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The Oilers had an interesting day at the Draft, MacT was in on a lot of players but did something we Oiler fans are quite used to...Got close to but didn't land a number of
immediate roster players. Apparantly he was trying to get Cal Clutterbuck (who went to the Isles), Cory Schneider (who went to the Devils in a very odd deal, thank god for Oilers fans) and Braydon Coburn from the Flyers but couldn't agree on a deal to actually land him. The rumoured asking price was Smid and a 2nd but MacT wouldn't sign off on it. I am not going to panic, MacT still has all summer + to improve this team, I will wait and see what he does all the while hiding the pitchfork and torch behind my back if he fails.
In this blog I've decided to give some information on the Oilers picks from the first 3 rounds but I will skip over Darnell Nurse because we all already know what he brings to the table. I will say that I am very happy with this pick, he has the ability to be a tough and rugged D man for the Oilers in a couple of years. I don't see him making the jump next year and developement time never hurts anyone. I have a feeling that what Regehr did to Hemsky through all the years of the Flames and Oilers battles, Nurse will be doing to Sven Baertschi for the next decade. Don't be mad Flames fans, it's just Karma.
Well here are MacT's picks:
7th overall (Round 1) - Darnell Nurse, Sault Ste. Marie
37th overall traded to Los Angeles for picks No. 57, 88 and 96.
56th overall (Round 2) - Marc-Olivier Roy, Blainville-Boisbriand
57th overall traded to St. Louis for picks No. 83, 94 and 113.
83rd overall (Round 3) - Bogdan Yakimov, Nizhnekamsk
88th overall (Round 3) - Anton Slepyshev, Russia
94th overall (Round 4) - Jackson Houck, Vancouver
96th overall (Round 4) - Kyle Platzer, London
113th overall (Round 4) - Aidan Muir, Victory Honda Midget
128th overall (Round 5) - Evan Campbell, Langley
158th overall (Round 6) - Ben Betker, Everett
188th overall (Round 7) - Gregory Chase, Calgary
I will start with the 2nd round pick Marc-Olivier Roy (56th overall) who is a 6'0" Centre. He played for Blainville-Boisbriand in the QMJHL where he put up 29G-38A-67Pts in 65 games. He is thought of as a grinder, which is true but doesn't properly describe his complete skill set. His skating is his best asset, he is extremely fast, extremely agile (can turn on a dime) and has a great first couple of strides. He has been described as a "buzzsaw" that works his "balls off" every shift. He's first into the corners, rugged and persistant on the forecheck, loves to hit and is normally a reliable player at both ends of the ice. He is very hard to hit, has soft hands for giving and receiving passes and get his shot off fast and it's accurate. He plays on the PP and usually from the right Half-board and does very well there. His knocks against him are that he can try to be too fancy sometimes in prime shooting areas and can be guilty of chasing players in the defensive zone which causes him to neglect his coverage. He also still has to fill out his frame more but he seems to be continually improving his game. All in all, I think this is a good pick from MacT.
Next I will write about the 83rd overall pick, Bogdan Yakimov, who is a 6`4 Centre from Russia. He spent the 2012-13 season in the Vysshaya Hokkeinaya Liga (VHL) which is Russia`s 2nd best Pro League. He finished 3rd in scoring among players under 20, Valeri Nichuskin was 2nd. His hands are above average and he can makes some good moves but he isn`t an overly creative forward. His main issue is his skating (it`s below average), his top speed and first few strides are subpar but they have shown improvement. He has to continue to work on this if he hopes to one day play in the NHL. He didn`t make the team for the WJC`s and when the 2013 U-18 tournament came around, he was too old to play in it. A combination of not playing in those and playing in the VHL makes it possible that he wasn`t noticed by many teams. He had a very strong performance at the 2012 U-18 tournament though where he led Russia in scoring. It`s very possible that Yakimov took a step forward in developement but it went unnoticed. He`ll play for Neftekhimik Nizhnekamsk (Yakupov`s old team) in the KHL next season and that will give us a much clearer picture of him and his abilities as a player and a possible NHL`er. This pick I think is still in limbo and time will tell if Yakimov was a good pick or a bust for MacT.
And last but not least, I will write about Anton Slepyshev, who is a 6`0 Left Wing from Russia. He finished the 2012-13 season with Ufa Salavat Yulayev in the KHL. Slepyshev is an above average skater who is tremendously agile and can hit a notable top speed. He has high end puck skills and is a huge nuisance to try and check because he is extremely effective at dodging opponents and that in turn creates a lot of space for him. He has a great shot and a shoot first mentality. He isn`t classified as a playmaker at all but can still pass quite effectively. His production as a 17 year old in the KHL wasn`t amazing but is very similiar to what Evgeny Kuznetsov and Vladamir Tarasenko did in their seasons as 17 year olds. His physical game needs work and he currently has a bean pole frame so when he is caught, he can easily be pushed off the puck. He does show a physical effort sometimes and has some defensive skills but needs to work a lot on his strength. He was ranked in the first round at last years draft but he wasn`t willing to leave Russia so he went undrafted. If MacT can convince him to come to North America, we may end up with a huge steal at 88th overall.
Thanks for reading and I hope you liked it. I may write a blog on the picks from rounds 4 to 7 in the next few days as well. Have a great night and all the best. Cheers.