By the OilKnight 10/06/20
Draft day predictions and mocks for every round are a crapshoot. But, I like to do them for the Oilers anyways just so you know who I like ahead of time. I also do a post-draft recap of who I would have taken versus who the Oilers actually selected which is always fun. Here’s last year’s if you are interested: 2019 Draft Recap.
I’ve covered who the Oilers should draft 14th overall in great length, so if you would like to see the video version you can so here. You can also review my Top 31 list for a more detailed breakdown on each. It’s important to note, I lean heavily on the CHL because I follow that league religiously. I don’t get a chance to watch a lot of the lesser known leagues and certainly don’t pretend I watch every single European prospect either. Hence the slight bias. I pick prospects I am comfortable with & have extensive views on – not just out of a hat.
THE EDMONTON OILERS SELECT….
Jack Quinn, Seth Jarvis or Rodion Amirov in that order.
Yaroslav Askarov will be long gone and as much as I like Kaiden Guhle, I would not select him at #14. The Oilers needs shooters and scorers so pick a forward. The advantage of picking Quinn or Amirov is they are both late 2001 birthdates which means after this upcoming NHL season (whenever that starts), they’ll both be 20 years old and ready to compete for a regular spot in the lineup. Check out the links above for more details on each.
2nd round pick
As of now, the Oilers don’t have a 2nd round pick but man if they could acquire one before the draft – there are some real steals there in my opinion. I’m a huge fan of Tristen Robins out of Saskatoon. I’ve seen mocks where he goes in the 3rd round, but others have him in their Top 31. He should be there in the 2nd and I would try hard if I was Holland to pull the trigger. This kid is a gamer. Reminds me a lot of Brayden Point of Tampa. In fact, that’s who he emulates his game after.
Other players I’d be ecstatic about in the 2nd round too include:
Vasily Ponomarev – Very strong heady player. Built like a tank. Tough to knock off the puck. Real strong down low. Big shot & release. Real good work ethic especially along the boards. Smart, doesn’t make a lot of mistakes. Not afraid to go hard to the net. Reminds me of Vincent Trocheck. If Robins was off the board in the 2nd round, he’d be my 2nd choice.
Martin Chromiak – Plays with Shane Wright and Zayde Wisdom in Kingston. Came over from Slovakia midway thru OHL season and immediately clicked with those two. One of the youngest players in the draft, he oozes talent but is still a bit raw in a few areas. Excellent motor & offensive creativity. Big upside & could be a steal in back end of 2nd round.
Ty Tullio – Another one of my favourite players in the draft, Tullio is a workhorse who gets by on sheer determination & work ethic. Undersized but plays bigger than he is. Big one-time shot that is NHL caliber. Good hands in tight. Very similar to Brendan Gallagher in that he wears you down with his grinding style and is a pain in the ass to play against.
Edmonton has the choice of giving Calgary this pick this year, or their 3rd next year. Ya gotta think Holland will defer to next year seeing the Oilers are already without a 2nd as of now. Of course, if they acquire a 2nd before the draft perhaps they let this one go. But assuming they keep the pick, I’ve got a few guys I’d be targeting. Needless to say, if any of Robins, Ponomarev, Chromiak, or Tullio are still on the board – sprint to the podium.
Veeti Miettinen – He’s undersized (5’9″, 159 lbs), but he can fly and he can rip the puck. Real gamebreaker with a high motor. Gritty too for his size. Was planning on playing in the NCAA this season but that now looks unlikely. Tremendous value here could slide to 3rd round due to lack of ideal size and strength.
James Hardie – Anytime you can draft a kid who scored 34 goals in his draft year in the 3rd round – you take it. Hardie isn’t an overly sexy player – all he does is score goals. He’s got the quick release and accurate shot and is a true volume shooter. In fact, he probably shoots TOO MUCH. Has some work to do in other areas but at this point in the draft he’s too good to pass up.
Edmonton doesn’t have a 4th round pick right now but that could change come draft day. Assuming they go forward with their first 2 picks (hopefully 3), I could easily see them look to address their defence core here:
Luke Prokop – Big kid (6’4″, 217 lbs) who showed real well in the CHL prospect’s game. Good mobility for a big kid, moves the puck well and is a shutdown defenceman. Real though to play against due to his size, speed & defensive acumen. Born in Edmonton, he looks a terrific 3rd pair RD down the road.
Kasper Puutio – Smooth skating Finn who has very good mobility and puck moving ability. Understands the position and plays sound fundamental defence. Moves the puck quick and accurately. Not real flashy but poised and reliable. Really hit his stride in 2nd half of WHL season.
In the 5th round, it’s back to forwards and there are two under the radar kids I really like out of the OHL. Both have sneaky upside I think and could be real good 3rd liners in the NHL one day.
Ethan Cardwell – Terrific wrist shot and accurate release. Cardwell really started to roll when traded to Barrie. He scored 4 goals in 1 period vs. Hamilton earlier in the year. Does a lot of the little things well and his birthdate is August 30 which means he just made this year’s draft. Upside potential anyone?
Reid Valade – Another personal favourite of mine, Valade looks like a bottom 6, penalty killing specialist to me which is a compliment. He’s a terrific skater & has a non-stop motor. He loves to get in on the forecheck and is a very reliable 200 foot player. He was banged up a bit this past season but plays bigger than his size. He’s got sneaky good offensive potential too. Flashes some high end skill. He’s not elite in any offensive category but is real good in most. He’s reliable, versatile and plays a determined game. Valade looks like an NHL’er to me.
By the time you get to the 6th round, you’re looking for under the radar guys – smaller players that scouts underestimate or players who didn’t really get much exposure. With that in mind, how about Brett Brochu of the London Knights?
Brett Brochu – The winner of OHL goalie of the year award in 2019-20, Brochu is only 5’11”, 161 lbs which for an NHL goalie is considered tiny. But he is extremely athletic and positionally sound. He recovers quickly and shows good rebound control. He also moves the puck very well. He’s got a real good glove and is capable of making the highlight reel save. Reminds me a bit of Cam Ward. The Oilers don’t necessarily need another goalie in the pipeline but Brochu is too good to pass up here. Besides, I had to get a London Knight in here somewhere 😉
Valentin Demchenko – No one was really talking about this kid but he was on a tear in the 2nd of the season playing with Nathan Legare in Baie-Comeau of the QMJHL. His best quality is his shot which is hard & has a quick release. He also flashed good playmaking ability and appears to at least be a good enough skater. He’s also 6’0″, 179 lbs so it’s not like he’s a small guy either. Worth a shot here in the 7th round as a flier.
Kyle Crnkovic – Having scouted Tristen Robins a lot, I noticed Kyle Crnkovic really stood out too. He’s tiny (5’7″, 161 lbs) which is why he will be drafted this late – if at all. But, he’s extremely talented and is real feisty. He’s very creative with the puck and I love his motor. He’s not fast but he’s very shifty and quick. He harasses defenders on the forecheck & has excellent puck control. He has soft hands too. If he were 5’11” he’d be a mid round pick so there’s tremendous value here.
The perfect draft scenario:
- Jack Quinn (LW/RW) or Seth Jarvis (C/RW)
- Tristen Robins (C/RW)
- Ty Tullio (RW)
- Luke Prokop (RD)
- Reid Valade (RW)
- Brett Brochu (G)
- Valentin Demchenko (W)
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