With the draft coming up, the thought on most Oiler fans minds is do we take a defenseman (Ryan Murray) instead of Yakupov to fill our need on the blueline. But will it even help?
The thing to consider is that this team is not a contender. We are in year 3 of the rebuild and just starting to climb out of the basement. Therefore, there's no need to do anything drastic. Especially when it's for something we don't need. Our defense is basically set for next season with Whitney, Smid, Schultz, Sutton and Potter all having contracts and Petry and Peckham being RFAs. This gives us 7 defensemen. If Whitney is healthy, we have a top 4 of Smid-Petry and Whitney-Schultz. Best case scenario is Murray is playing limited minutes on the bottom pairing. That's not even taking into account the possibility of Justin Schultz signing here.
Then, consider our prospects. We have newly signed first round pick Oscar Klefbom who will be knocking on the door after next season. Then there's the 2 monstrous Slovaks Martin Gernat and Martin Marincin who have shown amazing promise thus far and put up very good numbers playing in the WHL. Marincin will likely make the jump to the AHL this coming season and, similar to Klefbom, could be knocking on the door as early as the following season. Then there's Eberle's good friend Teubert who has shown promise of being, at the worst, a punishing bottom pairing dman. That's 4 top 4 defensemen and 4 very good prospects (not to mention others like Musil and Davidson). The oldest of which is a jurassic 29 years old.
Our defense might be looking bad right now, but remember, we have the pieces to fill the gaps already. And we haven't witnessed a healthy Whitney since Smid and Petry broke out. It will get better.