DRAFT POST (2017) NO. 4: A BIG RED BEACON, A FLAG, AND A MAN ON A RAIL

The Edmonton Oilers choose No. 22 overall at the 2017 entry draft and that should have you wondering about how this is going to turn out. The Oilers have been drafting in lottery spots recently, so you may have forgotten about the team’s own established tendency to think outside the box.

Example: Day two, just one year ago. On that morning, I posted my list minus the first-round selections (that had been taken during Day One). Source

  • No. 15—R Alex DeBrincat, Erie Otters (OHL): Small sniper. NHLE: 44.
  • No. 19—C Pascal Laberge, Victoriaville Tigres (QMJHL). Skill, size, consistency an issue. NHLE: 26.
  • No. 20—G Carter Hart, Everett Silvertips (WHL): .929 in playoffs.
  • No. 22—L Adam Mascherin, Kitchener Rangers (OHL): Undersized scoring W. Bona fide. NHLE: 33
  • No. 24—R Taylor Raddysh, Erie Otters (OHL). Power W who can score. NHLE:29
  • No. 25—R Vitalii Abramov, Gatineau Olympiques (QMJHL). Explosive scorer. Dynamic. NHLE: 31
  • No. 26—LD Cam Dineen, North Bay (OHL): Impressive offense. NHLE: 23
  • No. 27—C Rasmus Asplund, Farjestads (SHL). He is 6.0, 180 and quality two-way forward.
  • No. 30—C Janne Kuokkanen, Karpat (Fin Jr). Skilled C, good speed. Playmaker.
  • No. 32—C Will Bitten, Flint Firebireds (OHL): Fast skater, scoring playmaker. Intriguing.
  • No. 33—C-R Nathan Bastian, Mississauga Steelheads (OHL): Big skill F with smarts.
  • No. 34—L Tyler Benson, Vancouver Giants (WHL). Physical two-way forward. Injured a lot.
  • No. 35—G Tyler Parsons, London Knights (OHL). He looks substantial based on numbers. .921

Edmonton chose Tyler Benson at No. 32 overall, with Yegor Korshkov going at No. 31 to Toronto. Benson’s NHLE (20.66) was shy of the group above, and there were injury concerns about him. The stories at the time had Edmonton getting ‘inside intel’ about young Benson and that he was fully recovered. The young Vancouver Giants forward had a fine beginning to the year (33gp, 11-31-42) in 2016-17, but health issues once again derailed Benson’s future.

With Edmonton now incredibly low on forward prospects (they have drafted three outside the first round in the last two years) there’s a suspicion among some (me) Edmonton will focus on forwards during this year’s draft.

WHO ARE THEY TAKING?

I’m not certain exactly who Edmonton will be choosing this year, but believe there is one player who might inspire a “DeBrincat-Benson” reaction among the fan base and those who closely observe the NHL draft.

  • “Isaac Ratcliffe is another interesting winger from Guelph in the OHL. Ratcliffe had a career season in 2016-17, potting 28 goals and adding 26 assists in 67 games. He is the CSS 15th-ranked North American skater and The Hockey News lists him as their 20th-overall prospect.” Source

The Oilers are publishing a few articles of this type over the spring to familiarize fans with some of the options. They’re a good idea and well written (Chris Westcott). One of the reasons these articles are interesting is that someone, somewhere mentioned Ratcliffe. Counter-trey? Some for sure. But Ratcliffe? I have him No. 42, while acknowledging his skating and size. I don’t know that he is in the same offensive range as the players who will go around No. 22 overall. Craig Button’s most recent big list had the winger at No. 28 overall. Corey Pronman has him outside the first round.

THE COMBINE LIST

This is the complete list, also available here. My thanks to Scott Wheeler for being a stand up guy. Among the names missing that are something of a surprise? LD Noel Hoefenmeyer would be my main one but I only had a chance to take a quick glance.

ISAAC RATCLIFFE SCOUTING REPORT

  • Brock Otten, OHL ProspectsI could see him being drafted anywhere from 15 to 50. He has some extremely alluring qualities to NHL scouts. First thing you notice is his size at 6’6. And he skates very well, with good speed and acceleration. But he’s also not even 200 lbs yet. As he fills out, I don’t think we truly know how good he could be. Ratcliffe’s other best quality is his shot. He has an absolute rocket of a wrist shot and I think he’s got big time scoring potential. Once he’s able to add that aforementioned strength, he’ll be able to generate more scoring chances for himself as he can protect the puck better and look to be aggressive in driving the middle of the ice. His physical game is inconsistent and that’s another area of his game that will need to improve. Ditto for discipline. Anyone who watched the U18’s can tell you that he struggled with some lazy stick penalties and it was the same in Guelph too. He has the potential to be an excellent defensive player though with his size and skating ability. Source

TOP WINGERS, 2017 DRAFT

  1. R Owen Tippett, Mississauga Steelheads (OHL). He covers 3 important categories (size, speed, sniper).
  2. L Elias Pettersson, Timra (Swe-1). Impressive talent, very skilled.
  3. L Eeli Tolvanen, Sioux City Musketeers (USHL). Plus skater, NHL shot and release.
  4. R Kailer Yamamoto, Spokane Chiefs (WHL). Smart, elusive, offensive.
  5. R Klim Kostin, Balashikha (MHL). Giant winger, good offense. Injured.
  6. R Kole Lind, Kelowna Rockets (WHL). Speedy W with skill. Good Oil option.
  7. L Kristian Vesalainen, Frolunda (SHL). Big W, skilled, strong, can play L or R.
  8. L Matthew Strome, Hamilton Bulldogs (OHL). Strong 2-way W, offensive potential.
  9. R Nicholas Henry, Regina Pats (WHL). Emerging scorer. Not fast.
  10. L Nikita Popugaev, Prince George Cougars (WHL). Big, good skater, plus shot, passer.
  11. R Aleksi Heponiemi, Swift Current Broncos (WHL). Cerebral W with skill, anticipation.
  12. L Isaac Ratcliffe, Guelph Storm (OHL). Big winger, great skater, some skill.
  13. R Stelio Mattheos, Brandon Wheat Kings (WHL). Excellent skater, heavy shot.
  14. L Ostap Safin, Sparta Praha (Cze). Big forward, good skater, has plus skills. Nice range.
  15. R Adam Ruzicka, Sarnia Sting (OHL). Big (6.04, 202) forward who plays intelligent game.
  16. L Jason Robertson, Kingston Frontenacs (OHL). Big winger with a good shot.
  17. L Alex Formenton, London Knights (OHL). An absolute burner, has some skill.
  18. L Grant Mismash, USNDTP (USHL). Physical winger with some skill.
  19. F Andrey Altybarmakyan, St.Petersburg (MHL).  The math is strong on this one
  20. L Zach Gallant, Peterborough Petes (OHL). Fast skater, intelligent player, boxcars moving.
  21. L Jonah Gadjovich, Owen Sound Attack (OHL). Emerging PF, 40-goal man. Average speed.
  22. R Lukas Elvenes, Rogle (SuperElite). Highly skilled winger, terrific hands.
  23. L Mackenzie Entwistle, Hamilton Bulldogs (OHL). Big winger, who can skate, check, some skill.
  24. L Maxime Comtois, Victoriaville Tigres (QMJHL). Skilled, good size, skating average.
  25. L Jacob Tortora, USNDTP (USHL). He is a burner and he is skilled and he is small.
  26. R Emil Oksanen, Espoo (Mestis). Skilled winger, great shot, he can scoot.
  27. L Filip Chytal, HC Zlin (Czech). Two-way C, skilled, intriguing prospect.
  28. L Pavel Koltygin, Drummondville Voltigeurs (QMJHL). Two-way winger.
  29. W Jonas Rondberg, Vaxjo (Swe Jrs). Smart offensive winger with plus skills, lacks top end finish.
  30. L Ryan Hughes, Portland Winterhawks (WHL). 5.08, July 1999, 55 pts/65 games.
  31. L Ivan Kosorenkov, Victoriaville Tigres (QMJHL). Undersized, 34 goals by getting inside.
  32. L Rickard Hugg, Leksands (SuperElite). Intelligent two-way winger, playmaking skill.
  33. R Aatu Luusuaniemi, Karpat (Jr. Sm-Liiga). Winger with skill, excellent boxcars, zero buzz.
  34. L Joel Teasdale, Blainville-Boisbriand Armada (QMJHL). Smart, skilled, good speed.
  35. L Ryan Moore, Flint Firebirds (OHL). Small and very skilled.
  36. L Vladimir Kuznetsov, Acadie-Bathurst Titan (QMJHL). Good skater, skilled, with size. 1998.
  37. L Macauley Carson, Sudbury Wolves (OHL). A 30-goal season in a strong league.
  38. LC Brayden Burke, Moose Jaw Warriors (WHL). Lots of skill, undersized and 20.
  39. F Pavel Shen, Marmonty Yugry (MHL). Small, skilled, August 1999.
  40. R Sami Moilanen, Seattle Thunderbirds (WHL). Small buzzsaw who can score goals.
  41. F Alexei Toropchenko, Balashikha (MHL). Size and speed, some offense.
  42. R Artur Tyanulin, Ottawa 67’s (OHL). Skill F posted strong season.
  43. R Austin Pratt, Red Deer Rebels (WHL). Power winger who can skate. Offense still uncertain.
  44. R Jonathan Davidsson, Djurgaden (SHL). Impressive skill W, I’ve ranked him 3 times!
  45. R Brett Davis, Kootenay Ice (WHL). Good size, impressive offense for a June 1999.
  46. L Ryan Peckford, Victoria Royals (WHL). Good skater, terrific shot.
  47. L German Poddubnyi, Erie (OHL). Big PF could be fine draft & follow.
  48. R Lane Zablocki, Red Deer Rebels (OHL). Two-way W with skill, kind of a throwback player.
  49. R Bobby Dow, Kemptville 73s (CCHL). Impressive offense at lower levels.
  50. L Ryan Hughes, Portland Winterhawks (WHL). 5.08, July 1999, 55 pts/65 games.

OILERS DRAFT 2017

  • First Round: No. 22 overall
  • Third Round: No. 82 overall (FROM ST. LOUIS—this is payment for Nail Yakupov)
  • Third Round: No. 84 overall
  • Fourth Round: No. 115 overall
  • Fifth Round: No. 126 overall (FROM Vancouver—this is payment for Phil Larsen)
  • Fifth Round: No. 146 overall
  • Sixth Round: No. 177 overall
  • Seventh Round: No. 208 overall

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43 Responses to "DRAFT POST (2017) NO. 4: A BIG RED BEACON, A FLAG, AND A MAN ON A RAIL"

  1. rickithebear says:

    picks in the 1-9 range
    pocklington- Fraser to 1997
    #4 1994 Bonsignore
    #6 1994 R. Smyth
    #6 1995 Kelly
    #6 1996 Devereaux

    EIG- FRaser 98 to 99
    None

    EIG – Prendergast 2000 to 2007
    #6 2007 Gagner

    Katz-SMB
    #1 2010 Hall
    #1 2011 RNH
    #1 2012 Yakupov
    #7 2013 Nurse
    #3 2014 Draisatl
    #1 2015 Mcdavid List complete before firing.

    Katz-????
    #4 Puljujarvi

    picks in the 10-18 range
    pocklington- Fraser to 1997
    #14 1997 Riesen

    EIG- FRaser 98 to 99
    #13 1998 Henrich
    #13 1999 Rita

    EIG – Prendergast 2000 to 2007
    #17 2000 Mikhnov
    #13 2001 Hemsky
    #15 2002 Niinimaki
    #14 2004 Dubnyk
    #15 2007 Plante

    Katz-SMB
    #10 2009 MPS

    Picks in the 19 – 27 range
    pocklington- Fraser to 1997
    #19 1996 Descoteaux

    EIG- Fraser 98 to 99
    none

    EIG – Prendergast 2000 to 2007
    #22 2003 Pouliot
    #25 2004 Schremp
    #25 2005 Cogliano
    #21 2007 R. Nash

    Katz – SMB
    #22 2008 Eberle
    #19 2011 Klefbom

  2. Centre of attention says:

    rickithebear:

    Katz-????

    I agree, Ricki. I agree.

  3. Glass says:

    Curious as to why Robertson took such a huge dive on your list.

  4. Brantford Boy says:

    I think its safe to say that Tippett will be long gone by #22. Assuming Lind is gone as well, is it a wasted (don’t like to use that word) pick for Adam Ruzicka? He’s currently Ranked #51 by Future Considerations and Ranked #37 by NHL Central Scouting (NA Skaters)? To bad we don’t have that 2nd rounder… ‘could’ be a great match. Still think RD is the way to go this year… we’ll see.

    Button has Tippett listed at #20 and Lind at #34… interesting!

  5. Lowetide says:

    Glass:
    Curious as to why Robertson took such a huge dive on your list.

    He actually jumped up some from where I had him originally.

  6. Glass says:

    Lowetide,

    Really? I’m not saying you’re wrong but you have him behind…
    Strome, Henry, Popugaev, Heponiemi, Ratcliffe, Mattheos, Safin, and Ruzicka. So many other lists/services have him ahead of pretty much every one of these players.

    Is his skating really that bad? Trying to suss this out lol

  7. JDI says:

    Wow, the sound tech should be fired for that, unless that was a Radio Shack microphone.

  8. Lowetide says:

    Glass:
    Lowetide,

    Really? I’m not saying you’re wrong but you have him behind…
    Strome, Henry, Popugaev, Heponiemi, Ratcliffe, Mattheos, Safin, and Ruzicka. So many other lists/services have him ahead of pretty much everyone of these players.

    Is his skating really that bad? Trying to suss this out lol

    Oh you’re not the only one. 🙂 I have about five scouting reports and the best one is “it won’t hurt him moving forward.” He might be a massive bargain but I’ve faded he and Gadjovich (and some others).

  9. JDI says:

    So disrespectful.

    😉

  10. Yak Efron says:

    Watch live as the NHL shoots itself in the foot.

  11. theDjdj says:

    Coaches challenge is the worst rule in sport. In what way does this improve the game? Disgusting that we break down the fastest sport in the world to frame by frame to see if a skater is brushing the ice while we examine the pucks movement by millimetres. Only the NHL could implement a rule so useless and out of spirit of hockey

  12. Professor Q says:

    theDjdj:
    Coaches challenge is the worst rule in sport. In what way does this improve the game? Disgusting that we break down the fastest sport in the worldto frame by frame to see if a skater is brushing the ice while we examine the pucks movement by millimetres. Only the NHL could implement a rule so useless and out of spirit of hockey

    To be fair, the players have been pushing the boundaries of blue-line stretching and cherry picking for years now. No one knows what offside or onside is anymore. Among other rules.

    This is the culmination of that and NHL head office buffoonery. Officiating follows suit…

  13. theDjdj says:

    Professor Q: To be fair, the players have been pushing the boundaries of blue-line stretching and cherry picking for years now. No one knows what offside or onside is anymore. Among other rules.

    This is the culmination of that and NHL head office buffoonery. Officiating follows suit…

    Ultimately hockey is a sport played and officiated by humans. You have to expect a degree of error. That degree of error should be in favour of scoring, positive hockey. Remove the rule let the linesmen do their job.

  14. JDI says:

    theDjdj,

    But that was the impetus for the rule – missed offsides leading to goals.

  15. Professor Q says:

    theDjdj: Ultimately hockey is a sport played and officiated by humans. You have to expect a degree of error. That degree of error should be in favour of scoring, positive hockey. Remove the rule let the linesmen do their job.

    I think they should perhaps change the rule, then.

    Having players simply hang the toe of their blade in the neutral zone to count as onside until the puck gets into the offensive zone seems a bit much of a leeway.

    I guess it’s the rules but it kind of seems like there’s not much point to the blue line…

  16. theDjdj says:

    JDI:
    theDjdj,

    But that was the impetus for the rule – missed offsides leading to goals.

    Yes I understand.

    But the rule as it’s currently enforced doesn’t do what good rules do: create equity. There is no meaningful advantage inequitably gained by the scoring team.

    Do you think that being say half a foot (at worst) is a material advantage for a scoring team? For all the skill and hard work that goes into scoring a goal, is being marginally ahead of the puck as it crosses into the zone a significant factor?

    Let the linesmen get it wrong occasionally rather than calling back good goals.

    This might be a North American thing. I do notice that in the major North American sports rules are extremely enforced rather than let the game flow like you see in football or rugby.

  17. Centre of attention says:

    That Subban goal was onside

  18. JDI says:

    theDjdj: Yes I understand.

    But the rule as it’s currently enforced doesn’t do what good rules do: create equity. There is no meaningful advantage inequitably gained by the scoring team.

    Do you think that being say half a foot (at worst) is a material advantage for a scoring team? For all the skill and hard work that goes into scoring a goal, is being marginally ahead of the puck as it crosses into the zone a significant factor?

    Let the linesmen get it wrong occasionally rather than calling back good goals.

    This might be a North American thing. I do notice that in the major North American sports rules are extremely enforced rather than let the game flow like you see in football or rugby.

    I’m not defending this rule, but rules in general are not there to promote scoring or deter scoring.

    And yes, there needs to be a line drawn in cases like goals scored from off sides plays. Where that line is, seems to be the crux of the biscuit.

  19. JDI says:

    Gee, thanks for the reminder Craig.

  20. Lowetide says:

    The Preds have not been able to keep their composure in this game. I know we were all frustrated by the Oilers collapse and by the officiating, but that’s going to happen. It will be interesting to see if the Predators can make some good things happen in the rest of the game.

  21. Rondo says:

    LT,

    Have you seen Michael Rasmussen stats 5 on 5 ? Not a top 10 pick

    http://prospect-stats.com/WHL/2016/forwards/?state_selected=5v5

  22. Centre of attention says:

    That was part cat fish, part squid.

    Detroit fan hopped on Nashville wagon and it didn’t turn out well.

  23. Centre of attention says:

    Lowetide,

    Their powerplay is ungood.

    Remember that Dellow piece I mentioned the other day about point shots being no longer ideal on the man advantage?

    Ryan Ellis should read it and start dishing to Forsberg or Arvy down low.

  24. The Hermit says:

    I am all for accuracy regarding onside or offside at the blue line, but the review process takes way too long.

    If that function can be automated economically that would be the best. Correct call without wasting 5 or so minutes.

    Maybe that could get one linesman off the ice giving a bit more room. A ref would have to help separate players during a fight. More radical would to get rid of both linesman.

    EDIT: Automate icings also.

    Edit # 2: Get rid of all officials, they don’t call penalties anyways!

  25. Centre of attention says:

    See I started bitching about Ellis just so he would score there

    beautiful

    But seriously though despite that goal they need to do something different moving forwards.

  26. Professor Q says:

    Centre of attention:
    See I started bitching about Ellis just so he would score there

    beautiful

    But seriously though despite that goal they need to do something different moving forwards.

    Fitting for a former Spitfire to have such occur a day after they win the Memorial Cup, eh?

  27. theDjdj says:

    Centre of attention:
    Lowetide,

    Their powerplay is ungood.

    Remember that Dellow piece I mentioned the other day about point shots being no longer ideal on the man advantage?

    Ryan Ellis should read it and start dishing to Forsberg or Arvy down low.

    Some of the best pp in the league form that little triangle you speak of around the net. Goalies and PK are too good to be routinely fooled by cross ice passes and booming shots. Plus if you miss or hit a player it often bounces out of the zone/out of possession.

  28. leadfarmer says:

    Has a team made it through an entire period without a shot on goal before in the cup finals?

  29. Lowetide says:

    Rondo:
    LT,

    Have you seenMichael Rasmussen stats 5on 5 ? Not a top 10 pick

    http://prospect-stats.com/WHL/2016/forwards/?state_selected=5v5

    I don’t have him top 10, but he may go that high.

  30. JDI says:

    Suck it NFL. NHL players can actually spell their own names!

  31. geowal says:

    Brock Otten’s scouting report reminds me of Pouliot, for better or worse.

  32. NSmitty says:

    I took a look at 5×5 shots/60 for d men and I noticed something interesting:

    Looking at players with 650+ minutes played Darnell Nurse (22 years old) finished 4th in the league with 7.25 shots/60.

    Oscar Klefbom (23 years old) finished 7th with 6.83 shots/60.

    As a point of reference Burns was 1st with 8.76 shots/60.

    Numbers courtesy of http://puckalytics.com

  33. leadfarmer says:

    Yamamoto is a very intriguing prospect top 10 in 5v5 ppg and top 5 primary points a game both considerably higher than Nolan Patrick. Brandon wheat kings have 9 players above 30 points Spokane 5

  34. theDjdj says:

    37min shotless for the Penguins and the next one is the game winner. They really do just find a way to win. Like cockroaches for winning.

  35. jtblack says:

    Lowetide,

    Remiinder: AHL is littered with players with amazing skill and top scorers in Junior. You need wheels in the Bigs and I would say Skating is now more important than ever before.

    I am glad you fade the guys that have questionable skating. there will always be exceptions to the rule, but why take a risk on that, when there are plenty of good skaters to be had at #22 ….

  36. dustrock says:

    leadfarmer:
    Yamamoto is a very intriguing prospect top 10 in 5v5 ppg and top 5 primary points a game both considerably higher than Nolan Patrick.Brandon wheat kings have 9 players above 30 points Spokane 5

    I’d love to get Yamamoto. Someone will be very happy with him.

    And someone will be disappointed with Michael “Crouse” Rasmussen

  37. jtblack says:

    dustrock,

    really small. really good.

  38. theDjdj says:

    I do wonder if we can get Bobby Ryan out of Ottawa. Playoff performance aside, he had a down year and is on a bad contract. If we offer Pouliot and our 1st round for Bobby Ryan and the Sens eat half his contract is it enough? I think Bobby Ryan at $4m is a good price.

  39. jtblack says:

    Brett Davis was a lot better after his trade at Deadline. Might be worth a pick in the #80 – #100 range

  40. trencan says:

    Brantford Boy:
    I think its safe to say that Tippett will be long gone by #22.Assuming Lind is gone as well, is it a wasted (don’t like to use that word) pick for Adam Ruzicka?He’s currently Ranked #51 by Future Considerations and Ranked #37 by NHL Central Scouting (NA Skaters)?To bad we don’t have that 2nd rounder… ‘could’ be a great match.Still think RD is the way to go this year… we’ll see.

    Button has Tippett listed at #20 and Lind at #34… interesting!

    I personally see Ruzicka in early third round. He plays more Center than Winger. I consider him as future bottom 6 player. The expectations before start of the season were higher (late first/early second round), but he had problems to adjust to NA style from Europe.

  41. Scungilli Slushy says:

    Rondo:
    LT,

    Have you seenMichael Rasmussen stats 5on 5 ? Not a top 10 pick

    http://prospect-stats.com/WHL/2016/forwards/?state_selected=5v5

    Watch a highlight package on him. All I saw was him standing unchecked beside an open net pushing it in. Over and over.

    I stopped watching after a few minutes because his team mates were doing all of the hockey part of the goal scoring. I don’t know if he has much talent based on what I saw, but I do know he won’t be getting those in the NHL.

    Also, I am concerned about overly tall players when the game is become more about quickness. Too tall, too heavy, not quick.

  42. Lowetide says:

    Scungilli Slushy: Watch a highlight package on him. All I saw was him standing unchecked beside an open net pushing it in. Over and over.

    I stopped watching after a few minutes because his team mates were doing all of the hockey part of the goal scoring. I don’t know if he has much talent based on what I saw, but I do know he won’t be getting those in the NHL.

    Also, I am concerned about overly tall players when the game is become more about quickness. Too tall, too heavy, not quick.

    Watching youtube highlights and making sweeping statements about prospects is a bad idea.

  43. Professor Q says:

    Lowetide: Watching youtube highlights and making sweeping statements about prospects is a bad idea.

    I admit that I let this happen with Yakupov…

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