While the Buffalo Sabres came up big with the 1st overall pick and Rasmus Dahlin, the Hurricanes arguably had the best fortune with the Draft Lottery, moving from #11 to #2. With the #2 pick the Canes will likely be selecting Svechnikov.
So the obvious question here is.... how do the Oilers benefit from this?
Let's look at some of the players from the Hurricanes the Oilers may be targetting.
Jeff Skinner: The name that's been thrown out the most. There is plenty to like about this option. At 26 Skinner is still in his prime. The Oilers desperately need a volume shooter who can play on McDavid's right side. Though he does not shoot right, Skinner has spent plenty of time on the right wing with Carolina. The volume shooter is the big point here, Skinner's 277 shots this season would have ranked first in Edmonton. McDavid led the Oilers in shots with 274... second on the list was Oscar Klefbom with 203. The Oilers need a player with a shoot first mentality.
The biggest issue in regards to Skinner is what the cost would be. Skinner is one the last year of a contract that pays him $5,725,000 and is coming off his worst year production wise. The latter I'm not worried about as his Sh% was well below his average but the Oilers cannot be giving up huge assets for a player they would lose a year later. The aim for the Oilers here should be to acquire the player as a rental and try and work out a longer term deal later if he meshes well with the team.
Justin Faulk: Defensive awareness is not a term associated too often with Justin Faulk but as a top 4 offensive threat he would add something the Oilers do not have on their right side; a player who can carry the puck into the offensive zone. Faulk would also immediately become the Oilers best powerplay option on the back end. Again speaking of volume shooters he would be a huge help. His 211 shots would have been second on the Oilers and first amongst defensemen... really shows what one of Edmonton's biggest problems was last season.
Justin Williams: Yeah I'm sure many people are cringing at Chiarelli paying anything to acquire a 36 year old winger but hear me out. Williams is in the last year of his 4.5 million dollar contract. While he certainly isn't the sexy name on the market he has produced at a consistent 40+ point pace. Could be a good stop gap player to push players like Rattie, Yamamoto, and Puljujarvi down the depth chart until it's obvious any of them are ready for top 6 time. Depending on how much mileage Williams has left he could slot anywhere from beside McDavid, to a third line depth scoring role. It's also worth noting Williams has a 15 team no trade list.
I'm not going to sit here and armchair GM what I think Edmonton would need to give up to acquire any of the above mentioned players, however here are some names that may interest Carolina and be part of any deal.
Ethan Bear/Matt Benning: Going to cluster these two guys together. I'm not going to offer any trade proposals but if the Oilers are acquiring Faulk for example the Hurricanes will likely want some type of right shot in return. Neither Bear nor Benning is equal to Faulk but both are promising young players that likely will continue to improve.
Andrei Sekera: Would Andrei Sekera waive his NMC to return to Carolina? That is the biggest question in regards to a Sekera deal. Last season was not kind to the injured defenseman. I think we see Sekera rebound in a big way next season but his 5.5 million contract is difficult to manage especially with how Chiarelli has managed this team's cap.
Al Montoya: Just throwing this one out there. Goaltending is probably Carolina's biggest issue as a team. Saying Darling was not good would be an understatement. Personally I think the Canes go after Hutton as a backup/1B goalie.
Yamamoto: New GM Don Waddell will be looking to put his mark on the Hurricanes. Svechnikov will be one promising new player to excite the fanbase and perhaps he may look at a player like Yamamoto to be the same.
10th Overall Pick - Chiarelli has made it clear he is open to trading the pick. Nuf said.
So what say you Oiler fans? What would you give up to acquire one of or both Faulk and Skinner? Is Williams a decent consolation prize? Or will Chiarelli trade the 10th overall pick for Brett Pesce?
Thanks for reading.