Don’t Mock My Mock Draft
This mock draft will be limited to the first seven selections…because, after that, I have no idea. (But here’s a friend’s mock draft for the first 50 picks.)
According to Corey Pronman of Hockey Prospectus, “There are six or seven elite prospects available, depending on how you view Sean Monahan.” His top-seven are (1) Drouin, (2) MacKinnon, (3) Jones, (4) Nichushkin, (5) Barkov, (6) Lindholm, (7) Monahan. Bob MacKenzie puts the same seven at the top but in a different order: (1) MacKinnon, (2) Jones, (3) Drouin, (4) Barkov, (5) Lindholm, (6) Nichushkin, (7) Monahan. Obviously one of the top-seven will be available for the Oilers. I say the Oilers will take whichever one of the seven is still available.
1. Colorado – Nathan MacKinnon (C, Halifax, QMJHL)
2. Florida – Jonathan Drouin (LW, Halifax, QMJHL)
3. Tampa Bay – Seth Jones (D, Portland, WHL)
4. Nashville – Aleksander Barkov (C, Tappara, SM-Liiga)
5. Carolina – Valeri Nichushkin (RW, Traktor, KHL)
6. Calgary – Elias Lindholm (C, Brynas, SEL)
7. Edmonton – Sean Monahan (C, Ottawa, OHL)
To the surprise of many, Colorado announced that they are leaning toward drafting MacKinnon. Perhaps they’re hoping that if Florida covets MacKinnon, they will offer them an enticing deal to acquire the first overall pick. Would the #2 and #31 picks plus a B-level prospect be enough to get the #1 pick? If I’m Florida, I don’t bother trying to move up and am content with being able to draft one of the top-three prospects.
As a Halifax Mooseheads’ fan and season ticket holder, it would be nice to see MacKinnon and Drouin drafted with the first two selections. There is also a chance that there will be three Mooseheads selected in the top-ten. Craig Button thinks that New Jersey might draft Halifax goalie Zachary Fucale with the #9 pick.
Will the Oilers Make a Deal?
Could the Oilers trade up in the draft? It’s possible, though probably unlikely. If Barkov is not one of the first four picks, I think the Oilers might try to trade Ales Hemsky and the #7 pick to Carolina for the #5 pick. (Oilers’ GM Craig MacTavish seems intent on dealing Hemsky this off-season.)
There has been speculation that the Oilers might try to trade down. One rumour was a possible deal with Toronto in which the Leafs would send the Oilers defenseman Jake Gardiner and the #21 pick for the #7 pick. If I’m Craig MacTavish and I’m offered that deal, I say yes without much hesitation. However, I doubt Toronto would be willing to trade a promising young defender like Gardiner (though Leafs’ coach Randy Carlyle seemed to undervalue him during the regular season).
If the Oilers do trade down, I’m guessing that they would take the best available center–perhaps Bo Horvat or Curtis Lazar.