Since the Oilers are clearly focused on centermen this year, I wondered how deep the list is at the position. Turns out there are a lot of solid prospects listed as centers.
- C Nathan MacKinnon: Wide range of skills, outstanding prospect and a Sept 1 birthday.
- C Sasha Barkov: Size, across the board skills and he’s playing in a pro league.
- C Elias Lindholm: Outstanding talent, may end up playing the wing.
- C Sean Monahan: Oilers target, key tumbler for new MacT building up the middle. Wide range of skills.
- C Bo Horvat: Trending due to nice range of skills. Solid offense, tough and a load.
- C Curtis Lazar: Nice range of skills, strong player who provides enough offense to bat high in the order.
- C Max Domi: Subpar Memorial Cup will hurt his final draft number.
- C Hunter Shinkaruk: Somewhat one dimensional, but that dimension (shooter) is golden.
- C Fredrik Gauthier: 6.05, 210 C with skill, intimidating size and he’ll likely play on a skill line.
- C Nicolas Petan: I know, he’s very small. Don’t care.
- C JT Compher: Wide range of skills, a very nice skill set.
- C Alex Wennberg: Lanky skill center with speed and quickness; playing in Swe2 league.
- C Laurent Dauphin: A very nice skill player.
- C Ryan Hartman: Good skater very good awareness a player who is no fun to play against!*
- C Greg Chase: Nice combination of skill and grit.
- C John Hayden: Big C with some skill.
- C Miro Aaltonen: 20-year skill C, underized.
- C Connor Hurley: Hurley is a strong, two-way forward
- C Jimmy Lodge: Lodge is a wiry forward who plays with good intensity and energy.
- C Ryan Fitzgerald: Smart C, undersized.
The Oilers are in dire need of help at center. If we include Sam Gagner (rfa) on the list, here’s how the C depth chart looks today:
- Ryan Nugent-Hopkins
- Sam Gagner
- Shawn Horcoff
- Eric Belanger
- Anton Lander
- Marc Arcobello
- Ryan Martindale
- Andrew Miller
- Travis Ewanyk
- Jujhar Khaira
Jason Gregor’s article about Corban Knight makes complete sense, and I also think we might want to think about the Oilers using their pick at #56 on a center. If they walk away from the first two rounds with Sean Monahan, Tristan Jarry and Greg Chase, that would improve the C depth chart markedly and begin the long process of shoring up G as well.
Are the Oiler deep enough at defense and wing to focus their three major picks on C & G? From here, it looks like the obvious option.