With the Stanley Cup playoffs over, TSN has kicked off its coverage of the 2009 NHL Entry Draft, starting today with Shane Malloy's mock draft. He projects that the Oilers will select defenseman Ryan Ellis with the 10th overall pick:
He's arguably the most talented offensive player in the entire draft and if he was 6 foot 1, Ellis could have been the first overall pick. His hockey sense is elite by NHL standards and he processes information like a chess player - thinking three moves ahead. When it comes to having poise with the puck, very few - if any - are Ellis' equal. His puck skills rival any forward on this list and he can make pinpoint passes. Ellis makes smart, quick decisions with the puck and uses all his choices. His stickhandling skills can create time and space for himself and his teammates. He shoots the puck very well and has a talent and timing for getting the puck on net by finding seams in the defence. The kid has the two-step quickness and agility needed to keep larger opponents at bay and the footspeed to lead the rush. Unfortunately, Ellis is only around 5 foot 10 and 180 pounds so he will be susceptible to being overpowered and forced out of the play physically. To his credit, he is not afraid of rough play and takes his lumps, but Ellis will need to add some strength and weight before he turns pro. His experience winning the WJC U18s, WJC U20s and Memorial Cup will allow him make the jump to the NHL quicker. Ellis has the potential to be a number one defenceman in the NHL in his prime.
Interstingly, Malloy also had Scott Glennie selected in the #11 spot. Lowetide's been pushing for the Oilers to snag Glennie since back in March, and I get the feeling that he's climbed the rankings a lot since that point. I know I'd certainly put him ahead of Zack Kassian, Carter Ashton, and the rest of the big wingers at the draft. Aside from those two players, Jordan Schroeder and Dmitri Kulikov must be of interest to the Oilers, and if Nazem Kadri or Magnus Paajarvi-Svensson somehow fell than the Oilers would have to consider them too.