Never too early to talk draft, right? This is where I preamble about how this isn't a thread to talk about the Oilers position in the 2017-2018 standings. But things have changed and we're awesome now, so I don't have to worry about the disgruntled moaning about the teams misfortunes in the standings. This is a thread to discuss the 2018 NHL Entry Draft from an Oilers-centric view point. We got a good group of draft nerds and it makes us all smarter when we geek out together. A quick and dirty glance at the prospect pool: CENTER: J. Gambardella, J. Khaira, A. Rasanen, K. Platzer, H. Samuelsson LEFT WING: T. Benson, J. LaLeggia, O. Safin RIGHT WING: J. Puljujarvi, K. Yamamoto, K. Maksimov, G. Chase, P. Russell LEFT DEFENSE: C. Jones, Z. Paigin, D. Samorukov, D. Simpson, W. Lagesson, M. Niemalainen RIGHT DEFENSE: E. Bear, R. Mantha, F. Berglund, J. Marino GOALTENDER: L. Brossoit, D. Wells, S. Skinner, N. Ellis, S. Starrett Netminders - well stocked, don't see us spending high draft capital bullets for a draft or two. Right Handed Shots - Still light on righties, should keep adding with offense flowing from 97 & 29. Offensive Center Depth - We're thin down the middle and while we're elite heavy on the big club, good organizations don't let center depth become a problem. We need our Ryan Spooner. The Blueline - The Leftorium is more balanced, still need to focus on RHD over LHD, but in general we need more sure bets to become Top-4 Defenseman --- Doing some quick reconnaissance, the early indications are that this is a deep class of some real quality blueliners. There aren't many centers, and even fewer right handed centers at this time. Appear to be many wingers touted for the top of the draft as well. [fieldset=12 MONTHS BEFORE THE 2018 NHL ENTRY DRAFT] FORWARDS Andrei Svechnikov (USHL) - Russian left shot RW. Was the Projected #1 till Dahlin. Joe Veleno (QMJHL) - Canadian LHC. Granted exceptional status in the Q but doesn't sound like he has the same shine as the other exceptional status guys (better than Day though). Falling? Still a Top-10? Brady Tkachuk (USDP) - American LW/C. Matt's brother and every bit a similar player. I think he'll end up Top-15 if not Top-10, but I don't think he's as hyped as his brother. Would love to add him to the organization... Allan McShane (OHL) - LHC from the Oshawa Generals. Was Erie's crown jewel they moved for Anthony Cierelli Ryan McLeod (OHL) - Playmaking LHC from the Mississauga Steelheads. Younger brother of Michael McLeod. Has the wheels, was named in this years OHL coaches poll as a top playmaker in the league. Jack McBain (???) - He's following the Andrew Cogliano development path where he's playing in a lesser Greater Toronto Area hockey league and plans to go the college perhaps? He's a 6'3 LHC. Akil Thomas (OHL) - RHC from the Niagara Ice Dogs, teammate (linemate?) of Kirill Maksimov. Offensive catalyst, speed, skill, vision, dangerous off the rush. Ty Dellandrea (OHL) - RHC playing for the Flint Firebirds. He excelled in a scoring role and has been described as a big center by Brock Otten but it looks like he tops the scales at 6'1. Otten is high on him. Oliver Wahlstrom (NCAA) - 6'1 RHC dual citizen SWE/USA. Committed to Harvard University, he's a shooter for the most part, two-way guy, and has consistently been the one of the better players of his age group. --- LEFTY DEFENSEMEN Rasmus Dahlin (SHL) - Swedish LHD. The next Erik Karlsson. Projected #1, I think he has it firmly entrenched. Jared McIsaac (QMJHL) - 6Ã¢€™2 LHD Halifax Mooseheads Mattias Samuelsson (NCAA) - Univ. of Michigan 6Ã¢€™3 LHD Quinton Hughes (NCAA) - Univ. of Michigan, 5Ã¢€™9 super undersized, playmaking OFD Ty Smith (WHL) - 5Ã¢€™11 LHD Spokane Chief, Yamamoto's teammate --- RIGHTY DEFENSEMEN Bode Wilde (NCAA) - 6Ã¢€™2 Dual citizenship CAN/USA from Montreal going to Harvard Ryan Merkley (OHL) - 5Ã¢€™11 Guelph Storm, Samorukov teammate (partner?), offensive catalyst from the blueline, developing defensive game... is he more Anthony DeAngelo or Drew Doughty? Evan Bouchard (OHL) - 6Ã¢€™2 RHD London Knights Adam Boqvist (SHL) - 5Ã¢€™11 Swede has lots of offense. "Boqvist is a confident, puck moving blueliner. Solid and efficient skater who keeps the game simple. Plays the point very well and keeps pucks in at the line. Very active stick at both ends and very active feet that help him contain the attack. Thinks the game at a high level and is a potential top four, two-way defender. Size is his only drawback." - FutureConsiderations Jett Woo (WHL) - 6Ã¢€™0 Canadian Moose Jaw Warrior. A less-is-more Dumba with a much better defensive game. Defensive rock? Offensive consistency issues. Excellent physical tools and quick skater up the ice with the puck rush. Xavier Bouchard (QMJHL) - 6Ã¢€™2 RHD. Son of HC of RN Huskies. Coachable. Good skater, high IQ, puck skills, needs to add muscle. [/fieldset] Feels like this will be a draft year where I keep a master list and a separate master list for blueliners. Really intrigued by the blueline crop and I think this is the year we take a RHD with our 1st round pick (pretty sure I said this last year as well). For the Oilers, I'm gonna keep an eye on the right handed centers (Thomas, Dellandrea, Wahlstrom) as well as blueliners that may be there at the end of the 1st round *cough* available at 31st OV *cough* (Woo, X. Bouchard, maybe Smith?). We've been through three Chiarelli drafts and trends are emerging. We should be prepared to draft the best Edmonton hockey product in the draft class with our second pick. We're inevitably taking a left handed defenseman with a mid-round pick. Don't bother hoping for a guy still on your list from the 3rd round, we're taking Jack DeBoer with our 6th rounder. Bloodlines! Who are you interested in for the 2018 NHL Entry Draft?