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Photo Credit: Kevin Hoffman/USA TODAY Sports

TEN TIDBITS: Pre-Draft Edition

The busiest two weeks of the NHL season are upon us and at this point, I don’t think many of us have any idea what to expect from Ken Holland.

There’s no denying the fact Holland has a lot of work to do if the Oilers are going to make the playoffs next year, but I’m not sure we should expect anything significant to be accomplished in the next couple of days.

Here are a few things worth discussing over the next 48 hours.

THE BROBERG HYPE

Rishaug, Stauffer, Michaels, Button and Cosentino have all linked the Oilers to Swedish defenseman Philip Broberg in the past week. It’s interesting because the highest I’ve seen him ranked is ninth by both The Athletic and McKeen’s Hockey while Elite Prospects has him ranked 29th.

I found this tweet from well-connected prospect man Guy Flaming to be interesting.

I recently told a scout about the growing buzz in Edmonton around Broberg at eighth overall.

“That would be the most Oilers pick ever”

He didn’t mean it as a compliment.

Jason Gregor also went against the grain with this info on Wednesday afternoon.

I will be shocked if Oilers select Broberg. Many stories get legs during draft week, but after discussions with scouts and other sources I’m led to believe this one will not come to fruition. #NHLDraft

Are the Oilers leaking their love of Broberg to all these insiders? That doesn’t make sense to me. It seems too obvious to be true at this point.

BROBERG OVER CAUFIELD

I asked one NHL scout on Wednesday afternoon about Broberg and Caufield, and he did say if it was his call he’d take Broberg ahead of the pint-sized American, take that for what it’s worth.

THE PRICE FOR JP

Ken Holland doesn’t seem to be in a hurry to move Puljujarvi but if the asking price ends up being a bottom six forward I’m sure a deal will get done sooner rather than later.

If I was running an NHL team with an abundance of third line calibre players I’d be willing to flip one of them to take a chance on Puljujarvi.

BENNING FOR BROWN

I see a few folks bringing up the fact that the Oilers and Leafs may still a fit to flip Matt Benning for Connor Brown. I do think Brown would be a reasonable pick up for the Oilers but we need to remember any Brown for Benning discussions would have occurred before Holland took over.

I don’t know if trade talks would have to start from scratch but it will be Holland having the final say as opposed to Keith Gretzky prior to the deadline.

BRETT CONNOLLY

TSN’s Ryan Rishaug tweeted on Wednesday morning that Brett Connolly would likely be a target for the Oilers. I like Connolly and I do think he would be a nice fit in the Oilers top six but I’m starting to wonder if his price tag will push the Oilers out of the conversation.

Can a cap-strapped team like the Oilers afford to give him $4,500,000 per year? You may think that number is a little high but GM’s seem to get a little carried away at this time of year. Cough, cough, Kevin Hayes, cough, cough.

SALARY DUMP

If Ken Holland can clear up some cap space this weekend I’m sure the city of Edmonton would host a parade down 104th ave when he returns to town on Sunday.

The easiest way to move some significant salary would probably be a Kris Russell trade. I was told earlier this week that if the Oilers really want to move Russell there would be a moderate amount of interest in him. There is a lot of talk and wishful thinking about Lucic leaving town, but moving Russell would be a much more reasonable solution to the team’s current cap situation. I keep coming back to something built around Russell going to Florida with Pysyk and Reimer coming the other way.

JOONAS DONSKOI

I think Donskoi would be a nice pick up for the Oilers and apparently, I’m not the only one. I asked an agent about Donskoi on Wednesday morning and he described him as one of the best bang for your buck bargains available in free agency this year. Donskoi won’t cost the Oilers and arm and a leg but there will be a lot of interest in him elsewhere.

MCDAVID’S “BELT”

I saw a lot of reaction to McDavid wearing a skate lace as a belt at the NHL Awards. I love it and plan on doing the same as soon as I get back to Edmonton. If the Oilers make the playoffs next spring you won’t be able to find a skate lace for sale anywhere in the city.

TRIPLE THREAT LEON

How about Leon Draisaitl getting end of the year all-star votes for all three forward positions? L50N received ten voting points for his play at centre, four points on right-wing and 315 points on left-wing. Yet I still can’t get a vote.

ONE TO WATCH

I wonder if Andre Burakovsky’s name pops up over the next 48 hours. He’s an RFA and while the Capitals likely have room to keep him, he’s now 24-years old hasn’t really found his stride offensively. He spent a year in junior with McDavid and I still believe he has some decent offensive upside. If his name appears on the radar the Oilers should definitely make a call.

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Previously by Dustin Nielson:

  • Odanada

    Clearly Jesse is done here.
    Would it not be prudent to let JP play overseas and (hopefully) increase his trade value?
    What is there to lose by doing that?

    • CARLSOTO

      It’s a fine line though. Let’s say he can get a you a reliable 3rd line scoring forward today; if he goes to Europe and torches it over there he will be able to bring you greater turn than today. If he goes over there and continues to show no signs of improvement then his value falls and he won’t be worth the 3rd line forward he is worth today. I’d personally call his bluff and tender him with a respectable qualifying offer. If he declines so he can play in Europe then you still own his rights, if he declines and receives an offer sheet from someone else you can decide to match the offer or take the picks.

      He hasn’t shown the drive to be a better NHL player yet. You’d like to see him swallow his pride and take a reasonable bridge deal (1-2 years) to see if he can grow as a NHL player and work towards making himself and his teammates better. Running off to Europe because you’re not happy with how things have gone is pretty childish. Yes, the Oilers botched his development, but the player so far has not taken any responsibility for his failed development either. He didn’t work on his English, he hasn’t worked on integrating himself in to the locker room, and he hasn’t done any offseason training in North America until this year.

    • TruthHurts98

      Ok pump the brakes, apparently no one is listening to what Holland has said about JP. Holland dictates the moves, not the player or agent. There will be no trade because he has very little value. It’s what the Oiler management would have done in the past, but not now. Remember when Andreas Anthanasiou demanded out of Detroit and held out for a while? Holland called his bluff, let him sit out a bit and then signed him to not one but 2 value contracts. He’s still a Red Wing and his play has improved every year. I expect the same to happen with Puljujarvi so Dustin you can take a deep breath and relax. I too like Jesse and he does have a lot of potential. He just needs a manager like Holland to keep him grounded and a good coach to work with him. I don’t think he’s going anywhere.

    • The future never comes

      I would say the issue is that we do not recieve any immediate benefit from it. We lose a roster player and do not recieve one in return. I would much rather get a player that can play in the here and now and end this fiasco for good.

  • ed from edmonton

    Benning for Brown makes a lot of sense as it gets the Oil a roster forward that they need and opens up a roster spot for Jones. Don’t hold your breath for Russel or Sekera being shipped out, they bot have full No Trades until July 1. Unless the Oil dump one of these overpriced Dmen, they cannot afford Conolly.

    • Quoteright

      Of all the D
      Benning is the most cost effective and is RD
      You don’t trade Right Defence unless you have more.
      Russel, Sekera, or maybe Klefbom (I would not trade Nurse) all are trade able as we have plenty of depth on the Left side.
      Otherwise, just patience with internal opportunities and cheap free agents.
      With sooo many players getting overpaid there will be lots of cast aways.

      • NickL89

        Agreed. How many times have we been taken to the cleaners by teams preying on our past weakness (a moron of a GM)!! It’s Edmonton’s turn, we have the leverage here. Toronto wants to sign some players and needs the cap room. If they want the help they need to sweeten the deal!

  • Viperx

    The Oilers must be leaking brobergs name to possibly trick other teams into trading up there pick to select him ahead of the Oilers. The only way it makes sense.

    • TruthHurts98

      No, it’s the Oiler media that can’t get most rumors correct. I’m with Gregor, no way they are picking him. He’s ranked between 16-20 in most respectable mock drafts. Button excluded because he doesn’t have a grasp on reality, just makes for click bait. The Oilers are stocked on D prospects and starved for offensive depth. Holland is smart at the draft table and has eluded multiple times he’s watched the USNDP a lot. He really likes 2-3 of their players and unless Cozens or Dach falls to 8th, I expect he takes Caufield or Boldy. I doubt Zegras or Turcotte fall past Buffalo.

  • CARLSOTO

    I just don’t see a high hockey IQ with JP. I like his size, I like his shot (when he can actually get it off) and he has shown he has the ability to make nice plays. However, I just don’t see the cerebral part of his game.

  • CMG30

    Where ever he goes, IF! he goes, the team will have to find him development time. Going somewhere else doesn’t automatically make him a better player. Where else can he go to find a player like McDavid?

    • Hemmercules

      Exactly. If he wants out so bad it’s not like a new team is going to gift him first line minutes. And the team that potentially gets him is exactly where the Oilers are with him, can’t send him to minors so its develop in the NHL or off to Europe. He will never play with McD much if he stays unless he makes leaps and bounds in his game play.

      • ed from edmonton

        Actually the only RW on the Oil roster for next year, as things project today, that one could say is obviously better than JP is Kassian. Kassian will usually get 10ish goals JP below 5. He would only need to be a bit better to get McD time. Where else could he get this type of opportunity. PS I hope and expect the Oil to improve their RW over the next few weeks, but my point is still valid.

    • IRONman

      Benning is worth more than Brown. Send 2nd or 3rd pick for brown if they think he can light it up with 97. Leafs are in cap hell. I would look at kap. Fast Finn. Keep Jess Puljujarvi and tell him to earn his spot. Put him in ahl. Holland knows the wise way on development. Draft forward. Tsn had cozens at 9th. I would take cozens all-day over Defence. Nuge needs a big wingman. Jdo

  • QuitForRealThisTime

    Maybe there organisation is weary of American NCAA kids option for free agency after college. I could see them select Broberg if the WHL kids Cozens, Dach and Byram are gone.

  • rektangle

    There was a rumour going around last season that a few players in the dressing room didn’t like playing with JP. And with the new management and coach coming in, and JP still wanting out, I wonder if this may be the reason he’s not happy in Edmonton. Regardless, this whole public ‘I want out’ charade isn’t helping his reputation around the league. I know he’s young, but you have to be a professional and keep this stuff in house.
    Holland should call JP’s bluff and let him go over to Europe. I cant see him floundering, he does have skill. Let him gain some confidence, light it up over the pond, then reassess next offseason.

  • Danger Pay

    The Oilers did not develop JP properly but his agent is not helping either. Never mind getting drafted, but when your a top 3 prospect wouldn’t you start learning English right away? Still an absolute Gong show 8 years after drafting Taylor Hall, unbelievable.

  • FutureGM

    I hope most of those rumors are completely false.
    Trade your 3RHD given the injuries we had last year and his small cap hit. Only plus Dman past two years. Want space for young Dmen give away Russell
    Broburg? LHD is the organizations only strength, C if you have RNH or Drai on the wing
    Trade JP for a 3rd liner?!? He scored 12G a year removed. Sounds like 3rd line scorer to me, and he has room to grow and had zero PP time. Would be asinine to trade for a 3rd liner unless it is a young one with upside
    Please, please, please have more sense the the insiders and writers Holland!!!

  • ed from edmonton

    Surprising amount of love for Benning today. Last season he was one of the most consistently trashed players on this site. I agree that Russel due to his cap hit would be my first to go but that may not be possible. If Holland this either Person or Jones can backfill for Benning good chance Benning for Brown happens.

  • Oilersrule

    This is really curious why so many have linked the Oilers to broberg, a probable weak pick , it must be a diversion purposely planted in the media as it seems the only thing he does really well is skate and that would be a high risk especially with at least 5 sure offencive forwards that will be available when the Oilers pick . Also the Oilers need offensive wingers and when an organization has an oversupply of one position they set themselves up for failure as they need to then trade and other teams are aware of that .

  • -Can’t say who we’ll pick but I can bet that the 8th pick will be a very good value and solid prospect who’ll strengthen the prospect pool. I can’t remember a recent draft where picks 3-11 were soo up in the air and at 8 we’re parked in a very good spot.

    -I don’t understand where JP’s agent is trying to get at. First he doesn’t want JP in the AHL now he doesn’t want him on the Oilers? I had heard rumours that JP only made opening night roster his rookie year because JP and his agent has threatened to play in the KHL if he spent too much AHL time, the more the situation escalates the more it seems more true. If it is true his agent has alot of blame in his misdevelopment, trying to force your young player out of the AHL is a perfect to ruin him.

    -Donskoi, Connolly, Burakovsky and Brown. If Holland can get 2 of them without breaking the bank or getting fleeced that would be a win for us. They’re all established 25-30pt scorers with some extra potential upside which is exactly what we need. We just need affordable fill-in options who can produce at this moment.

  • The Whispererer

    So much talk about wanting Brown but nobody is suggesting the obvious…Jesse for Brown. Based on comments following an article on The Athletic, Leafs fans seem to believe Dubas would make that trade. We want Jesse to develop into a 3rd line RW with some upside; Brown already is that.

  • kormega

    Return for Yak was Zach Pochiro and 2nd conditional pick, hope Puljujarvi reward will be much deeper. Otherwise let him play in Finland for a year and rehab his mind there.

    • ed from edmonton

      Yakupov became a 3rd round pick who is now Stuart Skinner who at least has some chance of playing in the NHL some day. Yak just signed a 3 year deal to stay in the KHL.

  • ed from edmonton

    TRASH IT! 0

    CHEERS 8

    Reply

    Rektangle wote:
    “There was a rumour going around last season that a few players in the dressing room didn’t like playing with JP. And with the new management and coach coming in, and JP still wanting out, I wonder if this may be the reason he’s not happy in Edmonton.”

    This makes a lot of sense. If he didn’t like the management, its new, if he didn’t like the coach, that new too. But the players, especially the “core” players will be the same.

  • Rektangle

    The one strength the Oilers have had over the past few season, besides Nuge-McDrai, is their ability to draft players. Im gonna give them the benefit of the doubt in this case, since their track records has actually be quite good. I agree that drafting another left shooting defensemen into the Oilers leftorium is probably a stupid move. But what do I know, Im just an armchair GM.