THE FINAL 150: 2017 DRAFT

This is the list you’ll see on this blog on draft morning, Friday June 23. It will be under the title “Here Comes the Sun” and I’ll make sure to note a bunch of the resources that help me along the way.

If you’re about to buy a Draft Guide, I’d suggest buying them all. Subscribe to Corey Pronman and Grant McCagg, Red Line Report’s stuff is top drawer, ISS, McKeens, The Black Book, Tom Hunter, Scott Wheeler and on it goes. Some of those are free, but you get the idea. Oilers Nation did a fantastic job this season (still going) I am very impressed.

This list uses NHLE but does not march in lock step with it. Slower skaters get punished heavily. Gifted offensive players with speed will always be at the top. Players with a range of skill do well on this list, but there’s a fine line between two-way center with skill and a checking center. The list does not give high numbers to players who have a lot of their value tied up in the defensive side of the game. Some of the names who appear as first-round selections on other lists are not inside my top 100. Goalies are graded (almost exclusively) by save percentage, although success over more than one season has terrific value. Prevailing  wisdom counts as well.

This year’s forwards have two issues overall: Speed and offense. The Oilers are extremely likely to grab a forward in Round One, but the strength of this draft is on defense and in goal, so I have them taking one of each (defense and goal) in their first four selections (mock at the end). This draft reminds me a lot of 2002, in that outstanding players were still available in the second and third rounds. Sometimes we say it’s a weak draft when we mean the cream of the crop has not yet made itself known. That may be the case for the class of 2017.

THE FINAL 150, 2017

  1. RC Nolan Patrick, Brandon Wheat Kings (WHL). A complete talent but not an elite one. That isn’t  put down and I like his range of skills very much. NHLE is 33.1, a low number for a No. 1 overall, but this is a draft without a clear winner. Impressive two-way center with creativity, a good shot and the ability to pass the puck. A very nice player.
  2. LC Nico Hischier, Halifax Mooseheads (QMJHL). A more dynamic offensive player than Patrick. His NHLE (30.9) is also low for such a highly regarded player but there are reasons to expect he’ll emerge as the best offensive player in this year’s draft. He is a fast train and can stickhandle in a phone booth. My guess is that he’ll be devastating on the power play and 4×4, and have lots of success at even strength. I have read his play without the puck is good and getting better.
  3. R Owen Tippett, Mississauga Steelheads (OHL). He covers 3 important categories (size, speed, sniper). His NHLE (30.8) doesn’t tell his entire offensive story. Tippett is a world class shooter, posting 284 shots in 60 games. He scored 44 goals on those 284 shots, he made a lot happen in the offensive zone. I have him here because he is also fast, making Tippett a fantastic offensive prospect.
  4. L Elias Pettersson, Timra (Swe-1). Impressive talent, very skilled. I’ve read plenty on him and there is risk here (the man is a pencil) but he is extremely skilled. Grew like a bean stock (he is 6.02, 160) and his skating looked awkward at times, but that should solve itself as he grows into his body. I have no idea where he goes in this draft, but I’d take him top five overall.
  5. RD Timothy Liljegren, Rogle (Swe Jr). He is a mobile 2-way D with impressive skill. I stared at this player a long time before keeping him at No. 5 overall. The late scouting reports were unkind, but he suffered from a bout of mono and the complaints may come from that malady. I’m going to remain stubborn on him, the payoff could be exceptional.
  6. RC Cody Glass, Portland Winterhawks (WHL). Complete skill set and an offensive performance that puts him near the top of this year’s list (NHLE: 32.4). This draft is a minefield, because you can make a case for Glass being a better prospect than Nolan Patrick and be right five years from now. I moved him up from No. 8 as his offense projects as being closer to the best in this year’s draft than I first estimated.
  7. LC Casey Mittelstadt, Green Bay Gamblers (USHL). Speed and skill, he’s going very early on day one of the draft. I moved him down a little (he moves down from No. 6) because the offense is good not great. Other than that the resume looks good from here, he could certainly go higher than my ranking.
  8. RD Cale Makar, Brooks Bandits (AJHL). Fast, exceptional puck-moving acumen. I moved him down from No. 7 but remain very high on Makar. His foot speed can help on offense and defense, and he’s a smart player. I probably have him higher than he’ll go on draft day, but he looks like a perfect fit for the modern transition game.
  9. RC Gabriel Vilardi, Windsor Spitfires (OHL). Creative C with size, NHLE (33) and a fabulous Memorial Cup performance. He has size, exceptional skill and is deadly on the power play. Foot speed has him here and with so many players in this year’s draft with that issue, it is difficult to really judge degrees of separation.
  10. L Eeli Tolvanen, Sioux City Musketeers (USHL). Plus skater, NHL shot and release. He has good hands and is a devil in the offensive zone. Tolvanen is going to fill the net if he continues to develop and would be a brilliant addition for Edmonton. If they trade up, this might be the target.
  11. R Kailer Yamamoto, Spokane Chiefs (WHL). Smart, elusive, offensive. If you’re reading this in 2022, my bet is you are telling me I should have had him higher. NHLE (36.2) compares well to any in this draft.
  12. RC Nick Suzuki, Owen Sound Attack (OHL).  Skill and creativity, he’s a magician with the puck and his NHLE (36.3) is the highest among the top group of CHL players this season.
  13. LD Miro Heiskanen, HIFK (Sm-Liiga). Puck-mover, excellent vision/speed. One of the few players who moved more a spot on the final list, I’m still uncertain about his offensive ability. He appears to have a complete skill set and is likely to go higher than I have him ranked on this list.
  14. RC Robert Thomas, London Knights (OHL). Speedy forward, creative. I thought I liked him more than anyone but Simon Boisvert has him top five overall. He would be a grand pick for the Oilers, RHC with the complete range of skills.
  15. LC Lias Andersson, Linkoping (SHL). Throwback 2-way C, aggressive, quick. 5.11, 200. He is the first player on this list who (imo) is more likely to be a 2C than a top line forward. The men above him all have a chance to play on the top line for an NHL team.
  16. RC Martin Necas, Brno (Czech). High speed skill, just 5.11. There were things about him I didn’t know until late (speed) but he does appear to be the genuine article. If he’s available when the Oilers pick, he would be an attractive option.
  17. LD Juuso Valimaki, Tri-City Americans (WHL). A big two-way D, smart, creative. He is a fine skater and has good size. Valimaki looks to be one of the safest picks in this are of the draft and that could mean he’ll slide a little more than my number.
  18. R Klim Kostin, Balashikha (MHL). Giant winger, good offense. He is 6.03, 196 and possesses a quality offensive resume despite (basically) being hurt all year. He may be underrated here, there are resources I respect who have him much higher, and could be long gone by this point in the draft.
  19. C Michael Rasmussen, Tri-City Americans (WHL). Big C, physical, good skater. I like him a lot (late birthday, size) but am uncertain about his offense (NHLE 26.2). He should have an NHL future, unsure if it’s 2C or 3C based on his season.
  20. LD Nicholas Hague, Mississauga Steelheads (OHL). Rangy, aggressive, emerging offense. He had 204 shots in 65 OHL games while scoring 18 goals, meaning he might be a modern (more mobile) Sheldon Souray. Lou in Toronto might like him.
  21. R Kole Lind, Kelowna Rockets (WHL). Speedy W with skill. He’s a really close comparable in style to my recollection of Jordan Eberle and he can beat a goalie clean with his shot. NHLE (29.6) is solid, this might be a player the Oilers look at for their first-round pick. His speed might be the difference.
  22. L Kristian Vesalainen, Frolunda (SHL). Big W, skilled, strong, can play L or R. He is fast and furious as a player and had a strong U18’s, but his regular season was mediocre. Oilers will love his speed and size, not as certain about his skill as others seem to be at this time. Likely long gone by this number.
  23. LD Erik Brannstrom, HV71 (SHL). Undersized skill defender, outstanding skater. He was described as “high octane” in last year’s Black Book and hasn’t slowed down from  there. A late 1999 who played in the SHL this past season, he’s going to be a difficult player to pass on for Edmonton (ideal fit).
  24. LC Alexei Lipanov, Dyanmo Balashikha (VHL). Impressive 2-way resume and he is an excellent skater. He is rail thin and has more room to grow, like him more as an offensive player than some in the two-way department.
  25. LC Ryan Poehling, St. Cloud State (NCAA). Big skill C with an offensive reputation. Basically impossible to project freshman college players based on the boxcars, so the scouting reports were doubly important. I think he would have been better off playing in the USHL this past season.
  26. LC Joshua Norris, USNDTP (USHL). Two-way C showing good offense and he spiked late, which can be a sign of real growth. He was terrific at the U18’s, I am inclined to downplay small sample tournaments so didn’t move him up my list. Fine prospect.
  27. RC Ivan Lodnia, Erie Otters (OHL). Small skill F, great skater. He is more playmaker than shooter, and despite lack of size can hold off checkers and maintain possession.
  28. RD Conor Timmins, SSE Greyhounds (OHL). Smart, reads plays well, excellent passer. Nice range of skills, uncertain how much offense (NHLE: 22.3) he’ll bring with him to the NHL but there’s a story for sure. If the Oilers pick him at No. 22, there should be no surprise.
  29. RC Scott Reedy, USNDTP (USHL). Center with speed, range of skills, dynamic. Has some elements associated with a power forward and possesses a good shot. I could see the Oilers taking him at No. 22 overall.
  30. RC Morgan Geekie, Tri-City Americans (WHL). C w/2-way rep and emerging offense. This is his second year of eligibility but his spike offensively (90 points from 25 a year ago). He’s not as dynamic as the names above but he really stepped forward this year.
  31. L Matthew Strome, Hamilton Bulldogs (OHL). Strong 2-way W, offensive potential. Probably best to think of him as having a different last name (Matthew Stromboli?) because based on scouting reports he isn’t much like his brothers. PF type, he averaged 4.09 shots per game according to Prospect-stats.com.
  32. C Mason Shaw, Medicine Hat Tigers (WHL). Small skill C, terrific skills. He is small and not fast, so my ranking is likely too high. Problem is, a lot of the second round forwards have the same issue.
  33. R Nicholas Henry, Regina Pats (WHL). Emerging scorer. Not fast. July 1999 scored 35 goals in a very good league. He has some things in common with Kole Lind, but lacks the speed to be considered a first-round option.
  34. LC Jaret-Anderson Dolan, Spokane Chiefs (WHL). Small, very quick skater and plus skill. He spiked in his draft year (76 points from 26 a year ago) and has all kinds of possibilities as a player.
  35. L Nikita Popugaev, Prince George Cougars (WHL). Big, good skater, plus shot, passer. He received some scathing reviews during the year, but at 6.06, 215 and with lots of skill, he could go higher than I’ve ranked him.
  36. G Jake Oettinger, Boston University (NCAA). 35gp, 2.11 .927. Fabulous numbers. Giant goalie is the prototype for his position in the modern era, and my guess is that he goes on day one to an American team.
  37. LC Aleksi Heponiemi, Swift Current Broncos (WHL). Cerebral W with skill, anticipation. One of the best playmakers available in the draft, he has good speed.
  38. G Mike DiPietro, Windsor Spitfires (OHL). 51gp, 2.35 .917. A little undersized for this era, he’s clearly a brilliant goaltender with lightning reflexes. Stole the Memorial Cup.
  39. RC Joni Ikonen, Frolunda (Swe SuperElite). Small skill center with good speed. I’d have him higher but at 5.11, 170, I wonder if he ends up on the wing.
  40. LD Noel Hoefenmeyer, Ottawa 67s (OHL). Complete skills. Has good size and can defend well, and is a good passer. Unlikely to spend a lot of time on the power play, but the entire defense crop feels that way this year.
  41. LD Uro Vaakanainen, JYP (Sm-Liiga). Fast two-way blue with a good shot. Like Hoefenmeyer, I think we can rule out NHL power plays, but other than that he sounds like a player who will be able to pitch in in all other areas.
  42. L Isaac Ratcliffe, Guelph Storm (OHL). Big winger, great skater, some skill. He is 6.06, 200 and scored 28 goals in the world’s best junior league. I don’t know Edmonton’s list, but would be willing to bet real money he is inside the top 30. Chiarelli type.
  43. LC Evan Barratt, USNDTP (USHL). Small finesse center with skill. He may be a bit of a tweener but is a smart player and has plenty of room to grow.
  44. LC Jake Leschyshyn, Regina Pats (WHL). Quality two-way C, he doesn’t have any one dominant skill. A safe pick, not as much offensive potential as some in this areas.
  45. LC Shane Bowers, Waterloo Blackhawks (USHL). Impressive two-way C, plus skill. I have him lower than most services, the math suggests this is where he belongs.
  46. C Jesper Boqvist, Brynas (SHL). Average size, good speed and skill. Offense hasn’t come yet, that may be a tell.
  47. R Stelio Mattheos, Brandon Wheat Kings (WHL). Excellent skater, heavy shot, he continues a run of two-way forwards whose offense may land them a checking role.
  48. LC Morgan Frost, SSM Greyhounds (OHL). Smart, skilled, and emerging. He is more skilled than a few players above him but not as established a prospect.
  49. RD Henri Jokiharju, Portland Winterhawks (WHL). Smooth skating Finn OD. Has the range of skills, good passer, does not appear to have top flight offensive potential.
  50. LD Mario Ferraro, Des Moines Buccaneers (USHL). Undersized OD with real offensive potential. Kirk Luedeke mentioned him as a great fit for Edmonton, as they will be looking (as we discussed yesterday) a smooth puck mover for their prospect cluster.
  51. RD Cal Foote, Kelowna Rockets (WHL). Huge D, awkward skater, good passer, tough. He is the only player I have ranked after No. 50 that I can see Edmonton drafting with their pick at No. 22.
  52. L Ostap Safin, Sparta Praha (Cze). Big forward, good skater, has plus skills. Nice range.
  53. R Adam Ruzicka, Sarnia Sting (OHL). Big (6.04, 202) forward who plays intelligent game.
  54. RD Pierre-Olivier Joseph, Charlottetown Islanders (QMJHL). Two-way D, some nice boxcars.
  55. L Jason Robertson, Kingston Frontenacs (OHL). Big winger with a good shot.
  56. RC Alexander Chmelevski, Ottawa 67s (OHL). Impressive skills, outststanding TP game.
  57. L Alex Formenton, London Knights (OHL). An absolute burner, has some skill.
  58. L Grant Mismash, USNDTP (USHL). Physical winger with some skill.
  59. RD Ian Mitchell, Spruce Grove Saints (AJHL). Undersized, mobile two-way defender.
  60. F Andrey Altybarmakyan, St.Petersburg (MHL).  The math is strong on this one.
  61. LC Marcus Davidsson, Djurgardens (SHL). Two-way center has some offense, nice range of skills.
  62. RD Kale Fleury, Kootenay Ice (WHL). Fascinating prospect. Haydn’s brother. Range of skills.
  63. L Zach Gallant, Peterborough Petes (OHL). Fast skater, intelligent player, boxcars moving.
  64. L Jonah Gadjovich, Owen Sound Attack (OHL). Emerging PF, 40-goal man. Average speed.
  65. RC Jack Studnicka, Oshawa Generals (OHL). Range of skills, quality offense. No buzz.
  66. R Lukas Elvenes, Rogle (SuperElite). Highly skilled winger, terrific hands.
  67. L Mackenzie Entwistle, Hamilton Bulldogs (OHL). Big winger, who can skate, check, some skill.
  68. RD Artyom Minulin, Swfit Current Broncos (WHL). Big defender with emerging skills.
  69. L Maxime Comtois, Victoriaville Tigres (QMJHL). Skilled, good size, skating average.
  70. RD Eemeli Rasanen, Kingston Frontenacs (OHL). Giant defender with skill, mobility.
  71. LD Max Gildon, USNDTP (USHL). Size, speed, skill. Inconsistent or he would be higher.
  72. L Jacob Tortora, USNDTP (USHL). He is a burner and he is skilled and he is small.
  73. G Keith Petruzzeli, Muskegon Lumberjacks (USHL). An actual giant goalie. Luedeke is on him.
  74. C Kevin Hancock, Owen Sound Attack (OHL). Draft re-entry having a fine offensive season.
  75. LD Josh Brook, Moose Jaw Warriors (WHL). Mobile, dependable, emerging. Could be a find.
  76. G Daniil Tarasov, Ufa (MHL). Tall thin goalie impressed at U18s.
  77. R Emil Oksanen, Espoo (Mestis). Skilled winger, great shot, he can scoot.
  78. RC Nathan Schnarr, Guelph Storm (OHL). Big center with speed, a little shy offensively.
  79. LC Jordy Bellerive, Lethbridge Hurricanes (WHL). Undersized, nifty and aggressive F with skill.
  80. LD Jack Rathbone, Dexter School (USHS). A bullet on skates, very skilled.
  81. LD Robin Salo, Sport Vaasa (SML). Two-way defender, mature.
  82. LD Cameron Crotty, Brockville Braves (CCHL). Intelligent two-way defender, great passer.
  83. RD Dylan Coghlan, Tri-City Americans (WHL). 2-way defender, good skater, spiking offensively.
  84. L Filip Chytal, HC Zlin (Czech). Two-way C, skilled, intriguing prospect.
  85. C Fabian Zetterlund, Farjestad (SuperElite). Smart C, great shot, he is skilled.
  86. LC Antoine Morand, Acadie-Bathurst Titan (QMJHL). Very small, very skilled.
  87. LD Markus Phillips, Owen Sound Attack (OHL). Undersized two-way defender improved 16-17.
  88. L Pavel Koltygin, Drummondville Voltigeurs (QMJHL). Two-way winger.
  89. RC Tyler Steenbergen, Swift Current Broncos (WHL). 1998 born, too much skill to pass on.
  90. LD Dylan Samberg, Hermantown High (USHS). Big (6.03, 190) mobile blue. Offense a mystery.
  91. G Olle Eriksson Ek, Farjestads (SuperElite). Big goalie with a good track record.
  92. LD Clayton Phillips, Fargo Force (USHL). Undersized OD, speed, great shot. Draft and follow.
  93. W Jonas Rondberg, Vaxjo (Swe Jrs). Smart offensive winger with plus skills, lacks top end finish.
  94. RD Reilly Walsh, Chicago Steel (USHL). Mobile puck mover, great passer and a plus shot.
  95. L Ryan Hughes, Portland Winterhawks (WHL). 5.08, July 1999, 55 pts/65 games.
  96. L Ivan Kosorenkov, Victoriaville Tigres (QMJHL). Undersized, 34 goals by getting inside.
  97. L Rickard Hugg, Leksands (SuperElite). Intelligent two-way winger, playmaking skill.
  98. LC Austen Keating, Ottawa 67s (OHL). Offensive center, more consistent this season.
  99. LC Ben Jones, Niagara Ice Dogs (OHL). I think he might be a sleeper. Playmaker.
  100. LC Ivan Chekhovich, Baie-Comeau Drakkar (QMJHL). Undersized skill forward, point-per-game.
  101. G Maxim Zhukov, Green Bay Gamblers (USHL). Solid .912SP.
  102. R Aatu Luusuaniemi, Karpat (Jr. Sm-Liiga). Winger with skill, excellent boxcars, zero buzz.
  103. L Joel Teasdale, Blainville-Boisbriand Armada (QMJHL). Smart, skilled, good speed.
  104. C Igor Svyrev, Magnitogorsk (MHL). Skill center, impressive offense.
  105. RC Greg Meireles, Kitchener Rangers (OHL). Smaller forward, speedy, responsible.
  106. RC Kyle Olson, Tri-City Americans (OHL). Small and skilled, rising.
  107. LD Jocktan Chainey, Halifax Mooseheads (QMJHL). Good skater, can move the puck.
  108. L Ryan Moore, Flint Firebirds (OHL). Small and very skilled.
  109. RD Filip Westerlund, Frolunda (SHL). Impressive passing skills, some chaos on D.
  110. RD Luke Martin, Michigan (NCAA). Big, mobile defender plays intelligent game. Not a lot of buzz.
  111. LD Antoine Crete-Belzile, Blainville-Boisbriand Armada (QMJHL). Two-way defender, injury issues.
  112. LD David Farrance, USNDTP (USHL). Mobile, clever D, undersized. Rising.
  113. G Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen, HPK (Jr. Sm-Liiga). Impressive size and good results.
  114. L Vladimir Kuznetsov, Acadie-Bathurst Titan (QMJHL). Good skater, skilled, with size. 1998.
  115. RC Emil Bemstrom, Leksands (SuperElite). Small, fast winger with skill.
  116. RD Adam Thilander, North Bay Battalion (OHL). Impressive skills, could be massive value.
  117. L Macauley Carson, Sudbury Wolves (OHL). A 30-goal season in a strong league.
  118. LC Brayden Burke, Moose Jaw Warriors (WHL). Lots of skill, undersized and 20.
  119. F Pavel Shen, Marmonty Yugry (MHL). Small, skilled, August 1999.
  120. LD Tyler Inamoto, USNDTP (USHL). He is a mobile 6.02, 196 defender.
  121. R Sami Moilanen, Seattle Thunderbirds (WHL). Small buzzsaw who can score goals.
  122. LC Skyler McKenzie, Portland Winterhawks (WHL). Small F (5.07), very skilled.
  123. F Alexei Toropchenko, Balashikha (MHL). Size and speed, some offense.
  124. LC Paul Washe, Fargo Force (USHL). Two-way C, a little shy offensively.
  125. LD Michael Anderson, Waterloo Blackhawks (USHL). Strong, good speed, defense.
  126. R Artur Tyanulin, Ottawa 67’s (OHL). Skill F posted strong season.
  127. R Austin Pratt, Red Deer Rebels (WHL). Power winger who can skate. Offense still uncertain.
  128. G Alexander Samoilov, Armiya Moskva (MHL). .928SP, blossomed this year.
  129. G Matt Villalta, SSM Greyhounds (OHL). .918SP, June 1999.
  130. R Jonathan Davidsson, Djurgaden (SHL). Impressive skill W, I’ve ranked him 3 times!
  131. RD Juho Korhonen, Karpat (Jr. Sm-Liiga). Small and very skilled puck mover. Great passes.
  132. R Brett Davis, Kootenay Ice (WHL). Good size, impressive offense for a June 1999.
  133. LD Nate Knoepke, USNDTP (USHL). Two-way defender with good size.
  134. LD Dmitri Samorukov, Guelph Storm (OHL). Giant defenseman, two-way type.
  135. LC Jacob Peterson, Frolunda (SuperElit). Two-way C under the radar.
  136. L Ryan Hughes, Portland Winterhawks (WHL). 5.08, July 1999, 55 pts/65 games.
  137. RC Cole Guttman, Dubuque (USHL). Late entry has impressive 5×5 numbers.
  138. RD Brady Lyle, North Bay (OHL). Big two-way defender.
  139. RC Maxime Fortier, Halifax Mooseheads (QMJHL). He is 5.10, very skilled.
  140. RD Gustav Lindstrom, Almtuna IS (Allsvenskan). 6.02, 187 two-way defender.
  141. LD Dylan Seitz, Kitchener (OHL). Big PF, scoring potential a question.
  142. L Ryan Peckford, Victoria Royals (WHL). Good skater, terrific shot.
  143. RD August Berg, Brynas (SuperElite). Speedy defender with skill.
  144. RC Liam Hawel, Guelph Storm (OHL). Giant (6.05, 179) C improved offense after trade.
  145. LC Bryce Misley, Oakville Blades (OJHL). Skill C with good size. Good speed. Sleeper?
  146. R Oliver Castleman, Niagara Ice Dogs (OHL). Good even-strength numbers.
  147. LC Jesse Koskenkorva, Karpat (Jr. Sm-Liiga). Two-way forward with speed, some offense.
  148. L German Poddubnyi, Erie (OHL). Big PF could be fine draft & follow.
  149. R Lane Zablocki, Regina Pats (OHL). Two-way W with skill, kind of a throwback player.
  150. R Bobby Dow, Kemptville 73s (CCHL). Impressive offense at lower levels.

OILERS 2017 DRAFT

  • 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

FINAL MOCK

As this is the final mock, I thought it might be a good idea to post what makes sense based on the Oilers own past and current need. Here we go!

  • First Round: No. 22 overall—L Isaac Ratcliffe, Guelph Storm (OHL). Brock Otten, OHL Prospects: 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. Playing for Guelph is a wild card all in itself. Because of how bad Guelph was at times this year, he had a propensity to disappear at times. Source
  • Third Round: No. 82 overall (FROM ST. LOUIS—this is payment for Nail Yakupov)—LD Mario Ferraro, Des Moines Buccaneers (USHL). Steve Kournianos, The Draft Analyst:  Fast puck-moving defensemen with excellent first-step quickness and footwork. Keeps a tight gap and takes the right routes to seal off his man, stays glued to his man and will finish checks with authority. Not very tall but strong as an ox. Pins his man with little to no chance of escape. Aggressive mindset with the puck and explodes up the ice to create a numbers advantage without it. A good bodychecker who likes to drive into people. An offensive-minded defender who looks to transition into an attack no matter where he is or how much traffic is in front of him…owns a booming, accurate shot. Source
  • Third Round: No. 84 overall—L Jonah Gadjovich, Owen Sound Attack (OHL). Brock Otten, OHL Prospects: A ’98 October birth date who was one of the OHL’s most improved players in his 3rd year in the league. Went from 14 goals to 46 this year. Gadjovich is a really big kid who plays a throw back style of game. It’s built on power and he’s most effective within 5 feet of the net. He’s an absolute bull to deal with in front of the net because he’s as strong as an ox, but also smart. Does a really good job shielding off defenders and keeping them on his back. He’s also got sensational hands in close. Adept at tip ins, but also has a very good shot that exhibits power and accuracy. Gadjovich is also a very good two-way player who is just as effective without the puck as he is with it. His skating has gotten better every year he’s been in the league, and I would actually say he skates reasonably well for a big man now. His overall puck skill, creativity, and playmaking ability are still works in progress. Source
  • Fourth Round: No. 115 overall—G Adam Ahman, HV71 J20 (SuperElite) The goalies are plentiful this year and about one dozen appear to be bona fide NHL prospects. Ahman doesn’t make my list above but has a solid resume over the last two years.
  • Fifth Round: No. 126 overall (FROM Vancouver—this is payment for Phil Larsen)—L Ryan Hughes, Portland Winterhawks (WHL). A small winger (5.08) but a July 1999 who scored 57 points in 70 games, including 27 goals and 20 first assists. I haven’t seen him on any radar at all, but he has talent.
  • Fifth Round: No. 146 overall—RC Cole Guttman, Dubuque Fighting Saints (USHL). Another small forward, his offense (53gp, 27-27-54) includes impressive 5×5 numbers. My mock has the team grabbing bigger men early, this run of smaller men late is BPA while stocking the system in an area of need.
  • Sixth Round: No. 177 overall—R Oliver Castleman, Niagara IceDogs (OHL). Brock Otten, OHL Prospects: He has a lot of things going for him that make him a curious prospect to scouts. Firstly, he played in his first year in the OHL, after playing in the CCHL2 the year before. Secondly, he’s the youngest prospect available for the draft this year, with a September 15 birth date. He was able to make a pretty big impact this year for a young Niagara team, and I think there’s still some physical maturity left for him. Castleman is a high energy player who brings a lot of speed to the ice. He really attacks the slot hard and is an excellent North/South offensive player, who despite being 5’10, found a lot of success near the crease with a quick release this year. As the season went on, I think we really saw him come out of his shell physically too, as he really started to engage without the puck, and found himself in quite a few post whistle skirmishes. I guess the big question for me is, for a guy who’s 5’10, I’m not sure I see enough pure offensive skill to develop into a top 6 forward at the next level. As I said, I don’t think I’d draft him this year, but I’d certainly keep his name high in my notes for next year to see how his game continues to develop around a talented IceDogs roster. Source
  • Seventh Round: No. 208 overall—LC Jesse Koskenkorva, Karpat (Jr. Sm-Liiga). Responsible two-way forward with speed, some offense.

 

  • Summary: My guess is that the Oilers will take a forward in the first round and Isaac Ratcliffe fits the Chiarelli template. I would prefer Robert Thomas, Kole Lind or Kristian Vesalainen, but the big power winger Ratcliffe may get the nod. After that it’s a long wait on day two before grabbing a mobile defender and a bona fide scorer with some skating issues (par for the course this year, another reason Ratcliffe stands out from the crowd). After that, the club grabs a quality G prospect and then takes BPA which (it appears to me) is going to be small skill forwards. If one of them cashes, music!

I have a few more draft posts to come, but for the most part June will be RE’s and speculation on summer, as well as an attempt to chronicle the transactions and procurement. It’s going to be crazy! I hope you enjoyed reading.

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72 Responses to "THE FINAL 150: 2017 DRAFT"

  1. Lowetide says:

    On the Lowdown today:

    10:20 Bruce McCurdy
    10:40 Luc Mullinder, 620 CKRM Regina
    11:05 Will Graves – Associated Press Pittsburgh

    11:25 guest pending.

  2. Rondo says:

    Always hard to predict the 1st round then it gets harder.

    I think the Oilers would take a hard look at Erik Brannstrom and Nicolas Hague at #22 even though they are left-handed D.

    As for forwards Kristian Vesalainen, Robert Thomas, Lias Andersson, Klim Kostin, Kailer Yamamoto, Ryan Poehling etc.

  3. Brantford Boy says:

    Like the Mock LT… again, great work…
    Perhaps we can all light a candle for Eemeli Rasanen to fall to #82 and swap out the Ferraro pick. Got to stock that RD with more talent. Awesome 3rd (#82) pick selection! Loved all of these posts!

  4. dustrock says:

    Thanks for this, as always, LT.

    3 RHC in the top 10. Oilers fans, now and forever, cannot complain about the draft, but would have been nice to grab one of the RHC.

  5. dustrock says:

    LT Brannstrom really an ideal fit for the Oilers? LHD is the 2nd last position I’d be looking at (Goalie)

  6. TO10801 says:

    If Ratcliffe is the target I really hope they trade down in the first round and pick up a 2nd or 3rd in the process. I think he would be available between 27-35, so maybe to Buffalo for 37 and 54? The players in the 2nd round would have the potential to be as good or better than the player at 22 anyways.

  7. Kinger_Oil.redux says:

    – Great post LT: congrats again on creating your draft list: I know it’s a labour of love: and the grown-up version of what you did even as a kid, going through the papers: Thanks for this.

  8. Pink Socks says:

    Bless you LT, thank you for all your work and dedication. I’m pretty sure I’m not the only one who had multiple tabs open looking at the several scouting reports on every player. My morning is gone, but it has gone to good use.

  9. Pink Socks says:

    dustrock:
    LT Brannstrom really an ideal fit for the Oilers? LHD is the 2nd last position I’d be looking at (Goalie)

    Never know what can happen in the 2-3 years it would take for him to be a contender to be on the roster.

  10. jtblack says:

    TO10801,

    Why would players from the 2nd Round have a better chance than #22 overall?

  11. Professor Q says:

    Question:

    Why are Hischier and Tippett’s NHLEs not reflective of their scoring prowess, and they should be seen as Offensive Dynamos, but Patrick’s NHLE, which is higher, is seen as low and detrimental to him?

    Seems backwards.

  12. TO10801 says:

    jtblack,

    well obviously it depends who is available at 22, but it seems the consensus is that after about 15 and up to the end of the 2nd round there is a lot of similar talent. I would prefer having 2 chances to pick a player than one. It does depend on who is on the board at 22 however, if Suzuki or say Valimaki fall I would probably just make the pick. But, if your going off the board with Ratcliffe no matter what then you might as well just trade down

  13. slopitch says:

    Good list LT! Im always intrigued by SHL and USHL picks. I have no proof for this but I think picks from that league do better. Kinda cheering for Klim Kostin to slip now. Sounds like the ultimate swing big pick. Same with Brannstrom.

    Pens getting outplayed and winning. The gap between teams is so small…

  14. jtblack says:

    Yamamoto Love. Yamamoto is one of those late birthdays. His 17 yr old season, he got 19 Goals. He is 5’9″.

    I can tell LT loves this player. Am I missing something?

    And who is his comparable? GAUDREAU?

  15. dustrock says:

    Pink Socks: Never know what can happen in the 2-3 years it would take for him to be a contender to be on the roster.

    Absolutely true, but we know for sure we need more high quality forward prospects.

    If it’s some like Liljegren, then by all means, run to the podium.

    My only concern with Timmins is that he’s one of the older prospects in the draft. He’s zoomed a bit in the last half of the year, and I know people figure it out at different times, particularly d-men, but I’d be a lot more excited about his zooming if he was one of the younger d-men.

    I’m not picking Timmins at 22, but I can see the Oilers doing it.

  16. dustrock says:

    Professor Q:
    Question:

    Why are Hischier and Tippett’s NHLEs not reflective of their scoring prowess, and they should be seen as Offensive Dynamos, but Patrick’s NHLE, which is higher, is seen as low and detrimental to him?

    Seems backwards.

    Patrick plays in the WHL so I believe the idea is his points totals don’t have as much cachet as the CHL.

  17. dustrock says:

    jtblack:
    Yamamoto Love.Yamamoto is one of those late birthdays.His 17 yr old season, he got 19 Goals.He is 5’9″.

    I can tell LT loves this player.Am I missing something?

    And who is his comparable?GAUDREAU?

    I love Yamamoto and Suzuki. I’d love either of them on the Oilers. Size is the concern.

    Yamamoto could be Gaudreau. His numbers are awesome.

    I would be ecstatic if the OIlers could grab either of them on draft day.

  18. dustrock says:

    LT do you think Poehling could be a home run pick?

  19. 36 percent body fat says:

    Lowetide, I like your rankings. Skill is the major factor, not size. Tampa, Winnipeg and Arizona seem to be drafting like this. I just wish the oilers would. As seen in the Hall trade you can trade skill from a position of strength for other needs later. If you maximize skill at the draft than you will have an abundance to trade from.

    The draft is like seeing a wad of money on the floor. You only get to pick 7 pieces. Take the bills with the highest value first. Do not take the coins because they weigh more. You can always trade the 5 dollar bill if you have too many in your pocket for two loonies and some change to complete the collection if you need to have a certain amount of pieces for under 73 dollars.

    Follow the consensus list close, when in doubt go with the highest 5×5 NHLE while comparing ice time (Raddysh cough cough), avoid tier 2 junoir, the Q, minimize USHL, and draft goalies late/

    The draft is a crap shoot and it is best to play the odds and maximize value. These are statistically the best methods to a draft unless the GM is a true Genius.

  20. Professor Q says:

    dustrock: Patrick plays in the WHL so I believe the idea is his points totals don’t have as much cachet as the CHL.

    The WHL is the CHL though. Generally more difficult to score in the WHL, least so in the Q. OHL seems to produce decent scorers, however.

  21. Ducey says:

    dustrock: Nick Suzuki

    Suzuki doesn’t seem that small – 5’11” 183 lbs. Can’t see any way he is there at 22.

    Yamamoto is Gaureau sized, which is pretty small. I know people round here love the tiny guys with big boxcars, but the odds are very much against these guys. He better have some amazing wheels and terrific vision and agility – otherwise he is going to get crushed too often to make it.

  22. russ99 says:

    I like Timmins, but I also think that the lack of organizational skill below the NHL roster + Puljujarvi that #22 pretty much has to be a forward.

    I also think it’s a real longshot that Timmins falls into the second round in a range where could move to pick him, and at this point we need the players in the system that we’d give up in picks to trade for that second rounder.

  23. dustrock says:

    Ducey: Suzuki doesn’t seem that small – 5’11” 183 lbs. Can’t see any way he is there at 22.

    Yamamoto is Gaureau sized, which is pretty small. I know people round here love the tiny guys with big boxcars, but the odds are very much against these guys. He better have some amazing wheels and terrific vision and agility – otherwise he is going to get crushed too often to make it.

    Seems like a pretty crap draft this year, I’d go for a home run pick like Yamamoto.

    Or, to completely contradict myself, Brannstrom, Leftorium be damned.

  24. Ducey says:

    36 percent body fat:
    Lowetide, I like your rankings.Skill is the major factor, not size.Tampa, Winnipeg and Arizona seem to be drafting like this. I just wish the oilers would.As seen in the Hall trade you can trade skill from a position of strength for other needs later.If you maximize skill at the draft than you will have an abundance to trade from.

    The draft is like seeing a wad of money on the floor.You only get to pick 7 pieces.Take the bills with the highest value first.Do not take the coins because they weigh more. You can always trade the 5 dollar bill if you have too many in your pocket for two loonies and some change to complete the collection if you need to have a certain amount of pieces for under 73 dollars.

    Follow the consensus list close,when in doubt go with the highest 5×5 NHLE while comparing ice time (Raddysh cough cough), avoid tier 2 junoir, the Q, minimize USHL, and draft goalies late/

    The draft is a crap shoot and it is best to play the odds and maximize value.These are statistically the best methods to a draft unless the GM is a true Genius.

    If Taylor Hall was 5’9″ and 160 lbs he would not have been taken 1st and would not have as much trade value.

    The flip side of the fact small guys are undervalued is that you don’t need to use 1st rounders on them. There are a few undrafted players that come out of the CHL and college that have big boxcars that you can get on the cheap. Connor Sheary, Caggiula, etc.

    Teams are looking for players that can play both ends of the ice. Boxcars are not the whole story. People should know that from watching guys like Gagner.

    Debrincat went in the second round. That’s about where the very top end small guys should go.

  25. TO10801 says:

    2013 may have been a deeper draft than this one, but a comparable for Yamamoto might be Nic Petan. Both are similar in size, except Petan put up 120 points in his draft year. He was on a stacked Portland team that year, which may have boosted his numbers. Even if this draft is weaker than 2013, I don’t think it is unrealistic to think Yamamoto may slip into the 2nd round, and he would be tremendous value in the 2nd round. Debrincat was also a 2nd round pick and had better numbers. I don’t think teams want to make a risky pick in round 1, which is why smaller skill guys usually slip.

  26. dustrock says:

    Ducey: If Taylor Hall was 5’9″ and 160 lbs he would not have been taken 1st and would not have as much trade value.

    The flip side of the fact small guys are undervalued is that you don’t need to use 1st rounders on them. There are a few undrafted players that come out of the CHL and college that have big boxcars that you can get on the cheap. Connor Sheary, Caggiula, etc.

    Teams are looking for players that can play both ends of the ice. Boxcars are not the whole story. People should know that from watching guys like Gagner.

    Debrincat went in the second round. That’s about where the very top end small guys should go.

    Debrincat went in the 2nd round in a much stronger draft, some say the best in years. But I take your point.

    The 2 knocks on Yamamoto are (1) size, obviously, and (2) he’s one of the older prospects.

    Someone like Glass has comparable stats when you account for age.

    The hope with Yamamoto is that he’s Gaudreau or Tyler Johnson. The fear is that he wont’ be able to make it because of his size.

  27. Ducey says:

    dustrock: Seems like a pretty crap draft this year, I’d go for a home run pick like Yamamoto.

    Or, to completely contradict myself, Brannstrom, Leftorium be damned.

    I don’t understand.

    Yamamoto who is unlikely to be great defensively, and had 99 pts in 65 games is a home run.

    But Kole Lind, who had 87 points in 70 games, is a great skater, and likely will play in the NHL at 6’1″ and 200 lbs is a bunt single?

    We are talking 12 points in 5 less games. Lots of that can be explained by line mates, TOI, PP minutes, competition, etc.

    I’d say Lind has a slightly smaller chance of being a homerun, but a lot better chance of being a double or triple (due to a range of skills), and a lot better chance of not being a strike out.

    EDIT. I see your reasonable response above. Thanks

  28. TO10801 says:

    Ducey,

    Small guys are generally hit or miss. If you draft a 6’2” player and the offense doesn’t follow him to the NHL, there is a greater chance he can fill a bottom six role than a 5’7” player. THe probability the player will have an NHL role has to be a major factor in the decision making process.

  29. dustrock says:

    Suzuki will probably go top 10, but he’s the guy I’m really interested in – can play C or RW.

    A younger player, better than everyone except Hischier in terms of primary points/game.

    Speed is the only issue.

  30. dustrock says:

    https://canucksarmy.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/3/2017/05/top-31-variance-5-may-171.png

    Here’s a compilation from Canucks Army of the various rankings from May, I believe.

    Really all over the place.

  31. jtblack says:

    Ducey,

    I agree. Why risk size and or foot speed, when you clearly do not have to takethe chance. There is no gurantee on who will make it, Lind or Yamamoto; so reduce the risk and take Lind.

  32. Dino says:

    Suzuki is the player I hope we can somehow draft but everyone all of a sudden has him in the top 15. Maybe he drops. I also want Yamamoto if we can’t get Suzuki. We need some right handed skill in the system pronto.

  33. Whatif says:

    The draft is all about accumulating valuable assets. It is not necessarily about filling specific holes in the NHL or AHL rosters.

    It is generally acknowledged that D men are the most valuable commodity, short of a generational player. You only have to look at how hard it is to acquire a top pairing D man to realize how valuable they are. In particular, RHD men who are puck movers are especially valuable.

    If one looks at the strength that Anaheim and Carolina have in their D corps then you realize the flexibility they have in subsequently making trades that can improve their respective teams.

    For this reason, I would not be adverse to the Oilers drafting high potential D men wherever possible. Over time they will give the team very solid defense and the ability to deal for specific players they need to achieve that elusive ‘balance’.

  34. dustrock says:

    jtblack:
    Ducey,

    I agree.Why risk size and or foot speed, when you clearly do not have to takethe chance.There is no gurantee on who will make it, Lind or Yamamoto; so reduce the risk and take Lind.

    I’d be very happy with any of Thomas, Brannstrom, or Lind.

    I’d be extremely happy with Suzuki or Lias Andersson but doubt they’ll be there at 22.

  35. Melman says:

    Thanks for all the effort on another fine draft season LT. Incredibly refreshing as an Oiler fan to be forced to look past the top 5, let alone top 10, when pondering who the team will call first.

    Fun question: Of your annual mock pick lists for the Oilers, #1 OVs aside, what’s the highest # of players that the team actually picked that matched up with your mock Oiler list?

  36. jtblack says:

    Hearing media say pre Vegas deals are tough “Player for Player” as even though a team can get rid of a player they might lose, then they most likely have to Protect the player coming in.

    So maybe more trades like : Player for ELC player or picks??

  37. jtblack says:

    Also, whoever we draft is most likely 3 yrs + away from playing. 4 players played from 2016 draft last yr. 14 from 2015. So 18 kids in 2 years. We wil need to develop #22

  38. Ryan says:

    jtblack,

    What about forwards for d?

    There will be a fire sale on d pre expansion draft.

  39. Lowetide says:

    Melman:
    Thanks for all the effort on another fine draft season LT.Incredibly refreshing as an Oiler fan to be forced to look past the top 5, let alone top 10, when pondering who the team will call first.

    Fun question:Of your annual mock pick lists for the Oilers, #1 OVs aside, what’s the highest # of players that the team actually picked that matched up with your mock Oiler list?

    Two. McDavid and Bear. McDavid was a given, but Bear was a nice surprise. 🙂

  40. Lowetide says:

    dustrock:
    LT do you think Poehling could be a home run pick?

    I wish we had more track on him, would call him intriguing. I can’t say for certain he’ll b a strong offensive player, and that is a factor for me.

  41. Lowetide says:

    Professor Q:
    Question:

    Why are Hischier and Tippett’s NHLEs not reflective of their scoring prowess, and they should be seen as Offensive Dynamos, but Patrick’s NHLE, which is higher, is seen as low and detrimental to him?

    Seems backwards.

    I think they’re all comparable. Patrick is a good player no doubt, but here’s been in his league for a long stretch now. If he were an impact F, I think he would have shown it.

  42. TO10801 says:

    Lowetide,

    Based on Chia’s history in the last two drafts do you see him going for a one-dimensional scorer? Based on his past in later rounds I would expect someone like Poehling, Norris, Bowers or Ratcliffe could be on his radar for their 2-way ability even with a lower offensive ceiling.

  43. Lowetide says:

    dustrock:
    LT Brannstrom really an ideal fit for the Oilers? LHD is the 2nd last position I’d be looking at (Goalie)

    He is mobile and a modern prototype. You won’t hear me bitching if they take him at No. 22, but I don’t think it will happen.

  44. Lowetide says:

    TO10801:
    Lowetide,

    Based on Chia’s history in the last two drafts do you see him going for a one-dimensional scorer? Based on his past in later rounds I would expect someone like Poehling, Norris, Bowers or Ratcliffe could be on his radar for their 2-way ability even with a lower offensive ceiling.

    If Tippett or Tolvanen are available, he grabs them imo. By the time Edmonton picks, it’ll be a little more difficult because the players are different shades of grey.

  45. dustrock says:

    Lowetide: If Tippett or Tolvanen are available, he grabs them imo. By the time Edmonton picks, it’ll be a little more difficult because the players are different shades of grey.

    I think Kournianos and Pronman both have Tolvanen at #4. I have a lot of time for both guys.

  46. jtblack says:

    Ryan,

    Well, I think the equation is similiar. Say edmonton Traded Letestu cause they won’t protect him and got back a D. If they make the trade, then they would want to protect that D man, so now they have to protect 4 D, instead of 3. Then can only protect 4 F’s, so they would have to open up another good F in the draft ..

    Follow?

    Say Anaheim Moved Silverberg out and brought back a D man. sure ,they don’t lose Silverberg, but they will have to expose the D man they got back for him?

  47. jtblack says:

    jtblack,

    There could be times when it works out, but overall I think it will make most player for player trades difficult.

  48. John Chambers says:

    TSN has a mock expansion draft simulator up:
    http://www.tsn.ca/nhl/assemble-the-knights/draft-simulator

    Here’s Chambers’ team (wildly unrealistic that certain players are exposed, but nevertheless):

    Namestnikov Perreault J. Anderson
    Dzingel Eller Kassian
    Sobotka Helm Dowd
    Ferland Nash Leivo
    Laughton Josefsen R. Boucher

    Ekholm – Brodin
    Gorges – J. Schultz
    Davidson – Manson
    Lindell – Petrovic
    Van Riemsdyk – Pulock
    Mueller

    Varlamov
    Darling
    Raanta
    Domingue

  49. TO10801 says:

    In his off-season game plan for the sharks, Cullen thinks Braun may be available or exposed in expansion. Its difficult because its within our division, but that is a tremendous shutdown RD. I would send Nuge to LV straight across for Braun. Maybe an opportunity to avoid Russell resigning as well.
    With sekera back we could run:
    Klef-Larsson
    Sekera-Braun
    Nurse-Benning

    That’s the type of D that could go deep into the spring.

  50. Melman says:

    Lowetide,

    Nice pull on Bear – especially fun since he’s tracked so well post-draft.

  51. jtblack says:

    John Chambers,

    Avs had 166 Goals last year. That lineup might not get 140

  52. trencan says:

    John Chambers:
    TSN has a mock expansion draft simulator up:
    http://www.tsn.ca/nhl/assemble-the-knights/draft-simulator

    Here’s Chambers’ team (wildly unrealistic that certain players are exposed, but nevertheless):

    NamestnikovPerreaultJ. Anderson
    Dzingel EllerKassian
    Sobotka Helm Dowd
    FerlandNash Leivo
    LaughtonJosefsen R. Boucher

    Ekholm – Brodin
    Gorges – J. Schultz
    Davidson – Manson
    Lindell – Petrovic
    Van Riemsdyk – Pulock
    Mueller

    Varlamov
    Darling
    Raanta
    Domingue

    Well I still dont understand the Davidson trade, it was poor move by Chia in my opinion…

  53. jtblack says:

    trencan,

    Me neither. if they kept him and exposed him, they lose him … but trading for a player who you knew would not return (DD), now you lose Davidson and one of Letestu, Khaira, Reinhart …

    Keep him and you only lose 1 player. Now we lose 2. I have to believe there was some method to PC’s madness, but not sure – so someone smarter please explain !!!!!!!!!

  54. John Chambers says:

    jtblack:
    John Chambers,

    Avs had 166 Goals last year. That lineup might not get 140

    There is definitely an advantage to LV picking defensemen, and they’ll have to trade their surplus D for some talented scorers, while adding UFA’s.

    Whom they select, and who suits up for their inaugural game are two very different things.

  55. TO10801 says:

    John Chambers,

    I’m excited to see who Vegas picks, but far more excited for the flurry of trades that follow. Will be interesting to see who they can lure our for legitimate scorers. I do wonder if they go after say Oshie and another scoring forward in FA and then simply stock up on prospects and picks for the players they draft.

  56. Lowetide says:

    John Chambers: There is definitely an advantage to LV picking defensemen, and they’ll have to trade their surplus D for some talented scorers, while adding UFA’s.

    Whom they select, and who suits up for their inaugural game are two very different things.

    Probably draft their own set and then another three or so for trading. I think players like Slepyshev, who can be sent to the minors without worry of waivers, might have a little extra value.

  57. Professor Q says:

    Lowetide,

    Would said players have value pre- and post-draft as well? As in, would the trades assocoated with expansion continue on a bit after the draft day?

  58. Marc says:

    TO10801:
    2013 may have been a deeper draft than this one, but a comparable for Yamamoto might be Nic Petan. Both are similar in size, except Petan put up 120 points in his draft year. He was on a stacked Portland team that year, which may have boosted his numbers. Even if this draft is weaker than 2013, I don’t think it is unrealistic to think Yamamoto may slip into the 2nd round, and he would be tremendous value in the 2nd round. Debrincat was also a 2nd round pick and had better numbers. I don’t think teams want to make a risky pick in round 1, which is why smaller skill guys usually slip.

    2012 is a good example of a poor draft year and provides a bit of a reality check as to what we can realistically expect for five years from now.

    Five years later, 4 of the bottom 10 picks of the first round of the 2012 have played fewer than 10 NHL games and they all look like busts or replacement level NHL players at best. The remaining 6 players have all played 50+ NHL games by now. There’s 1 top six F (Pearson), 3 developing second pairing D (Maatta, Matheson, Skjei) and a couple bottom six F (Gaunce, Matteau).

    Only 1 of the first 10 picks of the second round has played 50+ NHL games now (Di Giuseppe) and none of the 10 look like much more than replacement level NHL players

    In other words, the 20 draft picks taken at the end of the first and beginning of the second round in 2012 – the pool from which the Oilers will be fishing this year – produced just 4 good (ie. top six F/ top four D/1 G) NHL players, and another half dozen or so usefu/marginal ones 5 years later.

    Set your expectations accordingly….

  59. Lowetide says:

    Professor Q:
    Lowetide,

    Would said players have value pre- and post-draft as well? As in, would the trades assocoated with expansion continue on a bit after the draft day?

    I imagine we’ll see a ton of trades in the hours and even days following. LV is going to be busy. Minnesota made seven before October 1 of their expansion
    http://www.nhltradetracker.com/user/trade_list_by_team/Minnesota_Wild/5

    Vegas many more I would guess.

  60. Scungilli Slushy says:

    Player info 2016/2017 season

    Top 50 scorers:

    Under 190 lbs – 13

    Under 5’11” – 7

    Weight is ‘less’ important than height. With speed becoming critical to creating open ice, many lighter players score fairly well. However the reach and leverage advantages of height seem to be key, I believe also with shooting as players use leverage on their sticks now to create velocity, as opposed to brute strength, like Bobby Hull shooting as hard as Weber, but using a 2×2 as they did BITD.

    It’s probably why there are a lot more players at 180 – 190 in the league than guys under 5’10”. Anybody can make it, but if a really short and light guy can’t score like Panarin it’s a wasted pick IMO, because they have only one home on an NHL team and that is as a top scorer.

  61. John Chambers says:

    Marc,

    Thanks for that illustration.

    I’ve made the point on this site over the years that you’re better served converting late 1st’s, seconds, and thirds into actual NHL players, especially if your competition window is open, rather than take the gamble on futures.

    That’s not to say that Chiarelli won’t or shouldn’t use the pick at #22, just that the player, or Tyler Benson, could be dealt at the deadline to load up for next years playoff run.

    But if I had the choice to offer Vegas the #22 overall in exchange for Petrovic, while they also took Pouliot, to me is sensible asset management.

  62. leadfarmer says:

    John Chambers:
    TSN has a mock expansion draft simulator up:
    http://www.tsn.ca/nhl/assemble-the-knights/draft-simulator

    Here’s Chambers’ team (wildly unrealistic that certain players are exposed, but nevertheless):

    NamestnikovPerreaultJ. Anderson
    Dzingel EllerKassian
    Sobotka Helm Dowd
    FerlandNash Leivo
    LaughtonJosefsen R. Boucher

    Ekholm – Brodin
    Gorges – J. Schultz
    Davidson – Manson
    Lindell – Petrovic
    Van Riemsdyk – Pulock
    Mueller

    Varlamov
    Darling
    Raanta
    Domingue

    Well Darling will be the one protected now that he got traded. Grubauer and Raanta is a good place to start

  63. Scungilli Slushy says:

    Over the years there has been much debate about drafting best players available etc. To me it is clear that outside of the top 5 or 10 or 15 depending on the year nobody can tell who the BPA is.

    So, a team should draft who they see as BPA in the holes they have to fill. We have seen how the Oilers have struggled to move high drafted players to fill holes, the lack of liquidity in trading means it’s hard to translate assets.

    Left shot players are the majority of the population. I would definitely draft right shot centres and D, because if you have to trade a young asset those are who every team is after, and the team is still more set on the left. Then goalies unless a really good one falls.

  64. Scungilli Slushy says:

    John Chambers:
    Marc,

    Thanks for that illustration.

    I’ve made the point on this site over the years that you’re better served converting late 1st’s, seconds, and thirds into actual NHL players, especially if your competition window is open, rather than take the gamble on futures.

    That’s not to say that Chiarelli won’t or shouldn’t use the pick at #22, just that the player, or Tyler Benson, could be dealt at the deadline to load up for next years playoff run.

    But if I had the choice to offer Vegas the #22 overall in exchange for Petrovic, while they also took Pouliot, to me is sensible asset management.

    I largely agree. I also believe in following the odds. I think trading up increases odds for picks outside of the top of the second round. Some think trading down means more chances but to me a higher success rate than more whacks at a lower success rate, and I believe it is easier to project better players, less guessing.

  65. Marc says:

    John Chambers,

    Agreed.

    And the case for doing so this year is particularly strong, both because its a weak draft and because the expansion draft means that better than average players should be available for trade prior to the draft.

    Because so many of its best forwards are so young, the Oilers will likely use one of its protected slots on either Letestu (4th liner) or Khaira (likely ceiling – 4th liner). At the same time, there will be teams who, either because of NMCs, or because they’re protecting 4 D, are faced with losing a top 6 F to LV for nothing.

    If the Oilers can turn a first round pick that has perhaps a 1/4 chance of turning into a good player in 5 years (and about a 50% of being a bust) into a top 6 F that can help next season, it seems like a no brainer to me, even if it means losing a player like Letestu or Khaira that would have otherwise been protected.

  66. Lowetide says:

    Scungilli Slushy:
    Over the years there has been much debate about drafting best players available etc. To me it is clear that outside of the top 5 or 10 or 15 depending on the year nobody can tell who the BPA is.

    Except teams hire scouts and scouts are paid to be sure. As difficult as it is to suss out the difference between Hague and Brannstrom, scouts absolutely have a book on each and can tel you what’s what. So, I think the vagueness of the draft, from our view, does not exist for scouts and managers. They may be wrong, but they are sure.

  67. Scungilli Slushy says:

    Lowetide: Except teams hire scouts and scouts are paid to be sure. As difficult as it is to suss out the difference between Hague and Brannstrom, scouts absolutely have a book on each and can tel you what’s what. So, I think the vagueness of the draft, from our view, does not exist for scouts and managers. They may be wrong, but they are sure.

    I know, but a shrewd manager should make decisions based on long term success. Use the scout’s input but for higher value picks. Morale is important but surely the scouts can roll with that logic.

  68. Lowetide says:

    Scungilli Slushy: I know, but a shrewd manager should make decisions based on long term success. Use the scout’s input but for higher value picks. Morale is important but surely the scoutscan roll with that logic.

    Sure, based on instruction. Slats told the scouts in 1994 that he didn’t need two impact players at No. 4 and No. 6, but both men needed to play.

  69. godot10 says:

    Scungilli Slushy:
    Over the years there has been much debate about drafting best players available etc. To me it is clear that outside of the top 5 or 10 or 15 depending on the year nobody can tell who the BPA is.

    So, a team should draft who they see as BPA in the holes they have to fill. We have seen how the Oilers have struggled to move high drafted players to fill holes, the lack of liquidity in trading means it’s hard to translate assets.

    Left shot players are the majority of the population. I would definitely draft right shot centres and D, because if you have to trade a young asset those are who every team is after, and the teamis still more set on the left. Then goalies unless a really good one falls.

    99% of the players you draft are not going to help for five years (if one is a good hockey team).
    You can’t know where your holes are going to be in five years, so one should draft the best potential player.

    One should focus on college free agents to fill holes in the development pipeline.

  70. Jaxon says:

    godot10: 99% of the players you draft are not going to help for five years (if one is a good hockey team).
    You can’t know where your holes are going to be in five years, so one should draft the best potential player.

    One should focus on college free agents to fill holes in the development pipeline.

    Almost every team will always have a right wing and right D hole. Edmontonn has had those holes for 5 or 6 years. Maybe more.

  71. Rondo says:

    Robin Salo would be a good 2nd pick for the Oilers.

  72. Rondo says:

    Oilers list no order

    Lias Andersson,
    Kailer Yamamoto,
    Erik Brainstorm,
    Nicolas Hague
    Ryan Poehling,
    Klim Kostin,
    Isaac Ratcliffe,
    Robert Thomas,
    Kole Lind
    Jason Robertson,
    Maxime Comtois
    Josh Norris

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