The hockey world breathed a collective sigh of relief Saturday night when it was revealed that Edmonton would not be taking the 1st overall pick once again. I had mentioned in my previous blog that it was good for the game of hockey to spread out talent and I meant it.
Despite my own personal feelings regarding Toronto, the fact remains that they are in desperate need of a franchise player. Best of luck to you Matthews. As for picks #2 and #3 I am quite pleased that Winnipeg and Columbus moved up. The two Finns should be a force for years to come.
Now onto #4...
Even before the the lottery was decided, many fans believed that regardless what position Edmonton drafted; the pick should be traded. While Matthews would earn more of a return than Dubois a top 5 pick is still a very valuable asset.
One option Chiarelli has is to trade down and acquire a lower 1st round pick, as well as a roster player. Here are a few teams that I feel would make sense.
New Jersey - Damon Severson and the 11th Overall Pick
While the Devils have a few young rising stars in their forward group like Henrique and Palmieri they also have many aging vets who will need to be replaced soon. Acquiring a forward like Tkachuk or Dubois must be appealing for them.
For Edmonton, Severson is a 21 year old right shooting defenseman. Currently I would label him as a very good third pairing player. He saw time on the Devils 2nd PP and had 5 assists. Most of his points however came at even strength and there is definitely room for him to grow into a top 4 defenseman.
If Edmonton was drafting at 11, 6'6 centre Logan Brown or defenseman Mikhail Sergachev could be potential candidates.
Buffalo Sabres - Marcus Foligno and the 8th Overall Pick
Chiarelli likes big physical wingers. Marcus Foligno is a big physical winger. Could there be a match? Probably not, however this was more to bring up the point that Edmonton has plenty of needs. Chiarelli has said he still wants to get bigger and play a more physical game. The 24 year old winger would provide that.
At 8th overall Jacob Chychurn and potentially Alex Nylander could be available.
Winnipeg Jets - Jacob Trouba and the 22nd Overall Pick
The rumor mill has been churning out Trouba's name for awhile now. The 22 year old right shooting defenseman is an RFA and it sounds like he may want more than the Jets are willing to pay. Trouba is a top 4 defenseman and while there are still some warts to his game, would be a great addition to the Oilers.
Does it make sense from a Jets standpoint? The Oilers would probably have to add something else, whether another pick or a prospect like Osterle. However I can imagine it would be at least tempting to consider having both Laine and Dubois.
At 22 the Oilers could look at bigger winger Riley Tufte, defensemen Charlie McAvoy or Dante Fabbro as options.
It could feel like a very long May for Oiler fans waiting for a deal. Go outside, get some sun, bbq and drink some beers. Things could get very interesting as we get closer to the draft.
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Thanks for reading!