As much as most fans have enjoyed the last few weeks and the changes being made to this organization, it is obvious this team has a long way to go before playoffs can be even considered. However there are also a few pieces of trade bait this organization can dangle to fulfil some of these needs, one key one being the second first round pick; 16th overall. With a draft that's supposed to be the deepest since 2003, which saw great talents such as Perry, Getzlaf, Kesler, and Pouliot (which bonehead team picked him again... certainly not one that would trade down from potentially grabbing Parise) all picked lower than 15th. It's time for the Oilers to start finding players, not prospects, and since they are already picking the best player of this draft (potentially the best player of the last 20 drafts) one has to think Chiarelli is actively shopping this pick.
I thought it'd be fun to look at every other team in the NHL, and pick one potential defenceman the Oilers could look at acquiring using the 16th overall pick. DISCLAIMER: I am only picking players I feel could potentially be acquired. Some of these will cost more or less than the 16th overall. I leave it to your vivd imaginations to fill in the blanks.
Anaheim Ducks: Cam Fowler
Anaheim has a great young core of D with the likes of Fowler, Vatanen, and Lindholm. This one definitely falls into the 16th overall+ category but Fowler would fall in nicely with the young developing D of the Oilers plus old teammate Taylor Hall.
Arizona Coyotes: Michael Stone
Yeah as tempting as it was to put OEL down, there is no chance Arizona is trading that kid. To be honest, they probably wouldn't consider trading Stone either but then who else would I get to talk about? Klas Dahlbeck? Awesome name though.
Boston Bruins: Dennis Seidenberg
Not everyone on this list was going to be 24 or younger. It will be interesting to see if the hiring of Chiarelli means we will see some deals made with Boston. Injuries have been a problem throughout Seidenbergs career (has only played at least 70 games 4 times in his career). Edmonton needs more veterans not named Ference or Nikitin.
Buffalo Sabres: Zach Bogosian
Another team that is rebuilding and may be interested in high draft picks. Bogosian is a right handed shot, something the Oilers desperately need. I would much rather see a Klef-Bogosian pairing as opposed to a Kleb-Schultz pairing.
Calgary Flames: Kris Russell
This is a tough one. On the one hand, he has had the best season of his career (a common theme on this Flames roster) but on the other hand he is set to be a UFA after this season. Hartley is still my pick for best coach this season as it's been unreal the ability he has brought out of all these players. It's hard to imagine seeing any of them perform as well in a different setting.
Carolina Hurricanes: Ron Hainsey
Not the sexiest pick but again, if the Oilers are going to start being competitive they need to find the right mix of young players and veterans. This would be a bottom pairing guy that would be a replacement for a more expensive Ference or Nikitin. Have I mentioned how much I hate Nikitin?
Chicago Blackhawks: Brent Seabrook
Yeah yeah, consider me officially on the "we should trade for Seabrook because the Hawks have cap issues" train. While I can't imagine the Hawks willing parting with such an integral part of their core, we've seen guys like Boychuk acquired for second round picks so who knows?
Colorado Avalanche: Zach Redmond
Going a bit off the board here. Signed as a free agent by the Avalanche. At $800,000 he is definitely not a hard pill to swallow. I'm expecting a breakout season from this kid, just remember you heard it here first.
Columbus Blue Jackets: Fedor Tyutin
Veteran guy, not overly flashy offensively and fairly solid defensively. He would be the best defenceman we've acquired from the Blue Jackets since Nikita Nikitin.... way to raise that bar.
Dallas Stars: Jamie Oleksiak
This was a guy I wished the Oilers were able to draft late in the first round back in 2011. He's a monstrous 6' 7 250lbs. His past season was cut short but was still able to produce 8 points in 36 games. He might never produce Chara level of points but it couldn't hurt to have a guy like this patrolling your blueline.
Detroit Red Wings: Kyle Quincey
Oh Detroit, the team that keeps getting older but still makes the playoffs. While it is seeming more and more unlikely that Babcock will end up in Edmonton. If he did you know that he would want some say in his roster and would look at a familiar player like Quincey with interest.
Florida Panthers: Aaron Ekblad
Aaron Ekblad for the 16th overall straight across. Moving on.
LA Kings: Alec Martinez
From Cup winners to missing the playoffs, I think few teams had a more disappointing season than the Los Angeles Kings. Will they make big moves this off season, or look at last season as an anomaly and stay the course? This was another scenario where I wanted to write down a different player, Jake Muzzin which I see as very doubtful. Martinez has been a solid player for the Kings for a number of years and looks to be just hitting his stride now.
Minnesota Wild: Jared Spurgeon
Flip flopped here between Scandella and Spurgeon. The fact that Spurgeon is originally an Edmonton kid gave him an edge in my books. Definitely not the biggest guy on this list, actually might be the smallest but he makes up for in speed and tenacity. Could potential thrive in a higher tempo environment.
Well that's all for part 1. Tune in next time where I'll start off with the Canadiens. Feel free to leave me your hate below!