In my second installement of the Oilers draft possibilities I'm going to be talking about the chance of them drafting Valeri Nichuskin, the big Russian winger. He's different then the rest of the players I'm talking about because he's a winger. The others are centers that could play on the second line and replace Gagner to add more size to the top 6. But Nichuskin could still add size because he could replace Paajarvi on the left wing and add a legitimate big left winger (Paajarvi's more of a 3rd liner) to the top 6 and he would make up for Gagner's small size.
As for Nichuskin himself he is a huge winger that uses his size to his advantage. He can blow by multiple people along the boards and is solid on his feet and isn't knocked down easily. He also has excellent hockey sense and can always find his team mates on the ice. He can skate good for his size and has terrific hands and a good shot. His defense is a bit shotty but if he works hard and becomes less of a liability defensively he could be a world class player.
Nichuskin is more likely to be available by Edmonton's pick than Barkov because the top 3 are going to be MacKinnon, Drouin and Jones. #4 will most likely be Barkov. Carolina will pick a defense or Nichuskin. And then Calgary will pick a center. Either Monahan or Lindholm. So we pretty much have a 50/50 chance at drafting Nichuskin. It all depends on Carolina. If he does fall to us he will definatly be Edmonton's pick and will fit perfectly on the second line with Gagner and Yakupov and make the lines.....
Hall - Nuge - Eberle
Nichuskin - Gagner - Yakupov
Paajarvi - UFA - Jones
Petrell - Lander - Brown
This will make our top six terrific and Nichuskin will give Yakupov another Russian on the team which will help him in the long run. The only down side with drafting a winger is that we would keep Gagner and we wouldn't be able to trade him for a pick to draft Lazar so we would have to go the free agent route or trade for a 3rd line center, but I think Nichuskin would be worth it!!!
Next up...... Monahan!