Apr 5, 2013; Buffalo, NY, USA; Buffalo Sabres defenseman Andrej Sekera (44) on the bench during the game against the Ottawa Senators at the First Niagara Center. Sabres beat the Senators 4-2. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports

D is for Draft

We’ve been talking about the defence here for the last few years now.  Let’s talk about another D word – the draft.

I have a love/hate relationship with the draft.  It’s the day(s) in June where we put on our Oiler jerseys and applaud The Next Number One, something we’ve gotten quite good at since 2010.

Even if the Oilers fail to win the rest of their games, there’s a pretty good shot that they will be unable to carry on the title of Three Time Draft Lottery Champion for a fourth consecutive year.  So there’s that.

Let’s take a look at the overall league standings.

Getting kind of dicey down there.

If this schedule holds true until the end of the season, the Oilers will likely draft in the 6-7-8 range.  An improvement, but not nearly an improvement worth merit.

So what do you do with the first pick?  Draft the best player available?  There’s plenty to choose from this year.  Without going into the limitless realm of possibilities (okay, four or five), I suggest that we trade the pick for some immediate help on defence.

There’s absolutely no denying the absolute fact that the Oilers are absolutely in desperate need of some help on defence.  If the team drafts a player in the 6-7-8-9-10 range, it will likely be at least a year before that player can help out in Edmonton.  So let’s get some help immediately.

BUT THE FIRST ROUNDER

What if I told you that the Oilers could make a trade and still stay in the first round?  You’d have to get a first round pick back.  I’m looking at you, Buffalo.

Buffalo owns Minnesota’s first round pick in this year’s draft.  What say we swap our first round pick to Buffalo for Minnesota’s first round pick and a defenceman?  Say, Andrej Sekera?  Buffalo is undergoing a ‘rebuild’ of sorts (we know how fun those are, eh?), the trade would likely give Buffalo two top ten picks, and the Oilers would get a reliable defenceman and a pick later in the first round.

Spin the wheel of possibilities, but this option would give the Oilers a mid pair defenceman who shoots left (but can play right), while keeping a first round pick. Am I concerned about the talent drop-off from a 9th overall pick to a 20th overall pick?  Not nearly as much as I would be concerned about not helping the defence this year.  Yes, I know the Oilers are supposed to get Oscar Klefbom in 2013-14, but let’s not throw him into the cauldron upon arrival.

Just give me some defence.  If all it ends up costing us is ten draft positions, wouldn’t you do it?

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