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Oilers’ Draisaitl makes an argument to start in NHL

Jul 6, 2014, 1:36 PM EDT

Leon Draisaitl Getty Images

Leon Draisaitl is the latest in what’s become a long line of Edmonton Oilers top-five draft picks. What makes the 2014 third overall selection a bit different doesn’t just come from his size but his maturity.

During the Oilers development camp, Draisaitl talked about what it would be like to make the Oilers roster right out of training camp.

As Chris Wescott of the Oilers’ website shared, he’s also got a very mature take on how he and other 2014 draft picks should be judged  out of camp.

“I think it is a learning process for any 18-year-old kid,” Draisaitl said. “But at the same time, I think if a player is ready to play and step in and make an impact, then why wouldn’t you let him play and give him a chance? I think there’s a lot of players who aren’t ready and come in to training camp, they’re young, and that’s usually every 18-year-old kid is not as strong as an NHL player. I think it’s a learning process, but if a player is ready and he wants to make an impact, then there is no way you can get around letting him play.”

Are we sure he’s not a veteran player disguised as a hot NHL prospect? From that it sounds like Draisaitl isn’t just making the case for himself to stick around in Edmonton but also arguments for fellow top picks Aaron Ekblad in Florida and Sam Reinhart in Buffalo.

The Oilers haven’t been shy about starting draft picks in the NHL right away. Taylor Hall, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, and Nail Yakupov all jumped from the draft stage to the NHL right away. With Draisaitl’s skills he very well could be joining them in Edmonton next season.

  1. matt14gg - Jul 6, 2014 at 1:53 PM

    He absolutely “could” play in the NHL next year. The real question is “should he?”. Absolutely not. There’s no reason to waste a year on this guy with a young team that is still a couple years away. Too many young guys that have a lot to learn…there’s no reason to add another (especially a forward) when he can spend another year in juniors getting bigger and stronger (and in his case, faster).

    • avscup - Jul 6, 2014 at 7:12 PM

      On the other hand, only the coaches and players see what really happens in camp. Nathan Mackinnon was obviously ready even though he was only 17! How can you send a kid back when he is ready?

      Perhaps Draisaitl will be ready. He’s a mature kid physically and mentally!

  2. luz56 - Jul 6, 2014 at 2:06 PM

    Looking forward to seeing him play

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