I'm very torn on how the entire draft played out this year. I'm finding the oilers drafted the right postion with the right picks, but I think they picked the wrong players in those slots. Which tells me that Steve Tambellini had a solid gameplan going into the draft, but his scouts let him down. On the other hand, we got Taylor Hall and that will make it ll worth it.
Pick #1 - #1 Taylor Hall LW - OHL - For me its been a no-brainer for the last 6 months. I'm happy the Oilers concurred, I had Taylor Hall going in this spot.
Pick #2 - #31 Tyler Pitlick C - NCAA - I had Alex Petrovic here, but to be honest, I think Pitlick is a better pick here. Cut of the Shawn Horcoff mold, I think he will be a very versatile piece of the Oilers going forward. I was also preaching Brad Ross moved up here, but can't argue with the Pitlick selection. Petrovic went at #36.
Pick #3 - #46 Martin Marincin D - Slovakia - Riley Nash's career as an Oiler came to an end here as the Oilers traded him for the 46th pick. Marincin is cut of the Ladialav Smid mold in that he has solid co-ordination for a bigger man and hopefully they can mold him into a solid Dman. I was secretly hoping for Troy Rutkowski in this spot.
Pick #4 - #48 Curtis Hamilton LW - WHL - Cut of the Ethan Moreau mold. Not sure how physical he will be since he has had troubles with injuries during his junior tenure. Solid character player, another bigger body, up and down type winger. I had Brad Ross here, but since he went at #44, makes him null and void.
Pick #5 - #61 Ryan Martindale C - OHL - This pick is the start of where I get perturbed and the draft goes sideways. Ryan Martindale is a big softy. he was +2 on a team that was heavily in the plus. Yes, he is a bigger body, but he doesn't play like it. I had Kevin Sundher in this spot and I think the can use Kevin Sundher's skills a lot more here. Kevin Sundher went at #75.
Pick #6 - #91 Jeremie Blain D - QMJHL - I'm gonna be honest, don't know a lot about this kid other than what his stats tell me. 4-34-38 -22 on a team that had some ugly +/- on the team. It just seemed like a very token pick, like they just had to pick someone out of the Q. I had Phillip Grubauer G in this spot, I know which one I would have rather have had. Grubauer went at #112.
Pick #7 - #121 Tyler Bunz G - WHL - Personally of the goaltenders available, I would have looked at Frederick Petersson-Wentzel. I'm not a fan of WHL goaltenders these days, and I'm not sure if its because the goal scoring is so prolific in this league or the goaltenders rolling through just aren't very good. The Oilers needed a goaltender, so I'm glad they took one, but there were better kicking around at this point. I had John Ramage here, but he went at pick #103 making him null and void.
Pick #8 - Brandon Davidson D - WHL - This was a good value pick here. He was +15 on a Regina Pats team that frankly wasn't very good and should have been better. I want to fight the temptation of saying he's another Bryan Young, but he definitely has that feel, I think his passing is a lot better, so I'm hoping that will be enough separation for him. I had Taylor Carnevale here, who ended up not going in the draft at all, which is too bad because I think he has some nice tools in his game, great skater, pretty good shot, good head for the game, I thought he would be a steal for someone looking for a player in this range. Todd Marchant type mold.
Pick #9 - Drew Czerwonka RW - WHL - The dub got a lot of love today from the Oilers. Don't really know much about this kid either, other than he is tough as nails. Very much a project of the Cameron Abney mold. I had Craig Cunningham here who went in the 4th round, pick #97, definitely making him null and void.
Pick #10 - Kristians Pelss F - Latvia - Know very little about this one, other than he is a 5'11 179 lbs forward. I'm not even certain the Oilers know what they are getting here. I had Peter Hrasko at this spot, cut of the Marc-Andre Bergeron mold, he went undrafted here.
Pick #11 - Kellen Jones F - BCHL - Undersized forward averaged a point per game for Vernon. Home run type pick at this late stage. For argument's sake I'll put Darren Archibald here since he went undrafted anyway. I had Archibald at the 162nd pick but it ended up being traded for Colin Fraser. I like the way Archibald plays the game, he agitates, maybe a bit of a poser, but isnt afraid to back it up. Will likely put up more offense than a player like Czerwonka would otherwise do.
So thats the list for this year. I thought there were a lot of reaches and a real focus on trying to draft bigger players, but in their hastiness to do so, I think they missed on some underlying grit players along the way. I guess we will have to look way into the future to see how this all plays out. But all arguments aside, the one player that matters is Taylor Hall, welcome aboard.
Rundown on my own personal draft:
#1 - Taylor Hall
#2 - Alex Petrovic
#3 - Troy Rutkowski
#4 - Curtis Hamilton
#5 - Kevin Sundher
#6 - Phillip Grubauer
#7 - Tyler Bunz
#8 - Taylor Carnevale
#9 - Drew Czerwonka
#10 - Peter Hrasko
#11 - Darren Archibald