After a failed season in 2017-18, at least Edmonton Oilers fans have another top 10 pick to get excited about in the upcoming 2018 NHL Entry Draft. While it’s not likely that the Oilers come away with a top end, can’t miss prospect like projected number one overall selection Rasmus Dahlin, the Oilers are still likely to get a future impact player to join the ranks of fellow Oilers top prospects Kailer Yamamoto and Jesse Puljujarvi. This is assuming, of course, that Oilers general manager Peter Chiarelli elects to hold on to the team’s 10th overall pick.
Not so fast says Oilers insider Jim Matheson. In his latest column for the Edmonton Journal, Matheson reports that the “odds are high” the Oilers trade their 2018 first round pick in exchange for some help on the blue line. Specifically Matheson believes the Oilers will be eyeing Justin Faulk of the Carolina Hurricanes, Colton Parayko of the St. Louis Blues, Tyson Barrie of the Colorado Avalanche, Colin Miller of the Vegas Golden Knights and Brandon Montour of the Anaheim Ducks.
Chiarelli himself surprised many people around the hockey world earlier this week when he so much as admitted that he’s open to trade discussion on the 10th overall pick. “A player at No. 9 or No. 10 isn’t going to play next year,” said Chiarelli. “We’ll certainly listen to offers, and if there is a trade, it would probably be on the draft floor.”
Here’s the catch… to land any of the players mentioned above, Chiarelli and the Oilers will likely have to add to their offer. The Hurricanes aren’t trading Faulk for the 10th overall straight up. Ditto for the likes of Parayko, Barrie, Miller or Montour. While none of these players are considered Norris Trophy candidates, they’ll all very good defensemen who play prominent roles on their teams. Unless the Oilers are adding another roster player like Matthew Benning, Drake Caggiula or Jujhar Khaira or a top prospect like the aforementioned Puljujarvi or Yamamoto, it’s unlikely that a deal gets done. And then the question becomes, “Is it worth it?”
As a hypothetical, would brand new Hurricanes GM Don Waddell trade Faulk for Puljujarvi straight up? Adding the 10th overall pick obviously skews things… but you have to imagine that the idea of having Puljujarvi join Finnish teammate Sebastien Aho on a line is an intriguing one for Waddell and the Hurricanes. Again… “is it worth it?”