According to two well-placed sources, the Edmonton Oilers are in talks to trade the No. 1 pick overall at this weekend’s draft in Minnesota. One likely trade partner is Florida, which currently owns the No. 3 selection.
The assumption is Edmonton would pull the trigger if it thinks it can still get Swedish defenseman Adam Larsson with a lower pick and grab another asset – for example, a prospect – in the process. Florida would likely pick center Ryan Nugent-Hopkins with the first overall selection.
Oilers GM Steve Tambellini addressed the draft in a morning press conference before he left for Minnesota.
“To have people want to move down a couple spots,” he said, “you really need to present something that is almost a no-brainer for the organization and that’s a hard thing to deliver sometimes.”
Like the Oilers, the Panthers are rebuilding and have a pretty good stable of prospects to dangle in front of Edmonton. And though there are many great options in this year’s draft, positioning is going to be crucial, hence the trade talk.
“There’s more discussion this year than last year and I think that speaks to the quality of the top end of this year’s draft,” Tambellini said. “They know they’re going to get a good player, teams just want to make sure they get the right player.”