July 20 2014 08:17PM
The Edmonton Oilers flew in to PHL with a small list of needs and one target. Result: They covered all bases. Big franchise center? Check. Goalies of the future? Check. A bunch of men who they don't need to sign in two years? Check and mate.
I expect we'll hear that Leon Draisaitl has been signed by the Oilers any day now. The timing of his selection (Friday) and Sam Gagner's trade (Sunday) combined with the crickets we've heard since suggests the die was cast by the time Craig MacTavish hit the main stage at the draft.
Red Line: Huge German centre is tenacious in puck pursuit with his relentless forecheck often creating chances for linemates. Dominates the game down low with outstanding puck protection. Constantly outthinks the opposition and knows where his outlets are at all times. Has learned to use his size to carve out space for himself and effectively separate opponents from the puck. Strong hockey sense in all three zones leads to good positioning. Traditional playmaking centre finds ‘mates with crisp, accurate passes. Intelligent, two-way, classically schooled centre. Outshone Reinhart in head-to-head action against Kootenay.
I'd bet the Oilers' scouting database has dozens of reports on Draisaitl, maybe as many as they had on the Nuge. Offensively, NHL equivalencies suggests the big German is on par with the Boy from Burnaby, and I believe we'll get a long look at Leon this fall in Edmonton. Jason Gregor reported this week he's at 215 pounds, which makes him Arnott the great.
Our man Leon is something else. Already.
The "flow" has a nice story to tell and a range of skills. I don't think we're looking at a puck moving expert here, but he can handle himself offensively and defensively.
International Scouting Services
- Lagesson shows traits of a good two-way defender with some intrigue in the offensive zone as he displayed flashes of a big shot. Good mobility, foot speed and overall skating ability for a defenseman of his size. Good presence on the offensive point, great shot that he is able to get through traffic and keeps it fairly low to the ground. Good release, doesn’t need a full wind-up to get pucks off. Physicality should be a bigger facet to his game to give him that defensive upside and promise that he shows on the puck. William shows a good basis for the two-way game with a good shot and mobility when running the offensive point. Upside remains at the raw stage, project type.
ISS Scout S.Cocker: “Strong two-way defender who does everything well. Competes in his own zone and shows good battle and a strong stick”.
ISS Scout O.Lahdesmaki: “Bit slow with the puck at times, while challenged under pressure. Smart and effective defensively. Not flashy, but has enough frame, hockey sense, which make him mid-rounds talent for the NHL Draft”.
At the Ivan Hlinka Memorial tournament in 2013, Lagesson had two points (1-1-2) in four games for the Sweden Under-18 team.
- The Hockey Writers: Nagelvoort adds some size to Oilers future goaltending hopefuls with a 6’2 190lbs frame. He had a great season for Michigan where he held a 2.20GAA and 0.929SV%. But the most impressive stat might be a 63-save performance in March against Penn State that holds as the new record for most saves by a Wolverines goaltender. He’s been passed over in two drafts already and was in his last year of eligibility which may have more to do with a lack of exposure having spent the last three seasons prior in the NAHL. Nagelvoort is a project like Lagesson and the Oilers may get exposed for reaching with this pick. They’ve been off the mark alot on goaltenders in recent drafts and it’s still early to see what they have in the 20-year-old. He projects to stay in college for another season or two before turning pro.
- Nagelvoort on how he found out the Oilers drafted him: “I actually got a text from my Mom."
- Nagelvoort on being drafted by Edmonton: "I'm ecstatic. Obviously, it's a dream come true. Edmonton is one of the teams that I had spoken with and I thought there was a possibility that they'd be calling my name. I'm really excited to be part of their organization."
I've learned over the years that first blush on a draft day can sometimes lead us to crazy conclusions. A strange name and a lack of draft pedigree might lead us to believe Nagelvoort is a wasted pick. However, that .929 save percentage is something else. No guarantees, but this is an interesting player.
- Kirk Luedeke, 2013: Simply put, we love this kid (Liam Coughlin) who is unranked by Central. In fact, we think his name should come up a whole lot more in draft discussions given his 6-foot-3 frame and scoring touch. As it stands, we wouldn’t be shocked to see an NHL team with an entrenched New England presence grab him in the final rounds. Coughlin is a winner; the USHL’s Clark Cup champion Dubuque Fighting Saints agree, taking him 30th overall in that league’s draft."
Trevor Timmons (Habs scouting director) had him on the radar in 2013 (article here). "He’s my sleeper. He’s a strong, aggressive player. He’s been playing a lower level, but our Boston scout (Bill Berglund) recommended him."
- Stu MacGregor: “He’s a scorer. He had a tremendous year and he’ll be going to Nebraska-Omaha where Dean Blais is a competitive coach who develops players.”
- Vesel on being drafted by the Oilers: "It feels good to be drafted by Edmonton. They have a lot of young, skilled forwards. I'm very excited for my future."
- Bruce McCurdy, Cult of Hockey:To summarize: not big, not fast, not gritty, not young. But he can score; three straight seasons of 70+ points in 50-ish games clearly indicate the guy has more than a clue of what to do around the net. Low penalty minutes totals, sounds like he’s the Jordan Eberle Of The USHL. How that might translate to higher leagues is very much an open question.
- Stu MacGregor: “It’s always difficult with goaltenders when they don’t play a lot but we had an eye on him from the previous year and I happened to be at a game this season where he did play and had a period at the Memorial Cup. He’s a guy with potential. He’s very fit and strong and he’s willing to put in the work. Freddie Chabot and Sylvain Rodrique (goalie coaches) know him really well and have worked with him.”
- More MacGregor: We had a bit of an eye on him from the previous year, and I just happened to be at a game that he did play, and he did get a period at the Memorial Cup that I was there at. He’s a guy with potential … he’s very fit, he’s very strong, so he’s willing to put in the work to get better. Freddy Chabot and Sylvain Rodrigue know him really well, so that helps. They’ve been involved with him, and they used that experience to [advise] that he’d be a prospect.