NHL 2013 Draft: Updated Look at the Edmonton Oilers' Draft Targets
The NHL Entry Draft is rapidly approaching, and while there has been talk about the Edmonton Oilers possibly trading up from the seventh overall pick and trying to land a top-five position, there are plenty of great players who will be available should the Oilers decide to stay put.
The Oilers have a talented group of young forwards but very few talented forward prospects not currently playing in the NHL.
Edmonton is also fortunate to have a selection of talented defensive prospects who could make the jump to the Oilers in the next couple of seasons.
The 2013 draft will allow the Oilers to either continue to stockpile young defensemen or draft a forward who could perhaps slot a bit lower in the depth chart.
Here is an updated look at the Edmonton Oilers’ 2013 draft targets.
If the Oilers decide to stay at the seventh overall selection, Darnell Nurse could be the type of difference-maker that just may help propel the Oilers into playoff contention going forward.
At 6’4” and 190 pounds, Nurse is a big-bodied presence on the blue line who has plenty of room to physically mature.
Nurse is the type of defender who not only possesses a strong hockey IQ but also plays the game with grit and toughness, something the Oilers are currently lacking with their current stable of defenders.
While he may not produce the same amount of offense as he did in the OHL, Nurse could very well develop into a franchise defenseman.
Even with Sam Gagner on the roster, the Edmonton Oilers are relatively thin on talented center ice players, and Sean Monahan, formally of the Ottawa 67’s, could be just the answer for Edmonton.
Monahan has top-end playmaking abilities, and at 6’2”, 186 pounds, he would provide a strong physical presence down the middle for the Oilers.
One knock on Monahan is that he isn’t the fastest skater, but he makes up for lack of foot speed with tremendous hockey intelligence.
On a team like the Oilers, whose top lines posses such top-end speed, Monahan may struggle to keep up but would still be an excellent selection for the team.
His size and quick hands will result in more than his fair share of points at the NHL level, and with time and some coaching, Monahan’s size should help the young center become a solid faceoff man for whichever team drafts him.
If the Oilers were to trade down in the draft, Curtis Lazar would likely draw a lot of consideration.
The Oilers organization will be extremely familiar with Lazar’s body of work, with the talented winger having played for the WHL’s Edmonton Oil Kings.
Though not the biggest player, Lazar plays the game with a bit of an edge while still being able to contribute in the offensive zone.
Lazar is the type of heart-and-soul player whom the Oilers could most certainly use to populate their third line. He could develop into a strong shutdown player who could match up against opponents’ top lines.
Max Domi is the type of player any team would love to have on their roster. Domi is a highly skilled player whose offensive creativity far surpasses his enforcer father's limited skill set.
Despite being a bit undersized at 5’10”, Domi doesn’t shy away from the physical aspect of the game and could easily develop into a player who agitates the opponents while contributing strong offensive numbers.
At times Domi can be caught trying to do too much with the puck, relying too much upon his playmaking abilities, but his drive and motor is hard to overlook and could make a strong selection for the Oilers come draft day.
Nikita Zadorov is a hulking defender with an above-average shot who could develop into quite the shutdown defender if given the right coaching.
At 6’5” and 230 pounds, Zadorov’s size is his biggest asset, but his skating ability for such a large player is what could set him apart from other potential defensemen in the draft.
Zadorov possesses an average offensive game but is sound in the defensive zone and is the type of player who loves to play the body, often looking to make the big hit.
Zadorov has the potential to develop into quite the physical presence in the NHL, and if his offensive game improves, he could very well be an excellent second-line defender.