We’ve heard this before, but the drum beats are growing louder now: big center Bogdan Yakimov is on his way to North America. He’ll no doubt sign a contract and spend the season in Oklahoma City, but you never know. The Oilers will add the following players to the pro ranks next season:
- Jujhar Khaira
- Mitchell Moroz
- Dillon Simpson
- Jordan Oesterle
- Darnell Nurse (Slide Rule, he’s NHL or back to junior but is signed)
and now Yakimov.
THE COKE MACHINE DRAFT, 2012
As with fashion and the economy, the Edmonton Oilers have ‘in-style’ and ‘out-of-fashion’ cycles that are impossible to ignore. After several years of drafting skill (we’ll call it the Cogliano-Gagner-Eberle era) the club began adding bigger prospects out of order in 2012. For those who don’t remember, the “Coke Machine drafts” of last decade gave Edmonton an uneven return.
- 2000-#35-C Brad Winchester, 6’5, 210
- 2001-#52-C Eddie Caron, 6’2, 230
- 2002-#79-LW Brock Radunske, 6’4, 199
- 2003-#51-RW Colin McDonald, 6’2, 190
- 2003-#68-LW JF Jacques, 6’3.5, 217
- 2003-#94-RW Zach Stortini, 6’4, 225
- 2004-#57-C Geoff Paukovich, 6’4, 207
- 2005-#97-C Chris Vande Velde, 6’2, 190
The new group has one thing going for it—the future is unwritten—but it’s a very good idea to scan that Prendergast list, see how many high picks were spent on pursuing this player, and the relative lack of success enjoyed by the KP drafting group. This is an expensive, expensive investment.
- 2012-#32-L Mitchell Moroz, 6.03, 214
- 2012-#63-C Jujhar Khaira, 6.04, 215
- 2012-#91-L Daniil Zharkov, 6.04, 212
- 2012-#153-R John McCarron, 6.02, 225
The club drafted coke machines in 2009 (Cam Abney), 2010 (Drew Czerwonka), but that 2012 entry draft really stands out. Now, the Coke Machines are on the way, with Moroz and Khaira turning pro this fall (Khaira is impressing in OKC now, scored his first pro goal on the weekend). Who do I regard as the best bet? Jujhar Khaira.
Why? Well, I put him as the #5 overall prospect in the system during the winter top 30, and Todd Nelson (among others) had nice things to say here. Bottom line: He’s a big, physical center who learned the defensive side of the game in junior under Kevin Constantine. He may or may not hit enough, but there’s the foundation of a player there. We’ve gotten excited over less many many times.
LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE
At 10 this morning, it’s the Lowdown. Lots to get to, it’s going to be a laugh riot. Seriously! LAUGH RIOT! Scheduled to appear:
- Scott Burnside, ESPN. We’ll talk about the playoffs, the changes in Washington and what looks like a big week for coaches and GMs in the NHL.
- Kent Ridley, Ridley Scouting. Kent has just published his 2014 CFL Draft Guide, his fifth edition. We’ll talk about it, and the quality and depth in this year’s draft.
- Corey Pronman, ESPN. The IIHF U-18′s are done, and that’s a wrap on the 2014 NHL draft season. We’ll talk about the players who helped their draft stock the most.
- Sam Reinhart, Kootenay Ice. We’ll talk to the young center about the draft, possibly going #1 overall, and playing in the NHL.
10-1260 via text, @Lowetide_ on twitter. See you on the radio!