Several Eastern Conference teams are tracking the ongoing free-fall in Pittsburgh, but there’s a team out west that’s keeping an eye as well — the Edmonton Oilers.
Edmonton owns Pittsburgh’s first-round pick at this year’s draft, thanks to January’s David Perron trade, and the Oilers could very well end up with a second crack at the lottery should the Pens miss the playoffs.
“It’s another chip on the roulette table, you could say,” Taylor Hall said, per the Edmonton Sun. “You don’t root for teams to lose or anything like that, but it would certainly be nice to have another shot at that No. 1 pick.”
Rob Klinkhammer, who came to Edmonton in the aforementioned Perron trade, was even more direct.
“Obviously, everyone here is hoping for another pick in the lottery,” he explained.
The Oilers host Los Angeles tonight in a game that’ll go a long way in deciding odds for their own pick. Currently sitting 28th in the NHL, Edmonton has an 11.5 percent crack at the No. 1 pick but, should it slide into 29th (a spot currently held by Arizona, three points back), those odds would increase to 13.5 percent.
As for that potential Pittsburgh pick? If the Pens miss, they’d have between a two and one percent chance of getting the first overall selection — slim, but still a chance. It’s a ray of hope for an Oilers team that hasn’t had many good moments this year, and wants to have something positive to build on.
“We put ourselves into a situation to have a good chance, and that sucks,” he said. “But at the end of the day, you want to do well in that lottery.”