Draft season is in the air. For the first time in recent memory, the Oilers are outside of the top five and will select all the way down the ladder at 22nd overall.
There’s really what seem to be a lot more options picking at 22 compared to picking at 1st overall. First overall is a no-brainer, you pick the best player available. You’re likely still implementing this style of thought, but determining the ‘best’ at 22 is a bit more difficult than 1 or 2.
With that in mind, let’s take a look at some picks that Edmonton could entertain at 22nd overall. Today, we take a look at Maxime Comtois.
MAXIME COMTOIS - LW
DOB: 08 JAN 1999
6’2, 200 LBS
2016-17 TEAM: VICTORIAVILLE (QMJHL)
2016-17 NUMBERS: 22-29-51 in 64 GP
Comtois’ stock slipped considerably this season after putting up just 51 points (22-29-51) in the QMJHL as a member of the Victoriaville Tigres. Had you had your ear to the ground prior to the 2016-17 season, Comtois looked to be a top pick. After finishing fourth on the Tigres in scoring, his pick projection fell. Some mocks don’t have him going off the board until the end of the first round. Nearly a point per game player as a seventeen year old (26-34-60 in 62 GP), what’s the reason for Comtois’ tailing off?
Comtois is a big forward (6’2”, 200 lbs) with a big shot. A two-way forward who makes space around the net, Comtois can definitely score (making something out of nearly nothing in the clip above), but his playmaking ability looks to be his greatest asset. He’s not afraid to mix it up against the opposition when things get chippy. Comtois was a participant on Team Canada in the Hlinka Memorial, he had five points (4-1-5) in four games.
Comtois has time playing all three forward positions, some versatility is nice to have. Comtois’ stock may have taken a tumble this year without his usual centre Pascal Laberge, who missed six weeks after suffering a concussion in October.
When I go to the rink, I want to work, I want to make a difference each and every game and I don't care who's in front of me...I work hard, like to go to the net. I like doing extra things on the ice after practice. I want to be the one putting the puck in the net, I want to get the win for my team.
“It was a big surprise for me because you aren't used to seeing young players on that roster...It's just another experience that I'll learn a lot from. My main goal is to get drafted, win a Stanley Cup with my team”
DOES HE MAKE SENSE FOR THE OILERS?
It may be a strange coincidence that Comtois’ play tailed off this season, else his play may simply have suffered without centre Pascal Laberge. There’s a good chance he’ll be available at 22, and he’d be a decent pick to go with. There’s a lot of risk involved in a pick like this, the ‘boom-or-bust’ potential is high here.