So, Oilers blogger Richard Cloutier (@rdcloutier on twitter) wrote a blog today suggesting that MacT will be trying to trade up a couple spots so that he can pick Sasha Barkov. Considering the recent news that Valery Nichushkin has decided to come to North America, I can definately see the possibility of Barkov being available around the 4 or 5 spot.
I wrote an article the other day on my other blog (puckiq.wordpress.com) about the possibility of Nathan MacKinnon falling to about the same area as Barkov. What I suggested was that since the Panthers are already deep in the highly talented center category with both Huberdeau and Bjugstad, they might opt to add the skilled winger to compliment them in Jonathan Drouin instead of another center in MacKinnon. With it now being a common assumption that Tampa will take Nichushkin, that would mean both Barkov and MacKinnon will be on the board at the 4 spot.
If that happens, you know David Poile and Jim Rutherford will be sitting at the draft table with the biggest s#!%-eating grins on their faces, knowing full well that over 20 teams will be calling them wondering what it will cost to give up those picks. And you can bet the farm MacT will be one of them.
So, two questions come to mind now if you're the Oilers. "What will it cost us to get one of those picks?" and "If you had the choice, which guy do you pick?". Barkov tends to be the consensus pick as the most NHL-ready player in the draft and I love his offensive ability and size, but MacKinnon is ranked higher for a reason, and his speed and tenacity are jaw-dropping. If it's me picking, I take MacKinnon.
What gets this deal done? Cloutier suggested that #7 this year and next years first would do it. However, if both MacKinnon and Barkov are on the board at that point, I think it will take more than that to sway either Nashville or Carolina. The Predators are desperate for offensive help, and no doubt could use the services of Ales Hemsky, Sam Gagner, or Magnus Paajarvi. The Hurricanes meanwhile are in need of defensive help. And while the Oilers are also in that boat as far as immediate NHL defenders, they are deep in prospects, and Carolina is'nt. For #4, I'm thinking #7 and Paajarvi and maybe another pick to sweeten the deal, or package up Gagner and #7 for #4 and Hornqvist. A lot to give up for moving up 3 spots, but keep in mind, there will be other teams making offers. For the Carolina pick, considering one of those two guys will be off the board, I'm thinking #7, the 2nd round pick from Anaheim, and the choice of Marincin or Musil.
It is discussions like these that make me extremely excited for the draft. Let me know what you think. Thanks for reading.
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