The Oilers Will Get Back Into the First Round...Again

TSN is reporting that as many as four first round picks are available in trade leading up to the draft today. The Edmonton Oilers are sure to take advantage of one of them.

* Update: Dreger has added the New York Islanders #5 overall to the list of available first rounders. This will get interesting.

According to sources, the Atlanta Thrashers are looking to move the 8th overall pick. I'm a bit surprised by this seeing as Atlanta moved a couple of picks in the Byfuglien trade, but TSN reports this is general manager Rick Dudley's sixth draft as a GM and he has traded a first round pick five times. He's already moved the 24th pick in tonight's draft, so I suppose adding one more to the list wouldn't be out of the ordinary.

My guess is the Oilers kick tires here, but this isn't a realistic option. The draft prospects really start to move and NHL GM's will start to go off the board around this spot, thus giving up what the Oilers would have to give to obtain this pick just isn't likely.

Hockey Insider Darren Dreger is also reporting that the Columbus Blue Jackets are open to dealing the 4th overall pick. If the Oilers are trying to move up and in a big way, I would suggest the #4 is more likely than the #8. The problem as Dreger reports is that Columbus doesn't want to exit the first round and the Oilers would have to obtain a higher pick to get #4.

Would Edmonton love to add a #4 and pick up a franchise defenceman? Yes, but the cost would be Ales Hemsky and some additional moves before this trade could happen. That's a lot to consider if moving an Andrew Cogliano, Riley Nash and #31 gets you #8instead of moving argueably your best forward and other peices first to get into the first round twice so to speak.

In addition, the Florida Panthers general manager Dale Tallon is having a lot of discussion with teams for 15th overall pick. One of those teams we know is the Oilers and the Oilers are focusing a lot of their energy here.

Florida has said that their goal is to move that pick and another forward (likely Steven Weiss) for a younger and proven scoring forward. The only thing that makes sense here is Dustin Penner and again, that's a tougher decision for the Oilers to make as Penner was Edmonton's deadliest weapon and all around star last season. Should the Oilers be able to obtain this pick without moving Penner they'd like to, but with Weiss coming back, it makes Penner a bit more moveable.

Edmonton's interest in obtaining the #15 pick is more than likely to obtain big tough guy Dylan McIlrath who should be around and still available in the draft at that position. It's not a guarantee however because McIlrath is a draft climber, but Edmonton is considering things.

The Phoenix Coyotes are also said to be shopping the 22nd overall pick and Phoenix is looking for either a young player and a lower pick in return or a package with multiple picks. This is a settle pick for Edmonton if all other options fall through, but Edmonton has contacted Phoenix about this pick. Something like Cogliano and a second rounder could do it and I won't be surprised if this happens should all other discussions fall through.

Edmonton badly wants to be in the first round again. With four legit chances to do so, expect some trade announcements later this afternoon by a few teams. I'd bet a beer that one of them is Edmonton.


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