Well, here we are. The Kings are cup winners once again, and it’s actually warm outside. That means it’s almost July and for hockey aficionados that translates to the annual NHL Entry Draft. It happens tonight at 7PM Eastern.
There’s been much speculation as to whether or not the Oilers will stand pat today and pick at number 3, or trade the pick to bolster the still wanting lineup. Trades are like a high school dance, however. You gotta have partner, or you’ll be stuck on the bleachers watching the big kids shake a tail feather.
Three times today, fellow Pacific Division dwellers the Vancouver Canucks made substantial trades. Now, it is rare for teams to trade within the division, but now players of any level of quality add no trade clauses to their contracts, limiting landing spots to either contending teams or sunny locales. The Oilers could have offered good enough assets to make a go of it, but instead, Vancouver found partners in Tampa Bay, Anaheim and New York.
Now, Florida is talking trade as well. TSN is reporting that the Toronto Maple Leafs are trading up to the top pick in a swap that could include James Van Riemsdyk. There is zero chatter about the Oilers. This may eliminate any movement as it pertains to the draft today for Oilers GM Craig MacTavish, but it does give an idea as to what Florida is after. Does Edmonton have a player that would fit the bill?
Not really. Sam Gagner is not enough, David Perron is too valuable to gamble on a pick and Nail Yakupov isn’t going anywhere while still in his entry level contract. The Oilers simply do not have a Ryan Kesler or a Jason Spezza, nor do they have any second or third round picks. Had they a second rounder, maybe some moves could be made.
Tonight, the Oilers pick third….then 91st tomorrow. If they are active at all at the draft it may be with later picks. Today, just enjoy the breeze of teams racing past the Oilers. Join Oil on Whyte for our take on the first round.