The Edmonton Oilers may have a decision to make after all at this year’s entry draft. Aaron Ekblad may still be their choice, but a big German center who plays for Prince Albert is going to make the decision difficult.

matty twitter

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Earlier in the month, Jim Matheson posted this on twitter, and I’ve been wondering about it ever since. Matheson is a connected newspaper guy and those connections run deep. So, let’s assume that the tweet comes from somewhere credible and there’s a chance Edmonton takes Draisaitl in front of Reinhart.

Is there a reason we can find? Why would Reinhart be behind the other two prospects, or Sam Bennett for that matter?


top 3f at evens

We’ll take a look at Ekblad (and compare him to last year’s blue) in an upcoming post. For now, let’s have a look at the three center’s at the top of this year’s draft. This is very close, and each of these players posted strong seasons in the season leading up to their draft. 

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The Oilers (according to Matty) value Draisaitl more than Reinhart and Bennett. From the scouting reports, we know the following about these players:

  • Reinhart is 6.01, 183 according to the WHL website
  • Bennett is 6.0, 181 according to the OHL website.
  • Draisaitl is 6.01, 209 according to the WHL website.

So, if we’re looking for things that make Draisaitl stand out the extra 25 pounds stands out. Fair?



With the man advantage, Reinhart and Draisaitl appear to be very close. The two teams are similar offensively, so without knowing time on ice I’d have to assume the two men are equal offensive talents. Bennett doesn’t have the kind of boxcars Reinhart and Draisaitl do, but opportunity may have a lot to do with it.


good grief

The smart money is on Edmonton taking Aaron Ekblad. With the emergence of Leon Draisaitl as a viable option, I think there’s a chance the Oilers choose the big center instead. MacT would have to get a veteran center to bridge the time between Leon’s draft and NHL debut, but ‘building up the middle’ can be satisfied by selecting the Deutschland Dangler.

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  • paul wodehouse

    If the Isles win the lottery the Sabers will be salivating. The Isles I think are in the same position as we are but in their case they have Tavares and little else.They’ll be a lottery team in the bottom 5 easily next season even with Tavares. They lost Vanek.They had Moulson who may resign with them in the off season. But there biggest issue is scoring from someone other than Tavares.

    Going to interesting.

    Ifthe Oilers win one more game this season I’ll be shocked.

  • oilerjed

    Each of the top players in this draft have holes in there game. There is no perfect Toews who is big, can skate, score and play defensively.

    Ekblad plays small, jumps in at bad times, and is prone to turnovers as well as bad positioning. He does have a cannon of a shot. People expecting a franchise 2-way defenseman will be quite shocked at what he turns out to be.

    Draisaitl isn’t a great skater or quick but controls the play. Getzlaf, Kopitar, and Thornton are all centres the Oilers are dying for and none of them are fast. This guy plays a similar controlled style. Great with the puck and a great passer. I don’t understand people saying he doesn’t use his size? In fact he does, he shields the puck well on the boards to make great passes into the slot. He can also get into the slot with his size. He has admitted to improving his defensive game. But one of the things scouts say is he has excellent hockey IQ and awareness, so I’m sure he will fine tune it. People expecting a 80 point centre will be disappointed. LIkely a 55-60 point guy with size.

    Draisaitl likely plays at 6’1 (actually read he’s closer to 6’2) and 220.

    Also when Getzlaf was drafted, he only scored 68 points in 70. Looks like he wasn’t using his size more in Junior to score more points than small players as some people are faulting Draisaitl for.

    Personally good with either. Neither will help next year. Just make sure you watch these players before commenting on what the Oil should do.

  • The Last Big Bear

    Why is Bennett not being talked about?? I’m no scout and haven’t watched these guys play much, but from everything I hear and read about this guy, he’s the perfect 2c. Aside from size, he competes and plays defense.

    All I know is if their’s a wrong decision to be made, the oilers will make it

    • The Last Big Bear

      That last sentence is the truth.
      If we manage Ekblad, he will bust or injure himself or decide to play in Europe and Leon will go onto score 50 goals win a cup in his rookie season with the NYI.
      If we grab Leon, he will turn out to be softer then Jeff Petry score 0 goals and then return to Germany to be with his family. While Ekblad wins the norris and the stanley cup in his rookie season.
      if we trade the pick they all score 50 and all top 5 picks win the cup in their first year and we get Dustin penner back

  • Slapshot

    If the Oilers are picking third, they’re going to miss out on both Ekblad and Draisaitl and you can almost guarantee that. The only prayer that the Oilers have that one of the two aren’t gone if they’re picking third is if a non-lottery team wins the lottery and feels that they can be patient enough with Reinhart/Bennett and have the luxury of sending them back to junior to fill out their frames and even the Ekblad temptation may be too much to resist. A big, skilled d-man that can play effectively right now? That’s one heck of a temptation to pass over and depending on the team, it may be too much.

    I’m honestly at the point where if both Ekblad and Draisaitl are gone at third, the Oilers need to flip that pick into the best NHL player(s) they can get for the pick even if it’s a package deal. We just don’t have the luxury of waiting for Bennett and Reinhart to put on more weight. We absolutely do not need another RNH right now.

  • TKB2677

    Book on draisaitl. Talented offensively but poor defensively, average at best skater @ Junior level and does not play physical.

    Why would anyone think this is what the Oilers need? Us fans (led by Media) already ran Penner out of town.

    Reinhart has been pegged class of this draft for 2-3 years already. Forget size (really?? (25lbs) and look at complete package. Don’t be a Jason Negative.

  • Neilio

    I’ve seen Draisaitl play a few times this year. He’s a big kid, obviously, and protects the puck well but does not play overly physical. He’s not very solid defensively either. This draft isn’t the greatest for high-end talent. I wouldn’t oppose to trading the pick if a deal can be made.

  • Neilio

    Why doesn’t Craig MacTavish try for his “BOLD MOVE” at this Draft? Gamble a bit, you might say. I have always believed in pairs, not three set lines. So, saying that, trade Yakupov, and maybe a second rounder next year, for the NYI pick(which they were going to give Buffalo). We then draft Ekblad at #2, and hopefully L.D. at #3 or #4.We can then look at trading Gagner, for a legitimate Dman, from somewhere. Just my thoughts…