As per a Stauffer tweet, the Oilers are looking at 5 players seriously in this upcoming draft according to MacGregor: Nail Yakupov, Mikhail Grigorenko, Filip Forsberg, Ryan Murray and Griffin Reinhart.
So lets take a closer look shall we:
Nail Yakupov (RW)
Sarnia Sting (OHL) 42 games, 31-38-69 +15 30 PIM, 5’10″ 189lbs, shoots: left
Grant McCagg – TSN.ca – Unbelievable skill level in every facet of his game – quick feet, tremendous burst, top-notch agility, slick hands, dangerous shot, quick release.
NHL Central Scouting’s Chris Edwards – “His first step and ability to control bouncing pucks, knock them down and make a play are the best of any of the guys in the draft, in my opinion. He really gets up to top speed very quickly and his hands are outstanding.”
Grant McCagg – TSN.ca – Lack of size will prevent him from playing a rugged style in the NHL every shift.
Grant McCagg – TSN.ca – Has the dynamic skill set to be a first-line NHL winger.
Mikhail Grigorenko (C)
Quebec Remparts (QMJHL) 59 games, 40-45-85 +35 12 PIM, 6’3″ 200lbs, shoots: left
Grant McCagg – TSN.ca – Possesses the size, strength and skill teams covet in a first-line centre, protects the puck well and has great hands for a big man. Also has a smooth, powerful stride and drives to the net with force. Has a heavy shot, great vision and passing skills, elite offensive talent.
NHL Central Scouting’s David Gregory – “He’s the type of player that controls the whole pace of the game. He can play with the puck at the same pace he plays without the puck. He sees the ice and opportunities really well.”
Grant McCagg – TSN.ca – Has to continue working on his all-around game
Grant McCagg – TSN.ca – Has been compared to Viktor Kozlov in terms of his size/skill package, but also because of his inconsistency.
Filip Forsberg (LW/RW)
Leksand (various levels, Sr., Jr., U18) (Europe) 53 games, 10-10-20 +1 35 PIM, 6’2″ 181lbs, shoots: right
Grant McCagg – TSN.ca – Big, strong winger with power forward potential, adept at protecting the puck from the opposition and working along the walls, big shooter with a quick, hard release.
NHL Director of European Scouting, Goran Stubb – “A leader who shows by example — I would compare him to Anaheim’s Corey Perry a little bit. Has a nose for the net, and often scores the big goals. He’s a creative playmaker, good skater with fine straight-ahead speed. ”
Grant McCagg – TSN.ca – Has to work on skating, his stride is a little choppy.
Grant McCagg – TSN.ca – He will be a big load for NHL defencemen and goalies to contend with for many years.
Ryan Murray (D)
Everett (WHL) 46 games, 9-22-31 +0 31 PIM, 6’0″ 201lbs, shoots: left
Grant McCagg – TSN.ca – Smart, dependable rearguard who will be on the ice protecting leads at the end of games. He moves the puck with short, accurate passes. Hard to beat one-on-one.
NHL Central Scouting’s B.J. MacDonald – “I think Murray is more like a [Scott] Niedermayer; he just does everything under the radar and so smooth you hardly notice it. His skating is probably the best in the [WHL], but you don’t really notice that so much because you almost take it for granted he’s been there for three years. He never gets out of position and I’ve never seen him lose a one-on-one battle. He’s always, defensively, in the right spots.”
Grant McCagg – TSN.ca – He’s not a punishing guy who will provide a physical presence while his offensive skills may be limited and he may be more of a stay-at home defender.
Grant McCagg – TSN.ca – A No. 2 or No. 3 defenceman with leadership qualities who will be relied upon to shut down team’s top players, kill penalties and protect leads.
Edmonton (WHL) 58 games, 12-24-36 +23 38 PIM, 6’4″ 207lbs
Grant McCagg – TSN.ca – Very few 6-4 blueliners can skate and handle the puck like Reinhart, and those attributes alone will intrigue lots of scouts.
Putting on the Foil’s Steve-O – Punches people when they are on the ice
Grant McCagg – TSN.ca – Does not always play with an abundance of passion and drive.
Putting on the Foil’s Steve-O – Seems kind of lazy going back for pucks sometimes
Grant McCagg – TSN.ca – Has the size, skill and skating ability to be a top two NHL defenceman.
Who do you want the Oilers to pick? If not Yakupov, should they trade down? What would be coming back then? Any other player we should look at?
Personally, I’d like them to take the best player available (Yakupov) even though we need D. That said, I’ve seen Reinhart really good and I’d love to have him on the team (although you just know the Oilers “saw him good” too). So really, take Yakupov or trade down 1/2 spots (for a 3rd rounder maybe?) and pick Murray, or trade down 5/6 spots (for a high 2nd rounder?) and pick up Reinhart. Those are the options I’d be looking at.