The Edmonton Oilers spent a metric tonne worth of draft picks last decade on big wingers they hoped would turn into skilled men with size. Almost to a man, these kids were shy on offense, from Brad Winchester in 2000 through Cameron Abney in 2009. Now, with a new management group in place, will the Oilers ‘fish where the fish are’ and draft big forwards who are also skilled? Here’s a look at some candidates.
10 FOR THE OIL
- L Lawson Crouse, Kingston Frontenacs (OHL). Big, strong winger with abundant speed and he’s got a mean streak too. Lack of offense has been mentioned a lot but he scored 29 goals and if Crouse falls the Oilers could trade up and step in to grab him.
- C Pavel Zacha, Sarnia Sting (OHL). Big center is trouble for the defense. Like Crouse, plenty of discussion about him not being worth a top 7 selection and if he falls don’t be surprised to see Edmonton trade up for him.
- L Evgeny Svechnikov, Cape Breton Screaming Eagles (QMJHL). A load on skates, he has good speed and will use his body to get the puck from opponent. Fantastic player, he might be available at No. 16 overall.
- R Timo Meier, Halifax Mooseheads (QMJHL). He’s a thick, skill winger who shoots the puck about every 11 seconds. Drives hard to the net and has soft hands. A wonderful prospect.
- C Joel Erksson Ek, Farjestad (Swe Jr). Rugged Swedish center trending late (Euro’s always do) and may find himself inside the top 15 overall on draft day. Described as tough to play against and extremely aggressive.
- C Alexander Dergachev, St. Petersberg (MHL). A big, big man with the ability to hold on to the puck for long stretches. Great balance and passing appear to be his calling cards and despite playing in Russian juniors there’s a lot of buzz about him.
- C Filip Chlapik, Charlottetown Islanders (QMJHL). Skill center who plays a physical style and upsets defensemen with his forechecking. Shields the puck well, only question is speed.
- L Erik Foley Cedar Rapids Roughriders (USHL). I spoke to Kirk Luedeke of Red Line Report today and he described a quality prospect with PF skills (although he is not a big player). He could fall into the third round and turn out to be a draft bargain for the Oil.
- C Nicolas Roy, Chicoutimi (QMJHL). Big center with skill, he creates offense with his great strength, long reach and passing skills. Could be a real find.
- L Jordan Greenway, USNDTP (USHL): Huge winger with raw skills and the ability to win battles and hold on to real estate. Scored well in junior, offensive ability is a question mark.