Gardiner is not being considered for #1!

There is a very stupid rumor floating around that Toronto defenseman Jake Gardiner is being considered for the #1 overall draft pick this year. The entire purpose of the next few paragraphs is to clearly demonstrate how stupid a rumor I believe this is.

I'll admit to hearing lately that there has been considerable steam being built up that Edmonton is in fact strongly considering moving the first pick, but there better be more than Gardiner on the block.

I don't think Gardiner and the #5 pick get it done. In fact, I don't think Gardiner, the #5 pick and a prospect would get it done. And, this is not because I over value the selection of Nail Yakupov -- an unproven, but by all accounts should be dynamite prospect.

Why I think you can't make a trade in any of the above situations, is because we're talking about moving down four spots, where it's very likely that of Edmonton's top three or four player draft selection wish list, all of those players could theoretically be gone come the time the Oilers get up to draft at #5 overall.

If at the end of draft day on June 22nd the Oilers leave the draft with only one player who they could plug into the lineup, and that one player isn't who they deem the best selection at the draft, that's a huge mistake.

Unless they grab a single star player, any trade that the Oilers make will have to include at least two, maybe three ready to play NHL roster players. Otherwise the Oilers miss out on the help they desperately need to climb out of the bottom five and push for a playoff spot. Without that return, you take the best player available -- who seems to be Yakupov, put him in your lineup and make other moves before the season starts.

Part of this crazy speculation comes from Toronto fans who feel that by adding Gardiner to your team, you immediately will see college prospect Justin Schultz follow. If I'm a betting man, I consider those odds at best 4 to 1. Those are not odds I'm willing to gamble on if I'm in the Oilers shoes.

Gardiner and Justin Schultz are buddies. But Schultz will have other factors weighing on his mind when he ultimately decides where he'll end up playing. If friends is the only reason, Schultz wreaks of bad news to me.  A player who come contract time will be a problem. A locker room distraction in a locker room the Oilers spent years cleaning up and are still working to make the best it can be.

If the Oilers do in fact trade the pick, I see only two possible destinations. Columbus or Montreal. This leaves Yakupov, Murray and Reinhart who I believe are the three players the Oilers truly believe are the best options at this years draft and can be plugged into your roster immediately.

* UPDATE: Damien Cox has come to say that Brian Burke has denied even considering a trade of Jake Gardiner or Luke Schenn for the #1 pick. If that's the case, there is definitely no chance the Leafs and Oilers make any type of deal involving that selection.


Post a Comment

More To Read