I’ve run my top 60 through the Oilers draft lens to compare my list to what the Oilers did on draft day. No real value, but it’s interesting to have a look back and see how things rolled out. It was a weird draft year, reflected by the fact the final pick I made was ranked No. 52 on my final list! THIS was one crazy draft, and it’ll be interesting to see if some of these players who didn’t get picked at all find their way onto draft lists next summer.
OILERS AT NO. 3 OVERALL: LEON DRAISAITL
LOWETIDE AT NO. 3 OVERALL: SAM BENNETT
I’m fine with Draisaitl, even more than that, actually. I love the idea of finally having a skill center with size, and suspect Draisaitl has a better chance of playing this fall than Bennett (Leon is eight months older). Bennett’s wide range of skills will be a formidable test for the Oilers though, as the hockey Gods placed him just down the QE2.
OILERS AT NO. 91 OVERALL: WILLIAM LAGESSON
LOWETIDE AT NO. 91 OVERALL: SPENCER WATSON
Lagesson is a fine pick, definitely in the range of where he was taken. My guy Watson barely got onto the board, taken with the second last selection in the entire draft. Red Line report offers some insight, saying “(Watson) has very good offensive zone instincts, but honestly, we think he’s a product of playing alongside Sam Bennett.” Red Line had him second round (as did I) but NHL teams nicked him heavily and Watson was taken in Round 7.
OILERS AT NO. 111 OVERALL: ZACH NAGELVOORT
LOWETIDE AT NO. 111 OVERALL: DYSIN MAYO
Nagelvoort was ranked (ISS had him) and he shouldn’t be considered a wayward selection. His save percentage numbers are pretty stellar, to be honest I’m excited to follow his career at Michigan. Mayo was also ranked second round by Red Line, who compared him to Kevin Klein. I made the point yesterday that Oiler scouts would have had every opportunity to heavily scout these kids and they clearly found them wanting. Mayo did make some strides in the second half of the season, and he was selected No. 133 overall—suggesting other teams may have agreed with the Oilers.
OILERS AT NO. 130 OVERALL: LIAM COUGHLIN
LOWETIDE AT NO. 130 OVERALL: DEXTER DANCS
In a strange twist, The Oilers took a guy from the Vernon Vipers and my list matched, save for the name. Coughlin is the selection many Oiler fans are finding hard to agree with, and despite the fact he was taken No. 130 there was value remaining in a wonky draft. Red Line didn’t have a thing on Coughlin, but did rave about Dancs, comparing him to Wayne Simmonds and ranking him as a late second-round pick. The fact that Dancs—a power forward prospect, a very valuable thing—wasn’t drafted suggests there may be a hitch in his giddyup.
OILERS AT NO. 153 OVERALL: TYLER VESEL
LOWETIDE AT NO. 153 OVERALL: VLADIMIR TKACHEV
Oilers take a fascinating selection I’ve warmed to since reading about him, and Vesel is part of the new breed I’ll call draft and college. Edmonton gets a nice long look at this player for as many as four years before making a decision. My guy Tkachev wasn’t taken because of size (5.08, 163) but he enjoyed a brilliant run in 2013-14 and should find his way to a high level someday.
OILERS AT NO. 183 OVERALL: KEVEN BOUCHARD
LOWETIDE AT NO. 183 OVERALL: ANDREW MANGIAPANE
Keven Bouchard is the kind of pick I like, April 1996 who is perhaps obscured by other players who were drafted before him. Kind of a Tristan Jarry-lite item if you will, this is the kind of selection I prefer because there’s more room to be pleasantly surprised by a distant bell. Mangiapane is another Red Line sleeper, they have him fourth round and say “Little engine that could is small and has never been considered a real prospect his whole life – not even for the OHL. But against all odds, has become one.”
LOWETIDE RANKING FOR MY PICKS
- (1) C Sam Bennett—This is such a close race, but he’s my No. 1 pick. Range of skills, quality center.
- (37) L Spencer Watson—Pure goal scorer, he’s an impressive skill player.
- (42) D Dysin Mayo—A mobile, creative defenseman who can make plays.
- (43) L Dexter Dancs—Sleeper power forward.
- (49) L Vladimir Tkachyov—Small, skilled Russian with a ridiculous Q run.
- (52) C Andrew Mangiapane—Extra Skater superstar, his EV/60 is 3.4 and that’s outstanding.
LOWETIDE RANKING FOR OILERS PICKS
- (3) C Leon Draisaitl—This is a fine hockey player. No one should be surprised if he goes No. 3 overall.
- (77) D William Lagesson—Two-way defender, interesting bio.
- (91) G Zachary Nagelvoort: College goalie with good to very good numbers.
One weird draft. My list has a terrific center with a range of skills in the Nuge tradition, three small skill forwards, a power forward everyone passed on and the Oil King Mayo. Edmonton gets that big center they’ve been looking for since Arnott, a two-way defender and a nice goalie bet. It’s easy to forget Edmonton lacked a second and a third, and it’s also true they received value for their first three picks.
The only real quarrel is the three later picks, and even then Vesel and Bouchard have a story to tell. So, two weeks later it’s down to one name to get huffy over. I love skill, Oilers love it too but they want it in a bigger package and clearly wanted more time to evaluate this year’s distant bells.
This ends my look at the 2014 Entry draft, I hope you enjoyed it. We’ll have a short bathroom break, maybe a bit of fresh air, and I’ll begin the reasonable expectations series on Monday. I have chosen Joni Mitchell, so if you have any major bitches about it speak now or forever hold your peace. Thanks as always for your patience, suspect my draft stuff becomes a little ponderous as the days roll.