THE BIG O

Lowetide
May 30 2012 05:06PM

Since the 'Katz' rebuild got underway in 2010, Edmonton has been spending most of their top end picks in the CHL. This summer things will be business as usual, with a special focus on the Ontario League.

In the Stu MacGregor era, the Edmonton Oilers have been shopping close to home.

  1. CHL: 16 (fully half the list, led by  Hall, RNH, Eberle)
  2. Sweden/Finland: 8 (4 each, highest picks being Swedes Paajarvi and Klefbom)
  3. BCJHL/USHS/NCAA: 5 (most famous Tyler Pitlick and Dillon Simpson)
  4. Slovakia/Belarus: 3 (Marincin, Pelss, Gernat)

The breakdown of the CHL goes like this:

  • WHL 10: Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Jordan Eberle, David Musil, Curtis Hamilton, Travis Ewanyk, Cameron Abney, Tyler Bunz, Brandon Davidson, Drew Czerwonka, JordanBendfeld.
  • OHL 3: Taylor Hall, Ryan Martindale, Tobias Rieder
  • QMJHL 3. Jeremie Blain, Phil Cornet, Olivier Roy

Based on what we already know there's about a 100% chance the Oilers will select a player from the CHL with their first round selection this season. I took a quick look at a possible top 10 at the beginning of the month and the first seven names all play in the Canadian junior leagues.

APPLYING IT TO THE COMBINE LIST

The Ontario league has a plethora of draft eligible kids on this year's list and we're going to take a look at a few in a minute. Remember the olden days of Oilers drafting, when they would slip in a Jesse Niinimaki? That kind of "reach pick" at such an early point in the draft is no longer part of the Oilers template.

The mission statement now involves looking closely at the top 100 kids (the combine usually invites 100-110 prospects) and making sure not to overthink things. In 2011, Edmonton drank deep from the combine list:

  • 2011 (6): Travis Ewanyk, Oscar Klefbom, David Musil, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Samu Perhonen, Tobias Rieder

but still found a way to get a player inside their own top 35 (Martin Gernat) and a highly regard prospect with ties to the organization (Dillon Simpson).

I suspect the Oilers look at the combine list as a "pre-qualified" group that are bona fide prospects. Not exactly "can't miss" but certainly worthy of considering for the top 3 selections in any draft.

OKAY, WHO MIGHT THEY BE LOOKING AT? (OHL EDITION)

 

 

  • Olli Maata: They kept talking about his offensive potential at the Memorial Cup, but I think he'll make his living as an intelligent defender who can move the puck up effectively. Good skater, he has decent size for the NHL (6.02, 202) and will hopefully add to that before he turns pro. If he does emerge as a PP stalwart in the NHL that's a bonus, but he appears to be an effective 2-way player at evens. I don't know that he lasts until the 2nd round, but I'm putting him here in hopes he slides a little. If the Oilers walk away with Yakupov and Maata in the first two picks, Oilers fans should be thrilled. Trading up would be a worthwhile option.
  • Tom Wilson: Big (6.04, 205) power forward for Plymouth has all kinds of things the Oilers like. Big brain, skill and he can take and make a pass (years of watching JF Jacques tells us the value of catching a pass in flight has to a rush). What keeps him from being a clear top 50 selection? Foot speed. It's an issue. I don't like him for the Oilers in the first three rounds (the offense won't be there) but if they could get him early in round 4 that would be good value.
  • Tanner Pearson: Turns 20 in August and has passed through the draft three times, but he has a wide range of skills. He might end up being a plug and play winger for some team, and could go much higher than projected (Corey Pronman has him #40 overall) but I think the Oilers would certainly consider him with their 2nd rd pick.
  • Brady Vail: Two way winger who made huge progress season over season and is described as being a very good shadow for some of the OHL's best opponents. Add that to 22 goals and 52 points and he's certainly worth 3rd round consideration by the Oilers.

WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN?

It's getting pretty exciting now, as we're one month from the NHL draft. Anything can happen, and of course we'll be focused on the top overall selection in the draft. However, the other picks matter and the new Oilers taken in the other rounds will impact the future too.

PREVIOUSLY IN THE SERIES

Up next: the Q and the Oilers.

C2a6955161684b5e3189319acfa5ebe4
Lowetide has been one of the Oilogosphere's shining lights for over a century. You can check him out here at OilersNation and at lowetide.ca. He is also the host of Lowdown with Lowetide weekday mornings 10-noon on Team 1260.
Avatar
#1 ItsTheBGB
May 30 2012, 05:20PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

Henrik Samuelsson is tempting with the 32nd overall pick. There's so many FISTing options available, though!

Avatar
#3 Walter Sobchak
May 30 2012, 05:52PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

I liked Samuelsson when I was watching the Oil Kings playoff run, he seemed to elevate his game during the playoffs.

He's big and has an edge to him, Personelly I would Try and trade up to get him.

Avatar
#4 Mason Storm
May 30 2012, 06:09PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

They can't do worse then 1990. 11 picks in 12 rounds and not one NHL game played. Worst draft ever.

Avatar
#6 longbottom/P.Biglow
May 30 2012, 06:49PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

@ Mason Storm If I am correct it was a Barry Fraser draft. That would have to be the beginning of the end of bad drafts for the Oilers.

See it wasn't just Prendergast who had bad drafts.

Avatar
#7 oilers2k12
May 30 2012, 06:49PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers
Mason Storm wrote:

They can't do worse then 1990. 11 picks in 12 rounds and not one NHL game played. Worst draft ever.

That draft right there should of been the last for that scouting team

Avatar
#9 longbottom/P.Biglow
May 30 2012, 06:54PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

Was looking at 91 draft and they got Wright and Oliver in rnd 7 WTH didn't they get another player? So between 1990-91 they got 2 players.

Avatar
#10 oilers2k12
May 30 2012, 06:59PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers
Lowetide wrote:

Well they'd just won their 5th Stanley, guys.

Oh ok mustve been the hangover then..

Avatar
#12 Lexi
May 30 2012, 07:20PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers
Lowetide wrote:

I am absolutely certain it was!! :-) I don't want to further depress you about the 1990 draft, but have you seen the talent that was available? (weeps).

Yeah it looks like the Oilers missed the boat on the fall of the iron curtain. I guess news of it didn't reach Mexico.

Avatar
#13 Greg the Hammer Valentine
May 30 2012, 08:23PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

I'm living in the Montreal area and I was listening to a radio show tonight, with special guest Eric Bélanger. He said he would like to play for the habs. Lets trade him there! I hate the habs!

Avatar
#15 Oilcruzer
May 30 2012, 08:54PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

Is that picture of the bong test for the U.S. Olympic Swim Team?

Avatar
#16 Cutterov
May 30 2012, 09:25PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

Lowetide let's be serious regarding Tom Wilson he is projected as high first round pick... Not any chance he gets anywhere near the 4th round... With out success in the 3rd round recently a half a roll of tape would be more useful... If he is there at 32 jump all over him

Avatar
#18 Reg Dunlop
May 31 2012, 12:22AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

Looks like OHL is going to be represented early this draft with Yak likely going to the oil first. With their next pick, if Samuelsson is gone, maybe Brady Vail from Windsor. Big 2-way centre, can play it tough. Next years draft, assuming the oil don't win the cup, will be a top 10 pick so maybe Kerby Rychel from Windsor also. Big and mean like his father.

Avatar
#19 They're $hittie
May 31 2012, 08:17AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers
Lowetide wrote:

Not close to enough offense for 1st rd imo. Unless the Leafs want to waste another one.

His comparable Lucic stats and offence were not there either. IF Stu takes him at 31 than there should be nothing to worry about.

His reports seem like he is a coach-able and develop-able player.

Avatar
#20 The Soup Fascist
May 31 2012, 10:17AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

Samuelsson's play in the Mem Cup and last couple of rounds of playoffs must have bumped up his Final Central Scouting Ranking (75 in NA), no?

Lowetide, what made him slip so much between Midterm and Final rankings?

If Samuelsson and Wilson were still available at 32 (or more likely 31 as NJ will choose to sit in the corner this year vs next), my vote would be Samuelsson because though not as big, he is a natural center, has the pedigree, arguably more offensive flair than Wilson and is an absolute pr1ck to play against.

Avatar
#21 OilDieHard
May 31 2012, 10:20AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

i'd be happy if they traded to the mid to lower 1st round and took Olli Maata...it would be similar to last years draft when we took the BPA, then traded into the 1st round again and got Klefbom.

Avatar
#22 BlazeLazer
May 31 2012, 12:59PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

@Lowetide

A point a game in the playoffs seems like his offense may be a little underestimated or he was extremely lucky. Judging from his playoff season, would it not be fair to say that he is one of those guys that can get things done when space is at a premium. If hes there in the second round I think the Oil need to take a chance on this guy.

Avatar
#23 RexLibris
May 31 2012, 05:02PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

Hey LT,

If the Oilers could grab Maatta I'd be thrilled, but I'd probably rather they take Samuelsson if they are both available at 31 (assuming New Jersey forfeits this year's pick).

Maatta might be a duplicate of Klefbom, which given the way that defenseman develop and their attrition rate during the process isn't a bad thing.

Samuelsson is the player that I think the Oilers need more though. He should develop into a depth winger whose style of play will have the opposition thinking about him (and relieving him of some vital organs) rather than focusing on Hall, Eberle and Nugent-Hopkins.

Just as Marchand bought room for Krejci and the other Bruins, so Samuelsson could for the Oilers in good time.

The question I have for your thoughts on the Oilers trading into the first round is: what could they offer? Would Curtis Hamilton and a 3rd round pick be worth Vancouver's 26th overall? I doubt it, but how much more could the Oilers afford to give up given that many of our rebuilding assets are only now beginning to show the returns they might offer.

Avatar
#24 gretzkytokurri
May 31 2012, 08:07PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

"I don't like him for the Oilers in the first three rounds (the offense won't be there) but if they could get him early in round 4 that would be good value."

Say if LA wins the cup. The Oilers get a second 3rd round pick, right? would you take Tom Wilson with that extra 3rd if he's still there?

Comments are closed for this article.