Oilersnation Roundtable: Who’s going to make a big splash at the 2023 NHL draft?
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By Cam Lewis2 months ago
Silly Season is right around the corner.
The 2023 NHL draft will be held at Bridgestone Arena in Nashville on Wednesday and Thursday and then free agency will start a couple of days after on July 1.
The draft is generally when the off-season starts to really get rolling. Last year, we saw the Chicago Blackhawks move Kirby Dach and Alex DeBrincat, the Colorado Avalanche acquire Alexandar Georgiev, and the Edmonton Oilers dump Zack Kassian.
What about this year? Which team will be grabbing headlines in Nashville? Will the Oilers be one of them?
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I can see the Calgary Flames being a big player at the draft given the news that came out yesterday that basically suggested their entire team wants to leave this off-season. If they actually decide to move on from a bunch or any of those guys, I could see Craig Conroy wheeling and dealing to try and make something happen. I don’t know what’s going on down there, but clearly, they’ve got some major decisions to make given that apparently no one wants to be there.
As for the Oilers, I’m not expecting much tbh. I can absolutely see Ken Holland trading down somewhere to get more picks — he’s done it a few times before — but unless someone gets all hot and bothered to land Kailer Yamamoto over the next week, I doubt we’ll be seeing too much excitement around here. Sadly, I don’t think the Oilers will be the ones making news this year.
Given what’s transpired over the last 24 hours in Calgary, it’s safe to say they could be very active at the draft. Elias Lindholm and Mikael Backlund are leaning towards not re-signing, while Noah Hanifin has said he won’t sit a long-term contract. Tyler Toffoli, meanwhile, has asked for a trade. They’ll be fun to watch.
A sleeper team: I could see Florida being very active here.
As for the Oilers, I’m really unsure of what will happen in the coming week. They don’t have much in the way of draft picks this season and will this being a deep draft, I could see Holland wanting to recoup some extra picks.
Everyone is focusing on the Calgary Flames right now but there’s another Canadian team on the verge of a firesale. The Winnipeg Jets have a handful of key players who are set to become unrestricted free agents over the next couple of years and the team should start looking toward the future.
Blake Wheeler is either going to be traded or bought out and Pierre-Luc Dubois has seemingly wanted to be traded since the moment he landed in Winnipeg. Beyond those two, Connor Hellebuyck and Mark Scheifele both turned 30 this year and it seems unlikely their next contracts will be signed with the Jets.
The Oilers likely aren’t going to be one of the teams grabbing headlines at the draft. They only have three picks and their first selection is at No. 56 overall. A cap-clearing move and a trade-down for two later draft picks would be about as exciting as I’d expect it to get next week.
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