The Edmonton Oilers selected big forward Jijhar Khaira at the 2012 entry draft. We looked at him here, took about 20 minutes for the comments section to turn him into ‘Jar Jar’ and we found out that there’s a player here.
With the selections outside the first round, I like to collect info a couple of weeks after the draft so we can better understand the reasoning behind the selection. I’ll be doing this for everyone not named Yakupov from this most recent draft, so you can expect to see a few of these over the rest of the summer.
This is Khaira with his Dad (a truck driving man). Khaira the younger is 6.03 and 200 pounds and is slated to play for Michigan Tech (NCAA) in the fall. Former Huskies include Hall of Famer Tony Esposito and current Edmonton Oiler Andy Sutton.
The best profile I’ve read so far came via a Bruce McCurdy Cult of Hockey item that highlighted our own “Crazy Coach” Ben Berland. Berland followed his growth–literally–as a hockey player and gives a very nice thumbnail sketch of Khaira the player:
- Berland: Khaira was now 6’2”, and a runaway freight train. His real strength is on the fore check, in which he uses both his size and his skating ability to the max. Although he doesn’t possess incredible foot speed, his read and react skills are excellent, which can be an exceptional hockey skill to have (easier to teach foot speed than read and react particularly with older players). Wide track skater that reminds me of Kent Nilsson (for all you old timers out there), or Milan Lucic. Has good stickhandling skills and prefers to play the role of playmaker more than shooter. Shooting is excellent, and will shoot when needed, but prefers the pass.
Redline Report identified Khaira as a player of interest, and their scouting report echoed Berland:
- Redline: At Red Line, we believe this kid could be the biggest/best sleeper of the entire draft. This kid is big, mean, aggressive, nasty, and guess what… he can score too. Does the dirty work in the corners, bangs bodies and wins battles, and loves to initiate heavy contact. Powerful stride with great balance and gets leverage on his hits. Has surprisingly soft hands and puck skills with playmaking ability. Creates lots of space for smaller teammates and makes everyone braver. Very raw defensively.
There are plenty of articles online about Khaira, he appears to be a hard working, intelligent young man without an ounce of entitlement. I suspect it’ll be easy to cheer for him.
NHLE: 82, 6-11-17