COMBINE LIST IMPORTANT TELL

The Edmonton Oilers had an unusual draft in 2014, but things should be back to normal this coming season. The club chose four or more players who attended the NHL combine from 2010 through 2013, but only one in 2014. With so many picks this season, Oilers fans would do well to scan the names of this year’s combine invite 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

2014 Oilers draft

  • Leon Draisaitl selected No. 3

PLAYERS INVITED OUTSIDE THE TOP OF THE LIST

This year’s list has just been published and is here. The NHL invites the top 75 prospects and then fills in the rest (119 scheduled to attend) based on team requests. If you follow the draft, most of the top 75 are known to you, but the bubbling under crew can be a fascinating bunch. Here are a few that may be of interest to Oilers fans this year:

  • R Mathieu Joseph, Saint John Sea Dogs (QMJHL). Ranked No. 125 on the NA Central list, he was invited after not appearing on any of Central’s lists until the final edition. A two-way player with some agitating ability.
  • D Chris Martenet, London Knights (OHL). Ranked No. 81 so his invite is no surprise. The eye-popping item here? Size. Listed at 6.07, 198, he’s a shut down defense prospect with lots of work to do. I can’t imagine him passing through the draft.
  • D Chaz Reddekopp, Victoria Royals (WHL). Moved up from No. 199 to No. 82 in the final rankings, he’s described as a big body defender who spiked as a prospect after November.

PLAYERS WHO MIGHT BE OF INTEREST TO THE OILERS

  • D Travis Dermott, Erie Otters (OHL). He’s not a big defender, but he’s a very smart one. Connor McDavid’s teammate in Erie shone like a diamond all season and into the playoffs. I imagine the Oilers have him high on their list.
  • D Ethan Bear, Seattle Thunderbirds (WHL). A fine skater and two-way defender, he has a plus shot and Cody Nickolet tells us his one-timer is probably his best asset.
  • C Alexander Dergachyov, St. Petersberg (Rus Jr). Another giant Russian center with skill, he’s listed at 6.04, 200.

OILERS AND THE COMBINE

This isn’t breaking news, but the Oilers have enjoyed substantial draft success when plucking more of the consensus (Combine) picks over the years. When they venture off the grid—as they did last summer—it is less successful. As an aside, there are no BCJHL players at the combine this year.