On Friday, Oilers Director of Amateur Scouting Tyler Wright said that the organization is preparing for multiple scenarios at this year’s draft, including either moving up or down from No. 14.
The 2020 draft class is said to be very deep, especially when it comes to high-quality forwards. There’s a clear-cut No. 1, Alexis Lafreniere, and then a handful of other surefire top-10 players, like Quinton Byfield, Marco Rossi, Tim Stutzle, and Lucas Raymond, and then the draft really begins to open up.
If Edmonton remains at No. 14, they’re in a nice position to land themselves a very good prospect.
Another thing consider is that Edmonton’s first-round pick might be their only selection in the top-120. They traded away their second-round pick (both this year and next) for Andreas Athanasiou and their fourth-round pick for Mike Green at the trade deadline. They’ll also have to give away either this year or next year’s third-round pick to the Calgary Flames due to a condition on the James Neal for Milan Lucic swap.
That’s a lot of missing draft capital for a team that doesn’t have an elite farm system.
That brings us to this week’s What Would You Do Wednesday SATURDAY EDITION question. If you’re Ken Holland, do you trade down from No. 14 in order to acquire more draft picks? Given how deep this year’s draft is, might the Oilers be better off dealing the No. 14 pick for a late-first and an early- or mid-second?
For example, the Ottawa Senators boast an insane amount of draft picks this year. They have their own first-round pick, San Jose’s first-round pick, the Islanders’ first-round pick, and four other second-round picks. Maybe the Oilers could send them No. 14 in exchange for the No. 28, No. 59, and No. 61 picks. That would help compensate for the second-round picks the Oilers lack this year and next.
The question is how big of a difference there is between the player Edmonton can select at No. 14 and who would still be around later on. Corey Pronman mentioned defenceman Kaiden Guhle’s name as a possible target for the Oilers in his mock draft this week and he’s ranked as low No. 25 on pre-draft lists.
How big is the difference between Guhle and somebody like Jack Quinn, Dylan Holloway, or Seth Jarvis, who seem likely to be available at No. 14? Is it worth a second-round pick or two?
Remember, back in 2003 the Oilers came out of arguably the strongest draft of all time empty-handed because they opted to trade down. They sent New Jersey the No. 17 pick in exchange for the No. 22 and No. 68 picks. The Devils ended up with Zach Parise while the Oilers got Marc-Antoine Pouliot and Jean-Francois Jacques.
What say you, Nation? Should the Oilers trade down? Or should they stay where they are?
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