Draft Talk – TheOilKnight.ca
 

Category: Draft Talk

 

2018 Edmonton Oilers Mock Draft

Man, was this hard to do. There are so many prospects I like it’s hard to just pick one or two each round. Like many GM’s my draft board has changed several times. Now that the combine is over I’ve changed my tune a bit for the Tenth overall pick. Plenty of talk of certain guys dropping it’s hard to guess who will even be there at #10 but we’ll give it a shot. I’m now going to assume that the Top 7 picks in no particular order are going to be:

Dahlin, Svechnikov, Hughes, Zadina, Tkachuk, Dobson and Wahlstrom. That means at #10 the Oilers would be potentially looking at guys like Evan Bouchard, Adam Boqvist, Jesperi Kotkaniemi, Joel Farabee, Ty Smith or ugh… Barrett Hayton (please no). With that said….

 

1st Round (10th overall)

TRADE DOWN! Seriously. Acquire a lower 1st rounder plus a roster player and/or more picks overall. Once you trade down you can take Bode Wilde, Dominik Bokk or even Ty Dellandrea last 1st round. If they don’t manage to trade down….

Who I would pick:

RW Vitaly Kravtsov. Whenever I project Top 10 players I always look for that WOW factor. Some ELITE qualities that are rare to find in each draft. From the first time I viewed him I was immediately drawn to Kravtsov. His skating, stickhandling and vision are all top notch. He is just a natural playmaker who has a knack for finding the open ice or the open man. His wrist shot is deadly and he has the ability to make defenders look silly. Sam Cosentino once said he has “sick skill” and he’s exactly right. He also broke Evgeni Kuznetsov’s rookie record for points in the KHL playoffs with 11 points in 16 games. Ironically enough that’s exactly who I have compared Kravtsov to – Kuznetsov.

Edmonton has never had a good history drafting Russians in the past but who cares. All it takes is one player to break that mould. They drafted Kirill Maksimov & Dima Samorukov and both of them seem to be trending well. I refuse to NOT draft a guy because of his nationality. There are 144 Million people in Russia and they’re not all the same. Vitali Kravtsov is not Nail Yakupov. You mean to tell me if this guy is the next Malkin, Ovechkin, Kuznetsov or Kucherov you still wouldn’t want him? C’mon. Kravtsov looks like a phenom who like Kuz might need a couple years to fill out physically but will be more than worth the wait. You imagine this talent playing with McDavid or Draisaitl? 

With all the talk of Kravtsov skyrocketing up the draft boards late I can’t say that I am surprised. In fact, I predicted it back in January…

 

No more Wilde?

I know I said before I would take Bode Wilde in my previous mock at #10 if all the other RD were gone but I changed my mind. I’m allowed to because the draft is still a week away. LOL. The combine just wrapped up along with team interviews and the World Junior roster for U.S. have been announced and he was left off. I still like Wilde as a prospect despite his defensive flaws but can’t justify taking him at #10. He has a great shot and is an excellent skater capable of quarterbacking a Powerplay but his decision making does need work which I’ve always conceded. Guys like Matt Dumba, Jake Gardiner & even Dustin Byfuglien were all in Top 20 scoring last year for defencemen and all 3 can be considered questionable decision makers at times with occassional defensive gaffes. Wilde could easily become a similar player to any of those three. Now if the Oilers do in fact trade down to mid-late 1st rd then I would be all for the pick. They need more RHD. But to be honest, Kravtsov who I’ve had a mancrush on since January is too good to pass up. 

 

Who I think the Oilers will pick:

LD Ty Smith. Quick, puck moving defenceman with great leadership qualities and ability to run a PP. He’s more of a safer pick than Wilde. He’s also smaller and not nearly as physical. Like Wilde he didn’t have a great U18’s tourney (or Prospect’s game for that matter). Even his playoffs were ‘meh’. I definitely feel like he’ll be a better Junior player than NHL’er but enough there to warrant the pick I guess. 

 

2nd Round (40th Overall)

Who I would pick: 

If Ryan Merkley is still there – HARD PASS. He’s awful defensively & has real attitude problems. If Ty Dellandrea is still there it’s a no-brainer. If Bokk, Berggren & Calen Addison are gone trade back later in the round. If not, make the pick – Philipp Kurashev. (6’0, 192)

The Swiss born Kurashev doesn’t seem to get much love from many experts but I love this player. I love how he thinks the game. He has tremendous vision, poise and has terrific hands. He is an explosive skater and capable of undressing you with a variety of moves. Such a slick hockey player who is so crafty on the ice. I think there is still considerable upside with him too as a lot of times he passes up a shot trying to make a cute pass instead. He has such a dangerous release once he gets a little more selfish his goal totals could sky rocket. Not the greatest faceoff guy but is very good defensively. Has played LW and may ultimately end up there in NHL. I’ll call him a C/LW with tremendous upside. Should be available right where Edmonton picks in the 2nd round. Big fan of this kid.

Watch the vision and shot release in particular here:

Who I think the Oilers will pick:

LW Sampo Ranta. Ranta is a fast player with and without the puck, has a good hard shot and excellent work ethic. Nice player but nearly as good as Kurashev in my opinion.

 

3rd Round (71st Overall)

Who I would pick:

The Oilers need more talent on the wings. There are plenty of quality American centers they could go with but I’d pick Pavel Gogolev of Peterborough. Gogolev has elite stick handling and playmaking ability. He will need to continue to work on his consistency but he can be a handful when he wants to be. Shoots the puck angry.

Who I think the Oilers will pick:

RW Pavel Gogolev. (6’0″, 170) I picked two correctly last year I think I have a beat on what type of player they look for in the OHL. (Samorukov, Maksimov, Niemelainen the last couple years).

One of the best hat-tricks you’ll find this year:

 

3rd-4th Round (Acquired in a trade)

I’m guessing Chiarelli will either move down in the 1st couple rounds to recover the 4th rounder he lost in the Montoya trade or acquire a 3rd-4th rounder some other way. If he does…

Who I would pick:

RW Riley Sutter. (6’3″, 200) The nephew of VP of Player Development for the Oilers Duane Sutter – is your typical Sutter in that he is hard working and reliable at both ends of the ice. He is a powerful skater and a tough physical presence in front of the net. He wins a lot of puck battles with his size and hustle but is still quick enough to beat defenders. He also scored the most goals in the WHL this year for an 18 yr old. Prototypical power forward who still has enough speed to compete in today’s NHL.

Throwback player who is tough to stop in close:

Who I think the Oilers will pick: RW Riley Sutter. Why not?

 

5th Round (133rd Overall)

Who I would pick:

RD Connor Corcoran. (6’2″, 185). Versatile defenceman who has played forward in the past.  Corcoran is smart, poised, is a good skater with a good shot and is plays a solid 2-way game. He’s 6’2″ 185 and doesn’t turn 18 till August. Plenty of value and some upside here playing for a rebuilding Windsor team. Good puckmover and excellent speed. 

Corcoran’s first NHL goal: (1:55 mark)

http://ontariohockeyleague.com/video/ohl-milestone-moments-week-ending-nov-1316

 

6th Round (164th Overall)

Who I would pick: 

C/LW Paul Cotter. (6’0″, 183). Booming shot, nifty moves and excellent speed. Versatile player. 

Quite the highlight package here:

 

7th Round (195th Overall)

Who I would pick:

G Jordan Kooy. (6’1″, 185). Playing for London, I’ve seen Kooy look absolutely fantastic many times. He is very athletic and has good fundamentals. Needs to work on his rebound control a bit but this kid looks the part and seeing the Oilers may not have a single goalie in the CHL with Skinner potentially turning pro it makes sense to pick a potential sleeper to develop down the road. I’m really high on Kooy.

RECAP:

1st round – RD Bode Wilde

2nd round – C/LW Philipp Kurashev

3rd round – RW Pavel Gogolev

3rd/4th rd – RW Riley Sutter

5th round – D Connor Corcoran

6th round – C/LW Paul Cotter

7th round – G Jordan Kooy

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