Edmonton Starts Draft Day 2 Off Strong with Strong Centre Raphaël Lavoie
With the Oilers surprising some fans by drafting another defenseman in the first round, it seemed almost a guarantee that the team would go with a forward in round 2. Raphaël Lavoie was projected by many to be a first round selection but the dominant centre falls to the Edmonton Oilers at #38.
The 6’4 right shooting centre played for the Halifax Mooseheads last season, scoring 32 goals and 41 assists in 62 games. Lavoie also put up 5 goals in 5 games at the U18 World Championship. Lavoie uses his body to protect the puck and push through the opposition. His powerful release and ability to score from anywhere on the ice, including mucking it up in the blue paint makes him a very dangerous player.
Lavoie is a natural sniper and has excellent vision at all areas of the ice. He loves using his teammates and his passing ability is strong, using his body to always keep possession of the puck for his team. Once Lavoie is playing at top speed, he is a very difficult player for the opposition to stop.
Consistency has been his biggest issue which is a common trait for most young players but aside from that there are very little downsides to his game. His defensive game did struggle early on but it is an area that he has certainly worked on and put the effort into.
While a natural centre, his speed shot and overall skillset gives Lavoie the ability to play any position moving forward. This is a player I fully expected to go in the first round and the fact that Edmonton was able to grab him at #38 is a great start to the second day of the draft.