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The NHL Draft Day Live Blog

For the third straight year, we’re looking at an NHL Entry Draft that’s kicking off later than normal but we’ve finally arrived at the fishing day and I’m here to keep you up to date while you’re at work. Are you excited? I’m excited. Since there’s bound to be plenty of speculation around these parts and the NHL at large, I’ll be putting together all of the Oilers-related news that may or may not even happen all in one place that’s easy to find. Are you ready? Of course you are.

Even though we know a lot of the chatter around the draft won’t amount to anything, the Oilers are linked to so many names and rumours that it’s making me wonder if this is the year that changes. At launch time for this live blog, the Oilers have only four draft picks available through the seven-round draft and that makes me wonder if Holland is going to try and make some moves that gives his scouts more opportunities. Either way, I’ll be using the live blog to aggregate all of the Oilers news and rumours you could ever hope to have, and I’ll be putting them in one tidy article that will be easy for all of you to follow. Whether we get no trades at all or a bunch of them that make us mad, I’m looking forward to a couple of wild days around the NHL and I’m hoping that the Oilers will find a way to land an upgrade or two that we can get excited about for next season.

POTENTIAL TRADES?

  • Jesse Puljujarvi (65GP: 14G, 22A), RFA – I hate it. I hate that we’re here but it seems like the Bison King may be on his way out of town, and now we have to sit around and wait to see what the return is before deciding whether to get big mad online or not. Either way, I’ll be the first to admit that this one is going to hurt for me because Puljujarvi is a player that I believe in, and even though there are times when I wish for more finish to go along with the stellar possession numbers, that’s a hell of a long way from thinking this team will be better off without him. We’ll see what happens.
  • Tyson Barrie (73GP: 7G, 34A, $4.5m until 2024 – Over at Daily Faceoff, Frank Seravalli has Tyson Barrie listed on his Trades Target list as a potential option for the Oilers as they look to clear cap space. According to Seravalli, it’s not that the team is unhappy with Barrie but rather that he could be a player of interest for a team that’s looking to add some offence on the back end. At this stage, we’ve heard Detroit and Seattle as two teams that could be interested in Barrie’s services, but whether or not that happens is a different story entirely.
  • Zack Kassian (58GP: 6G, 13A), $3.2m until 2024 – When Zack Kassian is on his game, he can be a very effective player for the Oilers. The problem is that we don’t see that version of the guy nearly enough, and that’s not good enough when you have a $3.2 million price tag attached to your name. The big question, however, is whether anyone will want to take on Kass’ deal and what the Oilers would have to add to make a trade happen. At what point do the Oilers look at the sweetener other teams are questioning to take on the full value of his contract before simply deciding to bring him back and hope that he can rebound. This one, for me, is going to be incredibly interesting to watch.
  • Warren Foegele (82GP: 12G, 14A), $2.75m until 2024 – Seeing as we’re talking about clearing cap space, Warren Foegele is another guy that could pop up on Holland’s radar as a trade chip even though I really doubt he’ll get moved between now and October. That’s not to say that it’s an impossible deal or anything, but I would absolutely be surprised to see Holland walk away from the guy this soon after acquiring him.
  • The 29th overall pick – Would ya do it? I wanna do it, but I don’t think the Oilers will do it. Edmonton only has this first rounder at #29 and then nothing until pick 158 in the fifth round, so if I was to guess, I’d bet on Holland using it.

RUMOURS

Since I’m the one without an adult job, I’ll be spending the day cruising the Internet with the crew at Nation HQ for Oilers news and rumours with this being the location where I’ll share anything that I find. For those of you that don’t mess around on social media, this will be the spot to watch for any tidbits from the insiders, beat guys, or anyone else that might have some insight into what Ken Holland might be up to.

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THE UPDATES

Don’t care about my nonsense and want to skip right to the updates? This is the section for you, friend.

  • 9:00 am MT – We’re off and running! Even though I’m not necessarily expecting the Oilers to do anything crazy today, I’ll be watching for news and rumours anyway. My body is ready. The coffee is ready. Live blog assemble! BTW, if anything happens around the Pacific Division, I’ll be popping that stuff in here too so that we have another spot to argue about it.
  • 9:19 am MT – Kevin Weekes is reporting that Marc-Andre Fleury will be re-signing in Minnesota and that makes me wonder if the Oilers would have any appetite in bringing Cam Talbot back for another tour of duty? At $3.6 million, he would probably be cheaper than some of the goalies the Oilers are linked to, no? Just thinking out loud here.
  • 9:25 am MT – Now Frank Seravalli is saying there is no deal for Marc-Andre Fleury in Minnesota. Ignore my last ramblings.
  • 11:00 am MT – Georgiev traded to the Avs, which tells me they’ll be running with Francouz and Georgiev next season. Darcy Kuemper anyone?
  • 12:20 pm MT – The Oilers have officially named Brad Holland as AGM, per Chris Johnston. Does that mean anything for Keith Gretzky? We shall see.
  • 12:37 pm MT – Oilers just offered the update that Keith Gretzky will be back for a seventh season.
  • 1:35 pm MT – Apparently, the Blackhawks are shopping Kirby Dach and that is a player I’d love to see the Oilers chase a little bit.
  • 2:09 pm MT – The Blackhawks are apparently shopping DeBrincat, Dach, and not qualifying Dylan Strome. GET THEM, KEN, THEY OWE US A FAVOUR!
  • 5:08 pm MT – They be booing, Bettman.
  • 5:25 pm MT – Juraj Slafkovsky goes #1. Who had it? Reaction was interesting in the building.
  • 5:32 pm MT – Devils take Simon Nemec at #2 and I had actually bet on him to go at second overall and won myself a tidy little profit.
  • 5:46 pm MT – Coyotes go with Logan Cooley at #3 and I’m honestly surprised that Shane Wright is staying on the board at #4.
  • 5:47 pm MT – Oh man that is a massive Romanov into Kirby Dach trade for the Canadiens. It took them two moves to get it done but that is a major swing in front of the hometown crowd.
  • 5:51 pm MT – Kraken get a freebie here with Shane Wright at #4.
  • 5:59 pm MT – Cutter Gauthier goes to Philly at #5 and I could not love his name more.
  • 6:06 pm MT – Columbus grabs David Jiricek at #6. Over an hour in and that was the sixth pick, we’re in for a long night.
  • 6:14 pm MT – Kevin Korchinski goes to Chicago at #7. Put up 65 points with Seattle.
  • 6:21 pm MT – Marco Kasper drafted at #8 and I’m thinking a quick nap could be in the cards here.
  • 6:25 pm MT – Sabres take Carter’s bro, Matthew Savoie, at #9 and I hope these two brothers have a nice head-to-head battle at the NHL level at some point in the future.
  • 6:31 pm MT – Pavel Mintyukov goes to Anaheim and we still have three weeks until pick 29.
  • 6:34 pm MT – The SJ moved pick #11 to Arizona for picks #27, #34, and #45 and all of a sudden the clock gets reset.
  • 6:38 pm MT – Arizona takes Conor Geekie at pick #11 and the kid’s flow is looking strong.
  • 6:54 pm MT – I missed a pick in the moment but Denton Mateyuchuk went to Columbus at #12 and Frank Nazar went to Chicago at #13.
  • 7:00 pm MT – Rutger McGroarty to Winnipeg at pick #14 and I wonder when they’ll tell him that they don’t have an airport?
  • 7:06 pm MT – The Canucks grab Jonathan Lekkerimaki at #15 and continue their proud tradition of collecting Swedes. It’s a decent strategy tbh.
  • 7:12 pm MT – Man, this first round really is dragging along and nothing hits that point home quite like the Sabres going up for the second time to select Noah Ostlund with the #16 pick.
  • 7:17 pm MT – GM of the Year award was crowbarred into the middle of the first round and Joe Sakic was the winner. Ken Holland came fourth in the voting.
  • 7:26 pm MT – The Nashville Predators were up next and they used the #17 pick to grab Joakim Kemell, the young Finn that some folks thought might be a top-10 pick had he not gotten injured.
  • 7:38 pm MT – I won’t lie, I just left to load my dishwasher and get that going because I was a little bit bored with what was or wasn’t going on at the draft. What did I miss? The Stars took (D) Lian Bichsel at #18 and Minnesota took (LW) Liam Ohgren at #19. You are now up to date.
  • 7:45 pm MT – Ivan Miroshnickenko goes to Washington at #19 as they clearly don’t care about the Russia factor. They talked about it leading up to the draft and there it was. What’s amazing, though, is how Miroshnickenko battled cancer this past year only to come back and get selected in the first round. Cool story.
  • 7:50 pm MT – Owen Pickering (D) to the Penguins at #20. Almost there. We wait.
  • 7:57 pm MT – NEW RUMOUR TWEET IS UP! Oh, and the Anaheim Ducks took Nathan Gaucher (C) with the 21st pick.
  • 8:07 pm MT – Elliotte Friedman is reporting that Zack Kassian is on the move to Arizona. Deal may also include the first round pick. We’ll wait for the full details.
  • 8:12 pm MT – TRADE! Leafs trade Mrazek and pick #25 to Chicago for pick #38.
  • 8:20 pm MT – Getting caught up on picks, Jimmy Snuggerud (RW) went to STL at #23, Danila Yurov (RW) went to Minnesota at #24, and Sam Rinzel (D) went to Chicago at #25.
  • 8:25 pm MT – The Oilers have traded Zack Kassian and pick #29 along with a “future” second and third round pick to the Arizona Coyotes for pick #32. What does future mean? Nobody knows for sure but it’s basically Kassian and a second and third for pick #32.
  • 8:38 pm MT – I’m behind on picks again! Montreal gook (RW) Filip Mesar at #26, San Jose took (C) Filip Bystedt at #27, and Buffalo took (C) Jiri Kulich at #28.
  • 8:41 pm MT – It’s official: Oilers trade Kassian, 29th pick, 2024 3rd rounder and 2025 2nd rounder to Arizona for the 32nd pick. I don’t hate it at all. The picks are years down the line and the Oilers need the space now.
  • 8:45 pm MT – The Coyotes use pick #29 to select (D) Maveric Lamoureux.
  • 8:51 pm MT – The Winnipeg Jets took (C) Brad Lambert at #30.
  • 8:58 pm MT – Tampa takes (LW) Isaac Howard at #31 and WE’RE FINALLY ON DECK!
  • 9:05 pm MT – Oilers take Reid Schaefer at #32 and that’s all she wrote for round one!

BETTER LAIT THAN NEVER DRAFT PREVIEW

This week on BLTN, I had Jason Gregor on my podcast to give an update on what’s going on with the Oilers in the hours leading up to the draft. I also asked him about the Jesse Puljujarvi situation and what would be his bold prediction for the Oilers at this week’s NHL draft. Subscribe to Better Lait Than Never for FREE on SpotifyApple PodcastsGoogle Podcasts, and wherever else you get your podcasts from! 

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