Saturday, June 23, 2012

Edmonton Oilers Draft Rundown 2012

The Oilers had a fair draft this time around. Looked for the right things but turned over the wrong rocks. The fact that they drafted some size and strength is a good sign for the Oilers as they badly need it, just not sure the players they picked today will be in a position to help them. 5 wingers and 2 defensemen is the rundown. Could have used some centers, have more than enough wingers kicking around now.

Pick #1 - #1. Nail Yakupov LW/RW - OHL - The Oilers abandon the plan of trying for a top pairing Dman here and take the BPA in Yakupov. Yakupov will add to the push the pace style the Oilers are trying to construct, but with the defense about as broken as it can get, the young stud forwards will be rendered useless on a lot of nights. Yakupov is a heckuva talent, but I fail to see how the Oilers will be able to win games without some high end Dmen and centers. I had Ryan Murray going here, he went #2 to Columbus.

Pick #2 - #32. Mitch Moroz LW - WHL - I like this player's size/strength and what he brings to a team, a no nonsense approach. But picking him here, is a bit of a reach. He's a project player that needs a lot of work on his skating. There were many capable Dmen left on the board with this pick, one that the Oilers could have used in their pipeline. At the moment, I think he has 4th line potential, with some room to grow some more. To say he'll evolve into a scoring power forward is a bit optimistic. I had Damon Severson going in this spot, he went #60 to the Devils.

Pick #3 - #60. Jujhar Khaira LW - BCHL - This is a pick that I'm fond of somewhat. At the moment, Khaira is a tall, lanky winger, that reminds me of a more finesse, less flighty, version of Magnus Paajarvi. Very much a finesse player, that gets pucks from point A to point B efficiently. Khaira, like much of the other Oilers forwards, is going to have to hit the weights in order to make it to the next level. He's a player I'd like to see play in the WHL, rights owned by Everett, but as of right now, is committed to play at Michigan Tech. I had Branden Troock going in this spot, he went at pick #134 to the Stars. I may like this Oilers pick a bit more if he decides on the WHL.

Pick #4 - #91. Daniil Zharkov LW - OHL - Third left winger picked in a row, all 6'3" and believe me, if the Oilers have a strength, its LW. Kind of a one-dimensional sniper, but a dimension he is very good at. Reminds me of a poor man's Kovalchuk, but doesn't quite have the long range shooting Kovalchuk does. A player that rides hot and cold streaks, but doesn't score the volume like a Kovalchuk would. I had Zharkov pegged as a 2nd rounder, so the value is definitely there, but having Yakupov (can play RW), Hall, Paajarvi, to go along with Moroz and Khaira drafted above, just doesn't make a lot of sense. Obviously all of these players aren't likely to pan out, but now its practically a given, given the logjam on LW. I had the Oilers taking Frank Vatrano going here, he didn't get picked at all, which is very surprising.

Pick #5 - #93. Erik Gustafsson D - Sweden - Not to be confused with the Erik Gustafsson playing for the Flyers. This seemed like a very token pick for the European scouts. Haven't seen much of this player other than to say he was drafted as an overager. On the surface, it seems like a storage pick for the Oilers, a player the Oilers can leave in Europe for a few years until they can figure out where he slots on the depth chart. I had Ryan Olsen going in this slot, he went at pick #160 to the Jets.

Pick #6 - #123. Joey Laleggia D - NCAA - Another overage draftee for the Oilers that has high boom/bust potential. Diminutive Dman, that excels in puck movement and distribution. Has excellent vision, but not a lot of strength in his game at all. I figure, at minimum, he'll have an AHL career waiting for him, NHL, we'll have to wait and see. I had Rhett Holland going in this spot, he went at pick #102 to the Coyotes, making him null and void.

Pick #7 - #153. John McCarron RW - ECAC - Yet another overage pick. McCarron has some skills though. Big bodied player that skates well, modest hands, game kid that will stick up for teammates, shoots right. Sounds like everything the Oilers could use. Some potential there, but the learning curve will be steep for this player. I had Peter Quennville going in this spot, he went undrafted.

That's the rundown of the draft. All in all, they addressed size and strength on the wings, didn't do much to improve defense or center depth. They will likely need some of these players in near future to put around the young kids on the current team. But as of right now, the Oilers continue to be a work in progress.

My rundown:
#1. Ryan Murray
#2. Damon Severson
#3. Branden Troock
#4. Frank Vatrano
#5. Ryan Olsen
#6. Joey Laleggia
#7. Peter Quennville

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