Right winger Nail Yakupov is the consensus number one pick at this year draft. With Edmonton already possessing some big time offense, a star RW (Eberle), and a fairly small top six, they could very well trade down to round out their roster. I have created 3 different deals where the Oilers trade the 1st overall pick.
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1) Yakupov and Oliver Roy (G) dealt to Ottawa for Mika Zibanejad (C) and Robin Lehner (G).
I really like this deal because it addresses needs of both teams. For Edmonton, it gives them a 2nd line center with size and physicality and a blue chip goaltending prospect. Lehner is now Edmonton’s goalie of the future and would split starts half and half with Dubnyk this season and be the true number one the next season. Ottawa already has a young 2nd line center (Turris) and had 3 goalies for this season (Lehner, Anderson and Bishop). They receive a replacement 1st line right winger for Daniel Alfredsson along with a pretty good goaltending prospect that still has a while to develop.
2) Yakupov and Sam Gagner (C) traded to Columbus for the 2nd overall pick and Ryan Johanson (C).
This deal gives Edmonton a big, physical center for their second line and the 2nd overall pick used to take a d-man like Ryan Murray. Columbus receives a future superstar and new face of the franchise after probably trading Nash for future picks and prospects. They also get a young and skilled top 6 forward, Gagner, who I don’t think has the size Edmonton needs to fill out their top 6.
3) Yakupov dealt to Pittsburgh for Jordan Staal (C) and Simon Despres (D).
This is on the condition that Staal is signed to an extension on his current contract. Staal fits the bill in Edmonton in so many ways. He’s big, a selke candidate, can play on the PK and PP and can show the young guys what it takes to win a cup. Edmonton also gets Depres who is a solid D prospect who is more NHL ready than any of their own. Yakupov gives Pittsburgh another superstar, and paired with either Malkin or Crosby, I could see him turning into a 50g/100pt player, giving Pittsburgh some more talent on the wing.
In all likelihood, Edmonton will just draft Yakupov but it certainly would be exciting to see one of these three blockbusters happen. What do you think Edmonton will do, and do you see these deals being plausible? Feel free to comment below.
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