Saturday, May 26, 2012
Edmonton Oilers Mock Draft 2012
Here I will look at the specific spots where the Oilers will draft and try to slot the ideal player who I think will be available with that spot. The Oilers will have to make a concerted effort to draft size and strength this year. Its lacking all over the lineup and in the prospect pool. Centers and defenseman that shoot right are also in need. I know, I know, BPA, BPA, BPA, well the Oilers aren't trying to build a fantasy team, they are trying to build a hockey team. I get the feeling sometimes that Oilers' fans try to build their teams like they would their fantasy hockey teams. It's more complex than that. So with all of that, here are my picks for this year:
Round #1 Pick #1 - Ryan Murray D Everett - As mentioned in my first round mock draft in the NHL, its a pick I have wrestled with all year. I guess the question, what's more important, a first pairing Dman, or a 2nd line forward? Murray will enhance the defense and help the forwards. His decision making with the puck will help the Oiler forwards get puck into the offensive zone. Should fit in nicely with the other youth on the team.
While he won't help with the strength quotient plaguing the Oilers, he will easily become the Oilers best defensive prospect. Murray is a cerebral assassin on the backend. Kind of like a Ryan Nugent-Hopkins that happens to play the defense position.
Round #2 Pick #32 - Damon Severson D Kelowna - Picking another Dman with the 2nd pick might be a bit of overkill especially with the amount of D prospects that are starting to pile up, but Severson is a player that is very intriguing. He's also a player that has something on most of the other D prospects, he shoots right. Severson brings a little a bit of everything, a lot like Murray does, but not to the degree that Murray does. Severson has size and continues to grow. Has put on 20 lbs. since the end of last year. He has a projectable frame to grow more without losing too much mobility. The potential for a Murray-Severson top pairing in time, is there.
Round #3 Pick #63 - Branden Troock RW Seattle - Troock might be a reach at this spot. But its a soft spot in the draft where a lot of smaller forwards and Dman are projected to go. Troock has a lot of measurables that would go into being a power forward. Has a fantastic hockey frame, but needs to work at getting stronger and applying more stamina. Very much a project but a project that has a lot of skill and ability to his game. Has had a couple of injury plagued seasons playing the WHL.
Round #3 Pick #91 - Frank Vatrano LW USNTDP - Nicknamed "Frank the Tank". Very stout winger that plays the game in trenches, but posesses a very quick, hard shot. Vatrano would add a board presence sorely lacking to the Oilers pool anywhere, be it current team or prospects. Vatrano has been recently accepted to Boston College, so he will likely be a 4 year player there.
Round #4 Pick #93 - Ryan Olsen C Kelowna - Played the past year in Saskatoon but was traded to Kelowna at the WHL Bantam Draft. Olsen had a very inconsistant season with Saskatoon this past season. Showed glimpses of greatness and long stretches of ineffectiveness. Much like Troock, a player that will be a project. Olsen is a bigger body that skates well, but seems to lack the drive to be a difference maker night in, night out. He's a right handed center, something the Oilers have very little of in their prospect pool.
Round #5 Pick #123 - Rhett Holland D Okotoks - Holland plays the game with high compete level and intensity. Doesn't have a lot of offensive acumen, but does skate well and has a good first pass. Plays the game like a current Ladislav Smid, but fights a lot more and has a propensity for a high PIM total. Already tipping the scales at 220 lbs, he looks ready for the pros anytime. Very dedicated player. Committed to Michigan State, the Oilers can store this player away while they deal with other defensive prospects. Oh yes, and he shoots right.
Round #6 Pick #153 - Peter Quennville C Sherwood Park - Crafty, cerebral center that was 2nd in AJHL scoring this past season. Kind of a Sam Gagner type center. Needs to work on strength for the time being. Who knows, the Oilers may have a need for this type of center down the line once again. Quennville is committed to Quinnipiac, likely a 4 year player there. Another right handed shooter.
That's the rundown for this year's draft. I look for the Oilers to draft stronger, heavier players this time around, especially ones that shoot right. In my rundown, I drafted 3 defensemen, 2 centers and 2 wingers. I expect the same ratio from the Oilers this season. I don't expect the Oilers to go heavy into the WHL/AJHL like I have in this rundown, as they have more eyes and ears at their disposal. The draft is always one of my favorite times of the year. It should be a good time once again this year.