Oilers Friday Draft: Preview

The Edmonton Oilers have the first overall pick in back-to-back years, their isn’t nearly as much emotion as per last year when the Taylor vs. Tyler issue stormed throughout Edmonton & Alberta social gathering areas. This season it’s pretty straight forward. It’s not Ryan Nugent-Hopkins vs. Adam Larsson vs. Gabriel Landeskog vs. Jonathan Huberdeau. It’s just Ryan Nugent-Hopkins.

Ryan Nugent-Hopkins

Flickr/leafschik1967

Last season the Oilers added a goal scorer in Taylor Hall, this year they will add the set-up man in RNH (get used to this abbreviation Edmonton). The lanky 6’1, 170 pounder has the offensive instincts too good to pass up on. Vision, awareness, I.Q. – Ryan has the goods to deliver. The comparisons to Joe Sakic & Wayne Gretzky are simply ridiculous, but RNH has the domineer of a hockey player on a mission.

Now unlike the 1st overall pick, the 19th overall pick (which the Oilers received from the Los Angeles Kings in part of the Penner deal) is up for discussion. The belief is the Oilers will most certainly use this pick to select a defenseman. No real shock here.

There is a plethora of possible players that could be selected here. Joe Morrow out of Portland in the WHL, Scott Mayfield from Youngstown of the USHL – who is committed to play at the University of Denver next season. Two Swedes in Oscar Klefbom & Jonas Brodin who are teammates on Farjestands Karlstad blueline in Sweden playing against men. Could a few favoured defensemen fall? It’s possible. Jamie Oleksiak, Duncan Siemens, or maybe Nathan Beaulieu could fall right into the Oilers lap which will make the decision even harder.

Joe Morrow out of Sherwood Park, Alberta is the prospect the Oilers should tab at 19. 49 points in only 60 games – an offensive minded blueliner, skates well and protects both ends of the ice. He doesn’t shy away from the physical stuff; Joe looks to be on the right track to the NHL.

Portland Winterhawks v. Seattle Thunderbirds

Flickr/Teka England

As for a sneak peak at the 31st selection on day 2 in Minnesota, a lot can be done here – the Oilers will come away with at least one goaltender from the draft. Will they be aggressive and go after John Gibson if he falls to day 2, or will they go Euro with Sami Perhonen or Magnus Hellberg? That’s the intrigue of the NHL draft, grab a beverage or two, sit back and let the front offices take care of business. Oiler fans should be excited; this is the beginning stages of building into a Stanley Cup contender.

Stephen Kaczmar
Stephen is a student at the Northern Institute of Technology – Television in Edmonton, Alberta.
Stephen Kaczmar

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