One more sleep till the draft!!! Before I get to who I think the Oilers will pick with the 10th overall selection I wanted to talk about a few things that have happened lately:
Lucic Trade Talks
Word is that Lucic may have asked for a trade or at least has approached Chiarelli and has agreed to waive his no-trade clause if the destination fits. This is perhaps the last chance that Chiarelli will have to move Lucic and his $6M cap hit without having to give up a major piece to ‘sweeten’ the deal. Lucic is coming off of a horrid season, by far the worst of his career, and is very likely to bounce back next season so does still hold some value especially to a team that puts alot of stock into the ‘intangibles’ of hockey players. Lucic is good in the room, a great leader, sticks up for his teammates and has won a Stanley Cup so there must be a team out there that feels adding a player like Lucic will give them that missing piece to make them a contender. If Lucic is not traded this off season I’ll be pretty disappointed and here are a few reasons why:
- Lucic is at the age where we can expect to see a decline in his performance and while next season is very likely to be better than the last season I don’t think he’ll ever have a season like he did in 2016-17 again.
- Lucic has a NMC which will really hurt the Oilers at the next expansion draft when Seattle becomes an NHL team. The team will be forced to protect players with NMC’s so will lose a better, younger player than Lucic if he’s still around.
- The Oilers NEED the cap space this season to be competitive. Even with the salary cap increasing to $80M dollars for next season the Oilers will be tight against it just to bring back the same team. Moving Lucic’s $6M cap hit would allow them to add a piece to improve the team.
So, basically moving Lucic is the right thing to do for the short term success and long term success of the Oilers. Make it happen right? Then we see things like this:
Chiarelli indicates that he expects a motivated Milan Lucic to be back in Edmonton next year
— Elliotte Friedman (@FriedgeHNIC) June 21, 2018
Cagguila and Benning Re-sign
The Oilers re-signed Cagguila for two years at a $1.5M cap hit and Benning for two years at a $1.9M cap hit. It didn’t take long after either signing for fans to light up Peter Chiarelli for overpaying these players who many thought would come in a few hundred thousand dollars less. Personally I don’t mind these deals too much, sure I would have liked the cap hit to be a bit lower but I really like Benning and think that the $1.9M cap hit could work out to be a value contract. Cagguila brings value because he’s so versatile in that he can play any forward position and can move up and down the lineup as needed. At this point fans have turned on Chiarelli to the point that he’s going to get ripped in social media for every move he makes. I understand the hatred though, I think the Hall trade will be remembered for a really long time for how one sided it was but he is the GM and I think its important to analyze any trades or signings he makes without bringing the past into it.
Hall Wins The Hart
Taylor Hall won the Hart trophy last night and I don’t want to add on to all the Chiarelli hate, there’s enough of that already. I do feel good for Hall and I think he deserves it and would have loved to see him have success in Edmonton.
With the 10th overall selection the Oilers Select….
This is a tough one, after the first two picks it gets pretty difficult to forecast this years draft so its more a question of who will be available at 10th rather than who the Oilers like. This is my list of who I think the Oilers are most likely to pick 10th overall. I strongly believe that the best approach to the draft is to take the best player available but I’m also fairly confident the Oilers would love to get a forward with the 10th pick if one is available. Their wish list probably looks something like this
- 30% – Ty Smith – He’s likely to be there at 10th and is the safe pick in my opinion from the players available.
- 25% – Barrett Hayton – Also likely to there at 10th and a safe pick. Two way center.
- 15% – Adam Boqvist – Higher ceiling than Smith but a risky pick. May not be available.
- 10% – Trade – Please don’t be another Reinhart trade!!
- 10% – Adam Bouchard – I think the Oilers would love it if he’s there at 10th but its not likely.
- 5% – Quinn Hughes – If he’s available at 10th a few teams will likely regret it.
- 5% – Oliver Wahlstrom – The perfect fit for Mcdavids wing? We can dream.
The scariest scenario for me is if Chiarelli trades the pick… this guy really scares me.