Aaron Ekblad remains the most interesting prospect available in this year’s draft. For Oiler fans, the idea of another top 10 pick to address the blueline has wide appeal. Surely if the team picks Ekblad these defensive woes will go away? Not all defensemen are created equal, and there is some evidence that Ekblad’s skill set is unique when compared to the Oilers current stable of blue.
How unusual is that number? Well, based on last season’s top CHL defensemen, Aaron Ekblad’s source of points puts him in a different area of the offensive spectrum. He may not be Shea Weber or Sheldon Souray, but the young man’s shot seems to get through a lot.
BLUE ON THE POWER PLAY
Hmmm. Seth Jones and Josh Morrissey brought an offensive reputation with them to their draft seasons, and of course Ekblad does too. The 16 goals seem to be an extremely large number for a defenseman—Nail Yakupov had 12 in 42 games in his draft season—and especially for a draft eligible.
BLUE AT EVEN STRENGTH
Ekblad doesn’t score as well here, but I’m not sure how much we can gain in terms of insight. He’s in the range with Nurse, and we might ask if he moves the puck up or passes it based on these numbers. I’ve found defensemen rarely stand out from the crowd 5×5, and this season (in which there are six D with 30 points or more in the NHL) proves the point.
TELL ME ABOUT EKLBAD AGAIN
“The absolute stud of the draft in my opinion….plays 25 minutes a night
against all the best players in the league…physically ready right
now….never gets to high or low…showed at world juniors that when
paired with, and playing against better players,
raises his game…will be a 15 year pro on a top pairing at NHL level
in my opinion.” – Anonymous scout
WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN?
It’s very important in life to know your limitations, and not outsmart yourself. Is it better to wait your turn, or jump up in search of glory and run into a brick wall?
I think it may be very difficult for the Buffalo Sabres to pass on Aaron Ekblad. What does Edmonton do about that?