With the three draft lotteries in the books, we now know that the Edmonton Oilers will be selecting 8th overall at the upcoming NHL Entry Draft.
I don’t know if you guys were following along all day, but we got the hashtag #MakeItFive trending Canada wide on Twitter and it was really pissing some other fanbases off. Rather than joining in on our excitement, instead, they fed us with a steady stream of all the reasons we shouldn’t be allowed to win, but we weren’t about to let that ruin our fun. Sure, you might say that picking first overall four times in a span of nine years is unfair, and there’s something to be said about that, but all is fair in love and war and these here draft picks are our battlefield.
Unfortunately, our dreams of picking first and watching the world burn to the ground were not meant to be on this night.
Now that we know the Oilers will be picking in the number 8 slot, it’s time to look at some of the prospects that could slide into that spot and where they might help on the depth chart. While we don’t know who will get the call at #8 we do know that the Oilers will add a decent prospect to their stable, and one that will likely help for years to come. This morning, Dusty Nielson wrote an article about the players in the top third of the first round after speaking to a few different scouts about how the top 10 could shake out. For the purposes of this article, I’ll include the guys in and around the Oilers pick. Let’s have a look:
5. Dylan Cozens – Center – Lethbridge, WHL
Cozens and Dach have been linked together for a couple of years now and there won’t be much separating them on draft day in Vancouver. Cozens is a big center who moves extremely well. He will likely need another year in junior, which will end up being a dominant season for the Lethbridge Hurricanes. I’d be shocked if he’s still on the board at seven if the Oilers hold serve in that slot.
6. Kirby Dach – Center/Right Wing – Saskatoon, WHL
Dach ended up at the bottom of my second tier because one of my scouting contacts had him 9 to 11 range. He shows flashes of brilliance and does not wait for the game to come to him. I’m not sure it will happen but Dach is the most likely name to slide out of the top six which means the Oilers may very well have the option to take him.
7. Trevor Zegras – Center/Wing – USA NTDP
The best thing about Zegras is that he can be whatever you need him to be. He dominates inside the blueline offensively; he already has a pro-awareness defensively and is willing to agitate as well. I think he’s a guy that Oilers fans will be in favour of should the team remain in the seven hole.
8. Alex Turcotte – Center – USA NTDP
He’s the second of three American talents to round out my top ten. The Wisconsin recruit has an offensive game that may fly under the radar the bit because he plays a hard, responsible game at both ends of the ice. There isn’t anything sexy about his game but he doesn’t have any glaring weaknesses either.
9. Matthew Boldy – Left Wing– USA NTDP
He’s the biggest of these three American kids and he’s also the purest goal scorer of the trio. He has size, a great shot and soft hands. The thing that really brings it all together though is excellent hockey sense. If the Oilers are willing to draft by positional need this summer he may very well fit the bill.
10. Arthur Kaliyev – Right Wing – Hamilton, OHL
If you need goals, he’s your guy. Kaliyev scored 31 goals as a 16-year old in the OHL last season and followed that up with 51 goals this year. He’s not as complete as the three players from the United States above him in Tier 3 but he can one-time the puck and has shown the ability to find a lot of open ice. If the Oilers really like Kaliyev he could be a target to trade down for.
With the draft order set and the Oilers picking 8th overall, we now have the next three(ish) months to argue about how they should use this pick. Looking at the list above, do any of these guys tickle your fancy? Should they look at trading it for some immediate help? What say you, Nation?