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Should the Oilers’ first-round pick be in play?

The Edmonton Oilers are just two points out of a playoff spot, although the Minnesota Wild sit in the second Wild Card position with a game in hand.

A Pacific Division playoff spot is probably unlikely at this point. Vegas sits in the third spot and the Oilers trail them by 13 points with three fewer games played.

Barring an unforeseen turnaround, it’ll be Wild Card or bust for the Oilers. They’re still in it with Dallas, Colorado, Minnesota, Anaheim, and Vancouver fighting for those two Wild Card spots and the Central teams duking it out for third in the division. Colorado is slumping and the Wild are without Matt Dumba.

Should the Oilers move their first-round draft pick for help?

Oilers colour commentator and host of Oilers Now Bob Stauffer floated this idea Tuesday night.

The Oilers need to improve their forward group. Dealing their 2019 first-round pick is one option. Trading the 2019 first for a forward, likely a winger, would mean three of their last four firsts spent on wingers.

Any deal should be top-three protected with the Oilers not a lock for the playoffs.

Trading the first-round pick in an attempt to make the playoffs would be another short-sighted Peter Chiarelli move. The Oilers should be better than where they are in Connor McDavid’s fourth season, but they’re not, and they’re likely not contenders this season even if they squeak into a Wild Card spot.

There’s an argument for trading the first-round pick. The Oilers don’t have many other high-value assets. Jesse Puljujarvi is another chip they could use.

Any trade would require money going out or a player on a cheaper contract coming in.

Teams out of the picture or not serious about winning this season like Montreal, New York Rangers, Chicago, St. Louis, or Los Angeles would be targets.

Maybe that means Tyler Toffoli or Chris Kreider. Los Angeles and New York aren’t focused on winning now and would rather have a first-round draft pick for the future. St. Louis has to give Buffalo either their 2019 or 2020 first-round pick for the Ryan O’Reilly trade. They have some interesting forwards that could be available (Vladimir Tarasenko, Brayden Schenn, Jaden Schwartz). Chicago might want to clear cap space and that could mean Brandon Saad heading out of town.

Trading the first-round pick to try and make the playoffs this season would be risky. There’s an argument for moving the first, but waiting until the summer could see new players available that aren’t in season.

The Oilers really want to make the playoffs, but trading their first-round pick to squeeze in a Wild Card spot is something a desperate team does. The Oilers aren’t contenders.

As much as it pains Oilers fans and management, this team isn’t a top-six forward away from a deep playoff run. Stay the course and build towards the future.

  • JasonY

    It’s in play but would need to be a king’s ransom. Ie. getting rid of lucic’s Bad contract and getting a paryko or tarasenko. That will never happen. So no! The only gm dumb enough to do a trade like that would be Chia but unfortunately he’s our gm

  • JimmyV1965

    I think the Oilers need to acquire a legit top 6 forward. It would be great to do this year, but likely makes more sense in the summer. We can’t start next year with the same group of forwards and hope we get a different result. And although I love our dmen prospects, I just don’t see a forward prospect making the team next year as a top six forward. That means we have to trade for one and the only asset we have is the first round pick. We don’t have any other assets. It sucks. We could trade JP but we’ve invested three years in the kid. I would rather trade the first round pick than JP. You could deal the pick now and make it lottery protected, but it probably makes more sense to wait until the summer and find out where we draft before pulling the trigger.

  • T.J.F.M

    If the cost for a Petrovic is a 3rd Rounder, and the cost for a Manning ??? is a roster NHL player, then we better all prepare ourselves and expect a trade in the neighborhood of our 1st round pick (completely unprotected) for Zac Smith. This is the prototypical Chiarelli trade that we have seen far too many times. 1-for-1 for a player that was previously on waivers and could be had for free.

    This is the Oilers way.

  • RexHolez

    Serious question, I’m trying to decide wether or not I have a right to make a comment on this site. So, I lived in Edmonton for 10 years but never had season tickets. I went to maybe 5 games a year while I was living there and watched the rest of the games on T.V. So, I already know the Oilers classify me as tier 2. But now that I don’t live in Edmonton anymore and don’t go to any games, I’m wondering if that makes me tier 3 or 4, and I’m wondering if it’s acceptable for me to comment on fan sites like this?

  • Frustrated Fan in Calgary

    Oilers need more skill and depth, which means that they need more picks or prospects. Trading first round pick would be a continuation of the stupidity we have seen over the past few years. Lock in and make decisions for the long term. Manage this team like they will be in the league for the next 10 years, not the next 4 months.

  • 0W-20

    Look, the pick is an asset so with the right return it might make sense to trade it. That said, I have zero confidence Chiarelli can swing a deal where he gets sufficient value in exchange; so no, Pete shouldn’t trade the pick because he sucks at being a GM and trading assets to improve the Oilers.

  • Since 72

    I would rather miss the playoffs this year than trade the first round pick and get bumped out in round 1. This team will not go far if they make the playoffs.

  • Dolby

    Most prudent GM’s are probably considering the impending Seattle expansion draft, Pete is still trying to figure out where Seattle is…keep the pick, this player won’t need to be protected, at this point we will probably lose JJ or Benning, so be it…

  • Frank Rizza

    It’s scares the sh** out of me when Stauffer says things like this because usually he’s buttering us up for something that’s coming. There is no way he pushes something like this without an ok from someone in the organization. Unless we can absolutely steal someone with term, which no human on earth is confident that this management team can do, then please don’t trade the pick. The only way we will ever be contenders is if we have young guys on cheap contracts. Darnell is having a career year and he’s gonna be expensive when he signs his next contract after next year. We’ve wasted away the cheap years of our stars and even though people say we have improved drafting, which we have, we still have no offence coming. We need blue chip prospects and the only way to get them is to draft well.

    I know I’m in the minority but I have a feeling the boys are gonna make the playoffs. I wish we as fans weren’t so damn negative all the time! Why don’t we become part of the solution by being positive instead of piling on and making it harder to play in this city

    • Big Nuggets

      Agreed on all fronts. Don’t trade the 1st round pick. Trading 1sts never seems to work out in the long run. We’re better off making small prudent moves than swinging for the fences on a trade. Stauffer is probably buttering us up for Chia’s last ditch attempt to save his job, which will ruin the future on top of the present which he has already ruined.

      That said the team can still make a push for the playoffs. Maybe they can’t pull it off but once everyone gets healthy they should be much more competitive.

  • regw

    Reaching hard to justify/endorse the idea of putting the 1st pick on the table. BUT, if we could shed a bad contract, tied in with the 1st, then, and, just maybe then, Chia may finally win a trade. Like I state though, “Reaching hard”, as I have lost complete faith in the Oiler braintrust…

  • I'm too tall for this @#$%

    I trust in the Oilers ability to draft and develop more than Chia’s ability to make a half decent trade. Leave that pick where it is Pete!

  • Darcy yaceyko

    I’m so done with all this fire PC talk. We haven’t been relevant since 1990 or maybe 91-92. 06 was a fluke. I’ve said it before, until this team has a complete organizational change owner included, we are in for more dark times. We have Mr. Burns for an owner. We definitely need a legit hockey owner and staff to straighten it out and it will take a long time to do so. So deal with the mess because it doesn’t matter what we think. As fans and season ticket holders and the average fan who buys the tickets our voices don’t matter. Don’t stress anymore fans. Not worth it.