If Russian goalie Yaroslav Askarov is available at 14th overall, the Edmonton Oilers should draft him, says TSN’s Craig Button.
Asked if that would be a slam dunk for the Oilers, Button said, “Yeah, a Lebron James slam dunk pick. In 2015 they had an opportunity to draft Ilya Samsonov and they passed. So where do they find themselves five years later? No viable goaltending option. So if Askarov was somehow available at 14, yeah, absolutely, jump all over him.”
If Askarov is already drafted, Edmonton should take sniper Jack Quinn, the best goal scorer in the draft, Button says. “There’s no question in my mind Jack Quinn could be exactly to McDavid and Draisaitl what Kurri and Anderson were to the Edmonton Oilers.”
- If we go by the consensus ranking, used by averaging the rankings of all the top public experts, we see that Askarov ranks ninth overall and Quinn ranks twelth. There’s an excellent chance one of them will be available when the Oilers draft 14th.
- Button has Askarov ranked seventh and Quinn ranked sixth on his latest list. Only two other draft experts, Mark Edwards and Mark Seidel, are more bullish on Askarov than Button, with Edwards ranked him fifth overall and Seidel sixth. As for Quinn, Button is more optimistic about the player than any other public draft expert save for Edwards, who also has him at sixth overall.
- Who will top scout Tyler Wright and the Oilers take? Bob Stauffer of the Oilers had mentioned names like Anton Lundell, Kaiden Guhle and Seth Jarvis. I have no strong preference myself, not having watched these players closely enough to have any kind of informed take. The analytics, though, would suggest drafting a top-point scoring forward is likely a good bet, as NHL scouts are better at judging scoring talent for 17-year-olds than they are defensive talent, with goalie talent being most difficult of all to judge at that age.
- That said, Askarov is off to a strong start as in the KHL this year with a .974 save percentage in three games. It’s an interesting draft in that it’s delayed, giving scouts one more chance to look at top European players like Askarov, Lucas Raymond, Anton Lundell, Tim Stutzle, Alexander Holtz and Rodion Amirov, as they are all now in playing exhibition or league games.
- The consensus rankings also tell us that there’s no shortage of top attacking forwards in this draft, with players like Lundell, 10th overall in the consensus rankings, Quinn, 12th, Dawson Mercer, 13th, Connor Zary, 14th, Jarvis, 15th, Dylan Holloway, 16th, Rodion Amirov, 17th, Noel Gunler, 18th, and Mavrik Bourque, 19th.
At the Cult
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