It may take years, but the ‘big trade’ for the Oilers this summer may have been the one, the boring one, the one announced in aged monotone by Jim Gregory at the NHL entry draft. It was actually two trades, and the return was five names for one name. It’ll be ages before we know the winner, but the race is on!
THE OILERS TRADED PICK #37
Valentin Zykov 2012 (QMJHL) 67, 40-35-75 (1.12). Zykov was a highly rated player going into the draft, in fact he was picked to go in the first round on many lists. Central Scouting’s Chris Bordeleau: “He’s an unbelievable talent; scores the big goals. He’s going to be special. Great skater, strong kid. Really a solid kid. He goes into the corner and comes out with the puck. He has great hands, can shoot the puck, passes the puck, does everything well.”
AND RECEIVED PICK #83
Bogdan Yakimov 21, 3-6-9 Penza (Rus-2). HUGE Russian center from Yak City’s hometown (now known as "EAST Edmonton"), Yakimov impressed Bruce McCurdy at the recent prospects came in Sherwood Park. McCurdy: "He was often seen in close proximity to Daniil Zharkov, the other Russian speaker at camp (Sergei Slepyshev was unable to attend due to work visa issues). Yakimov has plenty of work to do on skating and related mobility issues, but was at his most impressive any time he had a puck on his stick."
AND PICK #88
Anton Slepyshev 11, 4-2-6 Ufa (KHL). Passed through the draft one year ago, Slepyshev is an outstanding prospect who is already playing in the KHL. Although signed to a KHL contract through 2015, Slepyshev projects as a skill winger with size when he arrives.
AND PICK #94
Big power winger has some fans at Redline Report: Blossoming power winger uses size to establish and hold position around crease. Already tough to move off the puck and has a frame that could still add 20 pounds.
AND PICK #96
Kyle Platzer 65, 5-17-22 London (OHL). He is not a well known player, even in his own league. Platzer played for the very deep London Knights and didn’t get a lot of playing time. Brock Otten, OHL Prospects: "He may not be big, but he’s effective in puck retrieval and does a good job working the boards. He’s got great hockey sense and acknowledges and takes advantage of openings when they occur in the offensive end. If he’s given a chance to show more of his creative side and plays with higher skilled players, I think we’ll get a sense of just how skilled he is. I certainly wouldn’t be surprised to see him put up a 20-20 season."
AND PICK #113
Aidan Muir 37, 17-23-40 Victoria Honda Midget (MWEHL). Another player who impressed McCurdy at the prospects camp:
WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN?
The Edmonton Oilers decided that 5 bullets later in a deep draft had more value than one bullet early. We’ll know a little about this trade by 2015 summer, and should have the complete answer by the end of the decade. From here, it looks like a very interesting bet. Valentine Zykov is an outstanding talent, but Anton Slepyshev isn’t far behind. Add in the others and we’ll be revisiting this deal for a long time.