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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