Day 2 of the NHL entry draft this year was unusual in many ways. The Oilers drafted overagers in rounds 4, 5 and 6.
I like to highlight some of the depth picks after the draft because its kind of a blur over draft weekend and there simply isn’t a lot of information available on these guys. As time passes, google searches give us more and it is nice for future reference to stockpile the info in one spot.
DRAFT DAY COMMENTS
- Stu MacGregor: “Joey Laleggia is not a big guy, but he skates well, moves the puck intelligently. Quick-pass guy. He gets the puck up ice. Real good hockey sense.”
- Corey Pronman: Laleggia enters his third draft-eligible season after a very successful first WCHA season where he was named the conference’s Rookie of the Year. He’s a good skater with a great offensive mind who would be a nice shot in the dark pick in the mid-rounds due to his notable offensive upside. He flashes high-end hockey sense with his quick game processing and he’s really effective moving the puck out of his own end and controlling the blue line on the power play. Laleggia has solid puck skills as well, at times showing above average, but he is a much better passer than he is an individual creator. He skates well, moving fluidly in all four directions. His main weakness is his physical game, which is below replacement level. I’ve seen him listed at 5’10″, which is generous in my opinion as he looks pretty small on the ice, and he is not effective at all when he’s engaging. Despite his hockey smarts, I don’t see him as being effective defensively to any notable degree at the pro level.
- Jonathan Willis:“This is another nice late-round pick. Because Laleggia is a college player, he’ll have more time to fill out and develop his game than a drafted defenseman typically does. This is a long-term pick, a player that might significantly outperform his draft number down the line. It’s a very similar selection to the Zharkov pick in that he’s a boom-or-bust guy who if he does turn out can turn out in a big way. Realistically, a Marc-Andre Bergeron-type career would be a very good return on this pick.”
- ISS: Lots of heart, Undersized D but effective. Good Skater with Mobility, shows offensive flare. Excellent on PP, patient and poised on the point.
After the draft, we found out a little about his time before college and that he grew up with Burnaby Ryan.
Math tells us he’s too small in one column and says ‘sacrebleu’ in the offensive column. His offensive numbers at Denver (43, 11-27-38) were exceptional, but his size (5.10, 180) is on the wrong side of Taylor Chorney. You don’t get 6.05 defenders with this skill in the 5th round, and Lalaggia turned 20 at the draft so he wasn’t exactly at the top of his class as a 17 or 18-year old. It also took a weak draft and 122 spent bullets for him to land.
Having said that, there are things to like about him. Willis does a nice job of identifying his outer marker and now we wait for him to show what he can in his sophomore college season. Pronman does a nice job warning us about his physical size, but also gushes (gushes!) about Laleggia with the puck and placed him inside his top 100–an exceptional accomplishment for an overager in any draft year.
I also think we should watch the Oilers in later rounds next season, as they seem to be drafting overagers in that zone.
- Erik Gustafsson, born March 14, 1992 and was selected at age 20 years, 3 months.
- Joey Lalaggia, born June 24, 1992 and was selected at exactly 20 years old.
- John McCarron, born April 16, 1992 and was selected at age 20 years, 2 months.
During the Stu MacGregor regime, the only other players who were 20 on their draft day were Kyle Bigos (2009) and Jordan Bendfeld (2008). It might be a case of those three players being the best available, but we have seen teams–Vancouver specifically–draft older players in the recent past.
Something to follow for next season.