Heading into the 2013 NHL Entry Draft, the Edmonton Oilers’ newly appointed GM Craig MacTavish promised that bold moves were on the horizon, fueling speculation that the team would be making significant deals on draft day.
While MacTavish executed a few minor deals for some extra second-round draft picks, the Oilers were unable to add any roster players to the team.
While this may be viewed as a disappointment by some, the Oilers were still able to add what could be a major piece to their young core in the form of defenseman Darnell Nurse.
Here are some of the biggest takeaways from the Edmonton Oilers’ 2013 draft.
Craig MacTavish has more patience then he gave himself credit for when he took over as GM of the Oilers.
When Craig MacTavish was introduced as the new GM of the Edmonton Oilers, he promised bold moves while also stating that he was quite impatient and ready to make deals to shape the roster.
MacTavish did make his mark on the Oilers at the NHL draft, but it wasn’t because of a trade.
Rather, it was for drafting a defenseman with the Oilers first-round selection, instead of a talented young forward, and for not trading away any of the young pieces currently on the team.
MacTavish may have been hard at work trying to execute some moves to bring in some NHL-caliber players to the Oilers. But by not hastily agreeing to trades just for the sake of trading, he has done a decent job of proving that he is willing to evaluate all options for the club while looking for deals that will help the team in the long-term and immediate future.
The Oilers narrowly missed out on landing Cory Schneider at the 2013 draft via a trade with Vancouver.
The Oilers were one of the few teams in on the Corey Schneider sweepstakes, but they ultimately lost out to the New Jersey Devils.
It’s hard to speculate what pieces from the current Oilers roster MacTavish offered to the Vancouver Canucks. It’s also hard to believe that Edmonton couldn't have offered equal or greater value than the ninth-overall pick handed over by New Jersey.
Cal Clutterbuck, formerly of the Minnesota Wild, was another player linked to the Oilers, but ultimately Clutterbuck was traded to the New York Islanders for Nino Niederreiter. Magnus Paajarvi would more than likely also have been on the table for any offer the Oilers were preparing for Clutterbuck, but the Oilers missed out on the rugged forward nonetheless.
Darnell Nurse may be just what the doctor ordered in Edmonton.
The Oilers could have drafted talented Russian Valeri Nichushkin with the seventh pick, but Craig MacTavish decided to fill an organizational need when he selected Darnell Nurse of the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds.
At 6’3” and 190 pounds, Nurse has plenty of room to grow into his frame, and he will be given a year or two in the CHL to further mature physically.
In Nurse, the Oilers potentially have a top-pairing defenseman who will be an excellent partner for Justin Schultz and will be more than able to protect the smaller, talented forwards in the Oilers lineup.
Ales Hemsky's future in Edmonton remains unclear as it appears more moves are on the horizon.
The Edmonton Oilers still have plenty of holes to fill, so it is safe to assume that there are plenty more moves to come.
The futures of Ales Hemsky, Shawn Horcoff and Sam Gagner are still very much up in the air and all three could be potentially be moved.
The Oilers are still in the market for at least one or two defenseman and have yet to add grit and toughness to their forward units.
With Bryan Bickell re-signing with the Chicago Blackhawks, the Oilers will have to look elsewhere for character players with decent size. They will almost certainly take a long look at upcoming free agents like Nathan Horton and David Clarkson among others.