Time for another round of being a wannabe scout and take a look at who the Edmonton Oilers might take with their draft picks. I have been doing this since 2010 and having a blast in doing so. Oilers only have 6 draft picks at this point in time, therefore the list will be shorter than it has been in years past.
1st Round - 7th Overall - Curtis Lazar C/RW Edmonton - The Oilers dip into their backyard and take the player they have been watching for the past couple of seasons. Lazar brings so much more versatility and adaptability to his game to go along with great acceleration and a quick trigger shot. I have little doubt about him fitting in with the other young Oilers. He could play on the Oilers as soon as next season if the Oilers choose to go that route. Depending on the direction the Oilers want to go with their young club under the Craig MacTavish regime, Lazar can play in any position under any type of coaching.
2nd Round - 37th Overall - John Hayden C/RW USNDP - Oilers need big wingers, this player is one of the bigger wingers in the draft. Has all the tools to be a scoring power forward. Good hands in tight around the net but also can make a play in space. Skates well for a big man and isn't afraid to use his frame. 6'3" 220 lbs at 18 years of age. Committed to Yale University for next season so its a storage pick for the Oilers but one that could have a high return at the end of his tenure. Could be a player that sneaks into the latter half of the first round. layed a lot of center on his club team but played the wing at the U18s and was fantastic. Another large U.S player Michael McCarron will need to be eyeballed with this pick if he is still available. Either player would be a solid pick here.
3rd Round - 55ish Overall - Tristan Jarry G Edmonton - I'd really like the Oilers to take a defenseman at this point but the selection is limited in this range. Oilers need to find a bluechip goaltending prospect, so why not go back to the "backyard" and take Tristan Jarry. Jarry is an A Grade goatending prospect that is a bit of a secret due to exposure. Jarry played backup to Laurent Brossoit this season but posted some of the best goaltender numbers in WHL this season. When he got a chance to be the "man" at the prospects game, he took the ball and ran with it. He was spectacular in that game. Jarry is a unique blend of being a structural goaltender with a high degree of athleticism. Another WHL goaltender Eric Comrie may or may not be available with this pick. Either would be fine choices here.
5th Round - 128th Overall - Jamal Watson RW Lethbridge - Watson is a favortie of mine. I have him ranked a lot higher than many of the other scouting servcies but I'll take him here because its likely the range he will go in. Watson is a gamebreaker in the making. Reminds me a lot of Emerson Etem at the same age. Etem grew up and emerged as a top flight power forward scoring big goals for the Anaheim Ducks this season. I feel under the right guidance, Watson could have the same kind of emergence. A player with already a lot of speed, if he can find some semblance of power to his game, he could become a handful for many years to come.
6th Round - 158th Overall - Quentin Shore C U of Denver - Shore went undrafted in 2012 after being ranked in the 80 range by many scouting publications. Craig MacTavish would be a fan of Quentin Shore because he plays a very similar game that he did back in the day. Defensive minded center with mild offensive ability. Quentin comes from a hockey family where his brother Nick and Drew have already been drafted by NHL clubs. Drew played for the Panthers this past season. Shore is currently playing for the University of Denver, just finishing up his freshman season. Nice 6'2" frame on this prospect. Tough to say where the overagers will go.
7th Round - #188 Overall - Cody Corbett D Edmonton - Once again the Oilers dipping into their backyard. Much like Quentin Shore, Corbett was overlooked in his draft year. I personally had him potentially going in the 1st round last year, so I was shocked to see he went undrafted in 2012. Not a lot of buzz about Corbett heading into this draft, so if the Oilers land him in this area of the draft, I would consider it wo be quite the find. Corbett is an all purpsoe defender that plays in a variety of situations. His biggest calling card is reliability. Decent offense and a strong defender with a hint of physicality. Once again, tough to say where the overagers will go.
Overview - The theme of this draft for me is trying to find versatile players. Ones that can complement the skill on the current club heading into the future. I went heavy on right handed shots because the Oilers are lacking in that department especially amongst their prospects. 4 of the 5 players drafted shoot right. I would have hoped to pick up more defensemen along the way but with only six draft picks, there is only so much ground to cover. More important its time to delve into looking for "character" players. Ones that won't mind not being in the spotlight while trying to help the team win.