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BLOG: Holland highlights priorities ahead of NHL Draft, Free Agency

Oilers President of Hockey Operations and General Manager Ken Holland outlined his priorities over the next few weeks as the NHL Draft and Free Agency loom

by Paul Gazzola / EdmontonOilers.com

EDMONTON, AB - Fielding questions from Oilers Season Seat Holders and local media at a hot stove event on Thursday night, Oilers President of Hockey Operations and General Manager Ken Holland outlined his key priorities ahead of the 2019 NHL Draft and Free Agency period.

Vancouver is set to host this year's edition of the Draft, while Free Agency will open on July 1st.

Holland began by discussing the Draft then disclosed some of his plans for July.

"Well, obviously we got pick eight," Holland started. "We're going to get a really good player. That's the great news. We've got some good, young defencemen in the organization. When people talk philosophy, do you go for the best player, do you go for position? I think that there's a lot of players that are really close and I know that we're going to add a really good, young player to the organization."

The former Detroit Red Wings General Manager admitted that in this day and age, NHL executives prefer to make transactions at the Draft more than ever. Holland said his phone lines have been busy speaking to fellow managers across the League.

"At the same time, we need to make our team better for the '19-20 season," Holland continued. "I've been on the phone here for the last couple of weeks with general managers around the League. Any trades or moves that come in the NHL, for the most part, come when you're in Vancouver for the Draft. I've had an opportunity to understand what the other managers want to accomplish and what we're trying to accomplish. 

"We've got to get deeper up front and we certainly got to get another goaltender so we have a two-goaltender system. I think those are the most important things over the next ten days. Then obviously right after that, July 1st, is unrestricted Free Agency and we're certainly going to explore the market to see if there's a player or two that makes us better."

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