My intent in writing this list is to test the effectiveness of a predictive, statistical model that I value and- in doing so- confirm or deny the stances I've taken on these players. In conjunction with some limited viewings of these players (mostly through OHL Live and WHL Live), I want to put to the test the assumption that one needs to spend egregious amounts of time physically scouting players in order to outperform the existing, average draft success rate. With that, on to the blog!
In the coming days, I'll be outlining players I'd like the Oilers to draft through three different scenarios: one where the Oilers pick a forward #10, one where they pick a Dman #10 and one where they trade down. In doing so, I hope to outline around 20 players of interest that I believe the team would do well committing to.
Depending on who you ask, there's about a 10 player "top-tier" that generally goes as follows:
Zadina, Tkachuk and Dobson #3-5
Hughes, Wahlstrom, Bouchard, Boqvist and Kotkaniemi #6-10
Assuming there are no crazy, off-the-board picks, one of these players WILL fall to Edmonton at #10. Each of my scenarios will be built off my belief that one of Boqvist or Bouchard will fall to #10. For this one, we'll see Boqvist drop.
Scenario #1: Drafting a Dman at #10
#10 - RD, Adam Boqvist, 5'11 164lbs
This kid is an exceptional offensive talent with all the makings of a modern NHL Dman. His greatest strength is his truly exceptional skating ability (speed, explosiveness, edge work; he has it all) while his greatest weakness is his physical play in the defensive end. His stickwork is generally good, but his small and slight frame leave some concerns over his ability to defend in the NHL. His shot is fantastic and he makes it look so effortless, but I think what's more impressive about it is his willingness to use it.
This is pretty much a match made in heaven as the Oilers need some high-end offensive talent on the backend. His concussion would likely be the reason he's fall this far.
Stylistic Comparable: Shayne Gostisbehere
#40 - RC, Cam Hillis, 5'10 168lbs
One of the guys I've spent the whole year advocating for and now he's well-positioned to become an Oilers draft pick. He's a small and quick playmaking C that projects into a scoring role at higher levels. His greatest strengths are his mind and his excellent playmaking while his greatest weakness is his lack of strength and how that influences his defensive play. His shooting arsenal isn't particularly impressive.
After drafting a buttload of wingers last year, the Oilers need to build the depth at C in their prospect pipeline this year. In my eyes, Hillis represents an excellent value pick at #40.
Stylistic Comparable: Teuvo Teravainen
#71 - RD, Joey Keane 6'0 185lbs
A technically over-age (born in July '99) pick, Keane is a fantastic example of what difference a year can make for a player on the back-half of his first draft year. A steady two-way defender, Keane excels at every facet of the game and showed dramatic year-over-year improvement. His biggest strength is hard to pinpoint, but in my (admittedly limited viewings) I'd say it's his ability to join and support the rush while his biggest weakness is probably his board play, but even then I'd be hard-pressed to call it a problem. His breakout passes are good, he shoots a good deal (154 shots), his positioning is great and he's a fluid skater.
It's rare that you'd have the chance the grab one of the OHL's best Dmen (nominated for OHL's best Dman award) in the 3rd round and you're not losing much as far as age considering his summer birthday. Add another strong RD candidate to our prospect pool!
Stylistic Comparable: Matt Niskanen
Next post, I'll detail my reaction to a scenario in which Evan Bouchard fell to #10 and why I'd pass on him in favour of a forward.