Before we get into Kieron’s post and on behalf of everyone here at Beer League Heroes, I (BLH) just want to send our best wishes Gord Downie, his family, and The Tragically Hip. On their website, the band announced that Downie has been diagnosed with terminal brain cancer.
The Tragically Hip weren’t my favourite band but they certainly hold a place in my heart. Songs like “Courage”, “Little Bones”, and “50 Mission Cap” were amongst only a few that I had blaring out my car speakers as a youth. I only recently came to know the song below, “The Lonely End of The Rink”, due to it being the theme song for the Marek vs. Wyshynski podcast but it’s my favourite by far.
Cheers and a hat tip to you Gord Downie.
If you look at the Oilers prospect depth, there isn’t much to brag about considering the amount of high picks we have had in these recent years. Although they have drafted a couple of gems in late rounds such as Brandon Davidson, a 6th round pick in the 2010 draft, and Greg Chase, who I personally find promising, in the 7th round of the 2013 draft. However, if you look at the our prospects, you don’t see anyone that we’ve drafted in the second, third, or fourth rounds stand out.
This is one of the reasons I disliked the Reinhart trade. As much as Griffin Reinhart still hasn’t fully developed, and could actually turn out to be decent for us, it’s the two draft picks we gave up for him. Yes, we did sign Drake Caggiula a few weeks ago which helps, but the 16th and 33th overall picks would’ve certainly boosted the Oilers depth chart for prospects.
What I think the Oilers need is skilled wingers that can eventually play alongside with McDavid, or centers with size that can actually play the style of game that Todd McLellan and Peter Chiarelli are attempting to implement. Meaning the players have to have high hockey IQ and high competitiveness. They have to be smart and they have to be ready to compete.
Lets look at some of the potential 2nd and 3rd round picks that we could see the Oilers targeting at the draft:
Alex DeBrincat RW Erie (OHL) 5′ 7″ 160lbs.
Former teammate of Connor McDavid, DeBrincat is a right handed shot that’s very skilled and could turn into something special given the right role, especially if paired with Connor. Although he could be likely to go in the first round, if he slides there is no question the Oilers should take a chance on him.
Nathan Bastien C Mississauga (OHL) 6′ 3″ 195lbs
A center who has obtained the eyes of NHL scouts with his improved play up the middle. Bastien developed a great game on both ends of the ice and could surely be a player that will go early in the second, possibly late first.
Mitch Mattson C Bloomington (USHL) 6′ 4″ 190lbs
Size up the middle as I mentioned, something that is needed in the Western Conference, especially playing in the Pacific Division. Size is what Peter Chiarelli likes, and Mattson could be someone he keeps his eye on.
Tyler Benson LW Vancouver (WHL) 5′ 11″ 185lbs
The captain for the Vancouver Giants has the ability to play both center and wing. Benson has struggled with several injuries in his junior career, but when he was healthy this season, the performances were consistent, he is very mobile on the ice and has a good hockey IQ.
Carl Grundström LW Modo Hockey (SHL) 6′ 0″ 187lbs
Currently playing professional hockey in Sweden at the age of 18, Grundström is a winger that has an offensive mindset. Good speed, generates shots and isn’t afraid to get in front of the net.
Jordy Stallard C Calgary Hitmen (WHL) 6′ 2″ 187lbs
Stallard is more offensive than defensive. Has a great shot and is a good skater, but needs to work on his defensive game.
Tim Gettinger LW Sault Ste. Marie (OHL) 6′ 5″ 205lbs
The big winger who looks to continue developing his game, has played well this year. Skates well for his size, but Gettinger also needs to work on other aspects of his game.
Brett Murray LW Carleton Place (CJHL) 6′ 4.25″ 216lbs
Much like Tim Gettinger, Murray is also a big winger who plays and moves well for his size. Doesn’t get much attention due to playing in the CJHL, but surely the scouts will keep an eye out for this player in the deeper rounds.
There is a ton of talent in this draft, as there usually is and now is a great time for the Oilers to draft well in the lower rounds, as they look to improve their rank on the standings. There is much interrogation towards the Oilers on what they’ll do once the draft comes around, as a big time Oilers fan myself, I will be paying attention to every single thing that happens. With one 2nd round pick and three 3rd round picks, lets hope to have a successful draft next month.
Who do you think the Oilers should draft in the lower rounds? Or if they trade down and acquire a couple of 1st rounders, who should they draft? Let me know what you believe would help the Edmonton Oilers in the comments below!