I’ve had a day to recover from covering the draft for the Oilers and I figure it’s time to go though what the Oilers did, review the players and add my two cents as to who I would’ve picked instead.
I’m happy with the players that the Oilers got to an extent. I reckon Chiarelli and Green went reaching at times when they didn’t necessarily have to but took great advantage of some players that had fallen. Like Puljujarvi for example.
- 4th overall: Jesse Puljujarvi, RW, Karpat (Finland), 6’3″, 208lbs
- “Puljujarvi is an offensive fixture who skates like the wind and provides size on the wing. He has an explosive first step for a big body and no noticeable flaws in his stride. He’s very balanced and exceptionally agile. Despite being noted as a scorer, I think he’s just as prone to be a set up guy. Vision is near the top of his class. Loves to drive the net from the perimeter and boasts a powerful shot and goal scoring knack that allows him to play the point on the powerplay and be a threat from anywhere under the sun. I loved what he offered defensively, showing hustle and tenacity to be a sound component when playing a team game. He follows puck movements well and has quick reactions that enable him to steal pucks and subsequently make a play to transition the puck up ice.” Justin Froese, (@FroeseFC), Future Considerations
- 32nd overall: Tyler Benson – LW, Vancouver (WHL), 5’11”, 197lbs
- “He’s a strong pro-style player who has a sound two-way package to rely on. He has a strong lower half that allows him to generate a lot of speed. He’s very sound in the fundamental areas of the game that require agility. A confident puck carrier, distributor and focal player that has some definite flair in his game. He favours a no-nonsense north/south game that keeps the stove element cranked up on his opponents” – Justin Froese (@FroeseFC), Future Considerations
- 63rd overall: Markus Niemelainen – D, Saginaw (OHL), 6’6″, 205lbs
- Was Saginaw’s best defenceman. He’s huge, smart, has the technical tools to be a solid defender going forward. More of a puck distributor than a shooter. I wonder how he’d have done on London instead of Saginaw? Are we looking at Martin Marincin 2.0 here?
- 84th overall: Matthew Cairns – D, Georgetown (OJHL), 6’2″, 200lbs
- “Cairns is a very textbook defender who plays both sides of the ice very well. His awareness of the play allows him to get the jump on plays and adjust his positioning so he is set up to make a solid play. He skates well for his size and has the agility that is important to escape the zone and also carry pucks through the neutral zone. Has a good set of hands and reads plays well up ice. He’s great at delivering the longer or quicker pass to kick off a breakout. Cairns establishes a presence defensively and traps opponents with his mind. Show poise when defending and knows when he can make a move to disrupt the puck carrier. He’s not intimidated and keeps his gaps tight.” Justin Froese,(@FroeseFC), Future Considerations
- 91st overall: Filip Berglund – D, Skelleftea (Sweden), 6’3″, 209lbs
- Here’s big bodied right-handed shooter that put up major points in the Swedish junior leagues last season. Mans Karlsson (@manskarlssonyao) told me Berglund has great offense and that Skelleftea is a player producing factory; he also said that they (Skelleftea) lost a lot of defenders for next year, so Berglund should get a chance to compete for a spot on the Senior team. Good enough for me!
- 123rd overall: Dylan Wells – G, Peterborough (OHL), 6’1″, 182lbs
- I don’t have a lot on Wells right now that you haven’t already been informed on by other sites.
- 149th overall: Graham McPhee – LW, NTDP U18 (USA), 6’0″, 183lbs
- I think the Oilers loved his Gritistics. Meaning he’s very “competitive” and has potential to put up some offense.
- 153rd overall: Aapeli Rasanen – C, Tappara Jr (Finland), 6’0″, 196lbs
- Rasanen was a nice pick here. He reminds me a bit of Anton Lander. Now if that’s a good thing or a bad thing, that remains to be seen. He’s played with Puljujarvi and Niemelainen on the Finnish national team this past year. He’s been captain and assistant captain when playing internationally as well. I guess he’s coming to the USHL to play next season because there won’t be much opportunity in Finland on Tappara’s senior team.
- 183rd overall: Vincent Desharnais – D, Providence (NCAA), 6’5″, 207lbs
- “Desharnais is an absolute behemoth of a player on the back-end. Has decent skating ability for his size and does well to handle opponents speed with surprisingly quick feet laterally as well as in reverse. He hands the puck half decent and moves the play along simplistically but smart. He has a booming shot if he is given the time to tee it up, but struggles to get much behind it if he can’t time it right. He plays a defensive game primarily and is a monster that has a mean streak if his side of the ice is invaded. Deharnais made the jump from high school hockey to junior hockey and an NHL watch list in the course of a year (2015)” – Justin Froese, (@FroeseFC), Future Considerations.
So there’s what I’ve gathered. Big thanks for Justin Froese for providing me with some reports on a few of the players drafted by the Oilers. You should give him a follow on Twitter and if you are in need of an area scout, I believe he’s in the Brandon, Manitoba region.
Onwards to who I’d have picked at each spot and why.
No.4 – Jesse Puljujarvi (RW): I might’ve ran up a little faster to annouce his name. For me this could be a Selanne/Kariya pairing with McDavid.
No.32 – Pascal Laberge (C): I like that he’s got an offensive flair to him, that he’s a chippy player, and that he’s right-handed.
No.63 – Frederic Allard (D): A right-handed defender who produced at a similar level to more notable defencemen. The Oilers need righties who can put up points and Allard can do that. He’s got a sizeable frame on him as well standing at 6’1″ 185lbs.
No.84 – Zach Sawchenko (G): How did a goalie rated #6 in North America by Central Scouting not get picked? Easy selection here for the goalie who had a really nice Ivan Hlinka tournament.
No.91 – Filip Berglund (D): I like taking the right-handed Swede here. I’d change nothing about this pick.
No.123 – Jordan Sambrook (D): I’d have taken this right-handed dman to add to the stable and create more balance within the organization. He’s a sound two-way defender and I believe Lowetide had him in his mock draft for the Oilers.
No.149 – Graham McPhee (LW): After reading what Lowetide had to say about him. I’m more convinced that this was a good pick here.
No.153 – Aapeli Rasanen (C): Wouldn’t change anything with this guy. Rightie (Again) that plays a very honest game. He can play in all situations and spent some time playing alongside Puljujarvi on the Finnish Powerplay at the u18s.
No.183 – Rodrigo Abols (C/W): Was picked by the Canucks one selection later oddly enough. But his size and skating ability is sometime I value. He’s tenacious as well. I wouldn’t’ve gambled on a large defenceman with Abols, David Quenneville, or Dmitri Sokolov still sitting there. In fact, I might’ve dealt into the 7th round to pick up another one of those three being as they were all still available.
That’s my revisionist draft folks! What do you think? Let me know in the comments below! Thanks for reading!