I'm going to take a look at another large winger in Timo Meier, a player unanimously ranked ahead of the 16th spot where the Oilers pick for the second time in the entry draft. At six-foot-one and 209 lbs, the Swiss-born RW/C possesses comparable size to the last player I profiled, Evgeny Svechnikov, but various scouting reports suggest he plays a more multi-dimensional game.
Ranked #13 by Hockeyprospect.com
Ranked #14 by ISS Hockey
Ranked #14 by Future Considerations
Ranked #13 by McKeen's Hockey
Ranked #10 by NHL Central Scouting (NA Skaters)
Ranked #12 by TSN/McKenzie
Meier recently completed his second season with the Halifax Mooseheads, posting impressive scoring totals of 44-46-90 in 61 regular season games, proving he's as capable of scoring as he is setting up his teammates. Playing with the Winnipeg Jets' 9th overall pick in 2014, Nikolaj Ehlers, certainly didn't hurt his offensive output, either. He followed the regular season up with 10-11-21 in 14 post-season games, and complimented his QMJHL season with a strong showing at the World Junior Championship, going point-a-game with Team Switzerland (2-4-6 in 6 GP).
Strategies at 16th Overall: Travis Konecny
The Oilers will have a number of talented players to choose from at 16th overall. Ottawa 67's captain Travis Konecny could be one of them.
While those numbers are impressive, Scott Reynolds here at Copper & Blue warns that expectations should be tempered in Meier's case, due in part to the fact that he is one of the oldest players in the draft. Whether he gets drafted in the first half of the first round as the rankings predict, or after that when the Oilers are up to bat, Scott found in his ongoing comparables series that the set of players Meier lines up closest with haven't been all that riveting at the NHL level.
As Scott says, "I think what we've got with Meier is a player likely to make the NHL in some capacity, but not likely to be offensive juggernaut ... If he's still around when the Oilers pick, he's certainly worth considering, but the team will definitely need to manage expectations."
That said, Meier brings a tight all-around game to the table, and like Travis Konecny, that should allow him to become a versatile addition who can play throughout the lineup when he does in fact crack an NHL roster.
"A physically dominant winger with the ability to play in a skill or character role. In the offensive end, Meier is very aware and gets himself into spaces where he can easily make seeing eye passes or snap hard, accurate shots. Can impact the game in a number of different ways, and is very consistent in his efforts. All-in-all, the kind of versatile player that you can put on a skill line, and trust to create dangerous chances, or on a shutdown line, and trust to help stop pucks from going into your net."
"Timo is about power, skill and undeniable determination. He can beat you multiple ways either with finesse or power. He has astute awareness of how to play off his linemates and take advantage of opportunities. Relentless in his approach and potential to be an elite power player."
And Dan Marr, Director of NHL Central Scouting, had this to say about Meier:
"He's a solid and strong skater both with and without the puck, has high-end hockey sense and reads the play very well," Marr said. "He competes and works smart on plays and is very effective in 1-on-1 situations."
Timo Meier would be a great get at 16th overall—one who would compliment the Oilers array of skilled players nicely—but he's unlikely to fall that far in the upcoming entry draft. The quality of his teammates, namely Nikolaj Ehlers, no doubt had a positive effect on his offensive output last season, and that's probably benefitted him in pre-draft rankings. That's also likely not a big enough factor to convince 14 other teams to pass on this big skilled winger with a strong work ethic and good awareness at both ends of the ice.