First off, there is now question on the talent level of their top picks - Hall, Nugent-Hopkins, Eberle, Yakupov, Schultz (college UFA), Paajarvi (STL. for Perron). However, as they started drafting these "can't miss picks" I think they made big mistakes by not showing the same level of respect for the youngsters and verterans that were still there.
Sam Gagner - still there and probably the Oilers best forward overall. But he takes a back seat to all of the above mentioned.
Cogliano - gave up on the youngster but has flourished as a reliable 2-way player with the Anaheim Ducks.
Hemsky - never good enough for the Oilers, was supposed to be traded by MacTavish, but couldn't swing a deal. Apparently he will not be traded now. Treated with disrespect.
Yakupov - a new scapegoat for early season woes.
And they have given up on players like Kyle Brodzak (MIN) and Curtis Glencross (CAL). Two gritty players that work hard and chip in with solid 2nd/3rd line points. Players that the Oilers desperately need.
Secondly, I think Oilers management have rewarded this youngsters way too early. As of next season, Hall, Eberle, and Nugent-Hopkins will make $6 million/year. For what? These guys haven't proved anything yet. They are the teams best players, play all the important minutes and special teams. Sure, they wrack up some points, but still lose! Of the the 3, I think Eberle has that intangible that edge that leaders are made of. He will be most remembered and coveted.
Why does Devan Dubnyk make $3.5 million? For what? Really? I have no further comments.
And they have no defence.
Yakupov will be the scapegoat when it comes to a trade. But to really improve, Hemsky and Gagner would fetch the most return for defence and goal. But the biggest problem I think is that the Oilers young guns are simply Over-Hyped, Over-Payed, and In Over There Heads for now, and their game plan of tanking hasn't guaranteed them any success.