I spoke to Corey Pronman on the Lowdown today, he always brings the good stuff when talking prospects. In our continuing effort to grab all the available information on these new Oilers, I wanted to pass along what Pronman said today on Edmonton’s top 2 picks.
- On Draisaitl: “I think there was a reasonable argument to take him. He’s a guy who is an elite passer with high end skill and a good brain, he’s a guy who could be a pretty high end NHL player offensively. Considering the Oilers current roster, getting a high end offensive player with size was a priority for the organization.”
- On Lagesson: “He’s a guy I had rated around 60. I’ve seen him play well many times, he’s a player I really like. At the U-18 level, in the tournament in February and in April, he was a top player for Sweden U-18s). He’s a physical defenseman he skates well and defends well. I don’t think he’s a sterling offensive player, but he has average puck moving ability. He won’t be in the World Juniors this year. I think this is a guy who is going to be a very good prospect and the Oilers got good value where they picked them.”
MORE ON LAGESSON
- A big, strong defenseman who is nasty to play against, Lagesson also chipped in three goals for the Tre Kronor at the world under-18s. Already 6-foot-2 and nearly 200 pounds, Lagesson was picked up by Dubuque in the first round of the USHL draft, so perhaps we’ll see him over here sooner than later. Draft eligible in 2014.
Stu MacGregor, Edmonton Oilers
- “He makes a good first pass and has some hockey sense but I can’t emphasize how much he wants to battle and compete. One-on-one he’s a warrior. It doesn’t hurt that he’s coming over here to get used to the ice surface. He’s probably going to college after Dubuque.”
- Lagesson was Sweden’s best defenseman in this game and was effective in different areas of the game. He did a good job using his body to separate the opposing players from the puck and he won quite a few battles deep in his zone. He was very aggressive on 1-on-1 battles and he took a bad penalty doing it. I also thought he moved very well around the ice and he showed it by joining the rush a few times. He seems to have some interesting tools and the upside to play a solid two-way game. Skating needs work.
MORE ON DRAISAITL
- WHL from Above: Draisaitl has arguably the most raw talent of any WHL prospect for the 2014 NHL Draft. From my viewings, his best asset is his vision. He has a great ability to slow the play down and set up linemates with super feeds on either the forehand or backhand, with his backhand sauce being something to sit back and marvel at. That ability to slow down the play has been seen as a knock by some, as he tends to attempt to slow the pace down constantly, instead of showing an ability to play in a faster environment. His skating is also another area of concern as he’s got a choppy, ugly stride. I think that’s definitely an area of concern, but has been an area that many players have improved upon in the past. He really had a great second half of the season, putting the Raiders on his back and shrugging off a sub-par appearance at the World Juniors for team Germany. He also put together a strong performance for Germany at the World Championships, proving that he can look pretty good on the ice against some NHL talent, despite his skating concerns. Overall I think he might have the most potential of any WHL player in the draft and I wouldn’t be shocked if a team took him in the top 3 picks.
- Bruce McCurdy, Cult of Hockey: The big centre (listed as 6’1, 209) was neither overly physically aggressive nor a speedster, but largely impressed this observer with his overall command of the game. The play went through his stick constantly, and for the most part, good or at least promising things developed thereafter. He showed a couple of bursts of what I would term “situational speed” but his A game is clearly one of controlling the play rather than pushing it. As I said to my voice recorder at one point, “When the puck is on Draisaitl’s stick, he owns it. Even if there’s a guy in his kitchen he’s in full control.” And later, “Very calm with the puck on his stick, not quite nonchalant but knows how much time he’s got, which in this league is a lot. Big and strong and can dangle the puck out of reach of the man who’s on him, pick his spot and distribute… A lot of subtle stuff, some little mistakes at the end of shifts, but with the puck on his stick he makes a lot of good decisions.”
- Central Scouting’s B.J. MacDonald: “He’s the best prospect I’ve seen from this draft class at protecting and handling the puck; he’s very Jaromir Jagr-esque. He protects the puck, makes those button hooks and hits guys coming in late. He’ll hold onto that puck until he sees the right play to make. He has a great wrist shot and good snap shot, and can surprise a lot of goalies with it.”