With just a week remaining before the 2013 NHL entry draft, we're seeing NHL trade rumors take center stage.
Rumors regarding whether or not teams will be looking to trade up in next week's draft have surfaced, with Ottawa Senators general manager Bryan Murray indicating he'll be looking to move up the draft board from the 17th spot, according to Ken Warren of the Ottawa Citizen.
Another recent rumor from Nick Kypreos of Sportsnet has the Toronto Maple Leafs potentially swapping a defenseman and their 21st overall selection with the Edmonton Oilers, who hold the seventh pick in this year's draft:
David Staples of the Edmonton Journal posits that the two most likely candidates for the Leafs to send to Edmonton would be youngster Jake Gardiner and Swedish blueliner Carl Gunnarsson.
While both defensemen are coming into their own as players and are controllable assets, the sheer amount of top-end talent in this year's draft makes this deal a tempting one.
With Toronto needing to add a highly skilled forward to its farm system, the seventh overall pick would all but guarantee a player like Sean Monahan or Elias Lindholm.
With both of those prospects also being centermen, the Leafs could possibly find themselves with another high-octane, dynamic, young center—the other being Nazem Kadri, of course.
With just a few years of development, we've already seen what a talented seventh overall pick can turn into.
Should the Leafs make this kind of trade and take either Monahan or Lindholm, they could have a powerful one-two punch down the middle in a few years' time.
On the flip side, however, this deal comes with a cost.
In order to acquire the No. 7 pick, they'd have to give up a good defenseman who is controllable at a cheap cost for at least the next few seasons.
Toronto would be hurting its defensive core both in the short and long term, which one of the worst defensive teams in the league can ill afford.
Furthermore, after Gardiner rebounded late in the year from his shaky start—in all fairness, he was coming off a concussion—the Leafs would be trading a proven commodity for a draft pick with potential.
The risk associated with pulling the trigger on this kind of deal is high.
With the Leafs just beginning to establish themselves as competitors, now is not the time to take a step back.
If the Oilers are only willing to part with the seventh overall pick, Toronto should say thanks but no thanks.
Another chance could still present itself for the Leafs to move up the big board by June 30.
For now, they should just sit tight.
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