Draft Diaries: The Big Day is Here!
Photo credit:Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports
8 months ago
We are finally here! The NHL Draft is tonight in Montreal and I am personally pretty excited.
I’ve never been to a draft in person before, so just the experience alone is going to be great. But to also get a chance to see a team pick first overall in their own city is really cool. Montreal has been buzzing all week and I expect that buzz to hit another level today.
There are a lot of Habs jerseys already floating around the outside of the rink.
Things have been pretty quiet so far this week though. There have not been any substantial moves, but I also feel like we have a pretty good idea of what the Oilers could get up to in the next 24 hours.
First off, it really does sound like Jesse Puljujarvi will be traded and the return won’t just be a draft pick. Jason Gregor floated a few names out there in his article the other day, the most intriguing to me was Michael Rassmussen out in Detroit but even that wouldn’t be a very flashy return.
It sounds like the trade will be the Oilers swapping Puljujarvi for an under-achieving young forward from another team though and I fully expect that deal to happen before my flight home on Saturday. Holland said they’d wait all summer if they have to.
Ken Holland also came out and said that he plans to make a selection with the 29th overall pick in the draft. He sort of shot down the idea of moving up but he did seem open to moving down should the opportunity present itself. The thing with a trade like that is that it usually happens at the moment, not hours before the draft.
While Holland did say that he plans to use the pick, I still would not be the least bit surprised if he ended up trading down to get more assets. He’s traded down at some point in two straight drafts.
In my most recent Sherwood Ford GIANT Offseason questions video, Frank Seravalli said that there are a handful of teams that have been talking to the Oilers about Zack Kassian, who has two years remaining on his deal at a cap hit of $3.25 million. Frank says the sticking point is that a lot of teams want the Oilers to take back a salary in the trade and some of the options could be worse than the Kassian deal.
If you want to check out the full video, you can find it here:
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There will be a lot of drama tonight and I do not think it’s manufactured. It is far from a lock that Shane Wright is the first name called tonight. It’s certainly possible, and he’s the betting odds favourite for a reason, but there’s a legit chance it’s Slafkovsky. There’s a chance the Devils take a defenseman too. It was discussed on The Daily Faceoff Show today and it’s wild to think that Wright could fall to fourth overall, but it could happen.
The Oilers are slotted to pick 29th overall. There are a few names that I find intriguing. If Brad Lambert falls to them, which he could, then they should take the risk on him. The upside could be incredible. I also like Jagger Firkus and Reid Schaefer based on what I’ve been reading.
Outside of Edmonton, two things feel like locks: JT Miller and Alex DeBrincat will be getting traded. Just a matter of where.
Miller is likely going to an American club and I would imagine the Canucks get a better return than the Wild got for Kevin Fiala. I think a first-round pick and a more substantial prospect could be offered to them. Washington feels like a solid fit.
For DeBrincat, the package will be huge. I’d guess maybe even two firsts and an A+ prospect goes the other way. New Jersey would be an interesting landing spot. He’d look great next to either Hughes or Hischier in my opinion and we know the Devils had an interest in Kevin Fiala.
Oilers trades to watch: Barrie, Puljujarvi, and Kassian. The Duncan Keith decision could be holding up a Barrie deal though. They may keep Barrie if Keith retires.
Teams in the top ten that could trade their picks: New Jersey at #2, Philadelphia at #5, and Ottawa at #7.
Scott Burnside also wondered on The DFO Show if Columbus Blue Jackets GM Jarmo Kekalainen could be itching to make a big splash with two picks in the top fifteen. Jakob Chychrun seems like a nice fit there and Frank Seravalli says there’s interest from the Blue Jackets.
So that’s all I got for now. I’ll be inside the Bell Centre tonight keeping you up to date on everything that’s going on and I’ll have some reaction pieces going up later tonight. Keep it locked on our YouTube Channel as well to catch all the content!
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