I noticed that Lowetide did up a brief post on the players that might be available at the 22 spot of the upcoming NHL entry draft. I think he was riffing off of the Chris Wescott’s article on the Oilers website. So, in fact, what this post will be is me riffing off of both Lowetide’s post and Wescott’s a bit and then tossing a bit more in for you.
Before we get into the names, there’s a quote off of Wescott’s article that Lowetide didn’t hone in on that I’d like to though,
“Should the Oilers choose to stay at 22, they’ll have a plethora of different types of forward prospects to select from”
I’m not convinced the Oilers will stay at 22. All I’ve been hearing this season with regard to the Oilers first round pick is that Chiarelli would like to get a 2nd rounder and if moving back in the draft from 22 gets him that 2nd round pick, he’s open to that.
With that said, I did my own bit of “research” and it took all of about 15 minutes to come up with these names because they’re all in one place.
Here are the eleven names ranked at no.22 from the twelve different NHL entry draft sources I was referring to in the title of the post.
- ISS – Isaac Ratcliffe (LW) 6’6″ 192lb, Guelph Storm (OHL)
- Big guy, skiller, a little disconnect between his mind and body but isn’t that so often the case with players who are that big at that age (17). Scored 28 goals this year.
- Compared to Kevin Hayes
- Corey Pronman/The Draft Analyst – Ryan Poehling (C) 6’2″ 175, St.Cloud State (NCAA)
- Smart 2-way centre, compete is there, had a decent U18 with 5pts in 7gp.
- Comparison to Ryan O’Reilly
- Draftbuzz – Juuso Valimaki (LHD) 6’2″ 200lb, Tri City Americans (WHL)
- Large, offensive blueliner. Likes to jump into the rush. Scored 61pts in 60gp for Tri-City this year.
- Compared to Mark Giordano
- Dobber’s Prospects – Cal Foote (RHD) 6’3″ 198lb, Kelowna Rockets (WHL)
- Heavy boots, needs improvement. Possesses a cannon of a shot, and good hockey IQ. 57 pts in 71 gp for Kelowna (only 6 goals).
- Compared to Erik Johnson
- Future Considerations – Erik Brannstrom (LHD) 5’10” 172lb, HV71 (SHL)
- Is everything you want in an offensive dman, mega skill, super skater, excellent playmaker, but apparently the size is an issue. Scored 23pts in 19 gp for HV71’s jr team and 6pts in 35 games for the senior club.
- Compared to Torey Krug
- Craig Button – Shane Bowers (C) 6’1″ 170lb, Waterloo (USHL)
- Great compete level, good all-round game, puckhandling is tight. Not an exciting player but effective. Scored 51pts in 60 games for Waterloo.
- Compared to Jordan Staal
- Jeff Marek – Urho Vaakanainen (LHD) 6’1″ 187lb, JYP (SM-Liiga)
- Played against men last year. Strong character, physical, and a smooth skater. Scored 6 pts in 41gp in the SM-Liiga and 6pts in 5gp at the U18s.
- Compared to Jake Gardiner
- McKeen’s – Klim Kostin (C/RW) 6’3″ 185lb, Dynamo (VHL)
- Injured this year. Excellent puck protector. Elite skill. Could be Malkin, could be Nichushkin. Scored 7 pts in 5gp at U18s but also added 29 PIMs.
- Compared to Dustin Brown
- Hockey Prospect – Kailer Yamamoto (LW/RW) 5’9″ 160lb, Spokane Chiefs (WHL)
- Great hockey sense, ridiculous puckhandler, smart on-ice awareness. Scored 99 pts in 65 gp for Spokane this year.
- Compared to Conor Sheary
- The Hockey News – Nic Hague (LHD) 6’6″ 210lb, Mississauga Steelheads (OHL)
- Long reach, some scouts concerned w/skating at next level, others not. Smart but not fast. Big shot. Scored 18 goals in 65 gp last season.
- Compared to Ben Hutton
- MyNHLdraft.com – Kole Lind (C) 6’0″ 172lb, Kelowna Rockets (WHL)
- Quick player and can make plays at a high tempo. Not flashy but gets the job done. Good Saskatchewan boy. Lived down the road from the Eberles growing up. Had 87 pts in 70 gp last season.
- Compared to Gustav Nyqvist
**Comparisons are from The Hockey News Draft Preview**
The way I see it is that there’s no consensus whatsoever at number twenty-two and I guess there rarely is at that point in the draft. But to me, it seems like there’s too much divide and the Oilers could go with anybody here.
It’s completely possible that a sniper like Eeli Tolvanen could drop or that a power forward like Kristian Vesalainen might be sitting there at no.22. It’s a weird draft.
Now, I talked to Eric Friesen on Twitter this week and he’s convinced the Oilers will take Kole Lind out of Kelowna. Personally, I like any of the highly-rated right-handed centers (Nick Suzuki or Robert Thomas from Owen Sound and London, respectfully) that may be available come time for the Oilers selection. Connor Timmins, a right-shot defender, who stands over six feet tall, out of the Sault looks like a good pick as well.
And if I’m not mistaken, this year is being touted as a good year for goalies. So on the way out, I hope Chiarelli grabs a one. Be it Michael Dipietro, Ian Scott, Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen, or Jake Oettinger, I’m not picky. Although, Finland produces a nice goalie from time to time I hear.
Goaltending isn’t an absolute need right for the Oilers right now, I’d say that centres who are good on the dot and snipers on the wing are in demand though. The Oilers should pick the best player available at no.22 regardless of position and load up on the best right-shot players available in the remaining rounds. That is because teams are always on the look out for right shots, especially centres and defensemen.
If I had to pick, I say the Oilers go with the London Knights’ gritty center Robert Thomas. I like what I’m hearing about his two-way game and his high hockey IQ and character sounds like something Chiarelli and McLellan would love. He’s compared to Mike Fisher by The Hockey News. So, there’s that and Corey Pronman was on Lowetide’s show yesterday, he insinuated that IF Thomas were to be available at their pick, the Oilers should be very happy.
What do you think? Who should the Oilers be looking at for their 1st rounder? Should then even keep it? Let us know in the comments below!