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.
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?
SCORING BY DISCIPLINE: 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.
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?
SCORING BY DISCIPLINE: POWER PLAY
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.
WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN?
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.