Blue Morning

This is David Musil. He could do us all a gigantic favor and turn into an NHL calibre defenseman toot-sweet.

I think there’s one thing we all agree on: drafting for need is a terrible thing to do. Mel Kiper used to say (at every NFL draft) “the New York Jets once again show they have no idea how the draft works” and for good reason. The Oilers have a long history of drafting forwards with their first pick and spending a second pick in the first round on a defender. They are unlikely to take a goalie in the first round again–the last being Devan Dubnyk in 2004–more than once in the next couple of decades.

Yesterday, speeds dropped by (in the thread below) and made some interesting comments in terms of what the Oilers need moving forward. It was a very interesting take and I thought it might be an idea to have a longer look at what he said:

  • speeds: I am hopeful that Petry, Klefbom, Musil, Teubert, Plante, etc have good seasons, so that adding a D in the first round of 2012 might tend to make less sense for the Oilers. I don’t agree that the Oilers need a D more than a F at this point. Yes, the Oilers have Hall etc in the NHL, but they are already in the NHL. They’ll improve (hopefully), but they are already taking up a roster spot. In terms of actual prospects, the Oilers aren’t nearly as forward heavy as some think, IMO.

That’s two different comments spliced together but gives the general idea. From my point of view, the Oilers are likely to select in the 4-10 range at the 2012 NHL entry draft. That means Nail Yakupov is likely gone and we know next year’s draft is defense-heavy. I know speeds would agree that BPA is always the better plan, but let’s say that at the time the Oilers pick there is a forward and defender available of equal value. Which player would you select?

History tells us the forward will be NHL ready earlier and that he’s more likely to deliver on the bet. The defender (based on history) will develop more slowly and if rushed to the NHL is likely to struggle badly. Here’s my top 20 prospect list and I’ll also list my top 5 F’s and D’s:

Forwards

  1. C Ryan Nugent-Hopkins
  2. L Curtis Hamilton
  3. L Teemu Hartikainen
  4. C Anton Lander
  5. R Tyler Pitlick

Defensemen

  1. Oscar Klefbom
  2. Jeff Petry
  3. Martin Marincin
  4. David Musil
  5. Jeremie Blain

Okay, with that as the backdrop would you take an F or a D? Understanding that the Oilers have Hall, Eberle, Paajarvi, Omark, RNH, Gagner and others up front and the current cast on the blue. Also understanding that the club could trade an Ales Hemsky for a young veteran on defense sometime in the next few months.

Forward? or a D?

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