Oilers Draft Preview

By pbadmin
Possible Players the Oilers Could Draft

The 2001 National Hockey League draft will definitely be a lively time for NHL teams, draft eligible players, their parents and agents. This year’s draft is considered deep by many NHL people and scouts. Every year hockey fans are guessing which players there team draft or which player they think the team should draft. There is a new draft philosophy for the Oilers now that Kevin Lowe is the GM of the team. He wants more players with grit, reliability and players who play with passion; also the Oilers need more skilled players in their system.

Based on the Oilers primary needs goaltending, offensive defenseman and skilled forwards their are players in this year’s draft that would fit the Oiler’s needs like Dan Blackburn, Dan Hamhuis, Stephen Weiss. However those players most likely are then when the Oilers turn comes up at 13.

While I was scouting a Brampton Battalion playoff game NHL scouts in attendance believed these players would not be available Jason Spezza, Stephen Weiss, Dan
Hamhius, Ilya Kovalchuk, Alexander Svitov, Stanislav Chistov, Mikko Koivu, Tuomo Ruutu, Dan Blackburn and Mike Komisarek by the time the Oilers pick.

But in the NHL things change daily.

Here is a list of players that should be available when the Oilers pick at 13 with CSB analysis of the player is included.

1. Colby Armstrong – This is a player everyone seems to think the Oilers draft. Being a Western Canadian and born in Saskatchewan, he would be playing close to home. He is projected to anywhere from 12-20 in the Entry Draft. The reason the Oilers could select him are that he is a gritty player who plays the boards well, an in your face player, a player who competes. Also with Kevin Lowe emphasis on more grit a Western
Canadians for the Oilers, this could be the pick that starts the draft for the Oilers. Played very well in the Memorial Cup.

Central Scouting Report

A very good skater with a long, smooth stride…has exceptional lateral movement when moving at full speed…has strong puck handling skills and works well in heavy traffic…has good hockey sense and is aware of his teammates position…a good playmaker with strong passing skills…a natural goal-scorer who can score many different ways…has a quick, accurate shot and is very strong in one-on-one situations…a very complete player in all areas of the ice…is used in all game situations, specializing on the power play… anticipates the play very well and is very effective at the transition of play…a feisty player and an agitator.

Editor’s Scouting Report

After watching him play multiple times this season a few things stood out above all else…his passion for the game is unrivaled and he constantly battles regardless of the circumstance…he displays characteristics of a future NHL play-off warrior and the type a player that becomes the glue of the team… however he will need to add some upper body strength to help with battles against NHL caliber defenseman…his skating could use a little tweaking with regards to his agility since the majority of his career may be spent along the boards and in front of the net…has excellent eye hand coordination…can handle poor passes and turn them into scoring chances…is a strong five on five player which sometimes gets over looked.

2.Duncan Milroy – Another that might be considered at the 13th spot. However picking him at 13 might be too early since the consensus is that he is projected to go from 15-25 in the first round. The reason the Oilers could select him other than being an Edmonton born and raised player includes great character on and off the ice, good speed and plays a gritty passionate game.

Central Scouting Report

An elusive skater with tremendous balance and mobility…has exceptional lateral movement when skating with the puck and is outstanding in one-on-one situations…has great hockey sense and is a solid playmaker…works very well in heavy traffic…has
excellent scoring instincts and is an offensive threat every time he is on the ice…has a accurate wrist shot with a quick release…is able to control the puck along the boards and in the corners and is willing to work through any adversity…not an overly physical player, but does not shy away and will sacrifice himself to make a play.

Editor’s Scouting Report

Another player whom a watched very closely and he reminds me a little of a smaller version of Michael Henrich whom the Oilers drafted two years ago…he plays well in small quarters and can pass, shoot and stick handle in a phone booth…he does have knack of being at the right place at the right time…has the ability to draw defenders toward him to free up space for his teammates…as with most 18 year olds he will need to add strength to compete at the AHL and NHL levels…his overall skating leaves something to be desired but with a little further instruction he should be able to compete…does play with a spark but he may need work to be a second line producer instead of a third liner the offensive skills.

3. Tim Gleason – this could be a wild card for the Oilers. He is predicted to go anywhere from 8-15 in the first round. The reason the Oilers could select him is that he is an offensive defenseman with enough size and outstanding NHL caliber speed and he also plays a physical game. The Oilers always play the transition game and with Gleason patrolling the blue line, there future on defense could be set for the next decade with Semenov coming on board with Brewer and Poti already making impacts with the big club. He also likes to hit which is a bonus for any team that drafts him. An offensive defenseman who plays a solid physical game is a rarity, even though Gleason has an awful OHL playoffs for the Spitfires which could hurt his ranking he will still be a top 15 pick in this year’s draft.

Central Scouting Report

An excellent skater with impressive power, balance, speed and mobility…has an effortless stride and great acceleration when skating forward and backward…very strong in one-and-one situations…offensive-defenseman with solid puck handling skills and likes to join the rush…passes the puck with authority and has a very hard shot…very effective when killing penalties and is often used in four-on-four situations…aggressive player who enjoys the physical aspect of the game…a punishing hitter who is very strong in the corners and in front of the net…a very hard-working and consistent player.

4. Pascal Leclair – Ho Hum, another goaltending prospect from the QMJHL. Seems like every year, the first player taken from the QMJHL is a goalie. Majority of the scouts have Blackburn rated as the number 1 goalie going into the draft this year with Leclair second. Pascal Leclaire’s stock is also dropping and there is more than a 75% chance that he will be available when the Oilers pick at 13. Do the Oilers take a chance with him at 13 or go for the best player available. Do they pick Leclair as their goalie of the future? There will be quite a discussion at the table.

Central Scouting Report

A strong skater with very good agility and lateral movement…makes good use of his blocker and stick to direct shots into the corners and has very good control of rebounds…has a very fast glove hand…sees the puck handling skills and communication well with his teammates…has excellent natural instincts and very solid overall skills…uses a very effective butterfly style and is quick to recover…likes to challenge the
shooter…plays the angles extremely well…is very poised and focused…a patient goaltender who plays with confidence and thrives under pressure.

5.Jiri Novotny – possibly the first Czech player chosen in this year’s entry draft. Should be taken from 10-20 in the first round. The reason the Oilers could select him is he is a good offensive player, a hard worker with hockey sense and size. The Oilers could
use more offensive centers in the system and the best player from the Czech republic could be wearing an Oilers jersey on June 23.

Central Scouting Report

A big, strong center…has good hockey sense and is a solid decision maker…a face-off specialist …demonstrates leadership qualities both on and off the ice…a very reliable and hard working player.

Now their are a few other players that would garner interest in the first round as well that may fit the bill in Edmonton, on the short list are defenseman.

1. Carlo Colaiacovo 2. Igor Knyazev 3. Lukas Krajicek and a couple forwards may also be a possibility if available. 1. R.J. Umberger 2. Chuck Kobasew 3. Ales Hemsky 4. Marcel Goc.

The following round the Oilers should continue with the best player available train of thought. If they can feel their needs at two out of the three Goaltending, Offensive Defenseman and a Skilled Forward they may begin to assemble a respectable farm team.

By John Christie and Shane Malloy