Oilers Might Not Draft Top Five?

General Manager of the Edmonton Oilers Peter Chiarelli wants to explore trading his fourth overall selection in the 2016 NHL Entry Draft.

The Oilers have selected first overall in four of six years, drafting Taylor Hall, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Nail Yakupov, and Connor McDavid. Big surprise, the team hasn’t clinched a single playoff berth.

Within the projected top 14 draft-eligible players, the Oilers are in the position of strength in the ability to trade a highly valued pick. The Oilers have left-handed defencemen in Darnell Nurse, Griffin Reinhart, Andrej Sekera, and Oscar Klefbom. Edmonton doesn’t need another left-handed defenceman in Olli Juolevi, Jakob Chychrun, Logan Stanley, or Jake Bean. Edmonton doesn’t need another left-shooting center in Pierre-Luc Dubois, Tyson Jost, or Logan Brown. Edmonton doesn’t need a left-wing in Matthew Tkachuk.

The Oilers could use a right winger in Alex Nylander. His speed and skill are great facets of his game allowing him to fit in with McDavid, Eberle, Draisaitl, and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins. A bigger right-winger than Alex Nylander is Julien Gauthier. Edmonton needs a right-winger behind Jordan Eberle, where he could possibly fit in with The Nuge. Could the Oilers make a trade with the Minnesota Wild or Boston Bruins to select the 6’4 defenceman who has size and an immense scoring ability?

Most importantly, the Oilers need a right-shot defenceman, just as the Blues have Pietrangelo, the Jets have Dustin Byfuglien, and the Leafs just signed Nikita Zaitsev (who could slot in with Morgan Reilly). According to Jeff Marek of Rogers Sportsnet, a trade was explored on trade deadline day where the Oilers would receive a defenceman and the Ducks receive a forward. Could the Oilers re-visit the trade and possibly acquire Sami Vatanen? This would not make sense for the Ducks because Vatanen is the top-pairing right shooting defenceman that should be kept for the future. As previously alluded to, the Oilers do not need another left-shot defenceman, whether it’s Shea Theodore, Simon Despres, Hampus Lindholm, or Cam Fowler.

In November, Travis Hamonic’s request for a trade was released because of family concerns. Could Edmonton acquire Hamonic that sees Nail Yakupov go to the Islanders?

The Oilers could drop to as low as 22nd overall if they want to pursue drafting Dante Fabbro. The  6’1, right-shot defenceman could be the perfect fit with Sekera, Klefbom, Nurse, or Reinhart.

The Edmonton Oilers have at least three solid options. Julien Gauthier, Travis Hamonic, or Dante Fabbro. What do you want the Oilers to do? Get a right-shooting defenceman? Get a potential top-six right-winger?


Photo from Game of Thrones


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