The 2014 NHL Entry Draft is 25 days away and the Wild are looking to find that next NHL star to raise their franchise to the next level. Hockey Wilderness is counting down the days with a daily mock draft. We are at pick number 6 today.
The Edmonton Oilers continue to be the butt of many League-wide jokes because even with selecting first overall three years in a row, they have yet to rise from the bottom of the standings. Yet, here we are. The Oilers are back to picking first at the draft and they've changed coaches and general mangers again. Peter Chiarelli was axed as the Boston Bruins' top boss and now lands himself in front of a huge rebuild and the chance to pick a generational talent. With that, we open the draft with the most obvious choice, Connor McDavid.
Edmonton Prospect Review
Last season, the Oilers, known for their defensive woes, selected yet another forward in Leon Draisaitl. Draisaitl played in 32 games for Edmonton notching only 9 points in his NHL stint. He was then sent back to the Kelowna Rockets of the WHL for 32 games where he scored 19 goals and 34 assists. With the Oilers possibly looking to move players like Taylor Hall or Nail Yakupov, Draisaitl may be seeing more time with the big club next season.
Edmonton is still young. Taylor Hall, Jordan Eberle, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Matt Hendricks, and Iiro Pakarinen are all young (or relatively young) players that are being held down by the constant losing and terrible play in their own zone.
Edmonton's depth on defense starts and stops with Justin Schultz. The defensive prospects are thin at best and it wouldn't make sense for the Oilers to draft yet another forward at the top of the draft, but to pass on generational talent, regardless of position, is plain stupid.
About Connor McDavid
Connor McDavid is is the consensus number one in five different scouting services. As the captain of the Erie Otters of the Ontario Hockey League, he amassed 120 points in just 47 games played in 2014-15 after piling up 99 points in 56 games the season before. He truly is an elite talent as he led his Otters in 19 playoff games with 49 points in 19 games. Standing at 6'0" and 185 pounds, this kid has a knack for not just depositing the puck, but setting his linemates up as well.
The Director of NHL Central Scouting had this to say about McDavid:
He’s a craftsman with the puck. His hockey sense, with his vision, his anticipation, his sense of timing and the ability to do those things at a top-end speed, you’re looking at the best skilled player in the draft.
It is because he is so good and the idea that if anyone passed on him in the draft they'd be skewered alive on pitchforks from the mob that he is chosen at number one.
How He'd Fit the Wild
'Tis a no-brainer, if you ask me. This kid commands the offensive zone on the power play and the Wild all they can get on the power play. His skating, speed, vision, and puck handling abilities allows him to get away with not being an overly physical player. Minnesota needs help down the middle, and this could be the kind of kid that fills that hole for many years on this Wild team.