We begin our countdown to the draft with a look at possible Oilers selections based on their own past and the available talent this year.
The Oilers spend a tremendous amount of time in the CHL, and most of that time has been devoted to the WHL. I don’t think we’ll see a huge change in their drafting this season–same scouts, same shopping list–so the template has been set.
- SECOND ROUND OPTIONS: The two players I hope Edmonton might look at with their 2nd rd pick are Henrik Samuelsson (Oil Kings) and Dalton Thrower (Blades). Samuelsson is a big power winger with good hands, and the club would certainly have a strong “book” on his work habits and how he’s regarded by his teammates. Thrower improved a bunch this season and has a wide range of skills. Fine skater with good offensive ability, he’s also described as being physical and tough. The defender is 6.0, 185 which is undersized for the position. Tom Wilson (Plymouth Whalers) is a big PF with an enormous physical presence. The offense is going to be a question mark and we shouldn’t expect him to be a 40 point guy but there’s damn sure a market for Tom Wilson. He is reported to have a big brain, which is catnip for the Oilers–has been for years.
- THIRD ROUND OPTIONS: Oilers have picks at 63 and 91 in this round, and they usually go after Coke machines, tall trees and goalies in this area. However, that 2nd rd pick could cover that need and there will be skill available at 63 and 91. I like Tim Bozon (Kamloops Blazers), he’s a good skater and passer, and scored 36-35-71 in 71 WHL games and he may be so good someone takes him before #63. Calle Andersson is another impressive defender from the Farjestad factory and might be available in this area. He’s an excellent passer and has calm feet. Brady Vail (Windsor Spitfires) is a two way winger who made huge progress season over season and is described as being a very good shadow for some of the OHL’s best opponents. Defender Esa Lindell (Jokerit) went 48, 21-30-51 in the Finnish junior league this season and is 6.02, 190. Interesting prospect.
- Mitch Moroz (Edmonton Oil Kings) is a guy I’d think Edmonton will take in the third round if they like him, hoping he’ll turn into that big, tough winger who can keep up to the skill guys.
- Francis Beauvillier (Rimouski Oceanic) He’s a stringbean and doesn’t appear to be a feature player, but he scored 16 even-strength goals in 67 games (tied for 2nd on the team). He’s a terrific skater and apparently played quite a bit on the PK. Might be worth a later selection.
- Jimmy Vesey (South Shore Kings) Blame Kirk Luedeke for this one, he’s talked to me a few times about him and Redline has him as a sleeper pick. Has quickness and anticipates well, an older prospect (turned 19 last month).