again, the Edmonton Oilers are in the running for the top overall draft pick.
As of March 24th, 2016, the team has the second fewest points in the league,
but four games in hand on the team in front of them (Toronto Maple Leafs). It is truly remarkable that the Oilers have continued
their losing ways, considering all of the talent they have been able to acquire
in the draft over the last six years.
has been lucky enough to select first overall in the draft in four out of the
last six years, and picking third once as well. All five of those top 3 picks
have been forwards, giving the team a strong, young offensive base, but leaving
other positions bare. Last year’s top overall pick, Connor McDavid, looks like
a true star in the league but the rest of the team needs to work to climb out
of the cellar.
Free Agents: The highest paid unrestricted free agent is Defenseman Nikita
Nikitin, currently making $4.5 Million in 2015-2016. He has struggled to stay
with the pro club, playing only 11 games this season, and will almost assuredly
not be re-signed. Eric Gryba, a defensive defenseman, played relatively well
this season before injury and may be re-signed, depending on the cost.
interesting restricted free agent is forward Zack Kassian. Since being acquired
from the Montreal Canadiens, he has managed just 8 points in 29 games. While
that may seem like nothing, he is just 25 years old and has shown some ability
to score and play tough in previous seasons. The likelihood of him staying with
the club will likely depend on his qualifying offer.
Picks: There is a good chance the Oilers will fall into a top 2 pick once again
this year. The top prospect in the draft is Auston Matthews, a forward. The
main question will be if the team has room for another top level forward or
would look to possibly trade back and grab a defenseman. The top defenseman
prospect this year is Jacob Chychrun, an offensively talented blue liner that
could likely make the squad very soon.
Agent Additions: While Cam Talbot has played admirably in goal, the team may
look to make a change. The problem will be finding a suitable replacement as
the top available goalies in a very thin market are Cam Ward and Jonas Hiller
that are both over 30.
the team decide to add a veteran defender, Keith Yandle and Kris Russell should
both be available if the team is willing to pay.
Labels: Eric Bokobza