So some don’t put a tonne of stock in Craig Button’s draft rankings, much preferring Bob McKenzie’s list (which is based off a survey of NHL scouts). But it still is worth looking at.
Button has Seth Jones ranked #1 overall. Nathan MacKinnon sits at #3, which is probably different than what a lot of scouts have him at (most probably have him at 1 now). The Oilers fans may be disappointed if Button’s list is accurate to the actual draft, with the top six. I think it will be as far as players taken, although not necessarily the order. That means the better centers, including Sean Monahan, will be gone by the Oilers #7 pick. So the question a lot of people are asking is “should the Oilers trade their #7 pick?”
I’m on the fence on that idea. On one hand, I think the Oilers fans need to break away from the mentality of drafting a guy, then seeing him play that same year. Realistically, the player should be going back to junior for at least a year, and perhaps a year or two of AHL. So we could be talking somewhere between 3-5 years before seeing a player in action. So think of this draft as stocking the cupboards, unless we trade up and get in the top 4 somehow and land Seth Jones, Jonathan Drouin, MacKinnon or Sasha Barkov. This doesn’t seem likely, although it’s possibly we could move up to #5 (Carolina Hurricanes pick) and perhaps one of the big names will be still available by then if someone deviates slightly. Anyways, I think MacT should consider all options with this pick.. moving up, moving down, using it. And really, it sounds like he is. It will be interesting to see what can happen.
The other play of interest on this list is Edmonton Oil Kings’ Curtis Lazar. I’ve seen him as high as 12 (on the ISS rankings). Button has him way down around 32. That seems unlikely. But I think if Lazar lingers, the Oilers should trade their 2nd, and another pick (perhaps in another draft) and get a late 1st. I don’t see Lazar lasting past 20th though.
To wrap up, teams are always going to need centers, and they’re always going to need defensemen. I don’t want to see the Oilers drop too far down with their pick unless they get a good offer in exchange. No matter where they pick, I hope they choose the best d-man or center available (unless we get into a position of picking a guy like Drouin).