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Photo Credit: Tom Kostiuk

Monday Mailbag – What to expect from draft week?

What have we here? A brand new mailbag that’s hot and ready just in time for draft week. I hope that all of you had a wonderful weekend as we all rested up for what will be an action-packed week rammed with rumours and draft related goodness. As always, I’ve sent your questions out to the writers and waited for all of their worldly wisdom to be able to share it with you. Looking ahead, I still need questions for next week, so if there is something Oilers related (or not) that you want to ask, feel free to hit me up by email or on Twitter. Enjoy.

Photo Credit: © Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports

1) Dean asks – What do you think about the Nikita Zaitsev rumours that came out on Twitter? Would he be an upgrade over anyone on the right side?

Jason Gregor:

No. Five years at $4.5 million. Not an upgrade at all.

Robin Brownlee:

He’s an over-priced, under-performing boat anchor for whoever he is partnered with. No thanks.

Tyler Yaremchuk:

He would maybe be an upgrade on Matt Benning, but the bottom line is that he’s incredibly overpaid and has five more years on his deal. The only way I even consider Zaitsev is if Kris Russell is unloaded and the Leafs are packaging someone like Kasperi Kapanen with him. Then, it might work out for the Oilers. If it’s Zaitsev straight up, even if the Oilers don’t have to give up anything, then I’m not even listening.

Christian Pagnani:

I’m skeptical. If a team like Toronto, who is very desperate for decent right-handed defencemen, is trying to dump him then you know something’s wrong. Zaitsev isn’t good. He’s more of the Russell/Hainsey player where he plays a lot of minutes but isn’t equipped to handle them. I think he’d be a slight upgrade on Russell mostly because he’s a right-handed shot and younger. I’d stay far away from Zaitsev and his contract. I’d pass, even with Kasperi Kapanen or Andreas Johnsson were added as a sweetener.

Baggedmilk:

At first, when I heard that the Oilers could be interested in Zaitsev, I thought that Peter Chiarelli had somehow gotten his job back. Even after realizing that this was not the case, I still can’t figure out why this would even be a thing. Bad idea.

2) Stephen asks – What are everyone’s thoughts about Jay Woodcroft re-signing with the Oilers rather than taking the rumoured assistant coach position with Todd McLellan in Los Angeles?

Jason Gregor:

Wise move. He wants to be an NHL head coach and the best way to do that is by running his own bench in the AHL. He loved having that responsibility last year and he was never really in running to go to LA. They are keeping Marco Sturm as an offensive assistant coach. Todd McLellan is looking for an assistant to run the defence. They will only have a three-man system in LA.

Robin Brownlee:

I think Jay is playing it smart at this point in his career. If he wants to be a head coach at the NHL level then the best path is to be a head coach at the AHL level in Bakersfield. Continue to have success there and he sets himself up as the next guy after Dave Tippett in Edmonton. If Tippett is going strong three years from now, other teams will come calling if he continues to do what he did last season in the AHL.

Tyler Yaremchuk:

I heard some rumours about how much money the Kings offered him and it was substantial. However, I’m not totally stunned that he’s taking a gamble on himself and his future as an NHL Head Coach. It’s good to keep good employees when you have them and I’m excited to see what Woodcroft continues to do down in Bakersfield.

Christian Pagnani:

I like it. If I was in Woodcroft’s shoes I’d do the same. I don’t see LA being super competitive so this is a chance to build a name for himself and potentially get a head coaching job in the future.

Baggedmilk:

I loved seeing this. I think Woodcroft did a great job with the Condors last year and it can only be considered good news to see him coming back.

3) Chandler asks – If the Lucic for Eriksson trade happens would he be a buyout for the Oilers or do you see him getting some role with the team?

Jason Gregor:

They wouldn’t use a buyout on him this summer. No cap savings. The buyout has no benefit, similar to Lucic. He would play on PK and likely in a bottom six role.

Robin Brownlee:

Depends on what the trade looks like. I don’t see Holland getting sucked into trading for Eriksson in the first place if he has to add another player or draft pick.

Tyler Yaremchuk:

I think they would give him an honest look. In my opinion, if you’re doing that trade, it’s because you believe Eriksson will work well with one of your skilled centres, not because you believe he’s a better bottom six winger than Milan Lucic.

Christian Pagnani:

Eriksson’s buyout isn’t much better than Lucic’s. I’d expect the Oilers to keep him for a season and explore options afterwards. Eriksson would have just two seasons left at $6 million. After his signing bonus is paid, presumably July 1st, 2020, he’s only due $5 million for the last two years of his contract. Maybe that interests a team like Ottawa or Arizona.

Baggedmilk:

I doubt they would buy him out. They’d probably slot him in on the third line and on the PK and hope they can get some kind of rebound from him.

4) David O. asks – If you could give Connor McDavid one sentence worth of career advice that is meant solely to benefit him, what would it be?

Jason Gregor:

Try not to put too much pressure on yourself, and don’t worry if you don’t win right away. Every superstar has a different path.

Robin Brownlee:

Do what you do and let everybody else worry about everybody else.

Tyler Yaremchuk:

Shoot the puck more.

Christian Pagnani:

Tim’s iced cap with an espresso shot.

Baggedmilk:

Enjoy the ride, my friend. Before you know it, you’ll be retired and telling stories about when you were the greatest player on earth.

5) Blake asks – It’s Draft week and I’d like to know everyone’s expectations leading into the weekend? Will they make a move? Who is your best guess on who the Oilers will draft?

Jason Gregor:

Yes, Holland will make a move. I see him moving out a D-man. Matthew Boldy is my guess on who they take at the draft.

Robin Brownlee:

I think Holland makes at least one trade involving roster players. Unless a team (or teams) goes right off the board ahead of them and leaves a consensus top five guy hanging there, I think they take Philip Broberg with the eighth pick.

Tyler Yaremchuk:

I’m expecting a defensemen to be dealt, a forward to be acquired, and a forward to be drafted.

Christian Pagnani:

I expect them to make a move. Ken Holland should be a bit familiar with his roster and assets and I wouldn’t be surprised if he does something fairly substantial. There’s been a lot of Philip Broberg talk, but Keith Gretzky saying they will go Best Player Available on Gregor’s show encourages me. Someone usually falls and changes things in the top ten. They should be able to acquire a top-six winger.

Baggedmilk:

I expect the Oilers to go up there and take the best player available. I also expect Holland to make some kind of move to try and clear some cap room in that bottom six.

THE 2019 DRAFT PARTY

  • Where? At the Canadian Brewhouse (Lewis Estates – 1320 Webber Greens Dr NW)
  • When? Friday, June 21st, doors open at 4:30 pm
  • How much? $10 per ticket
  • What do you get? Free pizza card from the Brewhouse, $10 Oodle Noodle promo card, Nation stickers, chance to win a signed RNH jersey provided by ATB Financial and draw prizes.
  • Where can I buy? Get your tickets here before they sell out!
  • Why? Because we love to party

Tickets are available here and will be on sale straight through until the date of the party. Thanks so much for the support and we look forward to seeing you there.



  • Synthesis

    Im curious what the Oilers think of Kirby Dach.
    The kids all over the map in the final draft rankings and may well be there when they get to the podium. For me, its a no brainer to send him back to junior. Maybe even for both eligible years he has left, (the Blades could use the money… LOL)

  • wiseguy

    Don’t get excited or pick the guy that falls. There’s a reason he’s falling even if that reason is only unknown to the Oilers. Think Rob Schremp, Magnus Paajarvi, Jesse Puljujarvi…

  • Spydyr

    Erik Karlsson has signed an 8 year deal to remain in San José.

    TSN is reporting that the deal is just north of 11 million per season somewhere in the vicinity of 11.25 or 11.5 per year.

        • ed from edmonton

          When Karlsson wrote his thank you the SJ fans I thought it signslled the Sharks had lost interest in signing and aging injury prone Dman. D. Wilson has been amongst the best GMs over the last 20 years, but I question this one. I expect that the Sharks will not have enough remaining cap room to re-sign Pavelski.

  • RJ

    Sorry, but I’m still not a Woodcroft fan.

    When it was Nelson vs. McLellan, I read all kinds of commentary how McLellan was some elite offensive coach with a quality team that he was bringing with him. Never saw evidence of elite anything.

    Woodcroft was made head coach at a time the coincided with the Oilers finally stocking their farm team with talent. Surprise that talent wins.

    But good on him in reading the tea leaves. Good prospects that will start in the AHL instead of straight to the NHL will give him the best players Kretzky can find.

  • dsanchez1973

    Important but understated benefit of Lucic-Eriksson swap is that Eriksson can be exposed in the expansion draft to Seattle. Lucic cannot without his permission.

  • RJ

    You know what’s funny about potential Lucic trade? Most of the posters and bloggers watched most (if not all) of the Oilers’ games last season. Lucic can barely take or make passes any more, and yet suddenly he’s super-valuable.