June 22, 2012; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Edmonton Oilers general manager Steve Tambellini announces Nail Yakupov (not pictured) to the Oilers in the 2012 NHL Draft at CONSOL Energy Center. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Oilers Depth Chart – Big Forwards Coming


Over the first month of the season one of the biggest fan gripes and criticisms has been the lack of size among forwards, and the lack of team toughness. While it appears the organization seems fine with what they have for the top 13 forwards, there may be a reason for it. We, as fans, are having a hard time admitting that the Edmonton Oilers are still in a re-build.  But if you have a look at the forwards drafted in the last few years you can see very obviously that management is trying to improve the size and grittiness of this team through the draft.

Besides the obvious offensively talented top picks the last 4 drafts, let’s have a look at what others forwards the oilers have drafted.

2012 Draft

Nail Yakupov

1st Rd

1st overall

5’11

190lbs

Mitch Moroz

2nd Rd

32 overall

6’2

208lbs

Jujhar Khaira

3rd Rd

63 overall

6’3

195lbs

Daniil Zharkov

3rd Rd

91 overall

6’4

212lbs

John McCarron

6th Rd

153 overall

6’3

215lbs

2012 avg

6’2″

204lbs

 

You can see that 2012 was a year for size in the draft. Oil on Whyte staffer Jonathan Mcleod wrote a great article about Khaira just the other day, check it out here. Moroz has been been a leader on the Oil Kings racking up 28 points and 113pims so far this season. Zharkov played with Yakupov on the Russian squad at the World Juniors, and McCarron is playing his second season at Cornell University.

2011 Draft

Ryan-Nugent Hopkins

1st Rd

1st overall

6’1

175lbs

Travis Ewanyk

3rd Rd

74 overall

6’1

184lbs

Tobias Reider

4th Rd

114 overall

5’11

190lbs

2011 avg

6′

183lbs

 

2011 the Oilers only drafted three forwards and of the three only Travis Ewanyk might be considered an agitator/grinder type player. Ewanyk, like Moroz, is playing for the Oil Kings in the WHL. Tobias Reider may have been the sleeper pick of the 2011 draft, he currently leads the Kitchener Rangers of the OHL with 44 points in 42 games.

2010 Draft

Taylor Hall

1st Rd

1st overall

6’1

194lbs

Tyler Pitlick

2nd Rd

31 overall

6’2

193lbs

Curtis Hamilton

2nd Rd

48 overall

6’3

202lbs

Ryan Martindale

3rd Rd

61 overall

6’3

207lbs

Drew Czerwonka

6th Rd

166 overall

6’2

203lbs

Kristains Pelss

7th Rd

181 overall

5’11

191lbs

Kellen Jones

7th Rd

202 overall

5’9

165lbs

2010 avg

6’1

193lbs

 

2010 was a forward heavy draft for the Oilers brass. Pitlick, Hamilton, Martindale and Pelss are all playing with the OKC Barons, while Czeronka is playing at the University of Regina and Kellen Jones is playing for the ECAC leading Quinnipiac University.

What does it mean?

Over the last 3 drafts the average height and weight of forwards drafted has been 6’1” and 193lbs respectively. While some or most of these players drafted are not going to make the NHL, a few of them will. Realistically the Oilers are set for a while with their top 5 forwards, and the holes to fill will be in the bottom 6. Bottom six players take longer to develop in general, but if a few of the players listed above continue to improve I believe the Oilers are in good shape going forward to increase the size and grittiness of the team.

Team management may choose to change the look of the roster sooner and not wait. I for one don’t see that happening, whether it looks like it or not I believe they have a plan in place that they are happy with and going to stick to. Regardless of what the fans think.

 

Jeff – @OilOnWhyte

Ian – @ibleedoil

Jonathan – @jonrmcleod

Troy – @heavyoilcountry

Dave – @rustyknuckler

 

Tags: Edmonton Oilers NHL OKC Barons