If Oilers win draft lottery again, they should trade chance at Auston Matthews for prize defenceman Ekman-Larsson
Oilers GM Peter Chiarelli will probably be on the horn to his Arizona counterpart, Don Maloney, five minutes after the televised lottery show, knowing that the Coyotes would be falling all over themselves to get the marketing jewel, Scottsdale-born Matthews, for a much-needed boost in ticket sales. Chiarelli could offer Maloney the No. 1 pick for his diamond, defenceman Oliver Ekman-Larsson, and everybody will live happily ever after. Maloney might tell Chiarelli to drop dead, between guffaws, because Ekman-Larsson is a terrific player; as talented as Erik Karlsson but not quite as offensive. But it never hurts to ask.
The Oilers would get a No. 1 defenceman in the Swedish-born Ekman-Larsson. The Coyotes would get their No. 1 centre-in-waiting in Matthews, currently a star in the Swiss Elite League. It’s win-win, baby.