The Edmonton Oilers are busy getting ready for the 2014 Entry Draft, and looking forward to adding a big piece of the future at No. 3 overall. Today, the club gave fans an update on prospect progress from the 2013 crop, and passed along some interesting items along the way.
Oilers Senior Director of Player Development Rick Carriere spoke to Chris Westcott from the Edmonton Oilers website, and gave interesting updates on
all of the picks from last season. It’s a great article, suggest you
read it, but for our purposes I wanted to highlight a few noteworthy
- Carriere on Marco Roy’s injury-riddled season: “He struggled with injuries. He had a wrist injury at the start of the
season that he kind of left here with and it took him a while to recover
from that and as a result he was probably a little behind everybody in
his league. The Quebec league starts a little bit earlier than the WHL
and the OHL. He missed a few more games than what he probably was hoping
to. But he got in and in November, he got a concussion. It wasn’t
diagnosed early so he played a little longer and went through the Subway
Series and then he comes out of that and he’s diagnosed with a
Roy began the season 8GP, 2-11-13 but after the concussion faded (31GP, 12-10-22) as the season wore along, finishing 39GP, 14-21-25. He was recently traded to Quebec, where he’ll be a Rempart in their Memorial Cup hosting 2014-15 season.
The concussion diagnosis is especially concerning, and something to track into this season. The Oilers had terrible luck with QMJHL first-round pick Marc Pouliot, and his draft year +1 went in similar fashion. He never did recover as a prospect after enduring several injuries as a teenager.
- Carriere on Kyle Platzer’s season: “He’s got an excellent shot. He shoots almost like an American Hockey
League player now in his release and velocity on his shot. It’s the same
thing with him in that he needs to build up his body and be a little
bit stronger and work on his acceleration. You’ve got to have that other
gear to his game so that he’s a little bit more effective offensively.
Defensively, he was always pretty sound.”
It’s sometimes difficult to see a player in your mind’s eye based on scouting reports, especially the deeper draft picks. Carriere’s description gives us a very nice idea about why Platzer was taken one year ago.
- Carriere on Greg Chase’s season: “The things he was working on this year, and I think he improved quite a
bit on too, was his play without the puck defensively, with his
positioning, going into the corner, battling for pucks and finishing
checks. Offensively he brings a lot to the table, as we saw with his
point production. I see a steady progression with Chase.”
This is really good news. Chase is an impressive offensive player—I rate him as the best offensive forward in the system—but if the agitating center is also working on his play away from the puck, well, we’re talking about a real gem here if things keep rolling along.
So far, the Oilers have signed the following players from the 2013 draft:
- Darnell Nurse signed in July 2013. It’s an entry-level deal that slides with each junior season played—meaning it resets if he’s sent back to junior and won’t begin until he turns pro.
- Bogdan Yakimov signed in May 2014. He’ll turn pro this fall, likely with the Oklahoma City Barons.
Based on the progress reports, I expect we’ll see Marco Roy, Jackson Houck, Ben Betker and Greg Chase sign in the next twelve months. As for the others, we aren’t certain when Slepyshev plans to come over, Platzer needs to show more offense, while Muir and Campbell will be in college.
We can’t judge this draft for several more years, but early returns are solid. Some of these bets look very good one year later.
(OKC Barons photo by Rob Ferguson, all rights reserved)