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
Craig Mactavish and the Edmonton Oilers have selected Darnell Nurse 7th overall in the NHL entry draft. I honestly expected the Oilers would pick Nishushkin when they came to the podium with him still available and was actually a little disapointed when they didn’t. I was however very releved that they used the pick rather than use it as a package to obtain Cory Schneider from the Canucks. There were rumors that the Oilers were offering the 7th overall pick plus a top prospect to Vancouver for Schneider but for whatever reason the deal didn’t go through. There were looks of surprise from the Oilers table at the anouncment of the trade of Schneider to the Devils for just the 9th overall selection. Continue reading