Moving Down?

Ken Holland will have a number of options with the 8th overall pick in this year’s draft. If I had to rank them from most likely to least likely right now it would probably go like this:

  • Keep the pick and draft the best player available, preferably a forward.
  • Trade down and pick up an extra pick and/or a bottom six forward.
  • Trade the pick for a young top six winger.
  • Trade up.

I’ve decided to take a look at some teams that may have the draft pick capital to convince the Oilers to move down.


Twice in the past six drafts, Ken Holland moved down in Detroit.

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In 2016 he sent the 16th overall pick and Datsyuk’s cap hit to the Coyotes in exchange for Joe Vitale plus the 20th and 53rd overall picks.

In 2013 Holland moved the 18th overall pick to the Sharks for the 20th overall pick and the 53rd overall pick. Detroit ended up taking Anthony Mantha with the 20th pick and Tyler Bertuzzi with the 53rd. The Sharks drafted Mirco Mueller with the 18th selection.

Now, these aren’t great comparisons because all of the picks involved are in the middle part of the first round, not the top ten, but it does show Holland has a history of moving down.


The Flyers could end up being a nice fit as a trade partner for the Oil. Philly has picks 11, 41, 65 and 72. If the 11th and 41st overall picks are on the table for the Oilers to move down from eight Holland would have to think long and hard about it.

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This type of flip would come down to team-by-team preference as players 8-12 are almost interchangeable.

Players On The Radar at 11: Cole Caufield, Trevor Zegras, Matthew Boldy, Phillip Broberg, Peyton Krebs.


The Habs make a lot of sense. They currently hold the 15th overall pick along with picks 46 and 50 in the second round of the draft. I’m sure the Habs would be willing to give up 15 and 46 to move up seven spots but I don’t think that would be enough. I wonder if they’d be willing to include Joel Armia in a deal to move up from 15. Would 15, 46 and Armia be enough to move down from the eighth spot? I’m still not sure.

Players On The Radar At 15: Arthur Kaliyev, Alex Newhook, Victor Soderstrom. I also wonder if Peyton Krebs slips this far due to his Achilles injury, probably not but it would be interesting.


The Coyotes are scheduled to pick just one spot ahead of the Canadiens with the 14th overall pick. Arizona still has their own second round pick plus their own third and Hawks’ third.

In a perfect world, I would think the Oilers would prefer to stay in the top 12 this year so the Coyotes, like the Habs, would have to sweeten the pot with more than just one second round pick. The likely ask here would be 14, 45 and 74 for 8 and I still don’t think I’d do it if I was Holland.

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Players On The Radar at 14: Peyton Krebs, Matthew Boldy, Arthur Kaliyev, Alex Newhook. Boldy is wishful thinking here but if there are one or two surprises he or Krebs may slip down to 14.


The Panthers don’t have extra draft picks but could be a team that’s willing to move a roster player to accommodate a move up. Florida has the 13th overall pick and while they don’t have their own picks in the second or third round they do have the Penguins second and the Oilers third.

Would the Panthers be willing to move the 13th overall, James Reimer and Mark Pysyk for eighth overall, Kris Russell and Sam Gagner? Florida could then buy-out Gagner and heck, maybe he returns to Edmonton with a more reasonable contract.

The Panthers aren’t in the top 12 I was talking about earlier but I do think one of those top dozen slide to 13.

Players On The Radar at 13: Matthew Boldy, Peyton Krebs, Arthur Kaliyev, Alex Newhook


There has been some crazy talk about the Oilers needing to add a sweetener to Lucic to help get a deal done for Eriksson. Let me start by saying I don’t think a sweetener should be required but just for fun what about this?

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The Oilers give up the eighth overall pick and Milan Lucic for 10th overall pick, Loui Eriksson and the Canucks third rounder, 71st overall.

If Holland really likes a player he thinks he can get at ten then he might as well do it.

Players On The Radar at 10: Vasili Podkolzin, Cole Caufield, Trevor Zegras, Matthew Boldy, Phillip Broberg, Peyton Krebs.


While it’s not the most likely option I do think Holland will answer every phone call he gets about moving down. As a couple of the deals above demonstrate there may even be a chance to improve this years roster by only moving down two to five spots in the draft.

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Previously by Dustin Nielson:

    • Facts

      But you could move down only a few spots while gaining more picks/assets.
      Picking up another 2nd and still drafting a top 15 prospect is better for the future

      • OilTastic

        That’s what I would prefer they do….move down and add another asset or two. I don’t feel that in the long run the pick at #8, say Zegras, would necessarily be any better than the #13 pick, say Newhook.

  • Hemmercules

    That deal with Van doesn’t actually look terrible. Still get a top 10 pick and ditch Looch. Nobody really knows at this point who is the better player though between Louie and Milan? Obviously Looch has a really gross contract but I feel like he’s still the better player of the two. Maybe a changes benefits them both?

    I hope holland just keeps the pick though. Draft and develop.

    • Glencontrolurstik

      Look at it this way… “Some players get you to the playoffs, some players get you through the playoffs.” I still believe Lucic has what is needed to get a team through. Eriksson doesn’t have either. There are teams in this post season that could have used Looch on their roster… San Jose, Nashville & Toronto come to mind. He would be valuable on Vancouver as well, other than Rousell, they have no players that could get you through the playoffs. Looch still has value, we have not seen it the last couple of years, because we have not made the post season.
      I didn’t say I liked the contract, we just can’t give him away for a bad contract. He’s more valuable than that.

      • Hemmercules

        I just don’t see the value in him that others see. The contract he has kills any sort of trade value and he’s a third liner at this point. The team already has intimidating guys like Kassian, Larsson and Nurse. If you have to pay a guy 6 mil for 20 regular season points and not much else until the playoffs roll around that’s a bad deal in my eyes. Remember when he couldn’t score a goal to save his life and didn’t fight a single person in that same span until he started pounding on Smith out of frustration that one BOA game. As intimidating as he might be, slow guys with terrible hands aren’t going to help you win too many playoff rounds.

        It’s really too bad. I liked that they got Lucic at the time despite the handcuff of the contract. I just didn’t expect him to decline so hard this early. Maybe they can’t move him and he rebounds under Tippet? I have a feeling Holland moves him though. Looch might want out anyway as he has expressed interest in a trade before I believe.

  • crabman

    I don’t like the idea of trading the pick for immediate help but moving down a few spots to add more picks always inrigues me. Benson, Samorukov, Skinner, and McLeod were all 2nd and 3rd round picks. The amateur scouting has done pretty good the last few years adding good prospects in that range. The possibility of trading down and adding 2 or 3 high quality prospects instead of just 1 should at least be entertained eapecially since most years someone expected to go top 10 always seens to fall into that 10-15 range.
    ultimately that would have to be a draft floor decision once Holland knew exactly the payer(s) he would be passing up in such a trade.

  • TruthHurts98

    I’m not going to be surprised if Detroit takes Zegras at 6th. I think the Oilers want Caufield which technically makes Yamamoto more likely to be traded only if necessary. I don’t think having Caufield and Yamamoto is a bad thing either. Oilers need a sniper on the wing and Caufield won’t fall out of the top 8 or 10. No way. This is how I think the draft will go based on previous drafts leaning towards drafting centres higher than ranked.
    1. Hughes
    2. Kaako
    3. Byram
    4. Turcotte
    5. Cozens
    6. Zegras (Such a high ceiling I think Yzerman takes him over Podkolzin or Dach.
    7. Dach
    8. Caufield
    9. Boldy
    10. Podkolzin (he may or may not slip this far. Total wild card.

    • OilTastic

      I would not be against taking Caufield, whether or not we already have Yam. If we did take him, then the ball is in your court Yam if you want a future job on the Oilers. Suck it up in the AHL or lose out. Best man wins!

      • 99CupsofCoffey

        I watched Yammers in Spokane all his career, and i think management messed him up like they did to Pool Party. Pulled this way and that, never really knowing what was going to happen next. Hopefully more months in Bakersfield will go a long way with Yamamoto.

  • Kevwan

    My dream scenario would be to do the Canucks deal and move to 10. Then move from 10 to 14 for Christian Fischer or the Coyotes 2nd rounder (45).
    With #14 take Krebs, Broberg, Kaliyev or Newhook.

    I found this article the other day when I was looking for info on moving up or down in the draft. It’s 6 years old, so a little dated, but I found it interesting.


  • Goon

    You don’t think a sweetener would be required for a Lucic/Eriksson swap because Benning is bad at his job, or because you think the players are comparable?

    If it’s the former, okay. If it’s the latter, you’re just flat out wrong. Eriksson’s deal is a year shorter, he’s owed less in real dollars, he’s been better at even strength and on the penalty kill over the past two seasons, and he doesn’t have an NMC that would require him to be protected in the expansion draft. If Benning is *not* an idiot *and that’s a big if), there’s no way such a deal happens without a major sweetener (and 10th+71st for 8th is no sweetener at all).

  • Dallas Eakins Hair

    The Oilers will have to see what kind of offers they get and what guys they have on their list that they would like to pick and where guys start to fall to teams. Unless the offer makes sense and the value is there to move down, okay fine, if it isnt there, then hang on and pick

  • Ass Eatn Szn 69

    with expansion coming you have to maximize your protected assets. No trading down to get a lesser pick and bottom 6 forward that requires protection.

  • CMG30

    Honestly, draft picks outside the top 3 are basically magic beans. The difference between 8th and 10th is ‘meh’. If you can get more swings by trading down a few spots then you go for it.

  • CityofWhat

    If any of these players
    Are still on the board when Oilers pick I would not trade it or move down however if those players are all gone which I believe will be the case than I would definitely consider moving down to as low as 11 or 12 no lower to obtain an extra 2nd rd pick or a top six forward or as suggested moving Lucic.

    Trade proposal:
    Lucic, 8th overall + 3rd round pick to Van for Sutter & 10th.

  • toprightcorner

    If Holland wants to move down a couple spots, they should be getting a solid AHL prospect instead of a pick. Much easier to project a 20 year old and they could only be 1 year away from making the team. A mid 2nd round pick is at least 3-4 years away from the NHL and 80% will never make it. If you project a 20 year old AHL player to make the NHL, there is over a 50% chance they will make it. Example is Marody or Cave. Those are much safer bets than a puck in the 40’s.

    • crabman

      That is an interesting idea. But I doubt you get a high end 20 year old prospect. You get a Marody or Cave like you suggest, both of which would project as a bottom 6 at best. It is the safer bet and still no gaurentee. I would rather take a swing at finding a top6 forward or top4 D in the 2nd round. Every year there are still high end prospects to be found outside the 1st round.