Nation Network 2013 Mock Draft: Picks 1-10

Photo: Alaney2k/Wikimedia

Mock drafts are popular this time of year, and we’ve decided to do something a little different at the Nation this summer. Instead of presenting our picks, we’ll show consensus rankings and offer up scouting reports, than ask our readers to vote on the order they would select those players in.

We start with the top-10 selections.

The list order below is based on a weighted draft ranking done by NHL Numbers. The scouting reports are my own and are intended as summaries of other sources, including TSN, The Hockey News, Hockey Prospectus, Future Considerations as well as others.

The Consensus Picks

1. Seth Jones (WHL: 61GP, 14-42-56). 6’4”, 205-pound defender is expected to emerge as a complete player. He’s highly mobile (he skates well, not just well for a big man), has real puck skills, and his ability to read and react seems to be universally praised. If there’s a drawback, it’s that he isn’t known for playing with a lot of edge, though nobody seems to question his ability to play a physical game.

2. Nathan MacKinnon (QMJHL: 44GP, 32-43-75). Just barely old enough to be eligible for this year’s draft, MacKinnon lacks ideal size (6’, 182 pounds) but that’s basically all he lacks. He’s an elite-level scorer, a fantastic skater, and despite his average frame he plays a power game and his work ethic gets rave reviews. His defence, as with most young players, will need to improve over time.

3. Jonathan Drouin (QMJHL: 49GP, 41-64-105). MacKinnon and Drouin are neck-and-neck, and in some eyes the left wing has outshone his centre. The Hockey News and Hockey Prospectus both rank Drouin ahead of MacKinnon, and given his offensive numbers it’s easy to understand why. He’s a fantastic scorer and has what Craig Button calls “exceptional intelligence.”

4. Aleksander Barkov (FIN: 53GP, 21-27-48). Like MacKinnon, Barkov is extremely young – both players are only two weeks removed from a spot in the 2014 NHL Draft. The 6’2” centre excelled in the Finnish men’s league, and his on-ice vision and ability to read a play – both offensively and defensively – get top marks. His skating isn’t at the same level as other players in this draft, however. Read more at Flames Nation.

5. Valeri Nichushkin (KHL: 18GP, 4-2-6). The 6’3” winger combines high-level skating with a power forward frame, and his abilities with the puck mean he may end up being an elite NHL winger; some have even said that he’s a contender for the top spot based on his tools. Nichushkin committing to playing in the NHL means KHL fears are lessened. Hockey sense gets mixed reviews – sometimes even by the same scout, as The Hockey News quotes one who questioned Nichushkin’s decision-making early in the year but ultimately decided he had excellent vision. Defensively, he’s not seen as a strong player and his scoring numbers (15 points in 43 KHL regular season and playoff games) are underwhelming. Read more at Oilers Nation and Flames Nation.

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6. Elias Lindholm (SWE: 48GP, 11-19-30). Another player with average size, Lindholm can play both centre and wing. His scoring numbers in Sweden are exceptional, but scouting reports suggest he may not have the same offensive threshold as others in this draft. Where he excels is as a two-way player – the combination of high-level skating and extreme intelligence on the ice make him projectable as an all-situations player; Future Considerations went so far as to compare him to Patrice Bergeron and Henrik Zetterberg. Read more at Flames Nation.

7. Sean Monahan (OHL: 58GP, 31-47-78). Monahan’s two-way game gets strong marks, but his offensive ceiling simply isn’t as high as the players ranked above him. Playmaking, size (6’2”, 187 pounds) and intelligence are all regarded as strengths; speed is the most significantly mentioned weakness while some question his scoring ability. Read more at Oilers Nation and Flames Nation.

8. Darnell Nurse (OHL: 68GP, 12-29-41). He’s big (6’4”, 185 according to the NHL; I’ve seen him listed anywhere from 6’3” to 6’5”), and at least as importantly he’s mean – he plays with more of an edge (both hitting and fighting) than any of the other top-ranked players in the draft this year. He’s not a one-trick pony, either; he makes a good first pass (though he isn’t likely to be a high-end offensive defenceman) and provides solid coverage in the defensive zone. Read more at Oilers Nation.

9. Hunter Shinkaruk (WHL: 64GP, 37-49-86). He can skate, and he can score goals, and that’s a highly attractive blend of skills for NHL teams. The winger lacks ideal size (5’10”, 181 pounds) and his defensive game is apparently something of a mess, but he doesn’t lack courage.

10. Rasmus Ristolainen (FIN: 52GP, 3-12-15). The 6’3” Ristolainen has a wide range of skills, but most of them at the ‘good not great’ threshold. He is a good skater, makes a good first pass, plays well in the defensive zone, but he’s not seen as an elite-level player in any of those areas. Some reports also suggest a fear that he may struggle with the speed of the NHL game, given the more passive nature of the game on European ice. He projects as a two-way defenceman.

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On The Outside

11. Nikita Zadorov (OHL: 63GP, 6-19-25). Another big defenceman (6’4”, 200 pounds according to the NHL site; most media outlets list him at 6’5”, 230 pounds), Zadorov is seen as a bit of a project. He’s a dominant physical player and extremely strong, and he fares well enough in other areas – he skates well given his size, makes a reasonable first pass – to be of real interest. The trouble is that while he has a lot of tools they haven’t come together yet; he’s raw defensively and lacks high-end offensive upside. If it all comes together, though, he could be an elite shutdown defender.

12. Ryan Pulock (WHL: 61GP, 14-31-45). Nobody doubts his elite shot, and he Pulock has a strong puck-moving abilities, too. The trouble is his size and skating both fall into the average range, and there are mixed reports on his defensive play, which seems to be solid but unexceptional.

13. Adam Erne (QMJHL: 68GP, 28-44-72). The winger is a good skater, he’s strong on the puck, and he has goal-scoring ability. He isn’t seen as a strong offensive player otherwise, and he isn’t a high-end player in any category, but he has a well-rounded skillset. One scout The Hockey News quoted indicated that fitness might be an issue right now, but that he had potential to be even better if he his conditioning improved.

14. Josh Morrissey (WHL: 70GP, 15-32-47). Size is the issue here – the WHL defenceman is listed at 5’11”, 182 pounds. Otherwise there is a lot to like: he’s smart, he’s an excellent skater, his offensive tools are good and he relishes playing a physical game.

15. Max Domi (OHL: 64GP, 39-48-87). Smallish winger is an “offensive dynamo” and gets pegged by The Hockey News as a power forward despite generally being listed at 5’9” or 5’10” because he plays such a fearless game (he’s also expected to play at 200 pounds or more at the NHL level). His effort level is questioned by some, and Future Considerations says that “self-control and maturity are still a work in progress.”

16. Curtis Lazar (WHL: 72GP, 38-23-61). Lazar gets high marks for character and defensive play; he’s also seen as good skater and a safe pick. The question is how much offence he will generate in the NHL, because despite strong goal-scoring numbers he is seen by some as a player who lacks the creativity to be a top-six forward in the NHL. Read more at Oilers Nation.

17. Anthony Mantha (QMJHL: 67GP, 50-39-89). The 6’4” winger skates well and is a one-shot scorer, but he doesn’t play the physical game scouts would like to see. He’s also at the old end of the draft curve (he missed being eligible for the 2012 Draft by less than a weak) and outside of his shot he’s not seen as overly creative offensively by the consensus.

18. Frederik Gauthier (QMJHL: 62GP, 22-38-60). A 6’5” centre who skates well for his size, Gautheir gets good grades as a defensive forward and an intelligent player. What he lacks is a willingness to play a tough physical game, and his offence is open to question.

19. Bo Horvat (OHL: 67GP, 32-28-60). Horvat’s trending upward since the NHL Numbers consensus rankings because he can do it all. He’s tough, plays a 200-foot game, scores goals and skates, too. The only question is how high is ceiling is offensively.

20. Alexander Wennberg (SWE2: 46GP, 14-18-32). 6’1” forward can play either wing or centre; he skates well, has good offensive tools and hockey sense that makes him both a threat to score and a good defensive forward. He needs to add bulk to his frame.

Voting

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  • Reg Dunlop

    Fate intervenes at this year’s draft and MacT responds: the success of the big, bad Bruins convinces the first 6 general managers picking to avoid a 165lb winger with as much strength and aggression as a baby kitten, leaving Drouin for the oil. Just what we need, right? Only this time MacT resists the temptation, realizing that the NHL will not become a non-contact ringette league anytime soon and trades down for Pouliot and a 3rd round pick. Sorry, I meant Bob Falkanberg. No, wait… Lazar. That’s the guy.

  • Word to the Bird

    The only three players I would like on the Oilers from the draft, or else trade the #7 for a roster player:

    1) Barkov – he’s bigger than “Ganye” and has the skill to fit into our top 6 immediately. Makes Gagner expendable

    2) Nichuskhin – Larger player we have been dreaming of for the second line, plus a Russian buddy for Yakupov. It would be a toss up between him and Barkov for my favorite but I feel like we wouldn’t have to move up as much in order to get him.

    3) Monahan – would be our 3rd line centre upon entry into the NHL, plus 2 years down the road once again Ganye could be traded.

  • JCDavies

    I doubt Florida would listen to any offers, but here’s some outta the box thinking. To Florida for number 2, our 7th, Klefbom, MPS, Marincin or Hemsky…probably not, but what the hell, its raining and I can’t go outside.

  • Bicepus Maximus - Huge fan boy!

    My prediction:

    1. COL: Jones. The Avs have three solid centers.

    2. FLA: McKinnon. Panthers take McKinnon and run. He will be their 1C.

    3. TB: Barkov. I think Drouin is the most skilled player in the draft but if I was Tampa, I wouldn’t pass up on a big, two-way center, with great scoring potential like Barkov. They’re pretty weak up the middle after Stamkos.

    4. NSH: If Barkov goes to TB, I can’t see how the Preds can take Drouin. They need a center. I think there’s a good chance they take Monahan ahead of Drouin. Although who knows.

    5. CAR: Drouin. Oh how lucky will the Canes get if Drouin drops this much. They have two solid centers and Drouin will only complement them further.

    6. CGY: Lindholm. The Flames are dumb, but not dumb enough to pass on a C/W that is one of the better Swedish prospects in 10 years.

    7. EDM: Nichushkin. I don’t really like Nichuskin. I don’t think he’ll be able to score in the NHL at the same rate as the picks above. But I also don’t think the Oilers would pass on him. That or they trade the pick.

    I hope the Oilers can find a way to get one of McKinnon (obviously), Barkov, Monahan, or Lindholm. I just don’t think it’s going to happen, unless a team is dumb enough to draft Nichushkin at higher than 7. I hope the Oilers trade the pick (and possibly other assets) for an already established 2C like Couturier or Schenn.

    The rest is irrelevant.

    • Bicepus Maximus - Huge fan boy!

      You stated…6. CGY: Lindholm. The Flames are dumb, but not dumb enough to pass on a C/W that is one of the better Swedish prospects in 10 years.

      Where did you read that. I did some research on Lindholm and the opinions on him were kinda “meh,” in terms of whether he had elite potential. He showed a good two way game, and limited offence at the World Juniors, and is playing on a cherry line in Sweden. I think he will be a 2nd line center in the NHL, but best prospect in 10 years?

      And yes Calgary is dumn enough. Exhibit A, last years draft…I rest my case. Book em!

  • DSF

    Still hoping Nichushkin falls to 7 and we pick up Antropov as a UFA for two years at 3 mill per. Start the season with Antripov and Nichuskin on the third line, and keep the Gagner Paajarvi Yak line together until Nichushkin is ready for second line LW minutes. Then trade Gags for a solid two way third line centre who can win face-offs, demote Paajarvi into a third line shut down role, and away you go. There, I just fixed our size issues in the top six, and upgraded both the scoring in the top six and on the third line.

  • TeeVee

    So far I’ve read suggestions of trading RNH or Yak (both 1st overall picks) to try and get MacKinnon (who will go 2nd or 3rd TOPS). Are you guys out of your minds?

    RNH is 19 and has 2 years of NHL experience and is a growing, elite 2-way centre.

    Yak is going to score twice as many goals as MacKinnon, especially now that he’ll play in his natural RW position.

    Eakins has stated that he believes in pairs (I 100% agree with this belief). RNH/Ebs have good chemistry and Hall/Yak have good chemistry. Adding a big guy like Couturier at the draft to fill our need at centre makes the most sense to me. He is 20 and will grow up with this team and fit perfectly into Eakins’ philosophy.

    • Bicepus Maximus - Huge fan boy!

      Trade RNH – who hockey people around the league think maybe one of the best centers in NHL in a few years – for a high draft pick…….?

      There should be an IQ test before some are allowed to post on the internet!

  • Bicepus Maximus - Huge fan boy!

    The more I’ve followed Nurse, the more I like him. Pronger-nasty. If Monahan is available, take him. The NHL-roster and the prospect depth clearly needs a skilled, two-way centre. But if he’s gone, Nurse would be my pick.

    • OilersBrass

      Nurse isn’t that nasty. Lazar fought Nurse who has a huge size advantage over him, and Nurse didn’t really do much of anything to him.

      I don’t get why people like Nurse so much, he’s being a little overrated by everyone.

        • Quicksilver ballet

          That would be correct madjam, it would make little sense to draft a defenseman with no arms. How could he have been rated so high, only getting second team power play minutes, and when did his flippin arms fall off?

        • OilersBrass

          Exactly. I think people are going to be very surprised how this draft plays out, players are not going to get drafted where they’re projected to go (minus the top 3).

  • G Money

    Seems pretty clear that Jones, NMac, and Drouin will be top 3. That means our #7 pick will be choosing from one of: Barkov, Nichuskin, Monahan, Lindholm, Nurse.

    Excellent chance those are going to be players, even elite players. It will not be a bad thing if we end up just using the pick.

    Desperate needs for this team are 3/4C and D. Logical trade choices:

    – Trade #7 to a cap-strapped team that needs to reduce costs. Either straight across for a top 4 D, or a trade down – a veteran 3C + swap first rounders

    – Trade #7 and a high-end prospect (not a roster player) for #4 or #5 pick to guarantee we get one of Barkov or Monahan.

    The idea of trading RNH (who is already an elite NHL player) or Yak (who is as good a prospect as any of the current top 3 choices AND has proven he can play at the NHL level) for picks is bizarre.

    • OilersBrass

      Hmmm, I mean if there were already some back end deals going on, why wouldn’t Philly just wait till he hit free agency and then get him for nothing? It seems the trade was done simply so they can get first crack at pitching him, but not that he is a lock to play in Philly.

      I never really believed he’d come to Edmonton, but I don’t think he’ll play in Philly either.

        • Word to the Bird

          Essentially 100% probability Streit does not leave Philly. Perfect situation for him.

          I’m thinking #7 and #36 for Couturier, Meszsaros, and #11. This should work out for both teams. Philly moves up 4 spots and move out two players who had disappointing 2013 seasons. The oilers get a high end C prospect and a 2-3 Defenseman, while only moving down 4 spots.

          Meszaros, Voracek and Giroux are the only big cap numbers that don’t have NTCs. Bryzgalov’s buyout won’t clear enough space to sign Streit and certainly won’t be enough for a new goaltender. Meszaros is as good as gone while they will likely have to move a third large contract as well.

          It’s raining Flyers! Lets catch some!

        • TeeVee

          I don’t doubt that he did, but if that’s the case and a ‘deal’ was made, why do the trade when you can get him on the open market anyway? Was it kind of a bone to throw to the Isles to keep relations good? The move just doesn’t make sense. The only other scenario is that Holmgren didn’t even want Streit to receive any other offers.

          • Quicksilver ballet

            Ahhh, but you said you’re sure they’ve already talked to him. So again, why the pick. It’s one or the other, wither they already had him locked up so trading the pick doesn’t make sense, or they don’t have him locked up and wanted to get at him early. For me the latter makes the most sense which is again why I think there’s a chance you don’t see Streit play in Philly. It does happen where a players rights getting traded before becoming a UFA and they end up going to market anyway.

          • DSF

            Oh, for sure that can happen.

            When Dan Hamhuis became UFA while playing with Nashville, Philly traded Ryan Parent to Nashville for the rights to speak to Hamhuis.

            When they couldn’t get a deal done, Philly traded his rights to Pittsburgh but Hamhuis took a hometown discount to play for the Canucks.

            In this case, I’m sure Streit’s agent has indicated the player would be willing to talk to Philly which is no guarantee that he will sign there but I think Streit is a very good fit in Philly and will sign there.

          • Quicksilver ballet

            Hartnell’s already signed for 6 yrs (4,75 cap hit). His contract is almost a carbon copy of what Horcoffs deal was. There is the small matter of a NMC to deal with.

  • BC BOY

    It’s time to trade this pick and use it to get a useful NHL player. When you are drafting a player it is risky considering you are using someone opinions to base a players potential and how it will translate to the NHL. These kids are well “kids” and are not even fully developed. A bonafide NHL will do the oilers way more good then having a potential useful NHL player in their system.

  • OilersBrass

    Why on earth would anyone want to trade Yak? Especially for a high draft pick? I mean, you could trade that kid for a bonafied top end D, not a prospect who is only likely to turn into a solid D in a few years. And Mckinnon? Are you crazy? Kid was supposed to be the next Crosby and he’s not even a lock for number 2 in the draft.

    Out of Hall, Nuge, Ebs, Schultz and Yak, I still think Yak is going to become the team’s best player. You watch, by the time he finishes his third year with the team, do a comparison chart of the first three years for all of these young players and Yak will be ahead in most categories.

  • Quicksilver ballet

    With it being business as usual for 28 teams for a few weeks already, have to think MacTavish has an agreement or two in place already. Figured he’d be one of the busier GM’s right out of the gate. Sure looks to be one hell of a busy draft coming up, might rival the NHL trade deadline day that weekend.

    With Holmgren taking on another 4.5-5 in Mark Streit, now would be a good time to make a pitch for Scotty Hartnell.

  • Word to the Bird

    My money says Streit will sign in Philly, but it will be interesting to see the strings they will pull in order to make cap room.

    Even with buyouts of Briere and Bryz, they will still have some holes to fill will little cap room. Add in the fact that Giroux will need a new contract soon and they may find themselves in cap trouble once again.

    • DSF

      If they buy out Briere and Bryzgalov, as expected, and put Pronger on LTIR, they will be $9M under the cap with 21 players signed.

      With that cap space they’ll have to sign Streit (say $4.5M) and a starting goaltender (say $5M)

      Tight but manageable.

      Next season they will have to re-sign Giroux, Schenn, Couturier and Read but they have Timmonen ($6M) and Meszaros ($4M) coming off the cap.

      If the cap rises significantly, they’ll be fine.

      • DSF

        I don’t expect they will buy out Briere unless they have to. He is still a good NHL Center and a team leader. I wasn’t aware of the Long Term Injured Reserve. Why was Pronger not already on that?

        • DSF

          They have TWO compliance buyouts available to them.

          Only Montreal (Gomez) and the Rangers (Redden) have used them so far since the league gave them special status so the players wouldn’t be forced to sit out an entire season.

          Just FYI, the compliance buy out period starts the day after the cup finals end and end on July 5.

      • They can’t buy out two players, they have used one already, there in trouble.

        They have to hope, someone trades with them, which is why they may have grabbed Striet early, to use in a trade.

        Perhaps Timonen being moved.

        Edit; not sure why the double post?

  • Quicksilver ballet

    The oilers need a power forward,or 2,not just a big body,there is more to being a power forward than having a big body.I don’t see any power forwards in the top 7.

  • I like some of the ideas floating around, just not any that involves the kids.

    You don’t have to trade the kids to move up, it’s a backwards move or a lateral one at best if you move the kids.

    The Oilers need three centre’s, so moving up makes some sense.

    Couturier also makes sense but only if he’s your number three or checking centre.

    If the Oilers have a shot at Monahan I think they pick him.

    If the Oilers can trade Hemsky for a first rounder, I think the look at Horvat.

    That would give you two and three centre position filled, but by younger inexperienced player.

    Personally I trade the checking centre, and draft the other.

    My proposal.

    Gagner- 2014 first rounder – Paajarvi plus Marincin for.

    The 2nd or The 3rd or The 4th pick.

    Go after MacKinnon – Barkov

    The Oilers still keep this years 7th, which they can now target a checking centre like Dubinsky off of Columbus.

    Dubinsky can play your wing, or centre. He’s 27 – 6’2 205 and can hit, compete, fight is made for the western conference.

    • DSF

      I wouldn’t under estimate Couturier, He could be a vey good 2nd line centre for the Oilers and would compliment Hopkins very well.

      Thing is, he’s been buried in Philly like JVR was.

      His best season in Philly, he scored 21G and 40P while last season in Toronto, he scored 18G and 32P in only 48 games.

      If Couturier was playing with Yak and a good LW, I think he would blossom.

      He scored 36G and 96P in only 58GP in his last season in junior.

      And remember, he’s only 20 and he’s been playing the toughs.

      At 6’3″ 200, I think he would make you forget Sam Gagner pretty quickly.

        • Quicksilver ballet

          Our first and Gagner for Philly’s first and Couturier? The it doesn’t look like such a reach when we draft anyone of Hovart, Gauthier, or Lazar.

          • DSF

            Well, I mean we are getting less skill with more size who comes cheaper, and are giving away more experience and skill with less size and a larger price tag. He’s basically Brier’s replacement.

            I like Gags a lot as a hockey player, but it’s about making the team better, not having a group of good individual players. I think this move does that as you now begin to have two balanced scoring lines.

          • I would actually try to keep Gagner and convert him to the wing. I think that would probably be an overpay for Couturier but I also think its the kind of deal it would take.

            That said, Philly has done crazier things in the past.

        • DSF

          If the Oilers could come out of this offseason with Couturier and a legit top pairing D, it would be a huge success.

          The question is, what do they need to do to accomplish that?

          First, I would move the 7th pick and Marincin (Philly needs some D prospects) for Couturier.

          Then I would try and move Gagner, Hemsky (keeping some salary) and a 2nd round pick for Alex Edler or the like.

          Thoughts?

          • Would Petry alone fetch Couturier? Or at least Petry and Marincin?

            I ask this because of the Ranger rumour out there, making Petry or Smid expendable.

            Both have excellent cap hits.

            Edit; you already answered it.

            I’m trying to figure out how the Oilers could keep the 7th to use in another deal, I honestly think that Petry or Smid could be moved, as well as Gagner.

            These players make the most sense to me, Philly does seem like a logical choice to trade with.

          • Bicepus Maximus - Huge fan boy!

            I think Petry and Marincin may be close enough to get Couturier… but that would leave a massive hole in Oilers D.

            Petry is the second best puck mover we have. Marincin is probably our 2nd/3rd best puck mover and that includes the current Oilers NHL roster.

          • I know it is, I do.

            Here’s my thought, I honestly think the Oilers had Klefbom pegged for the 2nd pairing before he ripped his shoulder.

            The Oilers wanted him to stay bad, by all reports he would have challenged Smid or Petry for that spot.

            I still think the Oilers are going after a top pairing defensmen which would make one of Smid or Petry expendable anyways.

            With the possibility of the Oilers getting Ranger, this makes Marincin also available to some extent.

          • Word to the Bird

            Those seem reasonable, but Gillis has a reputation of overvaluing. I would be surprised if he took that deal without at least some negotiation.

            Also, I don’t think Vancouver is in the market for smaller forwards.

          • DSF

            I agree they Vancouver is looking for more size but they are also trying to get younger.

            They already have some size on the way:

            Brendan Gaunce: 6’2″ 210

            Niklas Jensen: 6’3″ 190

            Kellen Lain: 6’6″ 210 (just signed NCAA FA)

            Adam Polasek: 6’3″ 190

            Christan Frolin: 6’4″ 220 (just signed NCAA FA)

            It’s also expected the Canucks will draft Kerby Rychel (6’2″ 200) if he’s still available.

            And, of course, Zack Kassian is 6’3″ 215.

            From what I’ve heard, Gillis is looking for a coach who will let these guys play even if they make mistakes (see Kassian).

          • JCDavies

            “I agree they Vancouver is looking for more size but they are also trying to get younger.

            They already have some size on the way:

            Christan Frolin: 6’4″ 220 (just signed NCAA FA)”

            Is this true? I was under the impression he is returning to college. I also think there were another 9 teams interested in signing him.

          • DSF

            Very reasonable trade proposals and I would do both. Not going to lie, I’d try and swap musil instead of marincin if possible.

            What about:

            Sam gagner, the 7th and a second for Dubinsky, new yorks first and Jenner.

          • DSF

            Dubinsky >>>Gagner

            So you’re looking at swapping the 7th and a 2nd for the 19th and Jenner.

            Considering the outstanding year Jenner had (45G 82P in 56GP) and that he is 6’2″ 205 at 19, I doubt CLB would give him up.

            At this point, Jenner likely has more value than the 7th.

            It’s more likely that CLB will use their picks to take a raft of centres since their D is already loaded.

            If I was betting:

            #14 – Max Domi

            #19 – Fredrick Gauthier

            #30 – Nic Petan

            Considering Jenner is also a centre, they would be loaded in that position for the next decade.

            If you want to target the Jackets, I would suggest Ryan Johanssen might be available.

          • OilersBrass

            Ya Johanssen would be up for grabs before Jenner. Johanssen hasn’t really become the player they were hoping for. That’s Columbus’ fault though, they threw him into the NHL to soon.

        • DSF

          In playing style, Ranger is closest to Petry but I would try to hang on to both if I could.

          The OIlers currently have only 3 actual NHL defensemen so it would be worth looking at moving other assets instead.

        • DSF

          Couturier was being used as a shutdown centre against the other teams top lines which, if you think about it, is nothing short of amazing for a 20 year old.

          For example, he started in Ozone only 32% of the time but finished in Ozone 44.7%. That’s the way the Canucks used Manny Malhotra and he’s a lot older than 20.

          His Corsi Rel was +2.1 (Gagner’s was -4.3 and he was playing soft competition with 51% Ozone starts)

          Couturier also had some ridiculous percentages working against him. The ONSV% when he was on the ice was dreadful .887 and his PDO was .960.

          You can expect those numbers to revert to the mean.

          The biggest benefit of acquiring Couturier is that you could run him out against the toughs (Gagner cannot handle that role without getting killed) which would allow Hopkins to go to town on softer competition.

          I would also expect Couturier, with an expanded role, could easily match Gagner’s offensive output while being much, much better defensively.

          • I agree. With your assessment of Gagner, I also have the same feelings towards him as a centre, from everything we have heard on the Oilers front I can’t see Eakins wanting Gagner own the middle.

            I remember watching Couturier in the playoffs as a shut down centre, if he can even match Gagner offensive production then this deal has to get done.

            Besides who doesn’t like a player with his two front giblets missing!

        • Supernova

          I wouldn’t set my expectations high for Ranger. He hasn’t played in the league for a few years. I certainly wouldn’t count on him being as good or better than Smid or Ptery.

      • OilersBrass

        Its really starting to scare me how often I am agreeing with DSF.

        Couturier’s scoring stats in junior project him as at least a 2nd line C. By way of comparison his 17 year old season was on par with guys like Bobby Ryan, Matt Duchene, Jeff Skinner and some guy named Taylor Hall. Fell back a bit in his 18-yo season but still kept pace with the likes of Brayden Schenn, and some other guy named Yakupov. However, since we’re in this realm I should also mention that one of the best 17-yo seasons in recent times was – wait for it… Sam Gagner.

        Anyway, I agree with DSF that we would be lucky to land this kid. Tons of offensive talent and has been able to develop the other side of the puck the last couple years. And he’s big. Only thing I don’t like about him is his faceoff percentage, which was pretty Oilers-esque this year at 44%.

  • My draft list for 7 in order of preference would be

    Barkov
    Nichushkin
    Monahan
    Lindholm
    Nurse

    I don’t believe Barkov or Nichushkin will fall that far, but it is possible with the injury and the Russian factor. If they are both off the table there is a fair chance that we have 2 of the following 3 to pick from. Monahan is, bigger and younger so he would be my preferance over Lindholm. I would love them to trade up to secure Barkov depending on the cost.

    I am also very intrigued with the idea someone put forward yesterday about Gardner and the leaf’s 1st round pick for our 1st rounder. I am guessing we would need to add a sweetener to the deal, but I would be willing to do that in order to get Gardner and one of Lazar, Horvat or Gauthier

  • As for drafting Nurse at 7, that wouldn’t be so bad. We do have a log jam of defensive prospects, but other than Klefbomb, none are ready to make a huge impact if they make the jump. It would be nice to have someone else in the system that can essentially be a better Smid in a few years time.

  • Uuuhhh, I’m pretty sure that the Oilers have, if not the worst drafting record ever, they are top 3 in that regard. For anyone bashing anyone’s ‘draft intelligence’ me thinks, this be pot calling kettle black.

  • Word to the Bird

    Prediction:

    If Monahan is still on the board, he is taken at 7 and develops into a solid 3rd line centre in a few years.

    If he’s not on the board, Edmonton trades the pick unfortunately for more lower picks.

    If Monahan is not on the board but Nichushkin is, Edmonton trades the pick for established NHL blue line talent.