Draft 2011 NHLE’s: Interesting

David Musil (in photo with ST and Blues logo) is one of the brand new Edmonton Oilers. One of the ways we can begin to understand what these kids are as players is to dissect their numbers. Height, weight, boxcars, etc.

Although it is not a perfect tool, Gabriel Desjardins NHL equivalencies can be an interesting gauge for the big league level of these young men.

Here’s a look at the 6 skaters who played in measurable leagues from this weekend’s draft.

FORWARDS

  1. C Ryan Nugent-Hopkins 11-27-38
  2. C Tobias Rieder 9-10-19
  3. C Travis Ewanyk 5-4-9

What can we learn from this? I think a few things:

  • RNH is among the best offensive players in this year’s draft, comparing well to a typical 3rd or 4th overall pick in the last few seasons. RNH is in the Evander Kane, Matt DuChene, Vladimir Tarasenko range offensively. Shy of a Stamkos or Hall, and in the range will all others at the top of the drafts.
  • Rieder is likely to be sculpted into a 2-way player if he’s going to have a career. Players who score in his NHLE range in previous seasons have a difficult time scoring enough to stay in the lineup. Liam Reddox would be a reasonable comparable.
  • Ewanyk is going to have a tough time. Zack Stortini’s NHLE in his draft year (5-7-12) was superior so we’re looking at an uphill battle for this player. It doesn’t really matter how well he checks, or what he does in the FO circle or even how tough he is, it’s very likely the Oilers will have a better option available when he is ready to push for employment.

These kids may progress beyond what these numbers imply, but at this point (and this is completely reasonable based on draft number) Hopkins is the only forward we should expect to have an NHL career.

DEFENSEMEN

  1. David Musil 2-8-10
  2. Dillon Simpson 2-7-9
  3. Oscar Klefbom 3-3-6
  • Musil isn’t known as an offensive defender, in fact he played a shutdown role in Vancouver based on scouting reports. He’s a nice match in this area for Dylan McIlrath, chosen by the Rangers a year ago.
  • Simpson shows well by this metric when we consider that he didn’t play a lot in the NCAA as a 17-year old. I think Redline may have been a little harsh in regard to what he’ll bring offensively, but we shouldn’t get too excited either.
  • Klefbom’s number doesn’t reflect his lack of playing time in the SEL, and the anecdotal evidence (5, 1-3-4 at the WJ’s) suggests a much better player. Still, it’s a line in the sand and we’d be hard pressed to suggest Klefbom is a future fixture on an NHL powerplay. Those legendary headman passes Redline mentions should result in better numbers than suggested here.

Desjardins tells us the Oilers drafted an outstanding center, three defensive defensemen and a couple of real long shots. We know that everyone on the planet suggested this draft was 40-45 names deep, so it is reasonable to expect some return from RNH, Klefbom and Musil.

After that, it’s all bonus.

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