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Tuesday, June 19, 2012

OILERS DraftCenter (Article 3)




Today we continue looking further into possible draft picks that could be considered for the Oilers in later rounds. The ones I want to look at today , will more then likely be 3rd or 4th round possibilities. As well, these perspective players are more of a higher risk/reward then others I will mention in my OILERS DraftCenter Article 4 which will be posted on Thursday morning, a day before the draft. 

On Friday AM I will be posting a final Draft day blog in anticipation of what is going to happen with our 1st overall selection. For those of you who have followed me all year, you will notice I am opinionated, but also fairly astute in those opinions. More often then not, I have tended to be more accurate then wrong. (I know , quit blowing your own horn). I will be posting some proof of the last 2,  #1 Overall  selections I predicted and then be releasing my final prediction of the 2012 1st Overall pick. I  am also going on a limb in this prediction , as it will end up costing me some dollars if I am wrong. Oh, let the fun begin!

On with some potential 3rd and 4th round picks in this years NHL Entry Draft....



NIKITA GUSEV
LW , 5'9 , 163 lbs

Nikita can be a very dynamic player as was seen at the world Juniors. He was pretty broken up about losing to Sweden in OT for the Gold medal. Even as far as to not even put his medal out for others to see. Nail in a interview claims Nikita still had his silver medal in his hockey equipment bag month later. As is the normal in the NHL, their is concerns about his size. Gusev has average speed and is a riverboat gambler. With 30 Goals and 76 points in only 34 games in his last year in the MHL. He has lots of offensive potential. The only question that remains is, will he be able to perform offensively like that against men.


Having been passed over twice already at the NHL draft , there is no doubt someone will pick him up once the 3rd round comes around. If he lasts til the 4th, it will be a steal of a pickup. Nikita is considered a artist with the puck and makes others around him even better. (A much better player then a Schremp or Omark). A crafty and savvy forward, Gusev is adept at playmaking or scoring. There is no doubt, he has elite vision on the ice but the Russian factor will be a issue amongst teams in the NHL. While listed at 5'9 those closer to him are saying he is now closer to 5'11. (no proof can be found on that in my search) He averaged 2.36 ppg in the Russian Jr league and the next closest player averaged 1.52 ppg. 


LUDVIG NILSSON
C 6'1 , 173 lbs

Ludvig is a offensively impressive big player. (although not that heavy his size is more like RNH) The concern about Ludvig is not his offense but his ability to play through a big and tough defence. Not lots of information to find on Ludvig other then viewings in international competition with team sweden. Plays a pretty straight , North/South game of hockey.

MATIA MARCANTUONI
C , 6'0 , 194 lbs

One of Matia's strengths had been known is his balance and power which he has been known to use well. At last year's Research and development camp, there were high hopes of a 1st round player. He is known to go into corners against bigger players and come out with the puck. His game is all about speed though. His big move is rushing hard down the right side and suddenly cuts for the net with no fear of crashing into the goalie.


One of Matia's weaknesses is his health. He will have to adapt his play on the ice to have any possibility of a long career in hockey especially to play in the NHL. His anticipation skills are not as fine tuned as some scouts would like, which makes sense why his ranking dropped so much this year. Could be another Angelo Esposito, or maybe a late bloomer? Might be a risk worth taking come the 3rd round if available?

STEVEN HODGES
C , 5'11 , 178 lbs

A good skater who can hit top end speed in only a few strides. A player who you can't help but notice on the ice. Hodges is considered more of a playmaker then a scorer. Should he get enough time and space he is sure to find that streaking teammate coming in on the goalie. He has great hockey sense and is good at getting himself and or others open.


The only true weakness found in his game by scouts is he has not yet posted top end point production for the talent and skill level he displays on the ice. Also he does get pushed around on the ice quite often and sometimes is told he doesn't always show up physically.

CHARLES HUDON
LW , 5'10 , 170 lbs

One thing scouts all agree on, is he has top 6 potential in the NHL should he ever make it. The other thing they all agree on is, his size will be a big barrier to overcome to play top 6 in the NHL. His foot speed has been questioned by some scouts while others say it is workable to get to another level. he does however have quick hands and a well developed 'hockey sense'. He also has been known by scouts to have a strong work ethic and consistently has produced throughout his career to date.

RAPHAEL BUSSIERES
LW , 6'1 , 195 lbs

A extremely gritty winger who sometimes plays on the edge, but that edge has also ended up in suspensions. Should probably be producing more offense at this stage due to size but could possibly be carving out a career as a 3rd line banger or 4th line skilled fighter? 


Average skating, ok puck handling skills but because this player can lose control and take bad penalties he will be in tough against stiff competition in the first 3 rounds at the NHL Entry Draft in June.
CODA GORDON
LW , 6'1 , 182 lbs

Coda is the type of player who likes to get those dirty goals. You won't find many of his goals on the highlight of the night. Maybe off a skate, off the head or even his backside, it just goes in because of how hard he works around the net. Not considered a strong skater , this past season he did work on it and it showed dividends by season's end. Coda will need to become a more aggressive and physical player if he wants to advance to the pro level, but if he keeps his commitment level high to improving, he should be fine as a 4th round pick for sure.

FRANKIE VATRANO
LW , 5'10 , 221 lbs


A solid physical player who may not be tall but definitely is well built and a solid player with a strong core. Doesn't play a lot of minutes but could be the kind of player in the Davante Smith-Pelly mold. He is and energetic and intense player who finishes his checks and plays hard each shift. He has great skating acceleration and wins most races to the puck scouts are saying.


His natural shooting instincts make his a very accurate shooter who places the puck on target more often then not. Has the ability to be a gritty role player with some offensive abilities. 
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