NHL Draft: Edmonton Oilers Take Jordan Eberle 22nd Overall
The Edmonton Oilers first-round pick this year was sent to the Anaheim Ducks in the deal that brought Dustin Penner to town. However, they had already claimed the rights to the Ducks' first rounder, as part of the Chris Pronger trade in the summer of 2006.
Friday night, GM Kevin Lowe and his scouting staff took Regina Pats centreman Jordan Eberle with the 22nd overall pick.
Eberle, 18, played this past season with Regina of the Western Hockey League, and lead his team with 75 points in 70 games. He was also part of the Canadian National Men's U-18 team that won gold in Russia in April. Appropriately enough, his favourite team is the Edmonton Oilers.
Standing at 5'10" and weighing in at 174 pounds, Eberle is one of the smaller players selected in the first round. He plays a run-and-gun type of game that will mesh nicely with the Oilers' style. Eberle will eventually join a team which includes youngsters such as Sam Gagner, Andrew Cogliano, Tom Gilbert, and Robert Nilsson.
The Oilers only had four other picks in the draft, none of which were taken during the second or third round. Here's how the rest of Edmonton's weekend went:
Johan Motin, 103rd overall (fourth round)
Motin has had exposure to playing with the pros during his time in the Swedish Elite League. He is a solid, stay-at-home defenseman who can be counted upon to shut things down in the defensive zone.
He is not afraid to use his size to his advantage, and has the potential to be a physical presence on the ice.
Philippe Cornet, 133rd overall (fifth round)
Cornet is one of many players in this draft that will have to put some muscle on in order to compete with the big boys in the NHL.
But he has a nose for the net coming off the left wing, and was second on the Rimouski Oceanic in points this year, with 49. Playing another year or two in juniors will do plenty to develop the Val-Senneville native.
Teemu Hartikainen, 163rd overall (sixth round)
This pick is questionable because there hasn't been a set scouting report released on Hartikainen. He's spent the last two years playing on a Junior-A team in Finland, and hasn't had much exposure to many North Americans.
On the other hand, looking at his stats on eurohockey.net, he appears to be a goal scorer who can play a rough style of game that few Finns are accustomed to.
Jordan Bendfeld, 193rd overall (seventh round)
Bendfeld was actually drafted in the fifth round to the Phoenix Coyotes in 2006. Since he didn't sign a deal with the team, he was eligible to be re-drafted this year, and the Oilers nabbed him with their last selection.
Bendfeld brings size and strength to the table, and isn't afraid to mix it up. He led the Medicine Hat Tigers in penalty minutes this season, and contributed 25 points as well.
But he will have to work on his speed in order to make it to the next level.
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