Photo Credit: Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports

What can the Oilers get for the eighth-overall pick?

The Edmonton Oilers hold the eighth-overall pick in the 2019 NHL Entry Draft. The Oilers need more talent. Forwards, defencemen, or goaltenders. Should they trade the pick for immediate help? Would a legitimate top-six forward or top-four right-shot defenceman be more valuable than whoever they pick at eight?

There’s been some real good players picked eighth overall recently. William Nylander went eighth in 2014. Zach Werenski went eighth in 2015. Adam Boqvist went eighth last June. He had 60 points in 54 games with the London Knights and Oilers draft pick Evan Bouchard. Edmonton will have a good chance to get an impact player.

What if the Oilers trade the pick? What do high draft picks return in trades? Trades with Vegas and trades where the pick wasn’t already determined, the Matt Duchene trade, Travis Hamonic trade, and Bobby Ryan trade, aren’t comparable.


Arizona traded the seventh-overall pick and defenceman Anthony DeAngelo to the New York Rangers for center Derek Stepan and goaltender Antti Raanta. Rangers selected center Lias Andersson.

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This is an excellent reference point for the Oilers. The pick is almost the same and the Coyotes dealt the pick to speed up their rebuild and acquire real NHL talent. Raanta was excellent in his debut season in Arizona, but barely played this season due to a lower-body injury. Darcy Kuemper filled in very well in Raanta’s absence. Stepan scored 56 points in his first season with the Coyotes, but only had 35 in 70 games this past season.

DeAngelo’s played 19:20 a game for a mediocre Rangers team. Andersson’s split time between the American Hockey League and the NHL. He’s scored decently in the AHL, but hasn’t done much in the NHL.

The Oilers can certainly use a 55-point center and starting netminder. That trade won’t look as great if Stepan’s a 40-point center going forward. Raanta was excellent for the Coyotes in 2017-18 but Kuemper was similarly good in 2018-19, and they only traded Tobias Rieder and an AHL goalie for him. Andersson hasn’t set the world on fire yet, but DeAngelo looks like a potential top-four defenceman.

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Detroit traded Pavel Datsyuk’s contract, center Joe Vitale, and the 16th-overall pick (defenceman Jakob Chychrun) to Arizona for the 20th-overall pick (defenceman Dennis Cholowski) and 53rd-overall pick (defenceman Filip Hronek).

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Detroit moved down four spots, dumped the last year of Datsyuk’s contract, and obtained a second-round pick in the process. All the players drafted look promising. Is there a trade where the Oilers move pack in the first round and dump Milan Lucic’s contract?


Speaking of Lucic, Boston traded Lucic, and retained half of his salary, to Los Angeles for goaltender Martin Jones, defenceman Colin Miller, and the 13th-overall pick (defenceman Jakub Zboril). This was a very good trade for Boston, even with them whiffing on the first-round pick.

The Bruins flipped Jones to San Jose for another first-round pick in 2016 and Miller looks like a solid top-four defenceman who can put up points in Vegas.

Boston made a few big moves at the 2015 draft. They also sent Dougie Hamilton to Calgary for the 15th-overall pick (right wing Zachary Senyshyn), the 45th-overall pick (center Jakub Forsbacka-Karlsson), and the 52nd-overall pick (defenceman Jeremy Lauzon). This was a bad trade. Hamilton, despite all the concerns about museums and brothers, is a top-pairing defenceman. I’d heavily consider a trade with the eighth pick if a Dougie Hamilton-type player is available.

The Oilers traded the 16th-overall (center Mathew Barzal) and 33rd-overall picks (center Mitchell Stephens) to the New York Islanders for defenceman Griffin Reinhart. Yeah. Not great.


New Jersey traded the ninth-overall pick (center Bo Horvat) for goaltender Cory Schneider. At the time, this looked like a steal for New Jersey. I don’t know if anyone takes Schneider over Horvat now. Horvat’s a 60-point center, while Schneider is closer to waivers or a buyout.

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Schneider was very good for his first three seasons in New Jersey. His save percentage then: .921, .925, .924. His past three seasons in New Jersey: .908, .907, .903. Injuries have significantly impacted him, but it’s a cautionary tale for the Oilers. They can use an elite-performing goalie but need to consider long-term implications as well. It took Horvat three years after his draft to reach 40 points, but he’s definitely the more valuable player.

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Carolina trades the eighth-overall pick (defenceman Derrick Pouliot), defenceman Brian Dumoulin, and center Brandon Sutter to Pittsburgh for center Jordan Staal. Staal hasn’t had more than 48 points in a season with Carolina, but he’s a very good defensive center. Dumoulin blossomed into a top-pairing defenceman. Pittsburgh flipped Sutter for center Nick Bonino, who eventually left in free agency after winning back-to-back Stanley Cups. Pouliot hasn’t done much. Vancouver acquired him for a fourth-round pick and he might carve out a career as a bottom-pairing guy.


Columbus traded the ninth-overall pick (center Sean Couturier), left-wing Jakub Voracek, and the 68th-overall pick (center Nick Cousins) to Philadelphia for center Jeff Carter. Columbus gave up a lot of value, but things wouldn’t look as bad if Carter stayed in Columbus. Carter was a top center and the Blue Jackets badly needed centers. Giving up Voracek too hurt. Voracek flourished almost immediately in Philadelphia. He’s been very productive as a Flyer, scoring 505 points in 605 games.

Couturier’s a Selke nominee who can score 75 points. Columbus would probably like a do-over.

Apr 8, 2017; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Los Angeles Kings defenseman Drew Doughty (8) celebrates his goal in the overtime period of the game against the Chicago Blackhawks with Los Angeles Kings center Anze Kopitar (11), center Jeff Carter (77) and center Jonny Brodzinski (76) at Staples Center. Kings won 3-2 in overtime. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

There’s been really good players moved for high-draft picks. The Oilers can use a Dougie Hamilton or Jeff Carter, but I’m not sure if a Derek Stepan or Jordan Staal would be as useful. These trades often involve adding another good player, prospect, or draft pick. Columbus included Voracek, a former seventh-overall pick, to get Carter. Carolina added Dumoulin and Sutter to the eighth-overall pick for Staal.

The Oilers need to improve the team and that will require moving picks or prospects for actual players, but they can’t afford to give up that much value for a player that might only help for a few seasons. The need to balance short-term and long-term needs. If they trade the pick, the player in return has to be more Hamilton than Schneider.

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      • RJ

        Under Chia they lost almost all of them (if not immediately, then over two or three seasons).

        Having said that, if they bring in a quality GM, that isn’t prone to overpaying and over-reaching, there is nothing saying they shouldn’t be able to win some trades.

        What would have helped, though, is seeing the salary cap hits of all of these trades. If you’re trading a high pick for a proven player do they have the space to add salary?

        • CMG30

          Yes the Oilers lost most trades under Chirelli. But that was by design. It’s been clear for a while that the Oilers don’t grasp what they have in their own players while coveting rubbish from other teams. So while the Oilers dimly understand that ‘on paper’ they’re losing a trade, the ‘smartest guys in the room’ are convinced of their own genius and actually believe they’re pulling a fast one and trading up.

        • McHitch

          Ask yourself how often we draft and devlop outside the top 8?

          Half the 8th overall picks the last decade have been busts.

          Theres already a 50% chance this pick has zero value in 4 years. Throw in our draft and development record and I would sayi ts closer to 90% chance.

          Would you rather have a Hamilton or Trouba or a 10% chance at an impact player?

          Russel and the 8th for an impact dmen and the team takes a huge step forward.

          Or we can have another offseason talking about the draft, than how we need a top 4 dmen, scoring wingers and a reliable goalie.

          Same cycle year after year, rinse and repeat.

      • McHitch


        Thats 10/15 8th overall picks being busts. It could be 12/15 we will know in a few years.

        There is a very good chance this pick ends up having little to zero value. We should really consider moving it while Connor is still on the team.

  • Go oilers go

    Expansion coming up oilers need contracts they control….keep the pick… try to get another pick in the 3-7 range and pick two players such as Turcotte and Zegras who have played together

  • camdog

    So first the Oilers need to trade a high draft pick/prospect to dump salary and then they need to trade more prospects for the good players. And this all to be completed by a new GM who only has the current Oiler Executive/scouts to garner intel from…Groundhog day all over again.

  • Total Points

    What would you get for pool party and the 8th overall pick.
    I am thinking a very good defenseman or top 6 forward. The Oilers need to put a team in place to win in the next few years. Take the next 2 years for the team to finalize building and then win 2 cups in the following 4 years while Conner and Drai are peaking. Cant wait 4 years for the 8th pick to mature or pool party to get better if ever

    • jesse says yep

      I wonder if Toronto takes Pool Party+ for Kapanen? Not sure that the 1st should be in play for just the player though. TO would have to add much more but seeing as they have to sign Marner and Gardiner and hainsey this year and kapanen may shake loose

      • Beer

        He had a bad knee in his draft year, which was withheld. Now he has a bad hip. Not to sure if anybody would give up to much for him. Toronto could get a better deal from somebody else, and without the drama.

        • jesse says yep

          The hip problem is done right after he is rehabed from surgery, according to reports. A #4 pick under club control with a possible ceiling that hasnt been hit yet could be very attractive to a team with good production up front already but in need of some value contracts. Puljujarvi could be a value contract for the next 5 years.

  • OilCan2

    Keep the pick. The Oilers may not even have a GM by the draft. A big name coming to town will mean big $$$. Can that even be done with the cap situation? Another prospect under team control will look good when Seattle comes calling.

  • J.P Michaels

    All nice examples, but what makes u guys think, the Oilers would do the same?? Over the past number of years the Oilers always got less back in the trades they made.

  • Johnny Zylon

    Oilers are horrible at drafting. I think a monkey with a dartboard could do better. Trade the pick with a couple fading names and get somebody with 2-3 decent years left. The Conner Clock is ticking.

    • IRONman

      Are u insane? Draft a center like Krebs. Put him in jr till he is 20. Bring him up on elc and you pay max 3 million on bonuses. Bouchard and Nurse are future. Klefbom and Larsson now in peak years. D are peak 25 to 31 yo. Do the math man.

  • jesse says yep

    “The Oilers need to improve the team and that will require moving picks or prospects for actual players, but they can’t afford to give up that much value for a player that might only help for a few seasons. ”
    The draft pick is just as bug gamble, maybe more when taking into account the percentage of draft picks that play more then 200 games in their careers. The Oilers need to upgrade the lineup now, getting a player that can produce now and for 2-3 years is worth the risk of losing a draft pick that may turn into a player 2-3 years from now. The scouts need to hit some home runs in the 2nd and 3rd rounds to fill the prospect pool with high end talent.

  • OilTastic

    a lot of quality players who aren’t old and still have lots of term left can be had if we trade the pick and say Jesse and a small contract to help pay for a trade for a player who can play and the team that wants to dump him. a point producer like Brandon Saad comes to mind if you can send salary the other way? but really the UFA route is the way i think they will go here instead of a trade.

  • goodtobelucky97

    I’m normally the Oiler fan who says keep the pics but if a deal can be made to package the 8th overall pick and Lucic…I would do it. You would free up $6 mill in cap space and don’t have to worry about using a player protection for him in the expansion draft. Not sure what you need coming back but I would be ok with getting out of the $6 mill contract which would allow you to go after UFA’s.
    I get the whole build from the draft but 1 playoff appearance in 13 years and with the current cap situation, we as Oiler fans may be looking at another 3 or 4 years of no playoffs if we just rely on the draft.

      • goodtobelucky97

        I agree Odanada, you need tough guys not necessarily big tough guys. Because I watched the Bruins/Leafs game today an example of a tough player, that isn’t 6’3″ and 235lbs, Jake Debrusk. This league is about speed. Slow and tough just doesn’t work anymore.
        I guess you could mention Chara…..the guy is an anomaly and a beast!

        • Heschultzhescores

          Was just thinking the same thing. Looch just went up in value. He doesn’t help you get to the playoffs, but sure nice to have him when you’re there.

      • CMG30

        I’d rather be in the playoffs without Lucic than on the outside looking in with Lucic. Especially if we’re forced to protect him in the next expansion draft and it costs us another good young player.

  • Frustrated Fan in Calgary

    Trading the pick is likely to be another disappointment. Might work out, but odds look to be below average, so why do it. Oilers do not have a recent history of shrewd trades.

    • Big Nuggets

      Lucic, Benning and Puljujarvi to Detroit for Nielson and Green. Detroit frees up cap space and gets younger, Edmonton swaps the Lucic contract for someone useful in Nielson. They have to use all available cap space on Green who will miss half the season, but that will give Bouchard, Bear and Jones playing time and when Greeen is healthy we get a puck moving defenseman with offensive talent.

      I really think we need a GM to just not do anything stupid for a year. No Nuge trade, don’t trade the pick. We learned this year that we aren’t contenders so why trade picks like we need to go for it now. That mentality has been killing us. We should aim for 2 seasons from now. next year some slight retooling, the next year we’ll have young guys pushing their way into the show and older contracts will be easier to move. 2 seasons from now it all comes together if we get a GM to guide the ship properly.

  • TKB2677

    With the #8, that player is likely going to play out his junior career so it’s 2 years before he turns pro. By year 3 when he is 20 turning 21, hopefully he’s on your team full time but me he could be like Pulujarvi and not be ready. So best case with the #8 you are getting a real good player that in most likely 3 years is on full time and contributing. Worse case, that player takes longer than 3 years to make your team and contribute. Absolutely worst case scenario, he’s a bust like what was listed. But most likely he will be a decent player at some point.

    For me, it all comes down to what you can get for the pick. If you can get a guy who’s signed, is young and is a legit good NHLer right now, I think I would trade it because it would help your team right now and would continue to help them for the next 3+ years minimum while you wait for the player you draft to make it. As an example for teams needing to shed salary.
    Jets – Ehlers 23, Trouba 25. Both are young, haven’t peaked yet and would make an immediate impact.
    Leafs – Nylander.

    Those are example of young players who are already really good, aren’t in their prime yet so they probably have another level, who would instantly step into the Oilers line up and be a high end player, make an immediate impact and there is no guarantee that anyone who you draft will be any better.

  • CMG30

    I generally fall on the side of making the pick unless an outstanding deal comes along.

    That being said, the most long term value may come from using the pick to unload a contract like Lucic. The Oilers can Ill afford such boat anchor contracts especially one for the next 4 years where McDavid starts to enter his prime. Clearing out Lucic makes room under the cap to sign a productive free agent top 6 forward that can help this team the way Lucic was suppose to. While it sucks to miss out on the next shiny new toy, it sucks more to miss the playoffs year over year. A team entering a rebuild may be inticed to take on Lucic if they are planning to build through the draft since by the time Lucic’s terrible contract is up, he will be making way for that pick to step into the lineup. He will also help protect a rebuilding teams assets on the ice from various thugs. The only trouble for the Oilers would be getting him to waive his NTC.

  • J from gp

    As far as the cap goes, we’re screwed for atleast two more years. Let’s be honest. No team is gonna trade for our bad contracts. (Lucic, Russel, Sekera, Gagne) and even if we win a trade that involves our 8th pick for a high end defenseman, we will be taking on a cap hit of 4.5-5.5 mil. It’s a no brainer, keep the pick and draft for organizational need