With the Entry Draft wrapping up today here is my take on how it all went down. Again, I am not a professional scout by any means but I do watch a ton of OHL games live and on TV living in London and scout as a hobby. For more information on what I look for feel free to check out the Scouting Tab on home page.
Here’s who the Oilers took and who I would have took based on how the board fell. Not saying either is right or wrong only time will tell on that.
Oilers select: RW Kailer Yamamoto
OilKnight selects: RD Conor Timmins
I get the Yamamoto pick it makes a lot of sense to me (unlike the Benson over DeBrincat pick last year but I digress). I do not have as much exposure to the WHL admittedly so after hearing his post draft interviews, watching many highlights and reading his scouting reports I see why they went that route. I can’t argue it wasn’t a good pick. Sticking to my board I still would have went with the puck moving defencemen Timmins who ended up going 32nd to Colorado. Both likely will be impact NHL’ers. The real play here was trading up for Robert Thomas who only went 2 picks before to St. Louis.
Oilers select: G Stuart Skinner
OilKnight selects: RW Ivan Lodnia
After drafting G Dylan Wells last year and signing Nick Ellis as a FA I question the need to waste a 3rd rd pick on another goalie. Skinner may well be a good player just question the need that’s all. Lodnia is a dynamic player who was buried on the 4th line on a very deep Erie team. He is a relentless player who high end skill, good hockey IQ and is a gritty 2 way player. I feel the Oilers missed out here on a potential big time sleeper. Time will tell.
Oilers select: D Dimitri Samorukov
OilKnight selects: RW Maksim Sushko
Samorukov reminds me of Markus Niemelainen in that he LOOKS the part but is raw and is purely a project at this point. I do look for guys with translatable NHL skills and having watched Samorukov live a couple of times – he does have the big shot and size but he doesnt appear to be the smoothest skater and has questionable puck moving skills IMO. Lodnia was taken the very next pick after Oilers took Samorukov. Dammit. Sushko would have been my pick assuming I already took Lodnia earlier. Gritty forward with nice speed and good hands he is another kid that should have a breakout year next year. Dynamic playmaker.
Oilers selects: RW Ostap Safin
OilKnight selects: RD Markus Phillips
Markus Phillips ended up going a round later than I thought but I would have definitely taken him here. I love how he moves the puck and he really seemed to take over late in the season. He such a smooth skater and has a good shot from the point. Surprised he went later than he did. No idea about Safin at all but Phillips went 3 picks after Oilers selected him. Oh well.
EDIT: My buddy @bpry8 provided this highlight reel of Safin:
Oilers selects: F Kiriil Maksimov
OilKnight selects: F Kiriil Maksimov
Absolutely ecstatic about this pick. In my mock, I wanted him to be selected in 3rd round he has that kind of talent. Funny, how it all played out. This kid is a pure goal scorer who caught fire when traded to Niagara late in year last season. Scored in all 4 playoff games. I caught a few Niagara games live scouting Ryan Mantha late in the year and this kid stood out each time. Elite skill. Very pleased with the selection easily my favourite pick of our draft.
Oilers selects: Skyler Brind’Amour
OilKnight selects: Skyler Brind’Amour
The 2nd prospect I pegged to Edmonton correctly. I just had a feeling Chiarelli would be tempted to go US hockey in later rounds and Brind’Amour has the measurables and pedigree worth the selection. If he’s anything like his dad this kid has a chance.
Oilers selects: D Philip Kemp
OilKnight selects: D Matthew Brassard
With Drake Batherson and Brandon Crawley long gone from my board Brassard would have been my selection here but he also went earlier in the round. I don’t know anything about Kemp but not surprised Chiarelli once again dipped into US hockey late. Can’t argue with the pick here since it is the 7th round.
Overall I don’t think it was a bad draft for the Oilers at all. If I had to grade it I would give it a ‘B’. In terms of talent, I think they did a good job of getting quality prospects. Yamamoto is only 148 LBs which scares the hell out of me but I think he can at least bulk out to be our version of Johnny hockey so I like the pick he fills a need. In terms of value, I question the Skinner, Samorukov and Safin picks would have went elsewhere but that is just my opinion doesn’t mean it was the right move. I do think the Maksimov pick was a home run and am excited to follow the player very closely this upcoming year..
Next up: Free Agency next week! Looking forward to it.
Let me know what you all think via Twitter @TheOilKnight