzky to stock the prospect cupboards. turn 10&71 into 14, 23, 54. That’s the dream draft day for me.

  • ponokanocker

    I’d only be interested in trading down. We need to have the cupboards stocked with solid prospects for when players want raises and we have to trade them away for cap reasons.

  • crabman

    My McDavid bias has me baffled that he wasn’t a finalist. I never expected him to win but thought he would be 3rd. I don’t begrudge the players that finished higher though, they all had great seasons.
    Your voting all seems reasonable, I just wonder why McAvoy recieved so little love for the Calder? I hate the Bruins *spits* but he had a great season and as a top pair defenceman on one of the leagues best teams says a lot.My 2 cents

  • crabman

    I wouldn’t trade up from 10. The Oilers lack the depth to be trading away 2nd and 3rd round picks for a marginally better chance at a better player. I am a fan of looking at a trade back if the player the Oilers really hope falls is gone by their pick at 10.
    If the plan is to take Smith, if Bouchard, Dobson and Hughes are all gone, I would prefer to trade back for more assets. I would be fine with Smith at 10 I think he is goingbto be a hell of a player but there is still going to be very good players later in the 1st and through the 2nd. I trust Kieth Gretzky and his staff to identify those players and come away with 2 future NHLers instead of 1 by trading back.
    After listenning to the Chiarelli presser this morning I don’t see him trading up or down though. If the pick is moved it is going to be for a player and I’m pretty sure we are all going to be disappointed with the return.

    • Rock11

      If one of Wahlstrom or Zadina falls into the range where a trade up costs you say next years 2nd or a mid-tier prospect like Rasanen then I can see the potential value. Not only would you get a better prospect but both of those guys I mentioned may be developed to the point that they can help this years team. For Chiarelli that last point is huge as his job may depend on it.

      • crabman


        If Zadina falls past 5 I don’t think next years 2nd or a B prospect gets you there. Wahlstrome is a different story. He may fall based on teams taking positional needs. It’s not out of the question that he might fall to 10. I think if he is still available at 8 or 9 moving up with next years 2nd would do it. I think Chicago would be very interested in Wahlstrom but if the McKenzie list held true and 1 of Dobson, Bouchard, or Hughes is still available at 8 I think it will be hard to pass on picking 1 of them. Hell of we moved to 8 I would be hard pressed to take Wahlstrom over any of them.
        And for NY Rangers I wouldn’t be suprised if they would move back a spot for the extra asset and take Kravtsov at 10. In fact if I were a betting man I would say Rangers take Kravtsov at 9 leaving the Oilers the choice of Boqvist, Smith and Wahlstrom at 10. I wouldn’t move that pick. I would take Wahlstrom. This is the point Chiarelli trades the pick to Boston for Tory Krug and Oilersnation collectively lose our minds.

  • E-Mac

    Would love to have my cake and eat it too.Is there any way to get Skinner and Faulk in a package without giving up the 10th? Seems like Carolina is open for business.

    Maybe JP, Sekera and the 40th – maybe not enough but it would save Carolina 4.133 million. Hell throw in another pick.

    Adding a proven 30 goal winger and a right shot PP QB would drastically improve this lineup.

    • Osmosis_jones

      I’m not huge on trading JP for this because I think a package around him could net something bigger. Karlsson would be JP + Kelf + 10th and Benson. High price but if it comes with an extension, I would pull the trigger and make love to my pillow all night.

      HOWEVER Ottawa will get way better offers from other teams and I’m just arm chair GM’ing here.