This isn’t a mock of the first round of the 2016 NHL Entry Draft. It’s a mock up of who I’d pick in all seven rounds for the Edmonton Oilers. Much the same as what Lowetide does leading up to the draft on his site.
So what I did the other night was go through some of the sites I trust when it comes to the draft and the sites that had an extensive draft rankings list for reference. Those include:
- The Draft Analyst
- The Hockey Writers
I haven’t purchased my draft guides as of yet so that’s why you’re not seeing such
resources such as McKeen’s, Hockey Prospect, ISS, or Red Line. It’s just me going through the lists from the top 250 or seven round mocks from the respected websites above. God bless the men that do these up to because it is a shit ton of work to do.
My method to the madness was going through these lists with and picking out the players they selected for the Oilers in their mock or the players that fell on the Oilers draft pick. You can see them below.
The actual draft pick numbers are still iffy. At draftsite.com they’ve got the Oilers at different draft spots than say Lowetide’s or Steve Kournianos’ and I think that is due to the Stanley Cup Final not being finished yet but Bill Plazcek is making an educated guess as to where those draft picks will end up. The picks in question are the ones the Oilers got from Pittsburgh and Florida in the 3rd round.
|LOWETIDE||THE DRAFT ANALYST||DRAFT SITE|
|4 – Matthew Tkachuk (LW)||4 – Jakob Chychrun (LD)||4 – Matthew Tkachuk (LW)||4 – Matthew Tkachuk (LW)|
|32 – Logan Stanley (LD)||32 – Givani Smith (LW)||32 – Dennis Cholowski (LD)||32 – Cam Dineen (LD)|
|62 – Jeremy Helvig (G)||62 – Joey Anderson (RW)||62 – Connor Bunnaman (LW)||62 – Jeremy Helvig (G)|
|83 – Jon Dahlen (L – W)||83 – Luke Green (RD)||83 – Jordan Sambrook (RD)||83 – Andrew Peeke (RD)|
|90 – Tyler Steenburgen (C)||90 – Tanner Kasperick (C/LW)||90 – Matthew Filipe (LW)||90 – Benjamin Gleason (LD)|
|122 – Brett McKenzie (C)||122 – Greg Printz (LW)||122 – Brandon Hagel (LW)||122 – Ondrej Najman (LW)|
|148 – Steve Harland (RW)||148 – Colby Sissons (LD)||148 – Jonathan Ang (C)||148 – Matthew Cairns (LD)|
|152 – Vojtek Budik (LD)||152 – Zach Osburn (RD)||152 – Evan Sarthou (G)||152 – Ondrej Vala (LD)|
|182 – Loik Leveille (D)||182 – Jordan Sambrook (RD)||182 – Kristians Rubins (LD)||182 – Austin Osmanski (LD)|
You can click on the names above each list and be taken to the site to which they originated. There you can read the write-ups on each player. Lowetide’s and The Draft Analyst’s are the best, Draft Site is a bit of crap shoot as not every player has a report done up for them and The Hockey Writers’ is just a list.
Now it took me a good three or four hours of scouring over the names and lists to finally decide what nine players I’d draft if I were the Oilers. The parameters I used where:
- The Oilers are in dire need of righties in nearly every position.
- The team needs offensive players coming up through the system to replace the Hall’s and the Eberle’s down the line.
- The team’s goaltending depth is in shambles.
Hockey’s Future says the Oilers have size and strength coming through the pipeline and multi-faceted wingers but it lacks depth at centre, a true powerplay QB, and an “elite” goaltender.
In my opinion the team did well to address character and players who play an “honest” hockey game when they drafted Ethan Bear, Mitch Moroz, David Musil, and Jujhar Khaira. But as I said above, the team really doesn’t have any true offensive wizards coming up. No Oliver Bjorkstrands or William Nylanders, Brandon Montours or Ville Pokkas, and it needs them coming through.
So here is my list of players I’d like to see the Edmonton Oilers draft at the end of the month in Buffalo.
#4 – Matthew Tkachuk (LW), London (OHL), 6’1″ 195lbs, 57gp 30g 77a 107pts (NHLe: 49.25)
Tkachuk here is a no-brainer for me. The NHL is turning into a thinking man’s game and from all accounts Tkachuk is the smartest guy in the draft. During the combine he interviewed well and from the clips I seen of him, he’s very confident. Bob Stauffer did mention on Oilers Now this week that Tkachuk’s teammates said he was the glue that kept the team together. A man who can mix with the skillers and the grinders.
One thing that sealed the deal for me is something I heard from a scout when comparing Tkachuk and Pierre Luc Dubois. He said, and I’m paraphrasing here a bit, that Dubois can go looking for trouble whereas Tkachuk lets the trouble come to him. Perfect. With the way that the Oilers’ powerplay is going to be wrecking the NHL in the future, having players like Tkachuk and Caggiula on the team goating the opposition into penalties sounds A-OK to me.
With McDavid, Draisaitl, Hall, Nuge, Yak and Eberle currently on the roster, there’s no room for more drivers on this bus. I know that some of them will be moved this summer but the way that Tkachuk complimented Mitch Marner this past season bodes very well if he were to lineup alongside Connor McDavid in the future.
Lastly, he’s clutch.
#32 – Nathan Bastian (C/RW), Mississuaga (OHL), 6’4″ 208lbs, 64gp 19g 40a 59pts (NHLe: 24.19)
A right-handed beast of a forward who’s got a reputation for doing everything well but nothing elite. Bastian was the muscle on a ridiculously talented draft eligible line in Mississauga alongside Mike McLeod and Alex Nylander.
The reason I like Nathan Bastian for the Oilers here, and I struggled deciding between him and Cliff Pu, is because he’s a right-handed 5-tool man who can play wing or centre and from all accounts Bastian can play the game any way you want to. In short, the versatility and ability to play with high-end forwards is appealing.
“He’s 6’4, 210lbs and can play any forward position, providing a lot of versatility to a lineup. He’s also a great two-way player and a physical asset who is especially effective at using his body to gain possession in the offensive end.
Offensively, his biggest asset is his vision and playmaking ability, something that’s not common for a power forward.
If you’re patient, you might have a 6’4 two-way center who can really control the possession game and be a physical nightmare to matchup against.” – Brock Otten (OHL Prospects)
#62 – Frederic Allard (RD), Chicoutimi (QMJHL), 6’1″ 179lbs, 64gp 14g 59pts (NHLe: 19.65)
Peter Chiarelli is not known to go for players from the QMJHL on a regular basis but if Allard is available at 62, I think it’s a slam dunk he get this guy.
Federic Allard is a right-handed two-way defender who has shown a knack for putting up some points. It’s the “Q” albeit but nevertheless good prospects put up offense in junior. His size isn’t a concern although he could put on some weight. The assets that really convinced me of Allard came in the quotes from this report:
“Frédéric Allard is the General of the Chicoutimi Saguenéens on and off the ice.
On the ice, Frédéric was the guy calling and running the plays, particularly on the power play. Off the ice, he was the go to guy for the younger guys, particularly the young defense crew, for advice and support. He has an infectious likeability that makes others want to follow his lead.”
- A power play quarterback with a right-handed shot; one who has produced the same level of offense or better as the top three ranked defensemen in the 2016 draft –Mikhail Sergachev, Olli Juolevi and Jeff Chychrun
- The leadership and work ethic of those who are successful and that a good team depends on. He has the ability to develop the chemistry that winning teams have.
- The will and ability to get better. Just ask Brent Burns what that can do to a fellow’s game over time.
- The will to battle (think medium-sized dog that goes for the bone with the tenaciousness to get it) and the calmness and poise under pressure. – Eldon MacDonald (The Hockey Writers)
#83 – David Quenneville (RD), Medicine Hat (WHL), 5’8″ 183lbs, 64gp 14g 41a 55pts (NHLe: 19.02)
Quenneville is an undersized right-handed offensive defenseman who gained some of the spotlight during the U-18s from major draft prospects like Jakob Chychrun, Logan Stanley, and Dante Fabbro according to Steve Kournianos.
My research has brought me to the conclusion that David Quenneville is a Ryan Ellis/Tyler Spurgeon hybrid. His shot tends to get to the net more often than not, he’s a great puck-mover, and he’s not afraid to play physical.
“Quenneville has put up big scoring numbers and is one of the more skilled offensive defensemen in this year’s draft. He’s a very agile skater who can escape pressure well and activate into the attack. His puck moving is exceptional. He thinks the game quickly, has the hands to evade pressure, and doesn’t shy away from getting up into the attack. He doesn’t have a cannon from the point, but he always finds a way to get it on net and create issues for the opposition. Despite his size, I’ve seen Quenneville throw an occasional big hit, and he doesn’t shy away from puck battles. Defensively, he’s not a huge hole due to his IQ, but his size limits what he can do there.” – Corey Pronman (source)
I like David Quenneville because he’s yet another piece the Oilers are lacking and I’m not sure if Joey LaLeggia is going to pan out as he’s a lot closer to 25 years old that I’d prefer and he’s yet to get any traction in the NHL.
The best profile on the Edmonton-born defenseman comes from Chris Dilks here. I recommend you check it out.
#90 – Tyler Parsons (G), London (OHL), 6’1″ 184lbs, 49gp 2.33GAA .920 SV%
The Oilers depth at the netminding position could be described as “shallow” and that’d be a compliment. Laurent Brossoit is “that” close to becoming a full-time backup but behind him are newly signed college free agent Nick Ellis, Finnish project Eetu Laurikainen, with Zach Nagelvoort and Miro Svoboda requiring the spirit of Terry Sawchuk to possess them in order to have a chance at becoming Edmonton Oilers.
I love the way Parsons played during the Memorial Cup. Big time performances when the stakes were at their highest. The reports tell me stylistically he’s similar to Jonathan Quick in that he’s got reflexes like a cat and I dig that in a big way.
Will he be available at #90? Do you believe in miracles?
“He’s a true competitor who never gives up on a play. He tracks the puck exceptionally well and as such, his reaction time and ability to make that “highlight reel” save is fantastic.” – Brock Otten (OHL Prospects)
#122 – Hudson Elynuik (C/LW) – Spokane (WHL), 6’5″ 201lbs, 56gp 19g 25a 44pts (NHLe: 17.39)
I’ll be honest, the further down in the draft lists I went, the harder it got and as I look back at my list, I’m noticing a lot of sons of former NHLers.
With Elynuik I noticed his size and point production. It was a breakout year for him and by the looks of his stat sheet, he might be a tad fragile. He’s a pivot that can also float to the wing if need be. Chiarelli is building a team that will not be trifled with, a team that will win the possession battle through pure strength. Hudson Elynuik is part of that solution.
“Hudson Elynuik is considerably taller than his father, and at 6-foot-5-inches he is an extremely intriguing NHL Draft prospect. He has an excellent shot. His wrist shot is heavy and accurate, and features a very good release. Elynuik gets himself open in the offensive zone in order to take a pass from a teammate and set up for that shot. He also has a powerful one-timer. Elynuik also has the soft hands to finish plays in tight to the net, and is more than willing to battle for position to do so. He bangs in rebounds, gets tip-ins, and generally causes havoc down low. Elynuik is not a huge hitter, but he uses his size to win battles on the boards, to establish his position in front of the net; and to protect the puck in the cycle game and create plays for teammates. Elynuik plays a very straight forward game. His assists come from keeping possession and keeping the play going on the cycle. He is not the most creative playmaker, but does have the passing skills to make the safe and simple plays.” – Ben Kerr (Last Word On Sports)
#148 – Filip Berglund (RD) – Skelleftea AIK J20 (SWE J20), 6’3″ 209lbs, 43gp 19g 22a 41pts (NHLe: 15.63)
It was hard enough to find info on Elynuik, I had to contact a writer in Sweden to talk about Berglund and he didn’t even know about the overage draft-eligible Swede. What he did say though is that Skelleftea is a player producing factory (Adam Larsson, Melker Karlsson, Oscar Lindberg) and that Berglund should get some serious minutes with the pro team this year.
Filip Berglund’s size, shooting hand, and production in Sweden’s junior league impress me the most. Apparently he had some issues with injuries early on in his career but is over them now.
If the Oilers drafted Allard, Quenneville, and Berglund; they’d need not worry about right-handed dmen for some time. Of course there’s no guarantee any of them would work out but it would offer a layer of comfort the team doesn’t have at the moment.
#152 – Ty Amonte (RW) – Thayer Academy HS (USA – HS MA), 5’11” 185lbs, 30gp 17g 53a 70pts (NHLe: 15.3)
Ty Amonte is the son of retired NHL All-Star and Olympian Tony Amonte. The right-winger won the John Carlton Memorial Award for being the top male high school player in Eastern Massachusetts joining past winners Charlie Coyle, Brian Boyle, Cory Schneider, and Ted Donato.
The skinny on Ty is he’s a hard worker, possesses a good shot but is more of a playmaker. His skating needs work but he’s not afraid to play a physical game.
The way I see him is that he’s a late pick that has his eyes set on a NCAA career before anything, which is fine by me because as it stands Amonte is a project at best and could use the extra development. Not only that but I put a tad bit more pedigree in bloodlines.
#182 – Rodrigo Abols (C/LW) – Portland (WHL), 6’5″ 188lbs, 62gp 20g 29a 49pts (NHLe: 17.49)
The overage Latvian was supposed to be drafted last year but got passed over and then the Canucks tried to sign him ala the “Tkachev” route and were shut down. Don’t know if he’d last this long with Vancouver’s hard-on for him but if he did, I’d have zero issues with the Oilers picking him up.
“Rodrigo Abols is a big guy who does not shy away from pinning a few guys to the board. It is not as if Abols is a lanky guy who does not have the weight to hit with, either. At 185 pounds, he is a legitimate NHL body.
Secondly, he has great speed and hands that have been displayed at the international level. His fluid skating is deceptive at times and his hands are quick when they need to be. His hard shot also compliments his skill set very well.” – David Joun (source)
So at the beginning I said the team needed:
- righties: check!
- offensive players: check! (barely)
- goaltending: check!
After the first round the selections should be about addressing team needs. This team needs as many right-handed shooters as it can get its hands on. Most notably on the back-end but with the forwards are lacking as well. If the name of the game is balance, then this is the way to go about it. Right-handers have more perceived value due to lack of supply. If I recall correctly, it’s about a 60/40 split in terms of lefties to righties and until that number evens out I reckon it’d be good on the Oilers, or any NHL team for that matter, to invest heavily in them.
I put a lot of emphasis on size with my picks now that I look back at it and I believe that would fall in line with what Chiarelli is trying to do with this team. If they can develop the Lucic’s or the world, he won’t have to sign them or he can trade them to the GM’s who still stuck in 1991. I don’t have any problems with the skillers, in fact I love watching them but I just feel that the Oilers are about to become a team everyone hates to play against, whether that be due to the likes of Hall, McDavid, and Draisaitl beating them on the scoresheet or due to Maroon, Nurse, and Kassian attempting to murder them on a nightly basis.
The transformation is coming. Embrace it.
I have no idea where any of these players will land and I’m probably way off base with where I’ve got players going apart from say Tkachuk. Maybe. I’ve just been making semi-educated guesses and the whole blogging thing is all for fun anyhow. Fan speculation at its finest. So don’t believe a word I say. Go out, do the legwork, and create your own opinion on the players.
These are my picks. Debate them at your own risk.
Follow me on Twitter @beerleagueheroe