The Edmonton Oilers didn’t win the draft lottery, and that’s a news story. The club has had three number one overall selections in recent seasons and had a good shot at another, but the Florida Panthers won the day and are now on the clock. Does it change the Oilers plans? Yes. And not really.
BE BAD, FOR EKBLAD!
Most Oiler fans probably feel the team’s chances at Aaron Ekblad are gone now, but the draft is a tricky item. Remember Seth Jones one year ago? Fell all the way to
Memphis Nashville, and it could happen again.
There are three centermen available, and the Oilers will get a crack at least one of them on draft day. We compared their even scoring and their power-play production early in the year.
Reinhart is the best offensive player at even strength, but this is close. I’d say all three of these players are going to have enough ability to play top 6F in the NHL. That shouldn’t come as a surprise, but there were questions about Draisaitl’s offense (and Bennett’s too) and this graph addresses those concerns.
Interesting. We don’t have TOI totals, but the two WHL kids appear to be either more effective or more fortunate than Bennett. That doesn’t mean they are better players—coaches make decisions based on their rosters and Bennett may have been used in a secondary manner.
IS THERE A WAY FOR EDMONTON TO GET EKBLAD?
Yes. If, as Jason Gregor suggests, Florida takes Reinhart #1 overall, Buffalo may take the big defender. However, they have an impressive group of young defensemen either in the NHL (Myers, the dancing McCabes, Pysyk) or on the way (Zadorov, Ristolainen).
It isn’t a slam dunk the Sabres take Ekblad.
WHAT’S YOUR BEST GUESS?
If you’re heading to Vegas, bet Leon