So if you were listening to Oilers Now w/ Bob Stauffer recently you would’ve heard him discussing a trade scenario if the Oilers landed the 1st overall pick with Mark Spector. Mr.David Staples wrote about this subject as well here. It’s a much longer and detailed post than this one but it’s very good. I like Staples, he gets a lot of shit but I’ve got time for him. I’m more or less piggybacking on Mr.Staples’ post but I’ve got an opinion on Mr.Stauffer’s comments as well.
If you’d like to hear the Oilers Now segment I’m referring to, you can listen to it here.
Basically his scenario had the Edmonton Oilers winning the draft lottery and making a deal with the Arizona Coyotes. It went as such:
To Arizona: 1st overall selection in 2016 (Auston Matthews)
To Edmonton: Dylan Strome, the 7th overall, 18th overall, and 37th overall picks in 2016.
Staples didn’t like it so much saying the following,
It would be next to madness to trade any of the top three picks in this draft unless you’re bringing back a player like P.K. Subban or Erik Karlsson.
I especially don’t like this proposed Arizona trade because I watched Dylan Strome regularly last year in the playoffs and didn’t come out loving his game. Yes, he’s big, he’s got a great shot and he puck protects and passes well, but he’s not overly aggressive and his skating isn’t great. He kind of reminds me of the Griffin Reinhart of forwards and I wonder if Strome’s trade value won’t drop a bit each year. That said, I haven’t seen Strome this season, so maybe he’s a much better player than he was in the 2015 playoffs.
I can definitely see where he’s coming from with regards to the first comment above and we’ve covered what happens when you deal out of the top 5 previously here. It’s not a good idea.
The Oilers are in a unique situation here where they’re really don’t need to add another game-breaker to the team. Connor McDavid, Leon Draisaitl, and the original core of Taylor Hall, Jordan Eberle, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, and Nail Yakupov, IF they decide to keep some of them, provide enough depth within the top 6 that they shouldn’t really be adding another teenager to it.
The Oilers should be looking to add depth to their roster at both the NHL level and AHL/CHL level.
**One caveat though. Patrik Laine looks to be the exact kind of forward the team is lacking in their top 6 though. A man with size, hands, and a lethal one-timer. He would be the guy I’d be after at this year’s draft. More so than Matthews.**
Taking a Deeper Look at Bob’s Deal
Using the mock draft from mynhldraft.com to see where the Coyotes are sitting in the first round and then using the mock from draftsite.com to check out the possible players that might be sitting around the Coyotes selection in the 2nd round we are left with the following:
7th overall – Olli Juolevi (LD), London Knights (OHL)
18th overall – Max Jones (LW), London Knights (OHL)
37th overall – Will Bitten (C), Flint Firebirds (OHL)
And so we add those three possibilities to Dylan Strome (C) from the Erie Otters of the OHL and that is definitely accomplishing the goal of adding depth to this team’s prospect cupboard.
So this Strome kid that Staples didn’t really rate… He’s put up 240pts in his last 164 games played in the OHL if my math is correct. He’s a whiz on the face-offs, he’s 6’3″ and nearly 200lbs and the most important but often overlooked part… He’s Connor McDavid’s best friend. If there’s even the remotest chance that McDavid could bolt via FA someday, you’d want to give him a very good reason to stick around. And Just keep this in mind as well. McDavid-Draisaitl-Strome down the middle is the right amount of skill and size that Chiarelli craves and one that you’d probably bet on to thrive in the Western Conference.
Olli Juolevi isn’t being touted as a no.1 defenseman as of yet. He’s trending in a top 4 manner at this point. The great thing about the Finn is that he’s a madman on the PP. Put up some serious offensive numbers at the World Junior’s this past year and is anchoring the London Knights back-end. What I don’t like about him is that he’s a left-handed shooter. We’ve got a shit ton of those right now.
Max Jones is a man-beast. A 6’3″ 200lb version of Raffi Torres but he can actually play. He’s got speed to burn, hands to dangle and a laser of a shot. This is not a guy you mess around with. I’ve wondered if he’s Tom Wilson 2.0 but he’s much better offensively yet still racking up the PIMs. What I’ve heard is that because of his size and physicality he can take advantage of that at the junior ranks but he’ll have to tone that down in the pros and therein lies the question marks regarding Jones.
Will Bitten, besides having a pretty cool name, is a tiny but hard-working centre. If you’re of the older vintage maybe Bitten is in the Ken Linesman category of forwards. He’s 5’9″ or so depending on what publication you’re reading and weighs in around 160lbs. The impression I get from Eliteprospects.com is that Bitten is a tireless worker at both ends of the ice and a very smart hockey player. His size bothers me a bit and I’m not sure if he’d be a Chiarelli-type player unless he were putting up 50 goals a year in the OHL like Alex Debrincat.
The Need for Impactful Veteran Defensemen
Let’s say a deal like this is made. This is where I would change things up. I think at 7th overall that the Oilers could get a veteran right-handed shooting defenseman for that pick. Could the Anaheim Ducks be persuaded into trading Sami Vatanen for the 7th overall?
How about the 18th overall? Would the Toronto Maple Leafs be interested in dealing two of their three 2nd round picks to jump up thus giving Edmonton four 2nd round picks? That would give Chiarelli some wiggling room to move around with.
The Oilers could use all four 2nd rounders on adding depth to their system. Players like highly rated goalie Carter Hart, perhaps the aforementioned and former linemate of Connor McDavid; Alex Debrincat would be there, the Oilers might have the opportunity to take a swing at defender Sean Day, or a local product like Sam Steel or Tyler Benson could be available as well.
The other thing they could do is use the picks to trade for another veteran. Perhaps using one of them as a sweetener in an Eberle for Hamonic deal? Maybe more with the Islanders because they’re devoid of a 2nd, 3rd and 4th round pick in the upcoming draft.
So in a sense the Oilers could come out of the draft with the following:
Auston Matthews, Jordan Eberle, and a 2nd round pick
Sami Vatanen, Travis Hamonic, Dylan Strome, Carter Hart, Alex Debrincat, and Sean Day.
Or they could keep the pick and take Laine or Matthews.
But if I’m just blue skying here, and I am, the Oilers could very well have a real opportunity to solve their organizational depth problems in one swoop at the draft this year.
Either way, Mr.Stauffer has provided us with something to chew on until the draft lottery.
Let me know your thoughts in the comments below! Thanks for reading!