At this point there are so many draft lists and mock drafts I’m sure we all have a pretty firm grasp on where these guys will be picked right? There are a lot of players I think we can accurately predict but here are 5 that could surprise at the draft (In no particular order):
Kotkaniemi is a left shooting Center who has skyrocketed up most rankings over the past few weeks. I had Kotkaniemi ranked 12th in my rankings published on April 12th and at this point there seems to be a consensus that he is a top 10 talent. News from the NHL combine is that Montreal, Detroit and Edmonton each showed an interest in Kotkaniemi and while I would love to see Edmonton pick him 10th there is a chance he could go as high as 3rd overall.
Tkachuk has been in the top 5 of almost every ranking I’ve seen and I had him ranked 4th in my top 10 rankings in April. I’m not completely sold on his offense and I think there is a real possibility he could fall a bit in this years draft. I don’t think he’ll be around for the Oilers at 10th but its worth keeping an eye on.
I have Merkley outside my top 20 and most lists agree that he won’t be picked higher but there are some that think Merkley could be the 2nd best defensman in the draft after Dahlin and he’s ranked so low due to off ice issues and attitude. So will a team look past the off ice stuff and take a risk with Merkley? Honestly I don’t think the Oilers should take a gamble at 10th but wouldn’t be surprised if Merkley is gone by 15th or is still there for round 2.
Kravtsov is outside my top 20 rankings as well and in most mid season rankings he was projected to go somewhere in the 2nd round. After a strong playoffs to close out his season in the KHL he’s moved up quite a bit on most lists. I think its fair to expect Kravtsov to go in the top 20 but is there a team that seen him good in those playoffs that takes him earlier?
Would it be worth it for the Oilers to trade down in this draft to pick up an extra asset and then pick either Merkley or Kravstov? Could happen if Kotkaniemi who is the guy they seem to like isn’t there at 10th.
This is a follow up to Oilershockey’s Top 10 Draft Rankings – April to list the players I’ve ranked from 11 – 20 for the upcoming NHL draft.
11 C Rasmus Kupari 6’2 183lbs – FIN – Shoots Right
League: Liiga – 39gp 6g 8a 14pts NHLE: 12.8
Kupari is a strong skilled skater with an above average shot. While his NHLE number doesn’t look great we need to be aware that Kupari’s minutes were limited after being called up and he did have a strong performance at the U18 tournament picking up 7 points in 4 games.
The Oilers closed out the season last night with a 3 – 2 victory over the Vancouver Canucks in a shootout. Normally that would be a good thing but in this case the win moved the Oilers past the Blackhawks and the Rangers to finish the season in 23rd place overall or more importantly 9th last. If they had lost the game in regulation last night not only would the Sedins have left on a more positive note but the Oilers would have finished 7th last and had a better chance for a higher draft pick.
When the season started I really didn’t expect to be thinking about who the Oilers would be picking at the draft come april but here we are. The Oilers will be picking somewhere in the top 10 so I’ve done some research and have come up with the first ever Oilerhockey top 10 draft rankings.
The NHL will hold an expansion draft on June 21st of this year in which the Vegas Golden Knights will pick one player from each team to build its roster for the 2017/18 season. Each team will have the ability to protect a list of players from the expansion draft but are required to expose a minimum number of players who meet certain criteria.
The Edmonton Oilers continued their recent history of drafting highly touted offensive prospects in the first round. With the fourth overall pick in the 2016 draft, the Oilers drafted 18-year old Swedish right winger Jesse Puljujarvi. This marks the fourth time in five years the Oilers drafted an offensive player with a top five pick: 2012 #1 Nail Yakupov, 2014 #3 Leon Draisaitl, 2015 #1 Connor McDavid and now Puljujarvi.
Puljujarvi comes to the NHL with high expectations. The 6’3” right-winger recorded four goals and four assists in 16 games as a 17-year old in Finland’s top professional league. NHL’s Director of European Scouting Goran Stubb had high praise for Puljujarvi saying, “He’s a powerful skater with good speed and balance. He has outstanding hockey sense and reads the play well. He’s a good playmaker with strong puck-handling skills. He can take advantage of 1- on-1 situations with his long reach.”
About the only thing the Edmonton Oilers can win in recent history is the draft lottery and they’ve done it again. Unless something really crazy happens the Oilers will select Connor McDavid with the first overall pick who has been projected to be a generational talent similar to Sydney Crosby so I thought it would be a good idea to do some comparisons.
These are stats from the draft years for Connor McDavid, Sydney Crosby, Taylor Hall, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Nail Yakupov
The Oilers have a huge whole in their center depth and Leon Draisaitl has a real shot at making the team this upcoming season. Before the draft I posted the last 20 3rd overall picks in the draft to get an idea of what we could expect of the Oilers pick this year and I thought it would be interesting to see how long it took those players to be NHL’rs.
The table below shows the number of games played by the past 20 3rd overall picks in the first 3 years after they are drafted.
We know that if the Oilers don’t trade the 3rd overall pick they’ll take one of Ekblad, Draisaitl, Bennet or Reinhart, but what can we expect from these kids? Below is a list of the past 20 3rd overall picks:
This is a review of what the Edmonton Oilers did (and didn’t) do at the 2013 NHL entry draft:
7th overall selection – The Oilers take Defensman Darnell Nurse 7th overall and while I’ve seen his name come up for the Oilers in a few mock drafts I really expected them to take a forward. The team is clearly weak at forward and has a real need for skilled players with size to complement the young forwards already in the system, so when the Oilers went to the podium with Nishushkin still on the board I was quite surprised that they picked Darnell Nurse. With that said I think Nurse really adds alot to the defensive prospect pool of the Oilers and gives them a position of strength to deal from when making trades for the forwards the team needs. Nurse may be a couple of years away from the NHL but he will get there and he will make an impact so that really opens the door for MacT to trade good prospects like Marincin, Mussil, Fedun etc.. I still think they like Klefbom too much to deal him unless the return is just too perfect. Continue reading