Mock Draft 1.0 has Oilers surprisingly picking Ben Danford in 2nd round

In the first of our mock drafts in the buildup to this year's event in Las Vegas, the Oilers use their second round pick to select blue-liner Ben Danford.
London Knights v Oshawa Generals
London Knights v Oshawa Generals / Chris Tanouye/GettyImages

Even as the Oilers aim to bounce back with a win in game two of the Stanley Cup Final on Monday night, there are other things the organisation need to prepare for. More specifically this year's NHL entry draft, which takes place on June 28-29 in Las Vegas.

The Oilers have just one pick in the first four rounds, but this arguably only makes that one selection in the second round even more important. After this they have one pick in the fifth round, and two in each of the sixth and seventh round.

As the countdown continues towards the draft, we thought it would be fun to do some mock drafts for the first two rounds, to see who the Oilers could potentially end up with. And our first one resulting in a surprising pick, both in the positive and negative sense depending on the perspective.

And with the 64th pick, the Oilers select ...

The player in question is Ben Danford, who the Oilers selected with the 64th overall draft pick. On a very basic level he is a 6 foot, 176 pound right-shot defenceman, who plays for the Oshawa Generals in the OHL.

Danford is coming off a fine season, which included 32 assists, 33 overall points and a +27 rating in 64 regular season games. He added another 10 points and a +6 rating in 21 playoffs games.

The 18-year-old has excellent leadership skills, with him being named an assistant captain for his second season with the Generals. However, there are differing opinions about his overall game.

Pros versus cons of Danford

On the positive side, Danford is described as being well-rounded, calm under pressure, fast and with the upside of a second pairing. However, this is countered by those who point towards a lack of awareness, as well as offensive limitations.

This disparity in opinion on the Madoc, Ontario native is highlighted further in certain media outlets. For example, The Athletic's Scott Wheeler recently picked him 37th overall in a mock draft for the first two rounds, which would make him an absolute steal for the Oilers at 64.

Now contrast this with FC Hockey, who at the time of writing ranked Danford as just the 91st-best prospect in this year's draft. In respect of the general consensus for the 2024 draft, they have him ranked at 61.

Now as before, we appreciate this is all in the name of fun (and curiosity). It's tough to know for sure how a second round draft pick will pan out in the NHL. As per, the only Oilers second round draft pick on their Stanley Cup Final roster is Ryan McLeod.

Next. 2024-25 salary cap better than expected for Oilers ... just. 2024-25 salary cap better than expected for Oilers ... just. dark

Suffice it to say though, if the Oilers did pick Danford at 64, fans would understandably be hoping he turns out to be closer to The Athletic's estimation of him rather than the ranking by FC Hockey. |t will be interesting to see how the young blue-liner's stock pans out over the next two weeks.

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