On draft day, nerds like me always have their favorites. Far from the top 30 overall, long past the longest mock (even Pronman’s) there are names that some of us will be looking for in tomorrow’s 211 names. I don’t like Harry, I don’t love Louis, but there are some names I’d like to share before the draft.
I’m talking miles off the beaten path in terms of the draft–men ranked outside the top 100 for the 2013 edition and in many cases deeper than that. For reference purposes, I’ll post Corey Pronman’s draft rank beside the name. Here are 6 interesting NHL prospects for this year’s draft.
- D Gustav Olofsson: Terrific skater, very mobile and an effective puck mover. He fits the MacT description of a solid defender in terms of decision making and footspeed. 6.02, 190, won’t be a strong offensive option but is a pretty smart draft bet. Pronman ranks him quite high, #85.
- R JC Lipon: July 1993 birthday and he’s 5.11, 180. Lipon’s appeal is his offense (61, 36-53-89 with Kamloops, WHL) and the fact he plays a gritty style. Lipon will be in the AHL next season, and I’d suggest he could be a hidden gem deep in the draft. Pronman has him #118.
- L Myles Bell: Moved from defense to LW and enjoyed a terrific season (69, 38-55-94 with Kelowna, WHL) and looks like he’ll finally get drafted into the NHL. Like Lipon, he’d be a plug and play into the AHL next year. Pronman has him #121.
- R Justin Auger: 6.06, 225 big forward with some skating issues who grew three inches last summer. Scored well enough (68, 16-17-33 with Guelph, OHL) to be considered a prospect but would have to be considered a project. Might be worth a late round flier. Pronman has him #134.
- D Jesse Lees: Youngest member of the 2013 draft pool. Puck moving (66, 12-18-30 with Kelowna, WHL) defender is very creative and has just slightly below average size (6.0, 180). Pronman has him #164.
- G Fredrik Bergvik: 6.01 190 G from Sweden, had a .950 SP in the Swedish Juniors. .950? I’ll take it! Not ranked by Pronman.
WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN?
Oilers pick #128, #158 and #188. Those depth picks are often nothing–the last Oiler draft pick from the depths to turn into an actual NHL player is Kyle Brodziak a decade ago. Still, if the Oilers can strike gold (and recent picks like Martin Gernat, Brandon Davidson and Toni Rajala are tracking well) it can be an important area of procurement.