I’ll be live blogging from the draft floor in Pittsburgh today.

The Oilers have an opportunity to add some depth to the organization today, and I expect them to add some players with a combination of size and skill.

The Oilers are currently scheduled to have six picks today, but I expect them to make a move or two so those numbers could change.

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8:04 MST: Columbus doesn’t surprise anyone and take goalie Oscar Dansk.

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8:05: The Oilers needed some much needed grit and toughness, but they needed it in the form of a player who can play, so they took rugged winger Mitch Moroz from the Oil Kings. This might have been a bit early, but I spoke to Stu MacGregor on Thursday and he was worried that he wouldn’t be there at #63.

They are really high on Moroz’s overall game, but mostly that he is hard to play against, tough and he has some decent skill.

2011/2012 stats… 16 goals, 25 points, 131 pims in 66 games with Oil Kings in WHL.

I’m sure many will say this was a reach, and a bit early, but teams rarely trade "functional toughness" and the Oilers have virtually none in their organization. It will be a few years before we see Moroz, but the Oilers clearly deviated from the "best player available" motto with this pick.

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8:21: Go talk to Moroz…clips to come.

8:29: Round two ends…Took 25 minutes…Round one took four hours. NHL needs to find a way to speed up the first round, four hours is ridiculous.


8:30: With the 63rd pick the Oilers pick Jujhar Khaira from Prince George of the BCHL.

Khaira is a big kid, standing 6’2 and 205 pounds already. "I’m a power forward, play a two-way game. I’m really good below the goalline in the offensive zone and finding guys in the slot," he said.

"I’m pumped to be going to Edmonton, they have my favourite player, Taylor Hall and I watched Nugent-Hopkins growing up in Burnaby, so I’m excited to maybe play with them."

Khaira has a scholarship to Michigan Tech, but Everett just traded for his rights, and he said he’ll talk to the Oilers about what route is best for his career.

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2011/2012 stats… 29 goals, 79 points, 69 pims in 54 games with Spruce Kings in BCHL.

8:55… The oilers acquired this 3rd rounder from  the Kings as part of the Dustin Penner trade…

The 91st pick of the draft and the last pick of the 3rd round the Oilers select from the Belleville Bulls of the OHL, Daniil Zharkov. Zharkov is another big body, 6’3, 200 pounds. Shoots left, plays LW and tallied 23 goals and 36 points in 50 games with Belleville.

2011/2012 stats… 23 goals, 36 points, 25 pims in 50 games with Belleville of the OHL.

Zharkov is a charasmatic guy. Said he was Canadian and wants to be better than Yakupov… "I know him and I’ve spoken with him a few times. I like him. He’s a good guy," Zharkov said regarding Yakupov. Zharkov has size and is a scorer. 

He also was adamant he isn’t going to Russia. He wants to play in NHL, and he said he has lots of people to prove wrong, since he was ranked as high as 32nd amongst North American skaters…

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8:58… With the 93rd pick the Oilers took Erik Gustafsson from Djurgarden. He’s a left shooting D-man. He’ll need to put on some weight, and he’ll likely be a guy they develop slowly in Sweden. He’s a 20-year-old.

2011/2012 stats… 3 goals, 7 points, 16 pims in 41 games with Djurgardens in the SEL

9:10… Still no Omark trade.

9:22… Florida takes a timeout…Fans boo, as does media who want this to keep going. There was 83 picks made in first 75 minutes and now a timeout…


9:30… With the 2nd pick of the 5th round, and 123rd overall the Oilers select from the University of Denver, Joey Laleggia.

Laleggia is an offensive D-man. He played at the University of Denver last season, and spent the previous two seasons with the Pentiction Vees of the BCHL. He turns 20 tomorrow and was named rookie of the year in the WCHA this past season.

2011/2012 stats… 11 goals, 38 points, 16 pims in 43 games with Denver in the WCHA (college)
In 2010/2011 Laleggia had 20 goals and 82 points in 58 games. He’s not very big, at only 5’10", 185, but he can move the puck.

9:42…Starting to get tweets and emails that the Oilers screwed made some bad picks. I’ve never understood how fans, who’ve never seen most of these kids play, actually think a young kid is an awful pick. I get if you go off the board in the first round, but in the 3rd, 4th and later rounds it is really a crap shoot. You draft for need as much as anything and you hope these kids pan out.

9:50… I count at least 15 players still sitting in the stands waiting to be drafted. If you kid is getting drafted in the next few years, unless they are rated in the top-100 in every ratings guide I wouldn’t recommend them coming. Nothing worse than having your son sit through 210 picks and never hear his named called.


9:56… With the 153rd pick the Oilers select another big forward, and another 20-year old, John McCarron from Cornell University. McCarron is listed at 6’3" 215 pounds.

It is clear the depth of this draft class wasn’t great, because we’ve seen numerous 20-year-olds taken thus far, and the Oilers have chosen three.

2011/2012 stats… 6 goals, 19 points, 61 pims in 35 games with Conrell in the ECAC (college)

Unless the Oilers make a trade, they are done drafting for today. I will have MacGregor’s evaluation of the picks coming up at the conclusion of the draft.

  • Also with the way the LA Kings and Boston have won the cup the past two years teams are looking more and more for guys with size who can play the game. Look at how depth like Dwight King and Jordan Nolan changed the dynamics of the Kings units. King moved between the second and third line and provided good fore-checking and punished opponents along the half wall and back boards and ditto for Nolan minus the offensive contributions. I mean Teuvo Teravainen fell about 11 spots and Tom Wilson was drafted ahead of him because teams are looking for more physically mature players that can handle the rigor of the NHL. In terms of pure skill up front the Oilers have as much as any club in the NHL. It’s the lack of toughness up front, a thin and offensively weak defence, and unstable goal-tending that have gotten them to where they are.

    • GVBlackhawk

      Another reason why LA and Boston won the Cup…they had great top 6 forwards, solid defense, and Vezina quality goaltending.

      Pretty sure LA wins the Cup without King, Nolan and Fraser.

      A lot of people are really over-valuing ‘grit’ and ‘truculence’. Top end talent is the key to a winning team. The rest is just interchangeable filler.

      • Stating the obvious, that’s why I didn’t think I needed to say it. But there has to be more to a team than those three qualities you spoke about because all the teams that reach the conference finals have that and some teams in the semi finals have most of those qualities. Teams need depth to win and need to be able to withstand the rigors of both the regular season and playoffs which means having the ability to withstand injuries/poor play of players who started the season in the top 12.

      • Romulus' Apotheosis

        That’s what I mean. When players like this are able to have an affect on the game it changes the way people think at the draft table, making them more likely to go higher than usual. Besides this draft is a complete crapshoot because of how weak it is so this draft is going to be more of draft for need than BPA.

        Also if it’s so easy to get bottom six players why are the Oilers so horrible at it? Seriously I’m asking because I don’t know why they can be so bad at it.

        • ie. Smart GMs take them when it is appropriate to do so and stupid GMs see this and take them too early.

          I think the Oilers are so bad at it partly because they haven’t been trying for the last couple years. They have historically ran pretty decent bottom sixes. Look at the bottom six from the cup run. Very good.

          • Romulus' Apotheosis

            Fair enough. Still want to give it some time to actually see how this draft pans out though. I am disappointed by the fact they didn’t draft Matt Finn though since he was considered a 1st round pick and an intelligent well rounded dman.

      • Jason Gregor

        Please enlighten us why he has no hope of being an impact player? What are you basing that on? Your experience to predict the growth and maturation of players?

        I don’t compare players to other guys, cause it is inaccurate, but since people have brought up Lucic…

        In his draft year he had nine goals and 19 points. Was anyone certain he’d be an impact player? Not for sure, but he was drafted there because they felt he had upside.

        Moroz had 16 goals his draft year, in limited minutes. He has a solid presence as a player, and isn’t just a goon. He can play. And teams rarely trade those types of players, so you need to draft them, and there wasn’t many in this draft.

        Time will tell if he’ll progress. And four different teams would have taken Moroz in the 2nd round…Winnipeg really liked him and so did Carolina, Philly and Anaheim.

        Ken Holland has said numerous times…If you really like a player, then you can take him a round early if necessary. Oilers liked Moroz, and rather than risk losing him they took him. Sure it likely was a bit early, but their needs were different than other teams.

        We’ll see if he’ll pan out. But saying he has no chance to be an impact player is rather premature since no one knows for sure.

        • Romulus' Apotheosis

          Well I don’t want to fight Tiger’s fight… but this conversation ranged over numerous comments and you’re not being fair to him…

          Even in the quote you took, you seem to ignore his qualification repeatedly… not “no hope” but “almost no hope”

          also see his comment #137:

          “That’s hardly fair considering they were all just picked today. Can they have a year or two to develop before labeling them busts?”

          he went out of his way not to dismiss these guys and call the busts from the get go.

          maybe that’s splitting hairs… but isn’t that what this is about… splitting hairs on long-shots??

          The points being…

          1) it is unreasonable to say this is an abject failure when no one knows until 2-4 years down the line

          2) it is totally reasonable to question taking a wild card player at 32 when there is still high-calibre consensus talent on the board (Aberg, Colberg, Finn, Thrower, etc, etc.) and you probably have a good shot at getting him at 63.

          3) when your 32 and 63 picks look similar and both fitting “need” rather than BPA (caveat… hard to tell that late), it is reasonable to question the overall draft philosophy… not to say definitively it is broken.. but to question it

          4) let’s be honest… a late round guy playing power forward style would be extraordinarily lucky to turn into Ben Eager. That would upset expectations and cover bets big time…. the chance that that player turns into Lucic or Benn is beyond rare… that’s why Lucic and Benn stand out, because they are EXCEPTIONS and not the RULE.

          • Jason Gregor

            So if Finn and Thrower were so good, why did they drop that far? I don’t know the answer, but clearly they were potentially overrated going into draft, and maybe Moroz was underrated.

            I didn’t see the #137 comment from Tiger about saying busts, so that is good, because no one can say who is a bust just yet.

            And considering the % of players that make it to the NHL, I don’t know if I would call any day-two picks busts to be honest. The odds are stacked against them to make it.

          • Romulus' Apotheosis

            I don’t know why they fell… but maybe one could say they went closer to their projections then Moroz?

            I think you are right about odds of making the show… big hills to climb.

            I guess the debate is 1) how far to extend trust to Stu; and 2) the team clearly went after “need” rather than BPA in rounds 2 and 3… it’s up for grabs how far from projections those guys are… but I’d wonder if that is a good strategy…

  • Romulus' Apotheosis

    I do like our selections………not too sure about picking Moroz in the second round ?

    The only that has become painfully obvious is that Tamby is Totally incapable of making even a small trade. The entire world knows that we coveted Henrik Samuelson, but could not move up to get him. How pathetic is this GM? Too pathetic for words.

  • The Oilers must have looked at their organization and thought “holy Hanna! We have no forwards worth a lick of damn in our system.” All the A1 guys are in the NHL and the rest are edging on being suspects not prospects.

    I was afraid they were going to sacrifice BPA in favor of position (Defense), but that wasn’t the case at all. Kind of surprised they didn’t try to hit home runs at defense on day 2.

  • Spydyr

    I hope Stu and company got it right. I am really unsure of them drafting so many overagers. It’s good because you have a better idea of what you have. But bad because there is less potential there. You should know what your getting with the overagers. But there may not be any pleasant surprises like Zetterberg or Datsyuk.

    • Jason Gregor

      Matteau right now is better skilled player, but not as tough. He is a more skilled powerforward I’d say. Moroz didn’t play as much as him, and he isn’t as skilled.

  • Skidplate

    Excellent statement Gregor. Some fans think they know everything and can predict the future. Let these young men progress to where they can and let us fans appreciate it.

  • Hartekainen was well over the 100th spot and looks like he might crack lineup this year . Many do if you also look at other clubs and other years with our own Oilers over the years . Who knows for sure what one or two perhaps later round picks might emerge this season from AHL squad ? Can’t expect all our draft choices to make the club anyways . Building outside the draft is just as important , if not more so ! I don’t believe you can build a contending club with just draft picks to begin with – nobody has ever done it .

  • I think Moroz pick was a good pick for the team but he obviously wont be the best player taken out of the second round down the road. Leggolia seems like a Tobias Enstrom type with the size and point production. Really stoked on the Russian from Belville, he might be a steal.

  • Quicksilver ballet

    Hello Jason, thanks for keeping us work types up to date.

    What was your impression of Igor Larionov by mid afternoon on friday? Was he open and willing to cooperate with all things Edmonton at this time, or was there a little bit of tension there you think?

    • Jason Gregor

      It was weird, he clearly was annoyed, and why he refused to do an interview with me because I was from Edmonton was perplexing. He’s usually a really good guy, so maybe something was lost in translation or he was stressed out, but it was interesting to see.

        • Romulus' Apotheosis

          that pick makes the Moroz pick look like genius!!!

          I can get behind that for sure!!

          if they win that bet, it will look like sage-level stuff… but mostly it will just ring the bell on their continuing slide into middling nothingness

  • MrCondor

    I think 1st and 2nd round picks should be for BPA, the rest spent on organizational needs with the hope the dice fall in your favour.

    With that reasoning I think Moroz wasn’t the best pick, but besides that good draft.

  • Old Retired Guy (A.K.A. Die-Nasty)

    It’ great to express your opinions here, thats the point of a blog. But lets try and keep it real. Obviously Sut McGregor and and his staff know ALOT more about these prospects than ANYONE posting here. So it’s one thing to state a personal preference or feeling that you have about one player or another based on having read a magazine or checked out a bunch of lists, but try a show a little respect and perhaps gain a little understanding for what Stu and his staff are trying to accomplish. If you listen to him, they are trying to get Heavier with picks 2 through 7. Did they draft D-men No. Did they draft Centers No. All the centers and D men that would be functionally usefull to us were gone. So better to pick BIG guys who might play a useful role in your bottom six ( and maybe bottom nine if you get lucky)Big Heavy guys who will LEAN on other teams top six and wear them down. And then take a few fliers on guys who slipped down the list like the Russian kid out of Bellville.

  • Old Retired Guy (A.K.A. Die-Nasty)

    I think that part of this strategy is due to the fact that we have drafted BPA for the last couple of years and that given the years in which we were drafting at #1 the top players werent that big physically so now we’re trying to compenstate for that. Makes sense to me.

  • Old Retired Guy (A.K.A. Die-Nasty)

    George! Get me a Calzone!

    Love it.

    Anyone else think that Burke lost what little credibility he had left when he stated he intended to draft Morgan Rielly first overall???

  • Quicksilver ballet

    @ old retired guy.

    Burkes draft list is lot different that the 4 clubs ahead of him.

    Brians draft list doesn’t include Yakupov,Murray or Galchenyuk. He’s in the 5 slot, why include them when some or all of those guys are gone?

    It’s not much of a reach if he’s thinking of it from that aspect. Orielly was first on their hopeful/may be available list, not first overall.

  • Old Retired Guy (A.K.A. Die-Nasty)

    @ Dark Parade

    If what you’re saying is the case then I agree completey.

    From the clips I saw I took him to mean drafting in the number one spot first overall, he would have picked Reilly. Which would just be Burke trying to rain on everyone elses parade and trying to compensate for doing NOTHING at the draft by making leafs fans beleive that they somehow got the top talent in this years draft. I’ll have to look at again though based on what you said.

  • Jason Gregor

    I think that the reason Mac T was brought in is because Tamby has not abilities to pull off a trade of any consequesce.

    I still beside myself, that the Oilers were not able to move up a few spots from 31 to let’s say 25-27 and take Samuelson, the player that we have always tried to find. Tha being someone being good enough to rotate through the top six to give our skilled guys some time and space.

    Moroz in not that guy but a solid third line type of guy. Once again, we will be searching the league for that type of player when he was right under our nose.

    Mark Spector is right……………its time for Tamby to do something for his team, instead of letting everyone else do the heavy lifting.

    Thats what a real GM does………..instead we have Mr. Dithers!

  • Old Retired Guy (A.K.A. Die-Nasty)

    #199 Romulus’ Apotheosis wrote

    “I guess the debate is 1) how far to extend trust to Stu; and 2) the team clearly went after “need” rather than BPA in rounds 2 and 3… it’s up for grabs how far from projections those guys are… but I’d wonder if that is a good strategy…”

    Fair questions. To which I would answer that a reasonable starting point for how far to trust Stu would simply be his record. Given what he did last year, he’s earned my trust through the course of this year. In fact,as an Oilers fan, I’m both hoping, and excited to see if he can maintain his clearly above average track record.

  • Jason Gregor

    Put up your hands if you think your smarter than SMB? I know where I stand on the Moroz pick. Clearly there isn’t going to be a consensus on anybody picked after the first round. Tambo’s comments on Moroz hit the nail on the head. You just can’t trade for the Lucic’s of the NHL. You draft and develop them and then hang onto them for dear life. The 4th liner arguement will be moot this upcoming season for Moroz. He’ll definitely see 2cd line minutes with the departure of guys Pelss and suchlike.

    Enjoy this day and think of it as a beginning. These kids earned thier draft status. Lets not belittle the work and effort they have put in over thier lives by arguing over wether they should have been taken 75th or 32cd. Congrats to all our picks.