Oilers director of player personnel Bob Green was asked to give his thoughts on the talent level of the 2016 NHL Draft while at the NHL Scouting Combine in Buffalo.
“We’ve liked the draft right from the very beginning," Green enthused. "Obviously, the top end is very good. Everybody’s going to get a good player in the first round. There’s depth to it. You know that some of the kids later on are going to turn into players, you’ve just got to figure out which one it is.”
Green specifically talked about the four spot, which is being universally regarded as one of the very top spots in the second tier of prospects with Auston Matthews, Patrik Laine and perhaps Jesse Puljujarvi in the top tier.
“There’s some good forwards there (and) there’s some good defencemen there. They’re just good players. You want to take the best one at that point in the draft, for sure. We like the guys there. There’s a mix of positions: centre, left wing, D. There’s a nice combination of players and we like all of them.”
Whether the player the Oilers select is ready to step into the NHL right away next season won't be a determining factor based on who the team selects, but Green talked about what precisely is the factor which does decide whether a player can play right away.
“There’s things in their game that probably means they’re going to have to go back and play another year of junior or college. It usually boils down to their size and strength. A lot of them are good enough to play in the NHL, it’s a matter of whether or not they’re big enough and strong enough to compete with men yet.”