Sunday, 24 June 2007

NHL Entry Draft - Your Oilers


Note that I have borrowed liberally from TSN, the NHL and Eliteprospects.com. All credit is due them.

While I didn't like the Oilers draft moves at all, I did like the players they took. The last two Euro's (Kytnar and Quist) look like real sleeper picks and make me think the Oilers weren't just going through the motions this year. Odd that later picks would give me more comfort on earlier picks but that is how it has worked.

Without further ado, at the 2007 NHL Entry Draft the Edmonton Oilers draft picks were:

006 - Sam Gagner

C/RW
Shoots: R
1989 Birthyear (18 in August)
5'11" / 190 lbs
Canada

Skill player. Has great numbers both in terms of real numbers but also in terms of equivalencies.

My read is that this is a good pick. He projects out well, wasn't a reach at where he was chosen and has the skills needed to play. Issues are that he played for the London Knights and with Kane - both situations that pump up the numbers a bit. That said, still a good choice.

From NHL Central Scouting: A skilled forward with the ability to make the big plays. Has very good hands and is creative with the puck. Has a good wrist shot with a quick release. Has high-end passing skill both forehand and backhand. Sees the ice very well. Reliable in the defensive end and used in critical situations. A good skater, but needs to work on his acceleration and mobility. Needs to improve his ability to fight through checks.

From TSN: ... has spectacular highlight-reel puckhandling skills ... But for all the fancy dangles, he also has a lethal shot ... his strength is as a creative playmaker with great vision and passing ability ... "Skating is okay, not like his Dad's," said one scout of former NHL speedster Dave Gagner, who was blessed with great wheels but didn't have nearly the creativity or vision that his son brings to the table. For him to be more than a PP guy, scouts believe he will have to learn to win more battles and increase his competitiveness, but they duly note that this a young man with character and work ethic who grew up in a pro environment and understands what it takes to play at the next level and will work diligently toward that goal.

From ISS: His offensive skills are unquestionable and he has been a top point producer at every level that he has played. Shows very good puck control at a high rate of speed ... excellent anticipation, vision and passing skills ... Like other young players, at times will cheat on the offensive side of the puck, however he is dependable if game situation clearly requires strong defensive play. Does not have great size, must continue to work on core strength.

015 - Alex Plante

D
Shoots: R
1988 Birthyear (19 in May)
6'4" / 225 lbs
Canada

Defensive defenseman. Has great physical attributes and good numbers (especially in the play-offs) for a guy who is supposed to be a defensive defenseman.

My read is that this is a good pick. The only thing I don't like about it is that he was chosen ahead of Cherepanov. He projects out well, was debateable as a reach at where he was chosen but the physical package is such that he could ACTUALLY be the rarest of all things - a franchise d-man. Issues are that he has an '89 birthyear and that he really needs to work on his skating and mobility. That said, if not for the Cherepanov controversy, I really like the pick.

From NHL Central Scouting: A stay-at-home defenseman with good size. Has a long stride and is able to skate the puck out of his own zone. Moves the puck quickly and shoots well from the point. Is well positioned. Needs to improve his foot speed and agility. Needs to improve his play under pressure.

The TSN Insider's Forecast: ... is a big, strong, aggressive player who is not without some offensive ability ... probably the polar opposite to / an ultra-offensive minded defenceman ... The question mark on Alex is skating but he has enough assets to get by ...

From ISS: ... one of the biggest draft wildcards. The number one attraction of this player is his combination of outstanding size and skill. He is blessed with a genetic gift and a relatively high level of skating and puck skill for a player this big. Plante is an intense player who is mean and not afraid of playing along the boards or competing physically. He has a good stride and his agility is improving.

021 - Riley Nash

C
Shoots: R
1989 Birthyear (18 in May)
6' 1" / 175 lbs
Canada

3rd line center with 2nd line upside. Good skater and plays a smart game. His point totals indicate he is a fairly decent passer.

Again, I like the player but hate how we got him - a reach where he was taken and we gave up two other, very good, draft picks to get this guy. Could be the next Zajac but getting a good read on guys who are basically playing highschool level hockey is tough. Going to Cornell next year and the school isn't known for being a hockey player factory. Lots of issues with this guy and he will HAVE to turn out well just to justify the picks used. I want to like the guy but am having trouble doing so. Here's hoping...

From NHL Central Scouting: A skilled forward. A shifty center with good skating ability. Handles the puck with ease and is smart positionally. Needs to be more consistent through 60 minutes. Needs to improve his ability to get in to good scoring position.

The TSN Insider's Forecast: Nash's biggest weakness at this point is that he's not physically developed and needs to get much stronger.

From ISS: ... a good, honest player willing to work hard and give a consistent effort every night. He fits the mould of a "late-bloomer" and with continued attention to small details he will continue to improve.


097 - Linus Omark

W
Shoots: L
1987 Birthyear (20 in February)
5'8" / 167 lbs
Sweden

2nd line playmaking winger. Good skater, smart player, good skills, poor size. Being brought in to a) give him his shot and b) push the other prospects.

I have to say that I really like this pick (though I think we should have traded up to get Mayorov, who went at #94 to Columbus). As an overager who has been playing the professional game Omark is a true boom-or-bust pick. Given that the pick is from the 4th round I don't really care if it is a reach or not and a gamble at this point is well worth it. Size is a big issue because if he does make the team, with guys like Thoreson already aboard, the Oilers will look a lot like Smurfs in those blue jersey.

From NHL Central Scouting: A skilled forward with excellent speed… has quick feet and can beat defenders one-on-one… handles the puck well in traffic and passes the puck well forehand and backhand… sees the ice well and is effective on the power-play… battles hard along the boards…

From Eliteprospects.com: A flashy player with first-class technical skills and hands. Very creative player with good hockey sense and natural scoring ability. Defense is okay, although it can be fine-tuned. Good skater with great agility and moves. Additional strength and muscles would not hurt.


127 - Milan Kytnar

C
Shoots: L
1989 Birthyear (18 in May)
6'0" / 182 lbs
Slovakia

2nd or 3rd line center. Interesting blend of defense and skill.

I love this pick. Has all the hallmarks of the kind of under-the-radar guy that teams like Detroit have been scooping for years. Young guy has already made a mark on the international stage and has already captained a team a national level team. Everything about him screams big upside and a character guy. Only issue is the skating so lets hope he gets that training asap.

From NHL Central Scouting: A hard working two-way center… has good hands and a quick stick on face-offs… has good on-ice awareness and a good shot... able to play very physical… needs to improve his first step quickness…

From Eliteprospects.com: nothing reported.

157 - William Quist

LW
Shoots: L
1989 Birthyear (18 in July)
6'3" / 191 lbs
Sweden

All over the map. Winger. Skill guy with great skating and reach.

Another pick I love. Another one of those 'under-the-radar' guys and if he can actually play then the only thing holding him back is strength. Barring an affliction of 'Niinimaki syndrome' (the inability to gain strength and stay healthy) that can be developed. Probably won't be anything but all a team needs is one guy from the later rounds to really turn out and all is gold - just ask Detroit about Datsyuk and Zetterberg one day.

From NHL Central Scouting: nothing reported.

From Eliteprospects.com: A huge guy that is a very good and speedy skater. Quist is technically skilled and has good hands. He is creative with the puck and tough to stop thanks to his great reach. Could use some extra muscles and strength.
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Have a great evening everyone.

3 comments:

Mr DeBakey said...

For the most part I like the guys that the Oilers drafted. They look like they'll be players, or at least have a shot.

Except Omark
I just can't see it.

The question is should we be talking about Voracek, Cherepanov, Brennan and Aliu instead of Gagner, Plante, Nash?

I'm OK with Gagner
Esposito - no thanks, he went to the only place he could.
Cherepanov - when you're as short of top end talent as the Oilers...
Nash - I don't think they should've traded up the way they did.

It occurred to me that with Gagner in the fold, Schremp dropped to 4th in the Cruiserweight Derby behind Gagner, Cogliano & Nillson.

He should've gone to Phoenix for the 21st & 99th.

YKOil said...

I have to say that I like the 2nd group better than the 1st. No question.

I don't mind the 2nd group - I just think the 1st group has much better upside.

In a strong, deep, draft (next year) I generally think that everything after the 4th round is a crap shoot. In weak drafts I figure it all goes to crap one round earlier.

Hence I am okay with the Omark pick. Take a chance on some little dick from Sweden and hope, that maybe at the age of 20, he knows how to get it past the 5-hole.

Schremp is actually behind Thoreson as well. I agree on the trade idea. If we could have kept the 30th & 36th and picked up the 21st and 99th for Schremp I probably would have jumped at it.

WAY too many small players and perimeter players on our prospect list.

namflashback said...

I think The Oilers keep Pouliout and Nillson up. Thor probably can't go down without waivers, so he's up. And Stortini or someone better than him.

Keep all the other on the farm and get Ward to let them run up serious counting numbers. Then peddle 'em while they look all shiny.