McKenzie on Oilers: ‘First-round pick could be in play’

The Oilers’ 2019 first-round pick or Jesse Puljujarvi may be what it takes for Peter Chiarelli to net the asset he desires.

Bob McKenzie had a Wednesday afternoon radio hit on Ottawa’s TSN 1200, and was asked if the Oilers’ first-round pick could potentially be in play in an attempt to push themselves into the playoffs this season.

“I don’t think there’s any question about that,” indicated McKenzie. “If you like to play general manager, pretend you’re general manager Peter Chiarelli of the Edmonton Oilers. Look at their lineup, as it currently exists, and you see the holes - everybody sees the holes - they need more scoring, they need help on the blueline. And then you ask yourself, ‘What pieces could you possibly move that would fetch a significant return coming back the other way, an impactful return, coming back the other way.

“Once you get by the notion that you’re not, under any circumstances, trading Connor McDavid or Leon Draisaitl, and you would prefer not to trade Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, there’s not a lot left. And you don’t want to move Darnell Nurse because you’re already shy good, young defensemen. So what could be in play? Well, the first-round pick could be in play. Maybe Jesse Puljujarvi, their first-round pick from a few years ago, could be in play.

“But, again, see the Cody Ceci ‘shopping versus listening,’ and it’s the same sort of thing. The Edmonton Oilers are bristling because there’s been all sorts of speculation that Puljujarvi could be moved in order to get a piece coming back the other way that fills another need. The word now out of Edmonton is, ‘We’re not shopping him. We’re not trying to get rid of him. But there may be some teams that would be interested in talking to us about him.’

“So again, if you’re general manager of a team like Edmonton or St. Louis or Ottawa, you’re all ears. There’s not too many untouchables on your roster.”

The 22-21-3 Oilers sit fourth in the Pacific Division, and are one of three teams two points shy of the final Wild Card spot in the West.