Most of the comments I’ve seen since the completion of the first round have had to do with passing on Cherepanov and Esposito. As much as I can agree it was an oversight, the real crime by the Oilers in the first round was giving up picks at #30 and #36 for the pick that brought them Riley Nash.
Why would they do that? Riley Nash may or may not have been taken by Calgary (or another team) before #30, but I’ll tell you the Flames drafting record isn’t something any other team should be worried about AND in a draft like this it’s always better to have more bullets.
It was a terrible move, probably the most sinful in the KP draft era. Other candidates would be selecting Jesse Niinimaki in 2002’s 1st round and letting Patrick O’Sullivan pass through their hands in the second round in 2003.
Riley Nash the player looks like he might actually be something. Both scouting services I follow (Redline and ISS) like him a lot, and in fact Nash was a topic of conversation in Kyle Woodlief’s chat on USA Today this week:
At Red Line, our staff loves Riley Nash, and I think he could go off the board possibly as high as #15 overall. A really well schooled, all-around player who can play it any way you want.
Nash (like Plante) moved up very quickly on the ISS list. He was unranked in October and ended at #35. Redline had him 24th overall.
Redline: Big, raw, naturally athletic kid who can skate, shoot and pass. Also likes to get his nose dirty and really carried his club down the stretch.
ISS: Well rounded player, competes hard every night. Utility player who can contribute in a variety of areas. Solid two way player. He fits the mould of a “late-bloomer” and with continued attention to small details he will continue to improve. Nash was a stellar performer for the Silverbacks, leading them in regular-season scoring with 84 points and also in the playoffs with team high 11 points. Is a potential prospect for Team Canada at the IIHF U-18 World Championship in Finland.
I’d probably rank him in the 10-12 range on the Oilers list.
As for today, I’ve read Lowe might be trying to get Scott Gomez and also Pitkanen may still be in play. This is a dangerous time to be an Oilers fan, as the frustration of this draft added to what will probably be a tough UFA signing season may mean Lowe makes a bad trade.
And the Oilers just can’t afford to lose any of their NHL players. None.