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BLOG: Needs break the tie

by Chris Wescott / Head Writer

It's a rather common draft strategy. Set your board, let the picks fall as they will and draft the best player available.

While that is the chief strategy for the Oilers heading into the 2017 NHL Draft on June 23 and 24, there are some variations. If, say, a defenceman and forward are very close or tied in their rating by the Oilers scouts, the team could be inclined to take the position of greater need.

With some good defensive prospects in the system or heading pro very soon, forward could be the tiebreaker position.

"You don't want to force the hand and you try and take the best player, of course," said Oilers Assistant GM Keith Gretzky. "We're trying to determine who is the best player. If it's close, since we have a lot of defencemen coming up, we'll look towards a forward but right now we'll look for the best player."

The forward crop appears to be quite plentiful around the Oilers selection in the first round, but how the board falls will help determine Edmonton's course of action.

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