Should the Oilers Trade Up in the Draft? No Thanks

Both the Nasvhille Predators and Florida Panthers are reportedly willing to trade away their first round picks in order to try and re-tool their roster to make their respective clubs more competitive sooner rather than later.  Florida holds the number two pick while the Predators are set to draft in the number four spot.  Should the Oilers try and trade up in the draft?  No thanks.

The Colorado Avalanche have also made it public knowledge that they could look at dealing their first overall pick who is likely to be defenseman Seth Jones.  Even that move the Oilers should refrain from exploring given what it would take to lure the pick from the Avalanche.  You’re likely looking at a player like Jordan Eberle or Ryan Nugent-Hopkins along with prospects and draft picks.  This Oilers need to add NHL-ready players who can have an impact immediately, not two or three years down the road after they’ve had time to develop.

Florida could stand to gain either Nathan McKinnon, Jonathan Drouin or the Finnish scoring sensation in Aleksander Barkov.  All three forwards are offensively gifted and will make the Panthers a better club, just not right now.

The same holds true for the Predators.  As mentioned by Josh Cooper of the Tennessean, the Predators are willing to listen to offers for their fourth overall pick, which by most mock drafts has been Barkov.  Nashville needs a player like Barkov or Russian  Valerie Nichushkin, both who can score goals at will.

Much like Florida, the Preds will want a sizable package in return for their pick, making it worthwhile for MacTavish and company to pass on the opportunity.

Besides, this Oilers roster doesn’t need another forward with tremendous offensive potential.  The last three drafts have provided plenty of that and who really has the patience for another three years before McKinnon or Barkov have developed to the point that they make an impact?

The need and urgency to win is now.  Not in two years or within the next half decade.  NOW.  Oiler fans have been patient long enough with this re-build that is now entering it’s eighth season and to continue to stockpile prospects is not an appealing thought.  Rather prospects and draft picks need to be traded away to help fill the gaps that the Oilers are missing.  Money needs to be spent on free-agents that will come to Edmonton and have an immediate impact.

I’m not saying McKinnon or Drouin won’t have an impact in this league.  They, along with Barkov and Nichushkin are said to have long, promising careers in the NHL.  But the Oilers have been down that path before and now it’s time to surge forward with the changes that Mac-T continues to promise.  Adding another 18-year old that will need a year or two to develop should not be part of those changes.

Given the price tag for the Panthers number two pick it’s highly unlikely the Oilers will be able to move up in the draft, even if they wanted to.  Instead, the brass needs to focus on what they can possibly get for the seventh overall pick in a draft that is considered to drop off in talent after the top six prospects.

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Tags: Colorado Avalanche Edmonton Oilers Florida Panthers Nashville Predators

  • josh

    i think you need to read up on your facts a little bit buddy.. just cause you can write doesn’t mean you know the game.

    • Derek Stykalo

      Thanks for reading Josh. If you could elaborate on what you mean by reading up on my facts that would be appreciated.

  • Jeremy Gardiner

    Fully agree. I’d rather see our 1st traded anyways.

    • Derek Stykalo

      I’m with you Jeremy on trading the 1st round pick. Thanks for reading and the comments. Keep em’ coming.

  • Alan Bezaire

    From everything I’ve read, and all of the comments from scouts and people in the know, this draft is extremely deep. Top heavy (5 or 6) with potential superstars, and solid all the way through a couple of rounds. A guy like Barkov, for example, is likely better right now, after playing against men in Europe, than most of the free agent centers available. And he won’t require an overpay. Winning now is great, but throwing away stupid money chasing free agent whales does not a winner make.

    • Derek Stykalo

      Thanks for reading Alan and I appreciate the comments. Trading up for a guy like Barkov sounds like it could work, the way you describe it. But will a couple of picks be enough or would the Oil have to part ways with a roster player? Flipping the seventh pick to move up will surely require another high pick or someone who can play in the NHL now. Getting Barkov and adding him to this potent offence would be great for years to come but adding a guy like David Clarkson who can add much needed grit and experience is a must have now. Barkov’s ceiling will be tremendous but is he going to be the difference that gets the Oilers into the playoffs next season? The team has the tools up front in terms of highly skilled players. Now they need to fill in the holes with role players who are ready to make an impact. That’s just my opinion anyway. Keep the comments coming.

  • Alan Bezaire

    To clarify, I cited Barkov as an example of a draft target…paying a reasonable price (a couple of picks) to move up into 5th would be well worth it.

  • Kelvin lee

    I think they should try to pursue Elias Lindholm, he is a great 2 way center