This year has a familiar feel for Edmonton Oiler fans. The team is coming off yet another disappointing season and have a top 10 draft pick. The Oilers will pick at #8 and nobody knows for sure what player the team will land at that position.
There are plenty of forwards that will be on the board, with Broberg being the one defenceman that will be realistically considered at #8, so I think we should continue to look at another forward who could be on the board when Ken Holland takes to the stage in Vancouver: Matthew Boldy
Who Is Matthew Boldy?
Matthew Boldy is a 6 foot 2 192lb left winger who just came off an 81pt season with the U.S National U18 team in the USDP.
The Athletic’s Corey Pronman recently wrote a fantastic scouting report on Boldy where he highlighted both his strengths and weaknesses on the ice.
The first thing you’ll notice with Matthew Boldy is his skill with the puck. The things this kid can do with the puck are straight up ridiculous. He is confident when the puck is in his possession and he isn’t afraid to get creative when bearing down on opposing defenders.
These puck skills don’t just apply to a few silky dangles here and there. Boldy is also a fantastic passer. He can find teammates despite having to look through multiple bodies and, again, he isn’t afraid to go the creative route which can lead to some pretty passing plays.
Boldy also has decent size for an 18-year-old and is good skater. Now he isn’t gonna win any fastest skater competitions in the NHL anytime soon but his speed and stride as it stands could give NHL defenders a tough time.
Sounds pretty good right? This combination of skill, size, and speed is fantastic, but that isn’t to say that Matthew Boldy is without any flaws.
Pronman mentions that Boldy’s compete level is not always consistent and that can be problem, especially in the NHL.
Matthew Boldy is one of the most skilled players in the draft with good size and puck skills. His skating, although decent, does need work and there is a need for higher consistency in his compete level.
He won’t be in the NHL next season, having already committed to Boston College in the NCAA for the 2019/20 season.
Draft Day Projection
Matthew Boldy has been perceived as a top-end prospect in this draft for the majority of the year. Corey Pronman had him in the 4th position while TSN’s Craig Button had him pegged at #7 in their respective October rankings. Button had this to say about the young winger back then:
Quite the comparison.
In the latest draft rankings, not much has changed. Craig Button has him going at #5, while Pronman has him at #11. This puts him well into scoring distance for the Oilers as they lay smack dab in the middle of that range at pick #8.
Does Edmonton Make Sense?
The short answer: absolutely!
Matthew Boldy is is exactly the type of player that the Edmonton Oilers should be targeting at this year’s draft.
Boldy is a very skilled winger on a team that lacks....well...very skilled wingers. He already has NHL size and will not be expected to be in the NHL next year due to his commitment to Boston College next season.
While his skating is not next level, his skill is undeniable and Boldy has the potential to be a very good top 6 NHL winger in the next 2-3 years. His compete issues are a valid cause for concern as well but that is something that can be worked on while he spends time in the NCAA.
Overall, Matthew Boldy’s positives outweigh the negatives at this point in time and I think he would make Oiler fans very happy.
My only concern at this moment is IF Boldy will make it to the Oilers at #8. Of course I am not the only person who thinks highly him and there is reasonable belief that he will be gone before the Oilers have a chance to call his name.
At this moment in time I think Matthew Boldy could be the steal of the draft.
He’s got all the tools to be a superstar in this league and his shortcomings can easily be improved with proper development time, something Ken Holland seems to be a specialist at.
Out of all the possible players that could be available for Edmonton at the #8 pick I think Matthew Boldy should be near the top of the list.