The NHL released their combine invite list this week, it’s a chance to see the young players NHL teams are really curious about for 2014’s draft. The list is basically Central Scouting’s list, with a few requests thrown in here and there from the clubs themselves. It can be an informative list.
RECENT OILER COMBINE ATTENDEES
2010 Oilers draft
- Taylor Hall selected #1
- Tyler Pitlick selected #31
- Martin Marincin selected #46
- Curtis Hamilton selected #48
- Ryan Martindale selected #61
- Tyler Bunz selected #121
- Brandon Davidson selected #162
2011 Oilers draft
- Ryan Nugent Hopkins selected #1
- Oscar Klefbom selected #19
- David Musil selected #31
- Samu Perhonen selected #62
- Travis Ewanyk selected #74
- Tobias Rieder selected #114
2012 Oilers draft
- Nail Yakupov selected #1
- Mitchell Moroz selected #32
- Jujhar Khaira selected #63
- Daniil Zharkov selected #91
2013 Oilers draft
- Darnell Nurse selected #7
- Marco Roy selected #56
- Bogdan Yakimov selected #83
- Jackson Houck, selected #94
There’s a pretty strong relationship between the combine invites and the Oilers draft list. Although the team has only two picks inside the top 100 overall, chances are the players chosen will come from the invite list .
PLAYERS INVITED OUTSIDE THE LIST
There are several invites this season who are well down the Central list, giving us an idea that a specific team may have requested their presence.
- #117 NA RW Tyler Bird. He’s a 6.02 high school winger on his way to Brown University. Looks like a scorer, but so did Eddie Caron.
- #134 NA LW Blake Clarke. Described as an emerging power forward by Elite Prospects, but he had just two goals this season. Solid a year ago, though.
- #137 NA C Reid Duke. Responsible two-way player with average size, he plays for the Lethbridge Hurricanes, possibly the most obscure location in the CHL.
- #149 NA D Ryan Mantha. USHL defender is a monster. I spoke to Kirk Luedeke about him today on the Lowdown, and he suggested the 6.05, 225 Mantha is an acquired taste.
- #172 NA D Jacob Middleton. Interesting two-way defender with size.
PLAYERS I’D LIKE TO SEE AS OILERS…
We all know the names of the men at the top, I don’t need to go over them again. Suffice to say that if Ekblad falls to #3, MacT races to the podium. If Ekblad is taken, expect a very good center prospect. The Oilers don’t have a second round selection, but let’s pretend they acquire one.
- I like Spencer Watson a ton. He’s an undersized OHL winger who is an April 1996 and scored over 30 goals this season. I know, he’s a small forward—but what a talent! 65GP, 33-35-68 with Kingston Frontenacs.
- RW Vaclav Karabacek is a scoring winger from the QMJHL, he was blazing at the U-18 WJ’s. Elite Prospects describes him as a guy who plays with grit and a traditional style. Oilers could use that. He might be the guy who ends up doing the job Edmonton needed Tyler Pitlick and Curtis Hamilton to do.
- G Alex Nedeljkovic has an impossible name (suggest we nickname him Neddie if he ends up an Oiler) but there’s a nice resume there.
FIRST ATTEMPT AT OILERS DRAFT LIST
- #3 overall C Leon Draisaitl
- #91 overall RW Hunter Smith
- #111 overall D Brandon Hickey
- #130 overall G Ilya Sorokin
- #137 overall C Antti Kalapudas
- #153 overall R Miska Siikonen
- #183 overall G Jordan Papirny
They’re all long shots, save the German.