Ken Holland will have a number of options with the 8th overall pick in this year’s draft. If I had to rank them from most likely to least likely right now it would probably go like this:
  • Keep the pick and draft the best player available, preferably a forward.
  • Trade down and pick up an extra pick and/or a bottom six forward.
  • Trade the pick for a young top six winger.
  • Trade up.
I’ve decided to take a look at some teams that may have the draft pick capital to convince the Oilers to move down.

HE’S DONE IT BEFORE

Twice in the past six drafts, Ken Holland moved down in Detroit.
In 2016 he sent the 16th overall pick and Datsyuk’s cap hit to the Coyotes in exchange for Joe Vitale plus the 20th and 53rd overall picks.
In 2013 Holland moved the 18th overall pick to the Sharks for the 20th overall pick and the 53rd overall pick. Detroit ended up taking Anthony Mantha with the 20th pick and Tyler Bertuzzi with the 53rd. The Sharks drafted Mirco Mueller with the 18th selection.
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Now, these aren’t great comparisons because all of the picks involved are in the middle part of the first round, not the top ten, but it does show Holland has a history of moving down.

PHILADELPHIA FLYERS

The Flyers could end up being a nice fit as a trade partner for the Oil. Philly has picks 11, 41, 65 and 72. If the 11th and 41st overall picks are on the table for the Oilers to move down from eight Holland would have to think long and hard about it.
This type of flip would come down to team-by-team preference as players 8-12 are almost interchangeable.
Players On The Radar at 11: Cole Caufield, Trevor Zegras, Matthew Boldy, Phillip Broberg, Peyton Krebs.

MONTREAL CANADIENS

The Habs make a lot of sense. They currently hold the 15th overall pick along with picks 46 and 50 in the second round of the draft. I’m sure the Habs would be willing to give up 15 and 46 to move up seven spots but I don’t think that would be enough. I wonder if they’d be willing to include Joel Armia in a deal to move up from 15. Would 15, 46 and Armia be enough to move down from the eighth spot? I’m still not sure.
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Players On The Radar At 15: Arthur Kaliyev, Alex Newhook, Victor Soderstrom. I also wonder if Peyton Krebs slips this far due to his Achilles injury, probably not but it would be interesting.

ARIZONA COYOTES

The Coyotes are scheduled to pick just one spot ahead of the Canadiens with the 14th overall pick. Arizona still has their own second round pick plus their own third and Hawks’ third.
In a perfect world, I would think the Oilers would prefer to stay in the top 12 this year so the Coyotes, like the Habs, would have to sweeten the pot with more than just one second round pick. The likely ask here would be 14, 45 and 74 for 8 and I still don’t think I’d do it if I was Holland.
Players On The Radar at 14: Peyton Krebs, Matthew Boldy, Arthur Kaliyev, Alex Newhook. Boldy is wishful thinking here but if there are one or two surprises he or Krebs may slip down to 14.
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FLORIDA PANTHERS

The Panthers don’t have extra draft picks but could be a team that’s willing to move a roster player to accommodate a move up. Florida has the 13th overall pick and while they don’t have their own picks in the second or third round they do have the Penguins second and the Oilers third.
Would the Panthers be willing to move the 13th overall, James Reimer and Mark Pysyk for eighth overall, Kris Russell and Sam Gagner? Florida could then buy-out Gagner and heck, maybe he returns to Edmonton with a more reasonable contract.
The Panthers aren’t in the top 12 I was talking about earlier but I do think one of those top dozen slide to 13.
Players On The Radar at 13: Matthew Boldy, Peyton Krebs, Arthur Kaliyev, Alex Newhook
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VANCOUVER CANUCKS

There has been some crazy talk about the Oilers needing to add a sweetener to Lucic to help get a deal done for Eriksson. Let me start by saying I don’t think a sweetener should be required but just for fun what about this?
The Oilers give up the eighth overall pick and Milan Lucic for 10th overall pick, Loui Eriksson and the Canucks third rounder, 71st overall.
If Holland really likes a player he thinks he can get at ten then he might as well do it.
Players On The Radar at 10: Vasili Podkolzin, Cole Caufield, Trevor Zegras, Matthew Boldy, Phillip Broberg, Peyton Krebs.

AND THERE YOU HAVE IT

While it’s not the most likely option I do think Holland will answer every phone call he gets about moving down. As a couple of the deals above demonstrate there may even be a chance to improve this years roster by only moving down two to five spots in the draft.
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Previously by Dustin Nielson: