On April 30th the NHL held the draft lottery. An event that was exciting for some and, in the case of the Edmonton Oilers rather disappointing. With teams like Winnipeg and Columbus each moving up spots, Winnipeg moving up from 6th all the way to 2nd giving them a chance at a scorer which they need. The Edmonton Oilers on the other hand dropped down two spots from 2nd to 4th giving them multiple options between drafting a rookie or trading for immediate help.
Now throughout the past 10 years players such as Mitch Marner, Sam Bennet, Seth Jones, Griffin Reinhart, Adam Larsson, Ryan Johansen, Evander Kane, Alex Pieterangelo, Thomas Hickey, And Nicklas Backstrom. These names all have something in common, all these players except three (Marner doesn’t really count due to age) Have become top 6 forwards and top 3 defenseman. These picks hold a strong amount of value as all these players currently play in the NHL. The exceptions of course being Travis Hickey, who this year has took a step forward, and Griffin Reinhart who remains a solid prospect and a good bet to become a top 4 defender. The prospects available at #4 this year are all very talented The top two options being Pierre Luc Dubois and Matthew Tkachuk. Tkachuk, who like his father projects to be a force in the league registering 107 points and 80 PIM’s this season in 57 games on a stacked London Knights team. He a is highly touted and is expected to be able to make an immediate impact in the NHL. Pierre Luc Dubois is an interesting prospect as unlike with Tkachuk he was the driver for his team. He posted 99 points in 62 games with less support than what Tkachuk did playing on the OHL’s top line with Chris Dvorak and Mitch Marner. Both of these players are extremely talented and both would have passed the 100 point mark if Dubois wasn’t suspended indefinitely for an illegal check to Luke Green.
These players combined with names like Jakob Chychrun, Olli Juolevi, and Alex Nylander among others mean that this pick has serious value. If Edmonton was to look at trading it they would be able to get a 2/3 defenceman like Shattenkirk or Jacob Trouba or even Justin Faulk. If I had to chose what to do this summer I would look at a list like this:
- Trade the pick/Nugent-Hopkins/Eberle for Immediate D-Help (Hamonic, Shattenkirk, Vatenen, etc.)
- Trade Yakupov at the draft for a low first/High second
- Sign an Agitating right winger and another D, preferably right shot (Demers, Gologoski)
- Sign a serviceable backup for Talbot (Johnas Enroth, James Reimer)
- If Nuge is moved find a serviceable right shot center (Frans Nielson)
If we were to finish this list it would give us solid depth around our roster but it would also take some cap wizardry meaning we might first have to rid ourselves of bad contracts such as Korpikorski, Hendricks (sadly), Letestu, and Mark Fayne to list some of the dead weight. If we could have a roster turn over like this I could see Edmonton in the playoffs in 2017– although in reality i’d say maybe two to three of these things actually happen. Lets hope Edmonton fans, lets hope.