For months now, it has been said that the Edmonton Oilers are getting ready to make significant changes to their roster, but no clue was given on what general manager Peter Chiarelli has in store this summer.
It now seems that Edmonton Journal’s Jim Matheson has an idea as he believes the odds are high that the Oilers trade their first-round pick (10th overall) in the 2018 NHL Draft. His reasoning makes sense: it is no secret the Oilers are looking to add a quality defenseman, however whatever defender is available at that spot is two or three years away from reaching the NHL and the Oilers don’t want to risk wasting any more of superstar captain Connor McDavid’s prime years.
“A player at No. 9 or No. 10 isn’t going to play next year,” Chiarelli said recently. “We’ll certainly listen to offers, and if there is a trade, it would probably be on the draft floor.”
Matheson notes the Oilers need “immediate offensive punch for a defence that had 29 goals last year,” but does rule out the option of going after
Ottawa’s Erik Karlsson as the cost would be too high to bring him on board. He dares ask:
“Do they trade the 10th overall pick for a young offensive defenceman on the cusp of being an NHL regular, package the 10th and a young player for someone better or try for a straight-up swap with winger Jesse Puljujarvi, the most marketable target, or left-shot defenceman Oscar Klefbom because they’ve got too many lefties on the blue-line in Darnell Nurse, Andrej Sekera and Kris Russell?”
Matheson’s suggested trade targets include Carolina’s Justin Faulk, St. Louis Colton Parayko (acknowledging that he could be a pipe dream), Colorado’s Tyson Barrie, Vegas’ Colin Miller or Anaheim’s Brandon Montour (a long shot).
“Ideally, what you’d like to get is a defenceman who’s farther along (than a draft pick). Sanheim and Larsson are ready to play right now, and the Flyers and Ducks are deep on the blue-line,” said scouting expert and former GM Craig Button from TSN.
However, Matheson has another blockbuster trade in mind as well...
Matheson pushes further by saying that “lots of people are tossing out Torey Krug for Oscar Klefbom trade idea because Krug is more offensive-minded.” The Oilers insider however notes that Krug is 27 and has two years left until he's unrestricted free agent and Oscar, who turns 25 in July, has five years left, and Krug makes $1 million more on cap hit.
The Oilers are not lacking any options here, just depends on who is willing to pull the trigger and move up in the upcoming draft. They are however not the only team looking to bolster their back end ahead of next season, so they might need to stand out with such a monster move.