Edmonton Oilers 2015 1st Round Draft Choices


With the conclusion of the 1st round of the NHL playoffs, Oilers fans can take a slight measure of happiness in the misfortune of the Pittsburgh Penguins. They cashed in their 1st round draft pick, along with Rob Klinkhammer in a trade with the Oilers which brought them David Perron back on January 2nd.

At the time, it was assumed that Perron would ride shotgun with Sidney Crosby and put up big numbers, and the Penguins would make a good playoff run and be a team to be feared.

It didn’t work out that way, and Pittsburgh limped their way into the playoffs and were swatted by the Rangers in 5 games, with Perron registering 1 point in 5 games.

This brings us to the 2015 NHL draft. The Oilers have the 1st overall pick (Connor McDavid) and will now also pick 16th, (15th if Calgary beats Anaheim in their 2nd round series) which is where Pittsburgh would have picked, had they not done the Perron trade.

The 2015 draft has been heralded as an extremely talented and deep draft for some time. Personally, I’m not a big advocate of trading the pick and believe that it can be used to draft a player that can be useful for a long time. Here are 3 candidates who could realistically be around at pick #16 who I believe the Oilers should be looking closely at.

1. Oliver Kylington – Defense – AIF IF (SWE-1)

A fluid skater who makes rushes and passes look easy. The 6’0”, 180 lb Swede won’t be a big bruiser in the NHL and probably won’t be shattering glass with his slapshot, but he should be a calming presence on the backend who is able to slow the game down and dictate its pace. Early comparables are Kimmo Timonen and Tobias Enstrom.

"“Smooth skating defenceman who is very efficient in transporting the puck up the ice. Very agile and athletic, but might be missing that extra hockey sense needed to become a force on the powerplay. Could become a good two-way defenceman in the NHL, maybe even a guy for a top four assignment.” – Uffe Bodin"

2. Jakub Zboril – Defense – Saint John (QMJHL)

This Czech defender offers a little more size than the aforementioned Kylington at 6’2”, 185 lbs and is an excellent two-way option at the major junior level. I do not believe that Zboril will become a superstar, but has the potential to become a solid top-4 option with a comparable like Dan Hamuis. Just a solid, solid player where you know what you’re getting every night.

"“Broke out at the 2014 Ivan Hlinka tournament (5GP-4G-2A-6P), Czech defenseman Jakub Zboril has the makings of an offensive defenseman. He is a creative passer and displays inspiring four-way mobility offering good offensive zone upside. Zboril has struggled with his game-to-game More from Oil On Whyte3 Oilers Players Who Should See An Expanded Role In 2023 And 1 Who Should NotThree Battles To Watch At Edmonton Oilers Training CampKeys to Success: What the Edmonton Oilers Need to Focus on for a Successful SeasonThe Edmonton Oilers Mean Business This SeasonPacific division predictionsconsistency and will need to continue to improve on his defensive play but he mixes his offensive tools and physicality too well to not be considered a first round talent. The rookie import shows an ability to play a North American style combining grit, mobility and a boomer of a shot. He’s missed some time in his draft year to injury but Zboril has notched nine goals and 23 points in only 34 QMJHL games.” – Brendan Ross"

3. Thomas Chabot – Defense – Saint John (QMJHL)

Are you noticing a trend here? Outside of Klefbom and Nurse, I’m skeptical about any of the young defencemen coming up and this year’s second 1st round pick is an excellent opportunity to further reinforce the blue line for the next decade.

Chabot has really come into his own this year. While he’s always been an excellent passer, his foot speed has drastically increased this year and is able to cover large areas of the rink in the blink of an eye. Much like Kylington, Chabot’s shot is not a cannon but that’s something that can be worked on. You can’t teach size and another 6’2” body on the back end is never a bad thing to add. NHL comparison is Keith Yandle.

"“A silky, smooth skater, Chabot shows high potential as puck moving defensive prospect.  He has the speed to join or lead the rush, and get back defensively.  He has the edgework and agility to pivot quickly and cover large areas of the ice, or to walk the line and open up passing and shooting lanes.  He is calm and composed with the puck, has good stickhandling ability and can make a strong pass either to start the transition, or set up a play from the blueline. His shot is decent, and he has good accuracy, but he could stand to add some more muscle, and make it even harder.Defensively he has good positioning and is willing to play a physical game in front of the net and in the corners.” – Ben Kerr"

Obviously, I’m a big proponent of continuing to build up the blue line going forward, and don’t really consider trading the pick to be a viable option unless we’re offered NHL-ready help on the blue line in exchange for it. What do you think the Oilers should do with Pittsburgh’s pick? Reply in the comments below or Tweet me @thistlej