aPRIL 29, 2018 | 11:52aM ET
OILERS WILL WEIGH OPTIONS WITH NO.10 PICK
Peter Chiarelli, GM
The Edmonton Oilers were awarded the 10th overall pick in this June’s NHL Draft, but there’s a sense GM Peter Chiarelli is very open to moving it in exchange for immediate help.
The Oilers would like to add a top-pair defenceman and a top-six right wing to their roster this off-season and moving the No.10 pick in the Draft could help them achieve one of those goals.
Chiarelli has explored multiple options this season and will continue to do so during the spring and summer.
“The long side of me would like to (draft) a player and develop him, although with defencemen, they take longer,” Chiarelli said Saturday night after the NHL Draft Lottery, as quoted by the Edmonton Sun. “The short side of me looks at where we are (out of the playoffs with 78 points) and how the fans see us and what is chronicled is we need help right now. That’s a conflict we’ll have to resolve.”
Teams calls the Oilers during the season and inquired about defenceman Oscar Klefbom, whom Chiarelli was willing to entertain offers for if it meant bringing in a top winger.
The Oilers are still believed to be willing to take calls on Klefbom, among others, which may seem contradictory as they also want to upgrade their defensive corps, but moving their first-round pick may prevent them from doing so – the team values Klefbom’s presence on its blueline and if it can acquire help up front without moving him, that would be their ideal situation.
Edmonton wants a puck-mover, as noted by the Sun, on its backend, and if they ultimately keep the 10th overall pick, that’s the direction they’ll likely go in.
“There’s a difference between a pure offensive defenceman who runs a powerplay, versus a two-way guy who moves it pretty well and can run one, but doesn’t excel at it,” said Chiarelli. “(Quinn) Hughes, (Noah) Dobson are good skaters. (Evan) Bouchard has a better propensity on special teams but all three can run a powerplay. Ty Smth (teammate of Kailer Yamamoto in Spokane, WA.) can too. Hughes and Smith are small defencemen.”