On Friday night, the Edmonton Oilers drafted Evan Bouchard with their 10th pick in the NHL Entry Draft. I’ll be reviewing on the picks that were made.
Edmonton Oilers: It was a wonderful weekend for Peter Chiarelli and his scouting staff lead by Keith Gretzky. The selected three exceptional players in rounds 1-3 and then went walkabout with their last two picks.
10th Overall – Evan Bouchard (D) – 6’2″, 196lbs – London Knights (OHL)
The Oilers first-round pick more or less fell right into their laps when Montreal took newly christened “best centre in the draft” Jesperi Kotkaniemi 3rd overall, then Arizona decided to go WAY off the board and take centre Barrett Hayton 5th overall, and finally, Chicago took highly skilled but often concussed Adam Boqvist 8th overall. That left Edmonton with their choice of Noah Dobson, Oliver Wahlstrom, and Evan Bouchard.
I’m glad they took Bouchard. He’ll be in the Oilers lineup much sooner than Dobson, who I think will need at least three years until he’s ready to make an impact at the NHL level, and Wahlstrom, who could come in a bit earlier and make an impact but not as quick as Bouchard will. Their ceilings might be higher than Bouchard’s, but I like the Knights captain’s risk/reward better.
Evan Bouchard was the best passer in the draft, the highest scoring defenseman in the draft with 87 points last year for the London Knights, he had the 2nd most shots in the OHL, and he leads his team in scoring… As a defenseman.
Another note, he’ll be 19 when the season starts. So even if the Oilers send him back to play junior, he’ll be eligible to join their AHL team full-time next season because he’ll be twenty before the season starts.
The Oilers selected a defenseman who has the potential to be a top-pairing defender who will quarterback the power-play for a decade or more.