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Leon Draisaitl has the physical tools to make it to the NHL this season, but the Oilers will want to see how the talented German battles during training camp before making a decision.
When the Edmonton Oilers traded Sam Gagner for Teddy Purcell, it would have been safe to assume that the club was in the market for a second-line center to occupy the place voided by the departing Gagner.
However, this acquisition never materialized and Leon Draisaitl, the third overall selection in the 2014 NHL entry draft, almost became the second-line center by default.
The Oilers have graduated many of their top draft picks directly into the NHL in recent seasons. With the exception of Darnell Nurse, taken seventh overall last season, all of the Oilers' first round selections in the past four seasons have made the jump directly to the NHL.
Draisaitl’s size and skill set would suggest that he should be able to compete against larger men in the NHL, but the Oilers will want to ensure the correct developmental process for a man who should become a very significant piece of the puzzle.
Draisaitl should be one of the hardest-working Oilers at training camp this year as he attempts to prove that he is ready to make the jump without hindering his development.
The Oilers are almost guaranteed to give him a look as the regular season starts, but Draisaitl will have to demonstrate both physical and mental maturity if he is to stick in the NHL this season.