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With their first pick in the 2023 NHL draft, the Oilers select defenceman Beau Akey

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Photo credit:Josh Kim
Cam Lewis
9 months ago
With the No. 56 overall pick in the 2023 NHL draft, the Edmonton Oilers have selected defenceman Beau Akey from the Barrie Colts of the Ontario Hockey League.
Akey is a 6’0″, right-handed defenceman who’s known for his elite skating and his ability to move the puck quickly and effectively. He scored 11 goals and 47 points for the Colts over the course of 66 regular-season games in 2022-23 and added five points across 13 playoff games.
There was talk that the Oilers would trade down from No. 56 overall given they don’t have another selection until the sixth round but it made sense for them to hold on to the pick with a high-quality talent in Akey available to them. Akey was expected by many scouts and pundits to be an early second-round pick so him falling to the Oilers late in the second round is a win.

NHL DRAFT CONTENT PRESENTED BY BETWAY

Here’s where Akey was ranked heading into the draft…

And here’s what scouts had to say about him…

“While most eyes have been on Brandt Clarke in Barrie this year, it’s hard to ignore Akey jumping up 30 points this year. He does an excellent job of rushing the puck down the ice from his own zone and he panic-passes the puck far less these days.” – Steven Ellis, Daily Faceoff
“With his precise and powerful footwork, he can shadow attackers and push them to the outside, pinch on opponents in the offensive zone before they can break out the puck, and absorb and box out attackers rushing to the slot. Some of his best work came off his ability to anticipate players on the rush and use his stick to poke pucks away, as well as while chasing puck carriers in his own end.” -EliteProspects 2023 NHL Draft Guide
“He’s a gifted skater with great agility, east-west ability, strong edge work, flawless crossovers, and his backward skating may just be the best among OHL defenders available for the draft. His 4-way mobility is up there with all of them as well.” – Dominic Tiano (OHL Writers)
“He’s one of the best passers in my dataset and shows a remarkable amount of skill for a player that is rarely talked about as a first-round pick. He doesn’t activate as aggressively as some of his peers which may account for his production numbers to be slightly below some of his CHL counterparts, but he makes up for it with his four-way skating mobility and flashes of high-end skill.” – Austin Garret (Smaht Scouting)

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