This shouldn't really surprise anyone... most defensemen are signficantly further from being every day NHL players than most forwards coming into the draft. So the very nature of the position makes it more difficult to project how a player will turn out. Which should, logically, reduce the willingness of teams to gamble on a d-man with a high draft pick in all but a few exceptional cases. The reward just isn't typically there, especially when you have reasonably similar odds of hitting on a quality prospect in later rounds.
Exactly. What has Ryan Murray done to show he's worth a top 3 pick? He's not putting up exceptional numbers and he's undersized.
My honest prediction is that Eberle and RNH are going to top the West in PPG most years for the next 10+ years. Hall won't be far behind.
This, in my opinion, isn't even a particularly bold prediction, as Eberle is at this moment the leader in PPG in the West, and Hall and RNH are just outside of the Top 10.
We DO need another difference maker up front to be a big-time contender. But I don't think we necessarily need to pick them up RIGHT NOW. Any time in the next 5 years will work. I think next year we can pick up another player for our Top 6 in the draft, and if not, we still have some promising prospects, and we could trade for/sign one too.
Further, we STILL don't know the true potential of any of our forwards, because our transition game is still very poor. A few very good defensemen would take our power play to another level and improve our 5 on 5 point production immensely. It's not out of the question that a guy like Gagner is a 60 point player if he has a strong defense corp with good breakout pass helping him out.
I would rather have the best defenseman from this draft, for sure. It would help all of our players and it would improve the balance of the team.
I'd like to have both ... but if I absolutely knew that let's say Yakupov and Murray were both going to be super-elite players and each win themselves multiple Richard/Norris trophies down the road... I'd go for Yakupov 1st and Murray second. I just like what a dynamic goal scoring offensive player like Yakupov could bring to the lineup... he adds another dimension to the team and takes the club above being just a one line show... which it most often is on many nights.
No doubt a Norris winning dman would be brilliant as well... but I'd just as soon have a solid top 4 squad of dmen back there (which the Oilers don't have yet either).
It is not wise to blow a top-5 pick on a defenseman... your chances of having a bust are much higher, and ultimately it's about having the player of the most value regardless of position. The only exceptional case is when a draft is loaded with defense and no high-end forward talent.
I think that the best thing the Oilers can do is bend over backwards and do whatever it takes to acquire Justin Shultz. Than draft Grigerenko if he is still there at #3 (every passing day puts us ahead of MTL).
Trade Gagner+ for a top 4 dman leaving us with:
Gagner trade - young Shultz