June 23 2012 04:07AM
The 2012 NHL draft (so far) has been an absolute show stopper: wonderful script, top drawer acting, stunning plot twists and a range of emotions for the viewer. What's next?
For the Edmonton Oilers, yesterday was an epic day in the team's history--adding another elite skill player to add to the (now) fab four of Taylor Hall, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Jordan Eberle. The mind boggles with the possible line combinations, and Ales Hemsky, Sam Gagner and other forwards have to be looking forward to playing with another #1 rocket.
Now comes the hard part. Day two. This is the point in the draft where even great teams miss a lot (especially from round 3 on) and the Oilers have to make these selections count.
WHAT SHOULD WE EXPECT?
I think we can look forward to a couple of things today. First, Stu MacGregor's draft history suggests the players called out today will (for the most part) come from the top 100 available names overall. We know this because of the team's attention to the combine invite list over the last couple of seasons:
- 2010 (7): Tyler Bunz, Brandon Davidson, Taylor Hall, Curtis Hamilton, Martin Marincin, Ryan Martindale, Tyler Pitlick.
- 2011 (6): Travis Ewanyk, Oscar Klefbom, David Musil, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Samu Perhonen, Tobias Rieder
An average team would have three or four names from the combine list each season, Edmonton is almost double over the last two seasons. What does that mean? Well, the list is here and chances are several Oilers are on that list.
Oilers Nation has been killing it from the draft, giving us outstanding information. Jason Gregor's most recent item gives us an excellent road map for today's action. The money quote:
- Steve Tambellini: "On the defensive side we have a lot of young D coming into the system over the next couple of years who we know are going to play. I think where we do need to get better is to have that heaviness, and not just from a physicality standpoint, but the heaviness of being able to play with our top-six or top-nine. We need some of that in our organization. Most of the time, the players that are that strong and that skilled, you have to draft them to get them and we are looking for something like that."
I take that to mean size up front with some skill attached. Names from the Combine List that might fit the bill include Mitchel Moroz, Brian Hart, Lukas Sutter, Scott Kosmaschuk (both mentioned by Jason in his article), Colton Scissons and Brandon Troock.
WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN?
The Oilers under Stu MacGregor often spend their 2nd rd picks on defensemen and forwards with a 2-way game; the third round has been devoted to goalies and coke machines and then the team looks for gems like Martin Gernat in rounds 4+. Amazingly, 13 of their last 20 selections were combine invites. We should expect more of the same today.
This is a great day to be an Oiler fan!
As I write this, the draft is one round old. With so much yet to be decided, we plan on having an enormous number of guests to cover every possible angle. Scheduled to appear:
- Jason Gregor from the JG show on Team 1260.
- Dustin Nielson from Nielson and Fraser on Team 1260.
- Thomas Drance Managing Editor of Canucks Army.
- Kent Wilson, Nations Overlord and managing editor of Flames Nation.
- Cam Charron, Leafs Nation managing editor.
- Robert Cleave from Jets Nation.
- Corey Graham, Team 1260 ESNL host and Oil Kings PBP.
- Kent Simpson, Team 1260 and Oil Kings color commentator.
- Andrey Osadchenko from All Hockey.
Day two of the most wonderful time of the year. Hope you can tune in.