I don’t do mock drafts, but with this year’s edition of the draft full of more plot twists than a Whodunit, I thought it might be fun. Hope you enjoy it!


  • Colorado at #1: L Jonathan Drouin. Drouin’s outstanding season is too difficult to ignore. Does more than anyone else to contribute to goals, the most difficult thing to do in the game. I think he is a special offensive player.
  • Florida at #2: C Nathan MacKinnon. Absolutely a plug and play, he should step in immediately and should be an early Calder favorite.Could certainly go number one overall. 
  • Tampa Bay at #3: D Seth Jones. Incredible that he could fall this far, and the Lightning would have to consider themselves extremely fortunate to land a franchise defenseman at this number. If the two Q players do go off the board as I’ve described, suspect the Lightning will receive a lot of offers for this selection.
  • Nashville at #4: C Sasha Barkov: This is the selection I’m most comfortable with in the top 5. Nashville needs a franchise C and Barkov is a plug and play.
  • Carolina at #5: L Valeri Nichushkin. The big Russian had an enormous impact on the draft at this year’s NHL combine. I think he has a huge impact on the Oilers selection at #7.


  • Calgary at #6: C Elias Lindholm. Lindholm has an impressive resume and could come to the NHL next season. Among the best offensive players available in this year’s draft.
  • Edmonton at #7: C Sean Monahan. Outstanding 2-way center with enough offense to be considered a strong 2line C candidate when he arrives in the NHL. This is a ‘perfect fit’ for Edmonton.
  • Buffalo at #8: D Darnell Nurse: If Monahan isn’t there, I expect the Oilers to take Nurse or deal down. Buffalo takes Nurse and he could come quickly to the NHL.
  • New Jersey at #9 D Rasmus Ristolainen:  A nice range of skills, could play sooner than later. NJD will like the fact that he has played in a league against men and flourished. 
  • Dallas at #10: C Curtis Lazar: Another perfect match for team and player. Lazar impresses with spirited play and attention to defensive detail, and is tough to play against. The offense helps too.


  • Philadelphia at #11: C Fred Gauthier. Perfect Flyer selection. Don’t worry, Oilers will have their chance to get him when Holmgren decides to trade good players again.
  • Phoenix at #12: C Hunter Shinkaruk: Phoenix takes the best pure offensive player remaining in the draft. They’ll have to wait a couple of years (probably) but he should impact the offense on arrival.
  • Winnipeg at #13: C Bo Horvat. Winnipeg stays where they are and get an outstanding center who probably has enough offense to play on the second line when he arrives as an NHL player. Great value.
  • Columbus at #14: C Max Domi. Solid offense and a determined player, I do think his draft number suffered a little because of his Memorial Cup performance.
  • New York Islanders at #15: L Anthony Mantha. Scored 50 goals in the QMJHL this past season, and there is some talk he is NHL ready. The Islanders have to like the combination.
  • Buffalo at #16: C Alex Wennberg. Taking a defenseman in the top 10 allows the Sabres to reach a little for this lanky Swede who has a nice range of skills.
  • Ottawa at #17: L Kerby Rychel. A trending prospect, skilled and with a mean streak. Ottawa passes on some nice defensive options to take him, reaching a little.
  • Detroit at #18: D Ryan Pulock. A nice selection at this number, Pulock can do it all and has a plus shot. Best of all, the Red Wings will be very patient with him.
  • Columbus at #19: D Josh Morrissey. Fast, skilled and a player who impressed everyone with his season.
  • San Jose at #20: C Nicolas Petan. Small but very skilled. His offensive potential gets him here.


  • Toronto at #21: D Nikita Zadorov. Big Russian defender falls with the other blue in this draft, but represents solid value for the Leafs at this number.
  • Calgary Flames at #22: G Zachary Fucale. The Flames start the march of masked men in this draft by taking the highest ranked G on Craig Button’s board.
  • Washington Capitals at #23: L Adam Erne. Skill winger has some toughness, should cover this bet.
  • Vancouver Canucks at #24: C JT Compher. Skill C is also an agitator.
  • Montreal at #25: C Laurent Daupin. Impressive skill, maybe a slight reach.
  • Anaheim at #26: L Artturi Lehkonen. Undersized skill winger with terrific potential.
  • Columbus at #27: D Mirco Mueller. Smart defender with plenty of skill.
  • Calgary at #28: D Madison Bowey. Terrific skater, good value at this number.
  • Dallas at #29: R Valentin Zykov. Physical skill player, he’s the return for Jaromir Jagr. Quality NHL prosect.
  • Chicago at #30: C Ryan Hartman: Physical player, tough to play against.

As for the Oilers, I think they could pick 4th, 7th, 10th, 13th or trade out of the first round altogether. Completely unpredictable. What a week!

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

    Darnell Nurse

    The Scoop: With his size, skating ability, and two way capabilities, Nurse has an incredibly high ceiling. He has been terrific internationally for Canada and was also the OHL’s Scholastic Player of the Year, which points to his maturity. Defenseman like him do not grow on trees, especially with his athletic bloodlines and background (father was a CFL’er). It should come as no shock that votes seem to be split as to whether Nurse or Sean Monahan is the top OHL player available this year.
    “My favorite OHL prospect as his potential going forward is through the roof. He is a strong physical player that is able to throw his weight around and make a big impact despite still being on the wiry side. Just wait until he gains another thirty pounds of muscle, with the aggressiveness and meanness he exhibits, he could be a true monster. Nurse skates very well for his size and has some intriguing offensive tools to continue developing as he becomes that strong two-way presence. An injury to his finger, picked up towards the end of the year, left him with a torn tendon that had to be surgically repaired causing him to miss the U18’s in Sochi, Russia and the NHL Combine fitness testing. That alone speaks volumes to how determined and gritty this kid is, as his play did not suffer one bit even with a difficult injury like this to play through. I feel he has top pairing potential with NHL All-Star upside.” – Dan Stewart

    “Highly athletic and extremely competitive, Nurse would have captained Team Canada U18 World Championship team had it not been for a ruptured finger tendon. Stepped up his game this season leaps in bounds especially in the absence of Sproul and Miller who battled injuries this year. Master of the poke check as he does a great job getting into shooting and passing lanes. Can become over zealous in his own zone and needs to allow the play to come to him, nonetheless this enthusiasm is also viewed as a strength as he does not give the opposition an inch to operate with down low. Passing skills needs some improvement as he had a tendency to rush the puck up and break out of the zone on his own failing (at times) to connect on his first passes. Top end speed needs an upgrade however he has tremendous lateral agility and is able to pivot effortlessly to stay with the play. Nurse has all the capabilities of being a stout shut down defender and has already exhibited that quality in the OHL as he was is often pitted against other team’s best forwards including defending against Nail Yakupov in his rookie season. Once Nurse fills out, he will be very difficult to play against at the pro level.” – David Burstyn

  • Oilfan5

    What is the point of moving up into the top 5? I think to trade down and gain a player (preferably big, physical winger/center) would be much more advantageous. Isn’t MacT’s whole philosophy to put together a team that can win now and down the road? Trading the 7th, 37th, etc. to move into the top 4 just means we are going to have another unproven rookie who shouldnt even play for the oil next year.

  • Quicksilver ballet

    It’s reasoning like many have mentioned here that leads me to believe not much at all will happen this summer. Still far too few bargaining chips to throw around to accomplish moves such as this.

    If Gagner is about to become one of those expensive long term contracts, he could open himself up to some Hemsky/Horcoff type criticism in the near future. Hall is the best Oiler player by a wide margin, having Sam anywhere near that 5.5 or 6 sends a difficult message throughout the ranks.

          • Quicksilver ballet

            It’s a black (he can play) and white (he can’t play) world we live in. Sammy is the black type player, only with three asterisks beside his name.

            * Struggles in the faceoff circle.

            ** Can be forced off the puck easily.

            *** Is a threat at both ends of the ice.

  • Quicksilver ballet

    In an interview with Bob Stauffer toda the guy from red line report said that Monahan would have been number 2 in last years draft. He is number 7 in this one. It is just that deep. Adding Monahan or liddholm would be a great addition and it does not cost us anything. I say we should just keep the seventh pick.

  • As for moving Gagner

    Thinking as a GM it might be hard to give up on that kind of talent in Barkov, I don’t think DSF is all that far off when he says “Barkov right out of the box will be just as good”

    Gagner has value but as a GM of the Oilers do you want to overpay for a pick? I don’t think you do?

    I think, if I’m the Oilers I’m moving Gagner for a shot at #1 defensmen.

    if Gagner wants more then 4.5 to 5 million I deal him fast and probably at the draft.

    • G Money

      Prelude to Sunday . MacKenzie now ranks Ristolainen 7th behind Monohan . MacKenzie has this to say about Risto – he might have the best shot of all the draftees . Better than Pulock @101MPH ? Now that would be something if his shot is in that range or better than Pulock’s . To think we are thinking of Nurse at 7th who has a below average shot turns my stomach . Quick call the Doctor , no more slow-mo shooters.

  • G Money

    This thread made me laugh.

    OilersNation draft talk – where for some posters, a bird in the bush is worth two, three, or even four in the hand.

    So DSF is predicting that Barkov will be a better player in his first year than Ganye is now? What’s his predictive batting average anyway? Metaphorically exactly the same as a broken clock I’d wager – twice in every 1440.

    Hint: Barkov NHLE 40 pts. Gagner rookie 49 pts. Barkov will be outperforming his draft ranking just to match Sammy’s first year. BTW, in this super-deep draft, only Drouin’s NHLE is comparable to what Sammy hit.

    To those suggesting trading the 7th pick and Smid for the 4th pick – are you f*cking insane? That is trading Lindholm, Monahan, or Nichuskin – all with a solid chance of being good NHL players, with even a slight chance of being better than Barkov, yes, that’s the way drafting works – plus an experienced top 4D for a player who’s never played a single game in the NHL. That would be a stupidly insane trade even if it didn’t create a gaping hole in the Oilers lineup – which it does.

    • I think you need to step back and really look at what you just said.

      You have some good points.

      However, if I may counter point

      Barkov rookie year is projected to be 40 points… The big thing here is rookie.

      What you missed is that Barkov is already an accomplished two way forward, so what he lacks in initial offense on Gagner he makes up on defense.

      While Lindholm and Monahan are going to be good NHL players, Barkov is going to be elite, think RNH with size.

      Lindholm is not going to play here next year and Monahan may need a year in the AHL

      Would you have said the same about Smid, if it was to move up and pick RNH?

      Who’s NHLE was almost identical to Barkov

      Elite, number 1 centre are impossible to trade for after they become established so now would be the best, lowest cost to obtain one.

      Unless you want an overaged, overpriced, injury prone centre who will be a huge overpayment to bring him here thinking of Horton here.

      Here’s the thing about Smid, MacTavish is not a huge fan first of all.

      Smid is a good to average second pairing defensmen , possible a 5th on a good team.

      If the Oilers add Ranger, if they can trade for a top pairing defensmen or make a deal for Garnier then why would you care where Smid goes?

      As much as you laugh at people suggesting trading Oiler assets, I equally laugh at all those people who overvalue Oiler players.

      Smid + 7th and a prospect or pick is NOT insane, nor unreasonable to move up to draft a number 1 centre!

      So go find a number 1 centre with term, at a reasonable cap hit that doesn’t have a NTC or a NMC.

      • Citizen David

        I would hold off on calling Barkov an elite #1 NHL centreman till he gets there. I think he projects as a strong number 2. He has a slightly worse points per game than Michael Granlund did his draft year and now Granlund struggled in the NHL 3 years later. To suggest Barkov will immediately be better than Gagner is a massive long shot. It wouldt’t surprise me if Lindholm turned out to be the better player. I think people are overvaluing size when it comes to these two.

  • Metal&Oil

    Don’t mean to change the subject away from the draft but apparently the Oilers are chasing Clutterbuck and get this the Wild would want Tyler Pitlick in return


    I think we would have to add a pick or something but I’d be all over this.

    • G Money

      Your link appears to be incomplete.

      Yeah, that trade is a no-brainer I would think, even as Pitlick appears to be finding some of his game.

      I *hate* Clutterbuck, which means he is exactly the kind of player the Oilers need. Wonder how he’d feel being in the same dressing room as Hall?

  • OutDoorRink

    It’s fortunate for us that the draft is deep enough that we’re going to get a great player at 7th pick. Or 10th. Or whatever position we draft at.

    I get the feeling that the Oilers are taking a good hard look at Phaneuf.

  • nuge2drai

    Oiler Domination To Follow

    Clutterbuck, Z Smith, Stafford, Phaneuf, Monahan, Lappiere, Belov = successful offseason.

    Clutterbuck for a second and pitlick.

    Z smith + 2nd for Hemsky.

    Stafford for a second and lander.

    Phaneuf + a 2nd for Gagner and Musil.

    Belov and Lappiere as free agent signings. Belanger and Horcoff Buyout.

    New third line: Clutterbuck, Smith, Stafford

    New D Pairings: Phaneuf Petry-J Shultz N Shultz- Smid Belov- Klefbom Potter

    Ideally we trade our 2014 first and our 7th pick, move up two spots and draft Barkov.

    Assuming Valeri goes third and Drouin goes fourth.

  • Quicksilver ballet

    Wonder what it would take to bring over Dustin Brown from the Kings. LA has some financial challenges going into the offseason, along with him being a UFA next summer. Marincin and the Oils first in 2014?

  • Walter,

    You make a good point, but ignore another. Everything I’ve heard suggests Monohan at 6, Lindholm at 7.

    Lindholm NHLe is 40, the same as Barkov.

    Lindholm also plays in a mans league, one with more predictive power than Barkovs due to the higher volume of players coming out of it. Lindholm is also recognized as a great 2 way forward.

    I believe giving up 7 means giving up Lindholm, and all the evidence suggests he’s in the same range as Barkov.

    • Lindholm wouldn’t be a bad choice, that’s not my point.

      Lindholm won’t be here until next season, as he has contract obligations with the SEL.

      Barkov also is projected to be a two way forward, however, Jari Kurri has watched this kid for years, who also is GM for team Finland.

      My money is on Barkov.

      • DSF

        That’s fine. If I had to guess I would pick Barkov too, but that’s all it would be. Their NHLe values are identical, but Lindholms come in fewer minutes/game in a league with better predictive value, so we’ve got to say that it’s pretty close. To then through in our best defensive defenseman, whose on a relatively cheap contract just entering his prime, is simply too much to make the move.

    • Spydyr

      The Oilers have enough high end skill guys. What they need is some size, toughness, grit and some tenacity on the top two lines. All things Gagner lacks. Someone has to go to get those players on the team.

      Gagner is my choice of the small skilled forwards to be moved .Who is yours outside the obvious Hemsky?

  • DSF

    Allan Walsh ‏@walsha 18m

    NHL Draft Prospect Alexander Barkov named to Finland’s Pre-Olympic Team Roster, youngest player on the list.

    Gee, I wonder if Gagner will play for the Canadian team? 🙂

      • Spydyr

        A summer series where the Russians were more interested in a good time than hockey.

        Gagner lights it up when it does not matter much.The last 10 games of the season when it mattered Gagner had one assist a second assist.

      • DSF

        Finland won the World Championship gold in 2011…I think they have some depth.

        Here’s a scouting report on Barkov:

        “Barkov was named the best player at the Under-20 4-Nation Tournament in Sundsvall, Sweden, in November when Finland won the silver medal. He had three assists in three games, finished with a plus-2 rating and won 59 percent of his faceoffs. He was on the ice for eight of his country’s nine goals in the tournament.

        “He’s big, strong and a hard worker in all areas of the ice,” NHL Director of European Scouting Goran Stubb told “He’s a sniper who can also set up scoring chances for teammates. He’s a two-way center with a good understanding of his defensive duties, stickhandles well in tight situations, and always seems to come out as a winner. He’ll probably go among the top three at the draft.”

        As a 16-year-old, Barkov had one goal and four points in seven games for Finland at last year’s tournament. At 16 years and four months, he became the youngest Finnish player to score a goal at the WJC on Jan. 2, 2012, in an 8-5 quarterfinal-round triumph over Slovakia.

        For the record, Sidney Crosby was 21 days older when he scored his first goal during the 2004 WJC for Canada”

        • Citizen David

          The difference is I think Barkov is a good player. The fact that he’s on the Finish Olympic team doesn’t mean Gagner sucks. You know who Gagner has to compete with? Crosby, Stamkos, Tavares, Duchene, Thorton, Getzlaf, Spezza, Toews, Bergeron, Richards, the Staals, and the list goes on.

          • DSF

            So, in other words, Gagner is far, far from being among the best at his position.

            While I agree it is easier to earn a spot on the Finnish team, you have to realize that Barkov is only 18.

            He is the youngest player ever to score in the SM Liga and that includes some pretty good players.

            Here’s another scouting report for your enjoyment:

            Barkov is one of the greatest NHL Entry Draft prospects to ever come out of Finland.

            He is a tremendously advanced player, with elite hockey sense. He regularly logged 20 minutes this season, which is rare for a September-born 17-year-old in Finland’s top league.

            He has an incredible amount of patience, vision, and awareness. He can slow the game down and dictate the tempo, as well as be the focal point on the power play.

            He also has a high level of defensive skill, showing ability at a very young age to be a quality defensive center. He has good technique on faceoffs, as he keeps his hands low, pulling pucks back quickly.

            Despite having good puck skills, he is not a player who will consistently try to stickhandle around players. He is selective, but he has the talent to create offense out of nothing.

            Barkov is a big, strong player. He will not crash and bang, but he protects the puck well. His skating is a tick below average. It is possible he could improve to an average skater, but his game will not be predicated on blazing past defenders. When bringing the puck out of his zone, he tends to prefer making a good pass rather than rushing the puck up.

            Submitted by: Corey Pronman of Hockey Prospectus.

            Sounds like he is the real deal.

          • Citizen David

            He does sound like the real deal. Below average skating is a massive caution sign. The AHL and Europe are filled with players that can put the puck in the net and make a play, but can’t keep pace with the NHL.

            If I had to bet I would suggest Barkov becomes a good second line center. He’ll have to really work on that skating though.

          • DSF

            Read carefully.

            Pronman said a “tick” below average and could improve to average.

            Hardly a “massive caution sign”.

            Henrik Sedin’s skating is also a “tick” below average.

            He’s done okay.

            Barkov will be Nashville’s #1C and I expect that will happen in October.

          • Citizen David

            I’m not against Barkov. I’m able to like players I’m cautious about or don’t think are the whole package.

            Barkov is interesting. Wouldn’t be surprised if he becomes a number one center, wounded be surprised if he becomes just a number three.

            I’ve never watched Barkov play in the NHL so I can’t form an opinion on his skating. Skating has been a knock against Gagner but he keeps up. He’s improved it to average so it can be done.

          • Citizen David

            That’s the problem citizen dave, Gags isn’t good enough to compete against any of those centres you’ve mentioned.

            And your defense of him is – since the Oilers haven’t played in the playoffs we don’t know how great he’ll do – dang he could become a beast!

            Dave get off the computor, grab a coffee and some fresh air and clear that head.

  • G Money

    My laughter has gone from an outright belly laugh to the nervous chuckle that happens when someone says something really dumb.

    “Barkov will be …”.
    “Barkov is …”
    “Barkov is better than …”

    Please. Barkov hasn’t proven sh*t. He hasn’t played a game in the NHL.

    Players with more glowing scouting reports than his have turned into duds when they hit the NHL.

    Players with better stats on a better team in a better league (Cervenka anyone?) have turned into duds when they hit the NHL. Two-way players especially have a tough time adapting, because the style of play, player speed, and the coverage angles are completely different than the Euro leagues.

    Barkov may indeed turn into an elite 1st line C. He may also turn into no better than a capable 2C or 3C. Or his game may simply not translate and he’ll be a flash in the pan and a trivia question a few years from now.

    Young Sammy, on the other hand, flaws and all, managed to put up an ACTUAL .79 ppg in the ACTUAL NHL.

    That puts him into legitimately borderline elite territory – he’s 55th in scoring in a league that ices 90 first line players. (For the record, just a few of the more notable players he finished ahead of: Hossa, Eberle, Couture, J. Carter, P. Bergeron, Krejci, P. Marleau).

    As we all know, Sammy does have some serious flaws to his game. That’s what makes him a solid 2C as opposed to a legit 1C.

    Will Barkov be better than him someday? Maybe. Way too many question marks around any prospect to say for sure.

    Will Barkov be better than Sammy in Year 1? Not a f*cking chance in hell.

      • The Soup Fascist

        I am totally basing this on highlights and clips as I am not a big follower of the professional leagues in Finland. However Barkov does appear to be a very awkward skater.

        I know it is only important that he gets there, not how he gets there, and big guys can look awkward sometimes (see Henrik Samuelsson) but the NHL is a different league than Barkov recently played in.

        “Better” is a subjective word, but I would be shocked if Barkov put up more points than Gagner. The kid is still 17 years old and will be when rookie camp opens.

        Certainly the kid is a man-child and a great piece of clay to work with, but to expect a 17 year old to light it up in a new league, in a new country, on smaller ice is a touch presumptuous. No?