So this past weekend saw the 2016 NHL Entry Draft commence and then finish up. Natrually the Oilers used their picks and came away with drafting 9 prospects (4 forwards, 4 defencemen and 1 goalie). And the drafting for Edmonton started off with the Oilers using their 4th overall selection to draft Finnish winger Jesse Puljujarvi. This was completely unexpected. From what I gathered/read into, Puljujarvi was going to be top 3 behind Austin Matthews (Toronto Maple Leafs) and Patrik Laine (Winnipeg Jets). But instead, Pierre-Luc Dubois was drafted by the Blue Jackets and that left Puljujarvi ripe for the picking...or uh drafting considering the situation.
So what were my thoughts at the time of the draft? To be 100% honest...I
didn't have any thoughts on the drafting. I was more surprised at how
far down Jakob Chychrun was drafted when he was selected by the Coyotes.
Coming into this draft, I thought Austin Matthews, Patrick Laine and
Jesse Puljujarvi would've been drafted by the Leafs, Jets, and Blue
Jackets respectively. I didn't even bother following these three leading
up to the draft since I figured that they would all be gone by the time
Edmonton was up to select at #4.
But now that the dust has settled and I've had time to actually look at Puljujarvi in a more "in-depth" light, let me give my thoughts on the Oilers drafting him. I think the Oilers pretty lucky to have landed him. He's got size and speed as well as skill about him that could make him a perfect fit for Connor McDavid to play with. Throw Taylor Hall into that line and the Oilers first line looks pretty dangerous all of a sudden, doesn't it.
Of course the line of Hall-McDavid-Puljujarvi looks good on paper right now, meaning that there is no guarantee of them looking good on the ice. But if these three do manage to find chemistry during next season, Edmonton's top line looks pretty scary to opposing teams. Heck forget a Taylor Hall and Connor McDavid pairing working out. If McDavid and Puljujarvi work well off each other, you have the makings of Edmonton's version of Kessel and JVR (back when Kessel was with Toronto), Crosby and Malkin, Toews and Kane, or even a better version of McDavid and Eberle from last season.
What do you guys think? Do you think that the line of Taylor Hall - Connor McDavid - Jesse Puljujarvi will work out? Do you think Connor McDavid and Jesse Puljujarvi will have good chemistry together? And with Puljujarvi in the mix, what happens to Jordan Eberle? Let me know