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Oilers would consider dealing their first pick

by Adam Kimelman

TORONTO -- Edmonton Oilers president of hockey operations Kevin Lowe wasn't ready to talk about what his team's plans were for the 2013 NHL Draft, but did tell that with the seventh pick, "We're going to get another great piece to add to the group."

That's if the Oilers keep the pick.

Edmonton appears to be overflowing with young talent, thanks in part to having the first pick of the draft in each of the previous three years.

Lowe said the decision to keep or move the pick lies with general manager Craig MacTavish, but admitted the organizational mindset is to listen to any suggestions.

"Because the draft is deep, as you move along, if someone offered us something we felt could fit in with our group, a different age and a certain type of positional player we need, we wouldn't be opposed to moving the pick," Lowe said. "Maybe where teams are positioned with the [salary] cap going down, all those sorts of moons aligning could lead to something."

If the Oilers keep the pick, Lowe said the Oilers likely would take the best player available rather than look to fill a particular need. At the NHL level, the team appears to be stocked with young forwards: Jordan Eberle, Taylor Hall, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Nail Yakupov. Their top defense prospects, Lowe said, could be ready to join Justin Schultz at the NHL level as soon as next season.

"We have [Oscar] Klefbom, we have [Martin] Marincin and we have [Martin] Gernat and we have [David] Musil and Dylan Simpson at North Dakota," Lowe said. "We've drafted a lot of defensemen that we think have a good chance at playing. Is there a stud top-two defenseman [at No. 7]? You're never going to turn your back on one of those. But I think we're in a good position where we probably could lean to [take the] best player available and not have to draft for need."


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