Will The Edmonton Oilers Trade Down At The Draft?

SUNRISE, FL - JUNE 26: Connor McDavid greets owner Daryl Katz after being selected first overall by the Edmonton Oilers during Round One of the 2015 NHL Draft at BB&T Center on June 26, 2015 in Sunrise, Florida. (Photo by Dave Sandford/NHLI via Getty Images)
SUNRISE, FL - JUNE 26: Connor McDavid greets owner Daryl Katz after being selected first overall by the Edmonton Oilers during Round One of the 2015 NHL Draft at BB&T Center on June 26, 2015 in Sunrise, Florida. (Photo by Dave Sandford/NHLI via Getty Images) /

Edmonton has options at the draft

The Edmonton Oilers will be heading into this years draft  with an abundance of needs.  The team also has some assets that could be enticing for other teams.  At the top of that list is the 8th overall pick.

The top 3 of the draft appears to be fairly clear cut with Hughes, Kakko, and Byram all being fairly entrenched, in exactly that order.  After that picks 4-12 are anyone’s guess.  In the past Holland has shown he will not hesitate to trade down at the draft table.  The Oilers could certainly use more prospects who could one day become regular NHLers but there is also enormous pressure for the team to be competitive now.  Trading down could address both of these needs.

The further the Oilers trade down, the more likely they are to end up receiving NHL players in return.  Should Edmonton only move down a couple of spots, they may only end up with a 2nd or 3rd round draft pick, or a B grade prospect.

Let’s say however, that Holland moves down further, trading with a team like Dallas, Ottawa, or the Rangers which would give Edmonton a pick in the 17-19 overall range instead.

Dallas Stars

The Stars had off-ice issues all last season, most notably with the owner Tom Gaglardi publicly calling out franchise players Tyler Seguin and Jamie Benn.  Despite all of that, the Stars still secured the top Wild Card spot, but had an early first round exit due to facing off against the Blues.  Dallas has two strong options up front in Benn and Seguin, but their prospect depth is weak.  It should be very tempting for Dallas to want to move into the top 10 and acquire a forward like Matthew Boldy, Alex Turcotte, or Trevor Zegras.

One NHL player that may be of interest to Ken Holland and the Edmonton Oilers is centre/winger Mattias Janmark.  The 26 year old Janmark dipped in production last season and his shooting percentage fell from 14% to 5.9% scoring only 6 goals.  That number should average out next season and Janmark should return to being a 15 goal scorer.  Another reason Holland may be interested…he was the one who originally drafted Janmark way back in 2013.  Should Holland consider a trade like this, he should also expect to get a 2nd round pick in return as well.

Ottawa Senators

The Senators are in full blown rebuild and despite finishing dead last in the NHL last season, the Senators only have the 19th overall pick due to having to forfeit their own pick this season (#4) to Colorado.

The Senators are in a truly bizarre place, having some exciting prospects but also having to deal with the fact that most of their roster is set to be UFA either this season or next.  One such player is Jean-Gabriel Pageau.  Pageau, currently centering the Senators second line missed most of last season due to recovering from surgery to his achilles tendon which he tore during training early in September.  Once returning to the lineup, Pageau played 39 games for Ottawa, going 4-8-12.  Being injured for the first half of the season and then coming back, trying to play catchup is not a recipe for success and it is reasonable to expect him to return to his regular scoring pace moving forward.

On the Oilers Pageau would likely serve as either a talented third line centre, who could give the Oilers real secondary scoring away from the top 6.  Alternatively, being a right handed shot, Pageau could find a spot as a winger in the top 6.  Pageau has one more year remaining on his current contract at 3.1 million dollars and Edmonton would need to sign him to a longer term deal in order for this type of trade to make sense.

New York Rangers

The Rangers are already set to gain a major piece this summer, drafting second overall which likely means the sniper Kappo Kakko will be heading to New York.  Adding a second top 10 pick and another high end forward would likely make the fan-base in New York ecstatic.

The Rangers have a couple young wingers that would slot in to the Oilers roster brilliantly.  First off, Vladislav Namestikov, the 26 year old winger who has not posted numbers in New York as crooked as he did in Tampa.  Similar to Pageau, Namestikov only has one year remaining on his contract at 4 million and the Oilers would need certainty that the young winger will resign.

Alternatively and more enticing could be right winger Pavel Buchnevich.  The 24 year old is coming off a 21 goal season and being RFA is about to get a nice pay raise.   Of any name we have spoken about, Buchnevich is the most established top 6 forward and could the long term right winger the Oilers currently lack.

Should Edmonton make any of the above mentioned deals, the team could add a top 6 winger or third line centre, both of which are items that need to be checked off, as well as still draft a solid prospect with a pick in the 17-19 range.