NHL Draft 2012: 5 Reasons the Edmonton Oilers Should Trade the 1st Pick
The Edmonton Oilers have the No. 1 overall pick in the NHL entry draft for the third consecutive year. The Oilers would be better off trading the first pick and trying to get more picks, as this year's draft class shows plenty of depth.
Here are five reasons why the Oilers should trade the No. 1 pick.
The Young Guns
Taylor Hall, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Jordan Eberle are on the top line for the Oilers. The oldest of the three is Eberle, who is still only 22 years old.
The Oilers' second line projects to be Linus Omark, Sam Gagner and Magnus Paajarvi. The oldest one is Omark at 25 years old.
What this says is that the Oilers have two very good, very young lines to work with for the future.
With three of the top four ranked skaters in this year's draft being forwards, it doesn't make sense for the Oilers to keep the No. 1 overall pick.
The youngest defenseman that the Oilers currently have on the roster is Jeff Petry, who is 25 years old.
That is not to say the Oilers defense is old, as most of the players on it are in their mid-to-late 20s, but it is a big difference between having two top lines that average just over 21 years old.
Trading down in the draft would allow the Oilers to stock up on young defensemen to develop over the next few years.
Over the past three years, the Oilers have only drafted three defensemen in the first two rounds. While that may seem like a lot, it is not considering they have had nine picks in those first two rounds.
Bringing in an influx of defensive talent would certainly help a team that ranked 23rd in goals allowed per game last season.
There is a reason why Nail Yakupov is the top-ranked North American skater and No. 1 overall on the draft board.
He is an explosive talent that could most likely go straight into the NHL next season.
Yakupov will almost certainly be going first off the board, and there are many teams that would love to be able to draft him.
Trading the No. 1 pick that turns into Yakupov would have a ton of trade value, something the Oilers could certainly use. This is the first draft since 2009 that the Oilers have not had either multiple first-round or second-round picks.
Trading the No. 1 pick would quickly remedy that. The talent of the top prospects in this draft could easily get a team to ship the Oilers a first-, second- and fourth-round pick. It could also possibly land the Oilers two first-round picks and a second-round pick, if the Oilers picked the right suitor.
Derrick Pouliot is ranked as the 12th-best North American skater in the upcoming draft.
The only real knock there is on him is his size, as he is only 5'11". But on that size frame, he does weigh in at 186 pounds, and as he gets older he should add some more mass.
He is an offensive-minded defenseman, something the Oilers could certainly use.
The draft guys at Rotoworld have him slated to come off the board at 14 to the Calgary Flames. The Flames wouldn't be an ideal trade partner as they only have one first-round and no second-round picks, but the Buffalo Sabres would be since they have two first-round and two second-round picks in the upcoming draft.
A deal that lands the Oilers the No. 12 overall pick and two extra second-round picks is completely plausible, and they could still walk away with a defenseman that could anchor their blue line for years to come.
For a team that is built to win in a few years based on the development of soon-to-be stars in the NHL, having more depth in the prospect ranks is important.
It would allow the Oilers to either develop homegrown talent to compete or it would give them the flexibility to be able to swing a trade to bring in top-tier talent to supplement who they already have.
For a team that currently ranks as the fourth best in terms of farm systems in the NHL, adding more depth can only help. Especially when two of their top five prospects are going to be playing full time in the NHL next season.