Once again, I find myself torn on this years draft year. Its as if myself and the Oilers have the same structural styles on what to draft where, but on who to draft is where we differ greatly. I think overall they did well, but also feel a lot was left on the table.
Pick #1 - #1 Ryan Nugent-Hopkins C - WHL - The consensus #1 pick was taken #1. Sublime offensive player that many think will be a perfect compliment to Hall and Eberle. I don't personally think so, I think strength is a big time issue here going forward, but we'll see how it plays out. I had Sean Couturier going in this spot, he went #8.
Pick #2 - #19 Oscar Klefbom D - Sweden - A solid pick. The potential for a top pairing Dman is there with Klefbom, just needs to polish out his defensive game a little more. Can man the point on the PP with the best of them and has a hard accurate shot. I had Joel Armia going here but he ended up going #16 to Buffalo making him null and void.
Pick #3 - #31 David Musil D - WHL - I'm not a big fan of this pick. Just because I thought there was better on the board. Musil, in my mind, will track much like Ladislav Smid has up to this point. Fans will angry when they see he doesn't bring enough offense, or bring enough defense, or bring enough toughness. He just seems to be a tweener in many facets of the game. I had Klefbom going here, but he went at #19, I was also secretly hoping for Boone Jenner at this spot, he went #37.
Pick #4 - #61 Samu Perhonen G - Finland - Big acrobatic goaltender, has a lot of great athletic tools but also has to know that just stopping the puck is his #1 priority. Doesn't have to look fantastic doing it. I'm not sure the Oilers needed to draft a goaltender this year, but since they did, its good that they drafted Perhonen as they can store him in Europe. I think the Oilers have too many other pressing needs to draft a goaltender this high. I had Adam Lowry going here, he went #67.
Pick #5 - #74 Travis Ewanyk C - WHL - If you asked me in March, I would have though this would have been a good pick, until I saw Nugent-Hopkins eat his lunch in the WHL playoffs. Ewanyk is tracking as a checking/energy line C. But if you have a hard time guarding the best in the league, it essentially makes you a Steve Ludzik type C, doesn't it? I guess Ewanyk is a work in progress. I had Zach Yuen going here, he went #119.
Pick #6 - #92 Dillon Simpson D - NCAA - Decent pick here, but a bit of a project. Needs to refine some aspect of his game to give him a leg up. I think he tracks much like Jeff Petry did for the Oilers, be a 4 year NCAA player than a year in the AHL, then hopefully he should be good to go. I had Dylan Wruck going here, he went undrafted.
Pick #7 - #114 Tobias Rieder C - OHL - German sparkplug type player. Has some offensive tools, some defensive tools, but all in all still a project. Projects somewhere between Todd Marchant and Andrew Cogliano. Hockey sense needs to be developed a bit here, he's like a rabid dog with a steak right now. I had Troy Vance going here, he went #135.
Pick #8 - #122 Martin Gernat D - Slovakia - An interesting pick here. Stu MacGregor thinks he caught the big one here, perhaps he did. I hear the word "raw" applied to him, which usually leaves my stomach turning hearing that. Alexai Mikhnov was also raw. Alexei Semenov was raw. JF Jacques was raw. At least here they only burned a 5th rounder so the gamble is minimal. I had tough guy Mitch Eliot going here, he went undrafted.
Pick #9 - #182 Frans Tuohimaa G - Finland - I think 2 Finnish goaltenders in the same draft is a bit overkill, but I think this pick poses as insurance in case the Oilers can't find themselves another goaltender in the offseason or in case Olivier Roy isn't ready to play in OKC. I had Andrej Stastny going here, yet again, another player that went undrafted.
I give this draft an overall B grade. They addressed some D issues, got some size in Musil and Klefbom, surprisingly did not draft a winger at all. Size and strength on forward is still an issue. One thing is certainly showing, the Oilers are loving their Finnish players.
#1 Sean Couturier
#2 Oscar Klefbom
#3 Boone Jenner
#4 Adam Lowry
#5 Zach Yuen
#6 Dylan Wruck
#7 Troy Vance
#8 Mitch Eliot
#9 Andrej Stastny