Could the Edmonton Oilers trade out of the second round?

Photo credit:Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports
Zach Laing
11 months ago
Wednesday was… quiet. Almost too quiet.
With rumours flying around that the Montreal Canadiens were considering trading out of their fifth overall spot and others theorizing the Nashville Predators were looking to move up, nothing happened.
And around Edmonton, there wasn’t so much as a peep. The team had traded their first-round pick to the Nashville Predators in the Mattias Ekholm deal in February and new GM Barry Trotz used it to select Tanner Molendyk, a 5’11, 185 lb. defenceman who played with the WHL’s Saskatoon Blades last year.
Teams are back at the Bridgestone Arena in Nashville this morning, and the second round is just an hour away from kicking off. For the Oilers, today is where their damage can be done.
They enter the day with draft picks in the second, sixth and seventh rounds. The third-round pick was traded to the Arizona Coyotes for Nick Bjugstad, the fourth was sent to the Ottawa Senators last year for Derrick Brassard, and the fifth-rounder was used to acquire Jayden Grubbe from the New York Rangers.


So what does the day hold for the Oilers? There’s certainly the possibility of a trade. Kailer Yamamoto will very likely be a cap casualty this offseason, and the Oilers could recoup a draft pick at some point today. If that doesn’t happen, look for the club to utilize the second buyout window. With Yamamoto 24 years old, the Oilers would save $2.66-million next season, while taking on a $533,334 cap hit in 2024-25.
Beyond that? Well, it’s a bit of a wildcard.
But our own Bruce Curlock, who covers prospects for Oilersnation, said that the Oilers could extract some value by moving down out of the second round of the draft.
“It’s wild at this draft,” he tweeted Wednesday night. “If I were Edmonton, I might have a trade-back deal in my pocket with a caveat of unless this player is there.
“There are going to be some wild options in the third round tomorrow.”
It makes a ton of sense. There are number of extremely talented players who slid out of the top round: Andrew Cristall, Riley Heidt, Gavin Brindley, Gracyn Sawchyn — and that doesn’t even account for the wealth of talent already in the second and third round of what’s considered to be one of the deepest drafts ever.
Beyond Yamamoto, there are other options for the Oilers here, too. Cody Ceci and Warren Foegele were both listed on Daily Faceoff’s Frank Seravalli’s latest trade board. Could Edmonton move on from either of them for draft picks? Sure.
Nonetheless, the Oilers have their work cut out for them between this morning, and Saturday when NHL free agency officially kicks off.

Zach Laing is the Nation Network’s news director and senior columnist. He can be followed on Twitter at @zjlaing, or reached by email at zach@oilersnation.com.

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