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BLOG: Different draft, same preparation

by Chris Wescott / Head Writer

The Oilers currently hold the 22nd-overall pick in the first round of the 2017 NHL Draft. If that were to hold, Edmonton would have its lowest first-round selection since 2008, but that doesn't mean preparation is much different.

Edmonton's scouting staff is preparing for every possible scenario, be it a trade up, a trade down, moving or acquiring picks and so on. It's the same as every year, regardless of draft position or depth of prospects.

"Guys you think won't be there might be there and I've seen it happen before," said Oilers Assistant GM Keith Gretzky. "Our group is well-prepared, we know who we want to get to know better and we try to get to know them because a trade could happen, you could get another pick or anything could happen. So you've got to be prepared."

In addition to drafting lower than usual, Edmonton is currently without a second-round pick. The preparation holds firm, however.

"We don't have a pick in the second round right now, but the scouts can't worry about that," said Oilers Director of Player Personnel Bob Green. "We've got to know the players inside and out. We've got to be prepared in case there's a trade or anything for that matter. We really can't concern ourselves with that. We just have to know these guys and be prepared for whatever happens."

"Anything could happen," Gretzky added. "You could get picks, a trade could be made, so you have to be ready."

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