The Edmonton Oilers 2014 Entry Draft is in the books, and as expected it reminds of 2008. That season, Jordan Eberle was the big selection in the first round, and then it was a long time waiting for another selection. That season, when it came turn for the Oilers to pick, they grabbed a Swedish defenseman, same as this time. In 2008, deep inside the draft the late-round gem appeared (Teemu Hartikainen) and we recognized him right away. This year? Same thing.
In the 2008 Harvest post I wrote:
- Round Six: C Teemu Hartikainen. This is the type of player who can get somewhere from this point in the draft. Good size and strength combination, he has feet of clay but some pluck and desire. Finns seem to be genetically predisposed to playing well in the North American style and based on his resume this fellow would seem like a worthy candidate. The third most valuable player taken by the Oilers this weekend.
And we have another ‘Hartikainen’ this year. More on that in a moment.
Earlier today, we discussed the value of the picks on Day Two. I suggested we should expect a career anywhere from Teemu Hartikainen to Zack Stortini from these picks, and that remains true. Harski’s career total in GP is 52, Stortini’s is 257. Somewhere in here is that player, and maybe he becomes Jason Chimera. The good thing for us today: we know who he is, and we certainly know who he isn’t.
HARVEST MOON 2014
- Round 1, No. 3 overall: C Leon Draisaitl, Prince Albert WHL. 64GP, 38-67-105. NHLE: 82gp, 15-25-40. Bruce McCurdy compared him to a nose tackle, and I think that’s a very good description (if the nose tackle was the quarterback). Wonderful possession center with size, expert passer and creative thinker. Oilers love the big brains, imagine he has a big that, too. An extremely valuable young man.
- Round 4, No. 91 overall: D William Lagesson, Frolunda Swedish Jr. 44GP, 8-12-20. Scrappy defenseman with size and an idea about how to get the puck up effectively, he was very impressive at the U18′s (7GP, 3-0-3 +5) and is a worthy selection. He’s 6.03, 203 so the size that opened with the Draisaitl selection continues here, although I would not call either a Coke Machine selection.
- Round 4, No. 111 overall: G Zach Nagelvoort, Michigan NCAA. 24GP, 2.20 .929 I don’t think they needed to take a goalie here, but if they were going to take one Nagelvoort was a good one. A .929 save percentage out of the box in college? Yes, please. He’s 20, so may not turn pro until his prime, but I’m fine with the player.
- Round 5, No. 130 overall: C Liam Coughlin, Vernon BCJHL. 53GP, 18-27-45. NHLE 82gp, 4-6-10. This is the ‘Evan Campbell Special’. At 17, Jujhar Khaira—who is shy offensively as an NHL prospect—scored 1.46 points-per-game in the BCJHL. At 19, Coughlin scored less than a point-per game. Kirk Luedeke’s text to me: “Big kid, can skate. Had him as my “super sleeper” a year ago, but didn’t see him at Vernon. Raw as hell but passionate, industrious.” Saw him good. I like that. Would love 20 more points from the BCJHL season and it’s hard to justify this pick at No. 130 when there was so much left on the table.
- Round 6, No. 153 overall: R Tyler Vesel, Omaha USHL. 49GP, 33-38-71. NHLE: 82gp, 15-17-32. This is our Hartikainen. Although he’s an older prospect, and should have dominated (which he did), there’s a nice history of offense with this player. I don’t really care about his obscurity, and those numbers are just really good. There’s plenty to criticize in this draft, but the Vesel pick isn’t one of them.
- Round 7, No. 183 overall: G Keven Bouchard, Val d’Or QMJHL. 27GP, 2.95 .887. I’m not going to speak at length about goaltenders, because they are miles from my area of expertise. An .887 save percentage is not a good one. Suspect someone saw him good.
This was not a good draft year, but I believe the Oilers made it less effective than it could have been via goalies and saw him good. I really like the German, the Swede, the Dutchman and the kid from Rochester. Luedeke’s stories about Coughlin have me curious, but I don’t think that’s a pick that will hold it’s value based on what we know.