Oilers Post-Draft Thoughts

Well it’s done. Connor McDavid is an Edmonton Oiler and we can all rest easy or at least take the rest of the weekend to get ready for free agency!! Let’s talk about what happened at the draft shall we?

The Picks

No.1 – Connor McDavid – Saviour of our fine town and destroyer of planets.

No.117 – Caleb Jones – Brother of Nashville’s Seth Jones. A defenceman who shoots left and comes in at 6’0″ and 194lbs. I guess he didn’t get the same growth genes as his brother. The Hockey News tells us he is an aggressive defenceman with all-round upside. Sounds like his top-end projection is to be a 4/5/6 dman if he makes it to the NHL. More 5/6 probably.

No.124 – Ethan Bear – Lowetide was a real fan of this good ol’ Saskatchewan boy. He’s a stocky (5’11” 200lbs) defenceman out of the Seattle Thunderbirds organization. To me he looks like he could develop into a Francois Beauchemin type or maybe Stephane Robidas. He’s fearless and is willing to sacrifice his body to get the job done.

No.171 – John Marino – Another defenceman! This time a right-handed shooter because after drafting, signing, or trading for a gazillion left-handed ones, it was time to add to right-handers stable. Marino is 6’1″ 171lbs and I seen him projected as possible another Jeff Petry. He’s a great skater and puck mover. He’ll be plying his trade at Harvard University next season. At least we know he’s intelligent.

No.208 – Mirosloav Svoboda – Now I wanted a goalie in this draft for sure but who in the good Lord’s name is this guy? I mean if they were going to go for a stretch in the last round, they could’ve went for World Junior Stand out, Denis Godla, who went undrafted or what about that guy out of Norway, George Sorensen. Hell even taking a flyer on Vladislav Tretiak’s grandson, Maxim, would’ve been preferred. This Svoboda fella looks like another Kevin Bouchard to me… The kicker is the Oilers traded to get him! I’d love to get more insight on this one.

No.209 – Ziyat Paigin – Well if you can remember back at the World Juniors, there was an incident at the end of the game where a Russian defenceman threw his stick into the crowd as Team Canada rushed onto the ice to celebrate. This was the guy who threw the stick… Apart from that he’s a towering presence. He’s 6’6″ and 209lbs, so he’s an imposing blue liner. He’s said to love the physical game and is quite good and using his angles and stick to fend off opposing forwards. He’ll be in Russian for a few years yet, so there’s not too much to concern yourself as a fan with this player until we start to hear rumblings that he’s coming over.

Other players that were still on the board when the Oilers made their late round picks were guys like Ryan Pilon (#147), Dmitro Tymashov (#125), Radovan Bonda (#151), Chase Pearson (#140), Andrew Mangiapane (#166), David Cotton (#166), Nikita Korostelev (#185)

And there were even some great players that went completely undrafted. Below is a list compiled by Beer League Heroes friend, Sully! Follow him on Twitter @BSully097

Top 5 forwards – Nathan Noel, Dante Solituro, Sebastien Aho (SWE), Kay Schweri, and Pius Suter.
Top 5 dmen and goalies – Nikita Cherepanov, Ken Appleby, Aiden Jamieson, Phil Baltisberger, Casey Fitzgerald

I’d add Vlad Tkachev and Maxim Tretiak to that list.

The Trades

Griffin Reinhart to the Oilers for the #16 (Matt Barzal) and #33 (Mitchell Stephens) picks.

The way I see it is Bob Green (former GM of the Edmonton Oil Kings) had his hands all over this one. I don’t really care if Chiarelli said he had his eyes on him when he worked in Boston. Reinhart is a former Edmonton Oil King that was chosen 4th overall pick in 2012 and if I remember correctly was being considered by the Oilers if they were going to trade down at the draft. One thing I do remember correctly is that there were a large portion of fans hoping the Oilers would take a defenceman in that draft.

It’s hard to say whether keeping the picks would’ve offered better results? I mean the Oilers could’ve picked Kyle Connor and Mackenzie Blackwood for instance. Boom! Two highly touted players that would’ve appeased the most serious of draft geeks.

Look, they guy has size and smarts and WILL play the body, unlike the guy that the Oilers shipped out later in the weekend. My biggest memory of Reinhart is the year the Edmonton Oil Kings won the Memorial Cup and he more or less shut down the Portland Winterhawks in the WHL final. At 6’4″ 216lbs, he’s an absolute beast with room to get bigger and Oilers fans should be very pleased with him.

Cam Talbot and #209 to the Oilers for picks #57 (Jonas Siegenthaler), #79 (Sergey Zborovskiy), and #184 (Adam Huska).

Edmonton got their man for a much cheaper price than what was being asked (two 2nd rounders). I’m not a fan of Talbot yet but I’ll give the guy a chance to show me that he can do what he did in New York but in Edmonton and behind what could be a very young defence.

Todd McLellan to the Oilers for the #86 (Mike Robinson)

It’s not really a trade but it’s notable. Oilers get one of the best coaches in the game at the sacrifice of a 3rd round pick.

Brad Ross and #107 to the Oilers for Martin Marincin

Well the writing was on the wall, wasn’t it? Marincin’s biggest supporter, Craig MacTavish, finally found a way to get rid of him. Marty didn’t help himself getting scratched in the AHL playoffs for not being “assertive” enough… He’ll be a good defenceman in Toronto with Babcock, that’s not doubt but it just wasn’t a fit here for the Oilers.

Brad Ross… I remember him being the Greg Chase before Greg Chase came around. Irritating little SOB and if he could get his career turned around, might be a lesser man’s Brad Marchand but in all honesty I think this trade was to get Marincin off the books in Edmonton. I’d be surprised if I saw Ross in an Oilers jersey ever.

Eric Gryba to the Oilers for pick #107 (Christian Wolanin) and Travis Ewanyk

Ewanyk was a write-off. Edmonton’s version of Patrice Cormier but with even less a chance at making it to the NHL. Now Gryba is a 3rd pairing right-handed shut down defenceman. He’s only 27 and makes $1.25 million per year. He’s going to make sure that the kids stay alright. Keith Aulie was doing that a bit last season but I didn’t get the feeling he had the backing of all the coaches. Actually Aulie and Gryba fought last season after Aulie filled Chris Neil in.

I have to wonder if Gryba will be the partner for Griffin Reinhart or Darnell Nurse next season. Big boys those three are. The return of the Twin Towers?

For those of you too young to know who they were, back in the 80s and early 90s, the Oilers had two guys named Jeff Beukeboom and Steve Smith patrolling the blue together. Both were 6’3″ 200lbs plus and played with injurious intent on every shift.

Final Thoughts

I don’t think that Chiarelli is done. He did a nice job of adding some value contracts over the weekend. Marty Marincin wouldn’t have been waiver exempt this season but Griffin Reinhart will be. Cam Talbot and Eric Gryba are a combined $2.7 million for the year then they turn UFA.

The Los Angeles Kings added Milan Lucic and the Calgary Flames added Dougie Hamilton. The muscle is getting added in the Pacific and Edmonton is going to have to do the same in my opinion.

Just an aside on that Hamilton deal.

The Boston Bruins really slammed their dicks in the door this weekend. Goodness me! Lucic and Hamilton for picks? And Sweeney/Neely wanted Darnell Nurse plus the same 1st, 2nd, and 3rd rounders? Darnell Nurse could very well turn out to be better than Dougie Hamilton and I can’t wait to see the two go head-to-head 6 times a year. Bruins fans, it’s going to be okay. It might take a few years for Brandon Carlo to develop and passing on Matt Barzal and Kyle Connor may look like a mistake at first but everything will be fine… Someday…

The Calgary Flames might’ve won the weekend. They did so well to add Dougie Hamilton, Rasmus Andersson, and Oliver Kylington to their defence. But I wonder with the addition of Dougie if Mark Giordano and his $9 million dollars a year will be heading elsewhere…

Let’s get back to adding some muscle to the Edmonton Oilers. It looks like and if I have heard correctly, they could be adding some more to the blue line. Personally I’d like to see them add a Matt Beleskey-like player to the forward corps. Someone who can hit and fight and put the puck in the net. Give me Kyle Okposo for Jordan Eberle and we’ll call it a day on this topic.

Does anybody else get the feeling that Oilers will be going into next season with two new goalies? I’m not sure if Ben Scrivens will be here by the time the season starts. I wonder about Kari Ramo. He’d be the best Oilers goalie named Kari since Kari Takko was tending net for the Oilers in 1991.

Lastly, will Peter Chiarelli address his lack of a top pairing defenceman? The Seabrook rumors won’t die and usually that’s a pretty good indicator that there’s something up there. Would adding two middle pairing dmen like Paul Martin, Andrej Sekera, or Cody Franson on short term deals make more sense until Darnell Nurse and Oscar Klefbom are ready to take the torch? Food for though nevertheless.

That was a helluva read! Congrats on making it to the end. And with that I’d like to point you in the direction of the Beer League Heroes Teespring Shop! We’ve got some crazy ass designs that I’m sure you’d love! Especially the 8-bit McDavid shirt! Click this link and pick a shirt up for a friend or a loved one.

Take care everyone!


Beer League Hero Written by:

I'm the Beer League Hero! I am from Camrose, Alberta but I make my home in Taipei City, Taiwan. I've been through the ups and downs and the highs and the Lowes, the Bonsignores and the McDavids, the Sathers and the Eakins but I'll never leave my Oilers, no matter what! They're with me until the end and then some. GO OILERS GO!