Friday night saw the Edmonton Oilers use their first round selection on Spokane Chief Kailer Yamamoto.
The smallest ever first-round selection put up some great numbers in the WHL last year as a top-10 scorer.
Last night, Yamamoto told media members that he told the Edmonton Oilers at the combine dinner that “you gotta draft me, otherwise I’m gonna come back and haunt you.”
Now, let’s take a round by round look at the moves the Oilers made on day two of the draft.
The Oilers didn’t have a second round pick due as it was given in compensation to the Boston Bruins for Edmonton’s hiring of Peter Chiarelli.
The third round saw the Oilers make a few moves. First of all, they traded picks 82 and 126 to the Arizona Coyotes to move up to pick number 78.
The Oilers clearly had their sights set on a certain player, with that being G Stuart Skinner from the Lethbridge Hurricanes (WHL). The Edmonton native was the fifth-ranked goaltender in the WHL and played in 60 games for the Hurricanes this year.
Skinner posted a 3.26 goals-against average and a .905 save per cent.
The 6’3, 200-pound goalie played 20 playoff games this year, posting a .916 save per cent.
From NHL Central Scouting: “Huge presence when challenging, especially on initial shots – excellent compete and work habits – a battler who never gives up – strong physically in the crease, holds his ground well – solid stance and plays with authority – quickness and post-to-post play – good bounce-back ability – has NHL size and skills.”
— The WHL (@TheWHL) April 27, 2017
Also in the third round, the Oilers used the 84th overall pick on LS D Dmitri Samorukov from the Guelph Storm (OHL). In 67 games this year, the 6’2, 180-pound defenceman scored four goals and 16 assists.
This was his first year in North America after coming over from the MHL in Russia.
Samorukov also played for the Russia U18 this year, where he helped the Russians win a bronze medal. In seven games, he scored one goal and four assists.
From Sportsnet’s Sam Cosentino:
“Great things were expected of Samorukov when he was picked second overall in the 2016 CHL Import Draft. Playing on a rebuilding Guelph team, Samorukov was thrown into the fire, competing nightly in the toughest division in all the CHL. He showed durability, missing just one regular season game, and that’s important to note as he brings a physical element. Not afraid to support the rush or shoot the puck, there is some offensive upside to his game. He’s much more fluid skating backward than forward, but that is a skill he will continue to develop. Having participated for Russia on several occasions, his best international performance was his latest one, winning bronze for Russia at the world U-18s.”
— Guelph Storm (@Storm_City) January 8, 2017
With pick number 115, the Edmonton Oilers selected RW Ostap Safin from Sparta Jr. in the Czech League. The monstrous winger standing at 6’5 and weighing 192-pounds scored six goals and 12 assists in 24 games this season to go along with 66 PIM.
This pick could end up as a real sleeper selection for the Oilers. Bob McKenzie had the winger ranked 51 overall.
From Elite Prospects Curtis Joe:
“Skates very well, with balance and noteworthy speed, and handles the puck with ease and control at top speeds. Displays a dangerously accurate shot that he is never hesitant to use; often a threat in the offensive zone. Uses his frame well, to protect the puck, as well as to impose physically upon the opposition. Defensively stable and actively cuts off passing and shooting lanes. Could be more creative, but is more of a straight-line player.”
In the fifth round, the Oilers used the 146th overall selection on LW Kirill Maksimov from the Niagara Ice Dogs (OHL). Like Safin, this looks like it could another sleeper as he fell well below his consensus rankings.
Last year, he scored 15 goals and added seven assists in 29 games. The Moskva, RUS native grew up in Canada playing in minor midget in Ontario.
From the Draft Analyst:
Excitable scoring winger who was a model of inconsistency until a midseason trade from Saginaw to Niagara, where he scored 19 goals in 33 combined games between the regular season and playoffs. He’s big, fast and owns a wonderful set of hands, and there are times where he is easily the most noticeable and unstoppable player on the ice. Maksimov is a hard shooter who doesn’t need the puck to be settled to get maximum velocity on his shot, and giving him a small window of opportunity is a recipe for disaster. He’s also pretty good around the cage and will release the puck to a open linemate at the very last second. Maksimov by all accounts is a very hard worker and never looks lazy or disinterested, but he plays on the outside and isn’t as physically engaged as a teenager with his build should be. His skill set screams future NHL scorer, but take his second-half surge with a grain of salt.
In the sixth round, the Oilers used their pick, 177th overall, on C Skylar Brind’Amour from the US National Development Team.
The 6’2, 174 lb centre is heading to play for the Chilliwack Chiefs in the British Columbia Junior Hockey League next year. For the 2019-2020 season, he has committed to play for Michigan State University in the NCAA.
He is clearly a project player. This past year, he played on four different teams scoring 11 points in 22 games.
From the Draft Analyst:
He’s got the familiar name, but Brind’amour plays a different style to his father Rod, who won a Cup with Carolina in 2006 and played in nearly 1500 NHL games. Skyler is a strong-skating forward who is competent in all three zones and has potential for more, especially when you consider his size. He’s headed to Michigan State after brief stints with the South Kent School U18 Selects and the NTDP. Brind’amour is a cerebral player who hustles, competes and displays occasional periods of dominance. He doesn’t have breakaway speed but is difficult to slow down once he reaches top speed.
Oilers at 177 take Skyler Brind'Amour, son of Rod. That's all you can ask for in the sixth round – good genes.
— Rob Tychkowski (@Rob_Tychkowski) June 24, 2017
To close out the 2017 NHL Entry draft, the Oilers used the 208th overall selection on RD Phil Kemp from the US National Development Team.
Last year, he wore the “C” for the U18 team where he put up 13 points in 64 games.
Kemp is committed to play hockey next season at Yale University in the NCAA.
He was a member of last year’s USA U18 National team that won gold.
From Bill Placzek:
“A big athletic defenseman with good skating ability but needs to work on pivots and turns. Better when he is in open space or not in close quarters. Ends up having trouble when pressured and turns many pucks over. Uses his size as deterrent along the boards, and his stick to clog lanes. He displays an emerging offensive game in the attack zone, but needs to improve his puck skills and in-game IQ. Long term developmental player.”
The Oilers have addressed some needs in this draft. At the top, they selected a potential future replacement for Jordan Eberle in Yamamoto.
The small, shifty player should finish in top-five WHL scoring next season and will be a ton of fun to watch.
Outside of the top round, the Oilers did a good job of drafting quality players who slid below their consensus rankings. Safin and Samorukov were both guys that slid in the rankings, which are great gets for Edmonton.
I wasn’t the biggest fan of moving up to select Skinner. The Oilers cupboards are pretty stocked in net with Laurent Brossoit, Nick Ellis, Dylan Wells and Shane Starrett.
Despite that, it sounds like Skinner is a guy that could be a real good goaltender in the future. Like all net minders, they need time to develop and it can be a bit of a gamble when looking at their development.