DRAFT GUIDE 2014

nuge common

The NHL draft is two weeks away, and Oiler fans have yet another lottery pick to ponder. Have you been reading up on it? Maybe running a You Tube video or two of past Oiler picks? Well, if you want a crash course on this year’s edition, read on.

2010 seems like years ago (I mean MANY years ago) and for Edmonton’s hockey fans the draft has turned into an all-too-familiar annual highlight. As a fan, I cannot wait for this team to draft 27th overall on merit. That day is at least one year away.

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SOURCES

If you’re interested in purchasing a draft guide, I would highly recommend Red Line Report and Corey Pronman at ESPN. Both are well written and have strong opinions, and both are different enough to be worthwhile. Historically, I have found Red Line to be more in line with the Oilers thinking on these things, but that’s just my guess.

There are some outstanding sources available free of charge:

  • Cody Nickolet, WHL From Above.    This is an outstanding resource for WHL prospects, Cody has a final list and a Mock Draft. Well written, and he also gives a range of where he believes these prospects will land.
  • Brock Otten, OHL Prospects.   A terrific website that breaks down the best OHL kids, and that’s a long list. Brock’s evaluations are splendid and thorough, you’ll walk away from the site with a really good feel for the entire OHL crop this season. 
  • NHL.com    has a nice spot where they collect stories and update things. I find it wise to spin through there every day or so for an update.
  • Elite Prospects   This is a great place to read more about the European kids, often you’ll get a very good bio from Future Considerations.
  • USA Today    They run Woodlief (Red Line Report) articles but also have Kevin Allen and others who update during this period.
  • Kirk Luedeke, NY and NE Hockey Journal.    Kirk does a wonderful job with USHL, college and eastern seaboard high school kids, and this is information that isn’t readily available. Helluva nice guy, too. 

Beyond that, I would suggest Oilers Nation and the other Nation families do stellar work, Jason Gregor has interviewed Stu MacGregor and Kyle Woodlief in recent weeks. I’ve passed along some statistical breakdowns on the top players in the draft over the last few weeks, and will be adding to those beginning this weekend.

If you’re a fan of the draft, stay tuned! Fun days ahead! 

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  • Sorensenator

    Draft Draisaitl and have him play one more year with Prince Albert and at least one year in OKC after that.

    If they are patient with him he could turn into a force – big and skilled.

    • pkam

      Isn’t Jason Spezza also big and skilled? Would you rather have Giroux or Bergeron than him? I will.

      Not say LD is Jason Spezza #2. All I want to say is big and skilled means nothing if he doesn’t have heart.

      • Sorensenator

        So called scouting reports saying that Leon Draisaitl lacks heart is a crock of sh!#.

        We need big and skilled players to change the mix of our top 9 forwards. Adding similar players like Bergeron and Giroux does not fulfil that need.

        If I am drafting Bennett he plays two more years in junior and at least two in the AHL.

        Back to the pull up thing, if you can’t do at least one and you’re skinny, you are a weakling.

      • Zarny

        Yes, Spezza is big and skilled and in his prime I’d take him over Bergeron every day of the week as 1C simply because Spezza’s offense vastly superior to Bergeron’s. You can find a 2C to handle defensive duties a lot easier than you can find a guy who puts up pt/gm or more. Spezza had enough heart to get Ottawa to a Stanley Cup final. They didn’t win but neither did Phi with Giroux and he had a much stronger supporting cast. Right now I’d take Giroux simply because he’s younger and in his prime.

        All 3 are outstanding players and ultimately it comes down to how they compliment the other players on the team.

        Size/strength is focused on in Edm because that is what they lack. If all they had were 6’2″ 220 lb power F we’d be focusing on acquiring a player like Eberle or Nuge.

        Winning has always and will always be about the right mix of players.

      • Young Oil

        Half of the major draft sites have him #1 overall due to upside and compete level. The pull up thing has been blown out of proportion and has lowered his standing, take advantage and grab him as the BPA when our time comes if we are lucky. We desperately need a center who sticks his nose in like Perron. Give him another year in junior, none of the top 4 are ready anyway, we’re not going anywhere playoff wise so develop the kid properly

  • gr8one

    I’d bet Gretzky couldn’t do a pull up at 17…or at any point in his career most likely.(obviously not comparing Bennett to Gretzky, but the point is valid IMO)

    To me, that lack of strength only highlights how good this kid will be when he does get stronger if he’s already able to play at the level of the more mature draftees.

    I think Bennett is the cream at the top of this years draft and I hope that’s who we end up getting.

    That’s not to say that I’ll be disappointed in Ekblad or Draisatl, but I believe Bennett will be a higher impact player long term.

  • gr8one

    I think picking first has hurt the oilers the past few years because instead of picking for positional need they have had to go with the perceived best player so relax this year…if ekblad is there, take him…if not go with draistl, either way solid prospects that fill a gap.

  • Quicksilver ballet

    Bettman steps up to the mike,

    “We have a trade to announce” The Edmonton Oilers are trading Kevin Lowe for Dave Semenko’s old jockstrap (win for Edmonton). Oh, and a secondary trade, Edmonton Oilers are willing to trade(anyone, anyone?) Katz’s and his son’s hairdo’s for a commerative photo with the Oilers girls by the Ford truck at Rexall place.

    Oh, and welcome to Edmonton anyone of the top four (who cares at this point)

  • HardBoiledOil 1.0

    ^i have to admit, i am not as excited about the draft these days as i was in the past….we’ll get a few good players like we always do, then MacGregor and the boys will waste a few mid-round picks on long shots like he always does, then at July 1st, MacT will sign a few OK but not great UFA’s like he always does, and BINGO! your “new and improved” Oilers are ready to go for next season!! *sigh*

  • Quicksilver ballet

    TEAM LEON TEAM LEON!! Dosent matter anyway because we will rush whoever we draft to 1st line minutes than demote him to 2 minutes per game playing with grinders THAN management will wonder why he isnt producing

  • Quicksilver ballet

    We need a centre and the playoffs are proof, there is no Doughty in the draft this year so stick with any one of the 3 centres available at the top of the draft. My preference is Draisatl, Reinhart and then Bennett. If Ekblad falls to 3 maybe I would have to take him.

  • Word to the Bird

    “We have a trade to announce”

    *Bettman snickers and looks at Lowe with a grin*

    “The Florida Panthers trade the #1 overall pick to Edmonton, in exchange for the #3 overall pick and Nail Yakupov”

    *Bettman starts rolling on the stage laughing hysterically*

  • Word to the Bird

    Other than perhaps Ekblad , there does not look like much of a separation on other prospects . Could be a lot of deals coming in first round . Pretty sure we will keep the 3 pick and maybe add to it . I’d like a second to be best western power forward J.Virtanen .

  • HardBoiledOil 1.0

    Wait until oiler fans find out draisaitl is only 6’1, gagner weight, and plays like a fruit cake. Penner 2.0, minus three inches and thirty pounds.

    For the record I loved penner, and really like Draisaitl. I just disagree with a lot of the hype around him. I have him firmly fourth in the draft. Bennett could be a similar size one day considering he has zero upper body strength.

    • Sorensenator

      he’s listed at 6’2 209 at 18 years old, to say Bennett could be as big as him is ludicrous

      I don’t think you should be allowed to make comparisons anymore.

      • Young Oil

        He’s 6’1 almost everywhere. He doesn’t have the frame to ever be more than 220, and that is only Toews size. He filled out early, get over it. He isn’t growing any taller. Bennett meanwhile is a beanpole, and could easily add twenty pounds by the start of 2015 season. I expect he will play around 210. Time will tell I guess. Fancy a bet?

        • Wax Man Riley

          I’ve seen Bennett listed around 180 everywhere. Are you telling me that you think he will put on 30 lbs and be at playing weight? Name one player that has put on 30lbs in 3 years.

          Also using that logic, why couldn’t LD be at 240 by then?

          I would gladly take that bet! I also have a bridge to sell you.

        • Sorensenator

          I doubt Draisaitl will only gain 10 pounds when he is fully developed that is just an asinine comment.

          Nugent Hopkins is also 6’1 and a beanpole in transition, if you think he will reach 210 pounds you’re dreaming.

          What makes you think Bennett will?

          The kid is gritty and skilled I’ll give him that, the fact of the matter is, the Oiler need a different make up in their top six.

          That being size.

  • HardBoiledOil 1.0

    Could it be possible Kevin Lowe moving on.

    Ken Campbell @THNKenCampbell

    Am told Bob Nicholson has offers from Washington, Edmonton and Vancouver to be CEO. Washington offering the most money.

    Ken Campbell @THNKenCampbell
    Follow
    Told Edmonton is frontrunner for Bob Nicholson.

  • Young Oil

    “…I cannot wait for this team to draft 27th overall on merit. That day is at least one year away.”

    How many years away? At least one? How about at least three just to make the playoffs. To be 3rd overall is a massive step up in a tough division. The first step is to wash Eakins out of the picture and provide more time for MacT to learn more about being a GM and acquiring real and complementary NHL players.

  • nuge2drai

    Oiler Domination To Follow

    Darren Dreger said today: “Very soon news will break that Bob Nicholson is jumping into the National Hockey League. He left Hockey Canada and will join the high ranks of an NHL team in a high executive capacity – above the level of president and below that of an NHL owner. But he’s joining the NHL.”

  • nuge2drai

    Oil will move down the draft if they get a REAL NHL player for the pick-and- second or third rounder.

    If they swap first round picks I expect they can still get a good player with potential-picking from the middle of the pack. What would be wrong with Nylander if he slips a few slots?

    • @kahmad92

      Which demonstrates how pertinent it is to assessing a quality hockey player. How did the league make it for all those years without this critical piece of information? 🙂
      I’ll wager that Bennett will be able to do a couple by Sept. Funny how shame works.

    • Zarny

      You are half right, the pull up did not exist in previous combines. But teams were allowed to do extra testing outside of the combine itself. And the pull up was used as a test.

  • HockeyYoda

    In the event that the Oilers draft Draisaitl in the third spot, is it possible that they play him in the NHL as a winger for the first year or two to help him get up to speed, acclimatize and develop?

    This treatment would be similar to what the Habs have done with Galchenyuk and that seems to be paying dividends. It also leaves the door open to upgrade the #2C position through trade or free agency. This could add size on the wing and depth at Centre.

  • HockeyYoda

    Whoever the Oilers draft, I would be a lot more optimistic about their future development if Eakins wasn’t running the show. I’m sick of his negative rants where everything and everybody is to blame except for his “system” which nobody seems to understand or execute.

  • Lando

    Watch us draft Draisatl, turn into a slow lazy, unmotivated plug. While Calgary gets Bennet and he becomes Towes 2.0. Having the Flamers directly behind us is scary….

      • Lando

        Not finish last in west nearly every year…. Compete harder with a fraction of the talent…. And hiring Burke was a good move, the man knows how to build a team.

        • Zarny

          I love the comment Burke knows how to build teams, really what team did he build – that Toronto one that is about to be imploded ? The cup winning ducks team, I forgot that it is hard to entice one of the best d men in the league to come play with his brother (who both said wanted to play together) and one of the other best when he went to the media to demand a trade. Brian Murray built that team. What did he do in Vancouver besides getting the sedins, once again when they twisted the arms of all nhl teams stating they wanted to play together, that was Nonis’s who built that team. The only thing that Burke can say he has done successfully is take advantage of giftwrappings. But yes he knows how to build a team.

      • KatzKidsJewFro

        I would say that 2011 looks promising for Flames. Sven, Little Granlund, Gaudreau, Wotherspoon, plus Brossoit who they turned into an NHL defenseman. Still lots to be seen but I feel like that looks like a solid 5/5 at some point down the line. I’m not predicting All Stars, but there is probably 4 NHL players there and 1 via trade.

    • Zarny

      Or watch Draisaitl turn into the next Anze Kopitar and Bennett progress like Jonathan Huberdeau. The reality is no one in this draft is a sure bet. None would have gone top 5 last year. They all have deficiencies in their game which is why there is no consensus best player.

      There is nothing scary about the Flames drafting behind the Oilers. At #4 Calgary will get a very good prospect regardless of who it is.

      If anything, Calgary at #4 could be an opportunity for Edmonton. If Bennett or Reinhart are available at #3 but the Oilers prefer Draisaitl there is an opportunity to trade down and still get the guy they want.

      The question becomes who does Calgary want as well as NYI and Van sitting at #5 and #6? If Ekblad, Reinhart and Bennett go 1-3 do you think Calgary takes Draisaitl? If not and NYI really want Bennett or Reinhart to play behind Tavares the Oilers could look at dropping back to #5 and possibly pick up a 2nd round pick or maybe a player like Josh Bailey or Cal Clutterbuck and still draft Draisaitl.