With their third pick in the 2018 NHL Draft, the Edmonton Oilers decided to make a move to stick in the second round, trading the 71st and 133rd picks to Montreal in exchange for the 62nd overall section. With that pick, the Oilers grabbed goaltender Olivier Rodrigue from the Drummondville Voltigeurs.
Thought by many to be the best goalie in the Draft, Olivier Rodrigue must have been too tempting to pass up as the Oilers traded their 71st and 133rd overall picks to Montreal in order to move up and get him. Generally speaking, taking a goalie this early in the Draft is a little bit ballsy considering the voodoo it takes to accurate track their development, but the Oilers’ scouts clearly liked what they saw in the 6’1″ tender and Chiarelli did what he had to go to get an orange jersey on him. I’m not going to pretend to know whether or not this was a reach, I have no idea, but, judging by the reaction by some on social media, this pick will be a controversial one moving forward whether it’s deserved or not.
In 53 games played with Drummondville this season, Rodrigue posted a 31-16-1 record with a 2.54 GAA and a .903 save%.
With this trade to move up, the Oilers will no longer have a pick in rounds three, four, and five unless, of course, Peter Chiarelli makes another move to get more bullets in the gun.
WHO IS OLIVIER RODRIGUE
Considering the Oilers made a move to get him, I wanted to find out a little bit more about Olivier Rodrigue, said by many to be the best goaltender available in the Draft.
“The Quebec born goaltender is calm in his net with controlled movements to direct the puck out of danger. He is able to square up to set plays very well and limits the second and third chances by directing the puck into the corner with his blocker and pads or by using his active stick to break up the opponent’s attack. He is good at anticipating a play through quick checks and reads that allow him to make a save look easier than it is.”
From the ISS:
“Athletic butterfly goalie capable of highlight-reel saves due to his quickness.”
Don’t let Rodrigue’s size scare you away — this kid’s reflexes, rebound control and post-to-post quickness are exceptional. He’s an aggressive netminder who will dart out of the crease to defend shots from anywhere within his own end, and he’s proven to safely steer high-danger shots either into the corners or far from the low slot. Rodrigue’s stick is very active and times his poke checks very well, plus his ability to lock in on pucks throughout an entire cycle helps him interdict cross-crease passes from either corner. His glove hand and its positioning are a work in progress, which when coupled with a low silhouette makes him susceptible to get beaten upstairs, especially on the short side.
JUNIOR STATS SO FAR
Founded in 1950, Sports Excellence Corporation represents over 150 family-owned independent hockey retailers across Canada and the United States. Our highly knowledgeable hockey specialists are available to assist all your equipment needs. Find your closest Sports Excellence retailer here!