by Lisa McRitchie on 06/24/12 at 04:45 PM ET
Edmonton Oilers’ GM Steve Tambellini said Friday night that day two would be about addressing team needs, filling roster spots and indeed it was. After Oil King Henrik Samuelsson went late in the third round, the Oilers had to have another look at their lists and decide who they liked for the 32nd pick. Smart money was that it would be an Oil King, as the team might draft for familiarity and because the Oil Kings team had been so strong this year going all of the way to a Memorial Cup. That should mean that the members of the team should have a winning mentality and be the type of character guys that the Oilers have been talking at lengths about.
Yes, Steve Tambellini’s lips are always that tight. It is rare for him to tell you much of anything directly. Just look at the first overall picks..
And so, with the 32nd pick, the Oilers took Mitch Moroz, the man with the mustache. Moroz is a character guy who will fit in nicely to the Oilers prospect list with his Oil Kings teammates Travis Ewanyk and Martin Gernat.
Other draft selections were of course not as well known, but that’s how it goes past the first round. It is nearly impossible to know all 211 players who were drafted this weekend in Pittsburgh, even more difficult to be thoroughly aware of the hundreds of other players who might have been considered.
It seemed that fewer prospects made the trip to Pittsbrugh this year than last year, and so fewer were available for photos and comment immediately after being drafted than usual. But of the players that the Oilers selected, one thing was crystal clear; the Oilers were looking for size and personality.
Jujhar Khaira, the 3rd round pick from the BCHL was collected and well spoken and completely unfazed by the questions concerning his family’s East Indian heritage and his hockey career to this point. Juhar admitted that it was only he and his brother that played hockey in his family, but that he hopes that he can influence his young cousins to play the sport because of his success. That’s just another sign of maturity and leadership that the team hopes to have in their locker room.
For Daniil Zharkov, the Oilers second selection of the second round (with the second pick included in the Dustin Penner trade to Los Angeles) this selection has inspired him to battle hard against his friend and now rival Nail Yakupov who the Oilers took first overall. Zharkov in excellent English explained that he is a Canadian and that he has no intentions of going to Russia, only to be better than Yakupov. You have to see the character in that.
Zharkov had the entire scrum laughing as he spoke with a straight face. But he knows he’s a funny guy, and he tries to be that. I like him already.
I write this sitting in the airport after a hectic weekend and not nearly enough time to write, anticipating my flight home and so you can expect a more in depth look at the Oilers draft picks and why they selected the players they did throughout the coming days. There may also be a coaching announcement to discuss before the Oilers development camp starts in just a matter of days.
So to put it mildly, there will be lots of news from Oil Country in the coming week, stay tuned!
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Lisa McRitchie is a fairly new writer, online at least, but makes up for inexperience with passion for the game of hockey and memories of Mrs. Leskiw’s English AP class; who knew they would pay off one day.
Oil Patch focuses on the Edmonton Oilers, the Edmonton Oil Kings, The Oklahoma City Barons and Team Canada Hockey with game coverage, news updates, speculation and interviews.
Although the Oilers have had a difficult past decade… or three, here at Oil Patch, the future looks bright.
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