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Photo Credit: OilersTV

Looking at the Oilers moves on day two of the draft

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.

Round 2

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.

Round 3

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.”

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.”

Round 4

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.”

Round 5

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.

Round Six

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.

Round Seven

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.”

Looking back…

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.

    • TruthHurts98

      Both are massive overpays, Flames have mortgaged away the future. I still cringe thinking that Barzal or Schevnikov plus Carlo could be Oilers. PC definitely didn’t want to make the same mistake with Hamonic. I for one am glad. Connor and Leon are better than any player on the Flamers and Talbot is far better than Smith. Still hoping PC adds someone like Faulk or Barrie.

      • Hockey123

        They couldn’t afford him anyway . The would have huge cap problems they need the 2nd wave of prospects to develop. Chia really hurt the team with the Reinhart trade. Low stock

    • Namudi

      We don’t need harmonic, it was either hamonic or larsson. We got Larsson, now we need a offensive d man, not hamonic.

      Plus nyi radio guy said his slow, and overrated

    • Nanook

      get over it, 1 bad move and the sky falls. second round of playoffs after 11 years and that’s all you can talk about. Never mind stealing Talbot and Maroon. or any of the other dozen great moves he made. My god, just get over it.

    • Tombstone

      Harmonic is way overrrated, what’s so special about him? He didn’t help NYI make the post season. Even in his best year Russell had a better one. Russell is a better D anyways.

    • nuge2drai

      Can we boot this guy?

      Like no one cares about the Reinhart trade.

      We are all just enjoying playoff hockey. Most of us for the first time in our adult lives.

    • Leichs

      Maroon trade with retained salary, well done chia
      Kassian for Scrivens, well done chia
      Signing Benning, Drake and Luc, well done chia
      Trading Ebs for a younger, faster, more dynamic young right wing a heavier shot and making less than half is salary, well done Chia.
      If you are going to argue the Ebs thing, I dont care how many points he put up in the past. The Isles got 2017 Eberle, 2 points in playoffs and 0 heart and compete. Ill take Strome all day who happens to know our captain on a personal level, could be a great fit. Oh and hes only 23. I recall Patty Maroon having a career year at 29.

      • Leichs

        Oh dont forget about Larrson trade, well done Chia.
        Ill even throw in the Russell signing because hes a rock and plays everynight like its game 7, well done Chia.
        GTFO hockey123.

    • Anton CP

      I don’t know why Hamonic is so overhyped, he is not a puck moving blueliner nor a defensive specialist. 2018 will also be a strong year for depths but Calgary will not be having 2 picks also. The difference between Chiarelli and the Flames are that the Oilers were more desperately need helps from the back when the deal for Hamilton fell through and trade for Reinhart was more of a desperate move that did not work out well. Calgary on the other hand has very little reason of needing another RHS defenseman that they should be getting any other better defenseman for cheaper price instead overpaying for Hamonic.

  • TruthHurts98

    I found it bizarre they moved up to get Skinner, but they must be extremely bullish on him. Safin, Maximov and Samorukov could develop into something, like all those picks. Absolutely thrilled with the Yamamoto pick and if Foo signs with the Oilers, the wing will have far more depth!

  • Spydyr

    Safin is my dark-horse pick to make it. Skated well,handles the puck well,physical and has a good shot. That sounds like someone that could play on Connor’s wing.

  • Spydyr

    Safin is my dark-horse pick to make it. Skates well,handles the puck well,physical and has a good shot. That sounds like someone that could play on Connor’s wing.

  • camdog

    Right now Benning and Caggiula are better than the draft picks lost in the very bad Reinhart trade. I expect rival teams fans to discount this, but the toxic Oilers bloggers are being a bit petty and self righteous right now.

    • OTOF2

      Chia can’t afford to give any draft picks away. It’s amazing how few high end propects the Oil have considering they have been drafting high for straight 10 years.

    • madjam

      Leafs offered Van Riemsdyk and their first round draft choice this year for Hamonic , and Flames upped to their offer which Snow took . Glad Oilers stayed out of that bidding war .

  • Anton CP

    I don’t see a problem about trading up for Skinner, goalies normally take about 5 years to have possibility starting in NHL and both Nick Ellis and Brossoit are not likely to take the job away from Cam Talbot anytime soon and Starrett is still much of unknown. Dylan Wells still years away from ready so now this pick is for the future to see who has potential to be the eventual successor of Talbot. Goalies are voodoo, you will never know what goalie that you ended up with.

    I think the mentality of fans need to change a bit about this draft, remember that the Oilers are not drafting for hope anymore instead the Oilers are drafting for potential roster players. The Oilers are now trying to draft players like Conor Sheary or Jake Guentzel not Malkin nor Crosby.

  • Mike Modano's Dog

    I really like our draft this year. To come out of it with so many prospects who can skate, score and are highly skilled, in a weak draft year, is really doing our due diligence…and that’s not even counting the goaltender pick. Well done Oilers brass!