The Golden Scenario

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I was listening to Lowetide’s most recent Point/Counter-Point with Matthew Iwanyk today and the topic du jour was what to do with the 4th overall pick? The same old same olds were covered, ie: trade up, trade down, trade out to get a dman but Lowetide brought up a scenario to which Iwanyk called it “The Golden Scenario” and it went like this:

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  • Trade Jordan Eberle to the Islanders for Travis Hamonic
  • Sign Jason Demers
  • Trade down to the 7-9 range and pick one of Juolevi, Sergachev, or Chychrun, plus get a good forward prospect to replenish the cupboards in Bakersfield.

Personally I don’t think that Eberle is going to be enough to get Hamonic. That’s me though. I think the premium on defensemen is going to skyrocket this summer and the ask is going to be Nuge. Especially with Frans Nielsen being a UFA this summer and the Islanders not really having anybody in the system to take over Nielsen’s shut-down duties.

If you’re comfortable with signing Demers to a long-term deal over $5M per year, then we’re gold. But that’s going to be a tough contract in 2-3 years when Nurse, Draisaitl, McDavid, etc. start earning big dollars. And with the expansion draft coming as well. Is he a player you’d be comfortable with letting go in said 2-3 seasons if things got crowded as Ethan Bear developed or Caleb Jones?

The teams sitting at 7-9 are (tempting prospects in brackets):

  • Arizona – 7 (Christian Dvorak, Nick Merkley, Brendan Perlini)
  • Buffalo – 8 (…)
  • Montreal – 9 (Mike McCarron, Charles Hudon, Noah Juulsen, Artturi Lehkonen)

The Coyotes are about the only team I’m tempted with by their prospects. But I’m wondering if trading down even further and going for Ryan Suter 2.0 Charlie McAvoy would be the way to go though. The Oilers’ system is devoid of a number of quality RH dmen. Hence why we’re talking about trying to acquire Demers and Hamonic…

  • Colorado – 10 (Chris Bigras, Nicholas Meloche, AHL Co-ROY Mikko Rantanen)
  • New Jersey – 11 (Goalie Mackenzie Blackwood, Reid Boucher, Pavel Zacha, Steven Santini)
  • Ottawa – 12 (Colin White, Thomas Chabot)
  • Carolina – 13 (Sebastien Aho, Roland McKeown, Hadyn Fleury, Alex Nedeljkovic)

Can’t see anyway the Oilers would be getting a Rantanen or a Zacha here, Colin White would probably be a long shot too.

The way I see it, the Oilers are partially in the place they are because they drafted poorly after the first round or they traded their picks. Now if you take the option to draft completely off of the table then what is that doing for the future of the team. I’m of the belief that you MUST draft in the first two rounds every year, successfully albeit, so that the circle of life continues.

So I say trade down and get the McAvoy kid and a prospect like Aho, White, or pay a bit more and get Zacha. Let him (McAvoy) spend another season or two in the NCAA, sign him, send him to Bakersfield for 40 games and then bring him up if he’s developing according to plan.

Another Option

Not many people are talking about the possibility of trading up to grab Columbus’ pick. I think that’s because they believe that the fact that the Blue Jackets’ GM is Finnish and there’s a great Finnish player in Jesse Puljujarvi that will be sitting there at three for him to take but the reality of the situation is that the Blue Jackets have worked themselves into a shit situation with their horrible long-term contracts and are in dire need of some cap relief. Fact of the matter is, their GM won’t be in Columbus long enough to see his prized pick reach his potential. He’d be doing the next GM a huge favour. The only way he can get himself out of this pickle is to find a way to do some major open heart surgery on his roster.

Next season Columbus has $68M committed to 11 fwds, 7 dmen, and 3 goalies. If the salary cap goes to $74M next year they’ll have only $6M available to sign their RFAs, upgrade via free agency AND sign the 3rd overall pick. Not only that but the expansion draft is coming and correct me if I’m wrong but doesn’t each team have to protect the players with no-movement clauses? The Blue Jackets have 5 players who are veterans on long-term deals with NMC’s. Scott Hartnell, Fedor Tyutin, David Clarkson, Nick Foligno, and Brandon Dubinsky are all weighing Columbus down.

Edmonton could offer to swap picks, toss in Yakupov AND take on one of those contracts (ideally Hartnell’s because it’s the shortest and he’s been quite productive recently) OR if Columbus said no, then the Oilers could offer-sheet Seth Jones to something like $5.5M for 6 years.

Either way the Oilers could be getting something of huge value to them. How could Columbus even match that without screwing themselves over? Of course the proposal is all predicated upon them not being able to move the veterans mentioned above.

In the end here, how urgent is it for the Oilers to make the playoffs in 2016/17? Is it even a realistic possibility? Who would the Oilers even jump over to make the playoffs? What would happen if they shot themselves in the foot by trading the #4 overall and Eberle, picked up Hamonic and Demers and then got hit by the injury bug again or those players struggled off the bat?

When you try to force things to happen, they rarely happen the way you want them too or they do happen with some undesired side-effects in tow… I reckon we just have to enjoy the process. The process isn’t fun to go through but when it is complete, everyone (mostly) is happy they went through it.

What do you think? Would you prefer to go the route that Lowetide and Iwanyk talked about or trade up to #3 overall and screw over the Blue Jackets? Let me know in the comments below!

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Beer League Hero Written by:

I'm the Beer League Hero! I am from Camrose, Alberta but I make my home in Taipei City, Taiwan. I've been through the ups and downs and the highs and the Lowes, the Bonsignores and the McDavids, the Sathers and the Eakins but I'll never leave my Oilers, no matter what! They're with me until the end and then some. GO OILERS GO!

  • GCW_69

    I don’t know why the Oilers would trade down to 7-9. Any left handed defender they draft is blocked for the next 4-5 years or longer. If they are going to trade down, it should be for McAvoy who is a right shot defender.

    But with a pending expansion draft the smart move is to keep the pick and draft PLD (or the Finn if Columbus drafts for need).

    Signing Demers should not be a problem if they can do the deal without a NMC or a full NTC. They are better off paying a little more and going with a partial NTC.

    • Beer League Hero

      I think those are all valid points!