NHL Draft Day Targets

The Oilers head into Friday night’s draft with six selections and while it seems crazy to spend time looking at targets for each of those picks I decided to do it anyway.

1st Round – 8th Overall

Cole Caufield (RW)

Scouting Report from McKeen’s Hockey:

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He is short, but not exactly small. His squat figure is stocky and well-built. He has a very fast top speed and an explosive first few steps. He has extremely fast soft hands, without which many of Hughes’ lovely feeds would have clanked off his stick and been turned over, instead of being converted into sirens and lights and goals. He is patient with the puck and doesn’t rush his shots.

Dylan Cozens (C/W)

Scouting Report from McKeen’s Hockey:

With a player with the broad set of shiny tools that Cozens has, it can be very easy to overlook what he does away from the puck. He plays with an acute understanding of positioning, always on the right side of the man he is covering, and his body and stick are generally angled to restrict passing and shooting lanes. He also uses his plus frame as a physical presence. He is not one to go
for a big, intimidating open ice hit, but he finishes his checks, provides positive pressure on the forecheck and is difficult to dislodge once he establishes a foothold in the opposing crease

Kirby Dach (C/W)

Scouting Report from McKeen’s Hockey:

Dach is a general on the ice. He has the ability to slow the game down and take it over. He makes his linemates and his whole team better. He has remarkable vision for a teenager and can hold the puck in possession as long as is necessary for someone to get open in a better position. Outside of the raw ability to maintain the puck, he is also exceptionally skilled. He weights his passes beautifully, to better help his linemates receive them in stride and thus maintaining speed on the attack.

Trevor Zegras (C)

Scouting Report from McKeen’s Hockey:

Let’s explore his total package in a little bit more detail. He plays a North-South game, although with more than a little wiggle. He is a very shifty skater with great edges that allow him to avoid dead ends. His first few steps are explosive, and he gets from point A to point B as well as anyone.

Philip Broberg (D)

Scouting Report from McKeen’s Hockey:

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While not strictly an offensive defenseman, Broberg is an incredible skater, who can pick up the puck in his own zone and be buzzing behind the opposing net in a flash. He gets to his top speed within two or three steps and take long, powerful strides to maintain his elite pace. While he is most often found skating in straight lines, he has the agility and edges to mix things up.

Matthew Boldy (LW)

Scouting Report from McKeen’s Hockey:

Let’s start with his top tool, his shot. He is not as prolific at putting the puck in the net as Cole Caufield, but as a projectable tool, Boldy has the superior shot. The wrist shot is heavy and whippy, and simply deadly from all angles. He can score from a distance, or from in tight. I don’t think it is going out on a limb to project multiple 30+ goal seasons in his NHL future.

2nd Round – 38th Overall

Robert Mastrosimone (LW)

Scouting Report from McKeen’s Hockey:

Mastrosimone could be a more explosive skater, but he has enough to get some separation at times and a decent top speed. His skating plays up a bit as he never stops moving his feet. He benefited greatly from the Steel’s association, with skills coach Darry Belfry, as his skill set works together as a whole to allow him to make plays in a way that many other top prospects cannot. He processes the game incredibly rapidly and imposes himself on the game in all situations.

Egor Afanasyev (RW)

Scouting Report from McKeen’s Hockey:

He is a big, powerful winger with a monster shot from the circles. Although a natural shooter, he is an accomplished playmaker as well and his hand-eye coordination adds another layer to his game. He can play with his back to the net and his solid build from top to bottom allows him to maintain possession and puck control while a defender is draped on his back. When the puck is travelling north, or his team is already in possession, he looks like a potential first rounder. In his own end, he will try, but he is ineffective. He backchecks, but then tends to drift in his own zone after possession has been established.

3rd Round – 85th Overall

Ronnie Attard (D)

Scouting Report from McKeen’s Hockey:

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Tall and lanky, Attard is also an impressive skater with a clean stride. He reads the play well for the USHL level, although I would expect no less from a 20-year-old in that league. Take with a grain of salt, but he does a great job filling in passing and shooting lanes in his own end. He takes advantage of his long reach and is a big part of the reason why Tri-City was the league’s stingiest team this year.

Kaedan Korczak (D)

Scouting Report from McKeen’s Hockey:

Korczak has the body to match the style and he loves to physically engage opposing forwards. Whether playing tough in the corners, or going for a big open ice hit, he is an attack dog, and can be overpowering at the WHL level. To his credit, he doesn’t let his enthusiasm for the rough stuff to allow him to be pulled out of position. He has hockey smarts and plays with an active stick, helping him rack up the defensive stops. Like a lot of young players, he can be prone to the odd brain cramp, losing bearings in his own end, but more maturity and work on keeping his game simple should help alleviate those.

Pavel Dorofeyev (LW)

Scouting Report from McKeen’s Hockey:

His hands are soft and fast, and he is simply a brilliant puck carrier. He is equally as proficient in dangling and carrying the puck through and past opponents as he is at finding a thin seam through which to thread a pass to a linemate. As good as his playmaking is, he has historically been more likely to score himself. Both his wrist shots and slap shots are potent weapons, but the latter is his preferred means of scoring. Both are accurate and his wrist shot has a particularly tricky and quick release.

4th Round – 100th Overall

Leevi Aaltonen (RW)

Scouting Report from McKeen’s Hockey:

Big scorer in Finnish junior ranks kept up the pace with the WU18s. Explosive skater with flashy hands is physically immature.

Andre Lee (LW)

Scouting Report from McKeen’s Hockey:

Big winger plays a disruptive checking game with enough speed to keep defenders on their heels. Turned his game up in the postseason helping his team to a USHL championship.

Marcus Kallionkieli (LW)

Scouting Report from McKeen’s Hockey:

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Blends power and skill in his game. He is a strong skater and a full arsenal of shots to choose from. Responsible and can play in a variety of roles.

Josh Nodler (C)

Scouting Report from McKeen’s Hockey:

Smart two-way player is an underrated playmaker. Starred for Team USA at the Hlinka Gretzky Cup. Going to Michigan State

6th Round – 162nd Overall

Grant Silianoff (RW)

Scouting Report from McKeen’s Hockey:

Former top pick in USHL Futures Draft, Silianoff has good offensive instincts, but has yet to put his full game together. A good skater and plays bigger than his size.

Bryce Brodzinski (RW)

Scouting Report from McKeen’s Hockey:

Fourth Brodzinski brother to pass through the USHL. Has scored at every level. Played in high school as an overager, but Minnesota’s Mr. Hockey has attractive puck skills.

Jack York (D)

Scouting Report from McKeen’s Hockey:

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Better on offense than in his own zone, York has a promising right-handed shot. His offensive game took off with more responsibilities after the trade from Kitchener to Barrie.

7th Round – 193rd Overall

Aleksei Sergeev (C)

Scouting Report from McKeen’s Hockey:

Second year eligible center had a good first year in North America. More a playmaker than a shooter, he has a good hockey IQ.

Lukas Parik (G)

Scouting Report from McKeen’s Hockey:

An athletic netminder with ideal size for the modern game, had a solid year in the Czech U19 league and then almost single-handedly kept the Czechs in some games at the WU18 tournament.


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Previously by Dustin Nielson:

        • Hemmercules

          Some Oilers fans prefer to live in the past. For some, the past is the DOD. For others it’s the 80’s. Changes are happening but crying for Bob and Kevin to be fired is just wasted time and emotion, they obviously aren’t going anywhere. I think the Oilers are getting back in that window of not being totally undesirable again. The changes they have made so far seem to be in the right direction.

          • The DOD is not in the past, it is alive and kicking and keeping the idiots who do not have a clue in ANY capacity still leaves the franchise stuck in the glory days. Not just Kevin (Who does not know a thing or two about winning) and Bob, (who immediately proved he was as clueless as the 3 amigos) but also Scott (I can’t do anything right Howson) still remain. That is enough carry over to keep the pall hanging over this franchise for more than a decade. Every time someone see’s Lowes arrogant mug or Howsons clueless blank expression, they lose another potential fan. NO other franchise rewards failure on this scale. A new broom sweeps clean, but this broom left behind at least 3 big dust balls that should have been tossed out years ago.

          • ricardo2000

            The key is team defence this year. That would propel McD and Drai into the scoring race stratosphere.
            Hard-nosed, fast, with great hands are my three top criterion.

    • @Randaman,
      Name one other franchise that rewards such pitiful failure? At least the Flames fire their failed executives as does every other team but the Oilers. Name one other franchise that would draft McDavid and get not only worse, but substantially so? EVERY other team would have cleaned house properly. Teams that did better than us cleaned house right after the season ended. Lowe MacT Howson, etc could not get a job anywhere in the NHL period, because they do not know what they are doing period. Howson lucked out with the job with the Jackets and when he failed, surprise , surprise, they fired him (PERMANENTLY) With JP’s luck Mac-T will be his next coach, might as well spread their lack of knowledge across the globe.

  • RJ

    Podkolzin if available. Two reasons:

    1) Oilers have sucked at working with European players (see: all the issues with Puljujarvi). They haven’t supported them or brought them along correctly. KH has a ton of experience working with Euros; and particularly Russians. Any other GM, shying away from Podkolzin makes sense. KH has the track record to make this work.

    2) Podkolzin is signed in Russia for the next two years, so the earliest he could play in a Edmonton is three seasons from now. For a team that loves to rush prospects, this would be an issue. For a new management team and philosophy that loves to “over-ripen” prospects, this timeframe should be perfectly reasonable.

    If you can pick a prospect ranked top-3 skill-wise, develop a positive environment for a foreign player (like we did not see for Yak or JP), and give him two years to improve and develop, should be a slam-dunk.

    • TKB2677

      You do understand that with Podkolzin having a 2 year deal in the KHL, yes they means you can’t rush him but that also means that the organization will have little if ZERO input in his development. He’s in Russia and the NHL and KHL aren’t exactly friendly. So that most likely means the Oilers won’t be able to check in on him easily, they won’t be able to talk to the team he plays for to try to ensure he gets enough playing, time, what to work on, etc. He won’t come to ANY development camps most likely. The biggest one. You are letting the KHL be responsible for his development. The KHL is a completely different league, they play a different style and even play on a different sized ice surface.
      In addition, as I listen to Button on Gregor’s list talk about Podkolzin, his skating isn’t very good.
      I don’t see how its a good idea for the Oilers using their #8 overall with a player who isn’t a good skater and has risks to him.

      • RJ

        I’ve read enough scouting reports that consider him in the top-3 in the draft in terms of skill.

        I also haven’t seen one scouting report that he’s a poor skater. Ive seen his skating described as good but not great to borderline elite speed and acceleration.

        As it relates to player development, there have been numerous descriptions of his usage being much better than the average 17-year old, so I don’t see a situation where he gets 8-10 minutes a night like JP would get under McLellan.

  • OilCan2

    I like some of these hidden gem picks. Go for the elite scoring talent in the first round and grab a D man ( or 2) later. I wonder if any GM is willing to toss a late first or second rounder into the JP trade? This may very well be a lesson in the slow simmer. Let’s see on Saturday.