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McKenzie thinks Oilers’ first round pick ‘most certainly in play’

(Jeanine Leech/Icon Sportswire)
(Jeanine Leech/Icon Sportswire)

Bob McKenzie was on Vancouver’s TSN 1040 on Thursday afternoon.

On if there’s a buzz out there that the Edmonton Oilers might potentially trade their No. 4 overall draft pick:

“I don’t think there’s any question that Peter Chiarelli is all ears on the fourth pick. If they had to use it, they’re going to get a good player there. Whether it’s Tkachuk, or Dubois, or they decided to go for a defenseman, that’s fine. But there’s no question in my mind that they’ll be using that as currency and bait to try and see if they can get themselves a National Hockey League defenseman or an NHL-ready forward now with a lot more size and skill than what they currently have.

“So I think it’s most certainly in play. The question that a lot of teams would ask is, ‘If I’m picking somewhere in the Top 10, how much of a premium do I want to move up. What am I going to get at 4 that is that much better than what I’d get at 7, 8, 9, or 10.’

“But if you do have a specific desire to get a Matthew Tkachuk or a Pierre-Luc Dubois, then the option might be appealing. But that’s kind of what you run into.

“For the Oilers, a lot of it will come down to are they just trading the pick outright, is it packaged with another player, is it flip-flop of picks for somebody who’s only going to be down a few spots more, where it would make more sense to take a defenseman at 7, 8, 9, or 10 than it would at 4.

“So I think all of those options are on the table for sure for Chiarelli and the Oilers.”

Related TSS reading: Chiarelli: Teams already calling on Oilers ‘ first round draft pick

On how this could be a really interesting summer for the Oilers, now that Chiarelli has had a year to see what’s out there and who he has:

“Yep. Absolutely. The Hamonic decision to rescind his trade request takes him out of the mix.

“I don’t know that there’s any talks whatsoever between Edmonton and a team like Anaheim, but I’m sure everybody will be watching Anaheim to see how they handle contract negotiations for Vatanen and Hampus Lindholm, and what they do with their goaltending there, and how all that shakes out.

“It’s not easy to find Top-4 and it’s almost impossible to find Top-2 defensemen in the National Hockey League via trade, but that’s kind of what the challenge is for the Edmonton Oilers right now, and it won’t be easy.”

Source: TSN 1040/ Transcript: Nichols

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