With the Dustin Penner acquisition not paying off the way Dean Lombardi would have hoped, the Oilers find themselves with the 19th overall selection at the NHL Entry Draft. While we know roughly who the team is considering with their first overall pick (Ryan Nugent-Hopkins or Adam Larsson), the middle of the first round becomes much more difficult to predict.
In each part of this series, I will profile a player the Oilers should target who could be available at the No. 19 spot.
The first one of these players is Jamieson Oleksiak.
Who is Oleksiak? He should be the newest member of the Oilers defense, but for now he's a defenseman who plays his hockey at Northeastern University of the Hockey East Conference in the NCAA.
For the past four seasons, one thing has resonated with every team the Oilers have had: too easy to play against.
Oleksiak is an 18-year-old defenseman who is 6'7", 240 lbs; immediately adding size and toughness to a team desperately lacking both.
This instantly reminds you of Zdeno Chara or Victor Hedman.
Although Oleksiak is considered raw, many scouts have said his development is at a higher level than Buffalo Sabres defenseman, Tyler Myers, at the same age. Myers went on to win the Calder Trophy as the league's top rookie.
Perhaps the most intriguing quality Oleksiak brings is that, despite his monstrous frame, his skating is not an issue, and he has some offensive potential as well. In his freshman year at Northeastern University, Oleksiak managed 13 points.
Another factor working in the Oilers favour is that, playing in the NCAA, Oleksiak still has three years to develop his game; compared to the CHL where he would only have two.
A player like Oleksiak is intriguing. Someone at his age with his size and skating ability does not come around very often, however his talent is raw enough that many teams will shy away from him. Regardless, he likely will not last until pick No. 19, but if he does, Steve Tambellini would be wise to take the risk with Jamieson Oleksiak.
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