BUFFALO, NY - National Hockey League Central Scouting Director Dan Marr spent plenty of time analyzing, scouting and pouring over notes regarding the draft-eligible prospects for the 2019 NHL Draft.
So, if there's a brain to pick regarding what to expect from the upcoming June Draft in Vancouver, B.C., Marr's would be a smart choice.
The NHL Director of Central Scouting was on hand at the 2019 NHL Scouting Combine in Buffalo, N.Y., to provide a scouting report for what to expect at the Draft from the next wave of prospective NHL talent.
Video: COMBINE | Dan Marr
Marr lauded the United States National Team Development Program. Centres Jack Hughes, Alex Turcotte, Trevor Zegras, and wingers Cole Caufield and Matthew Boldy are all among Central Scouting's top-10 North American skaters.
The Oilers possess the eighth-overall selection in the Draft and players from the team could be available when Oilers President of Hockey Operations and General Manager Ken Holland takes to the stage.
"I anticipate that USA Hockey will have the biggest smiles on their face on Draft Day because the number of players to go in the first round, the top three rounds and through the entire Draft. I think they're going to set a record for that program," Marr said of the USNTDP.
"This is a special group. We spend time with them during the year and we've had them here all week. They really live up to that projection of being a special group."
Video: COMBINE | Trevor Zegras
Earlier in the day, EdmontonOilers.com and Oilers TV interviewed Oilers Director of Player Personnel Bob Green, who mentioned the USNTDP.
"He (Oilers President of Hockey Operations and General Manager Ken Holland) has come in and he's seen the (US) National Development Team play a lot," Green said. "He's given his opinions and thrown some information into the conversation, too, which has helped and always does. The more you get, the better off you are."
When assessing the upcoming 2019 class as a whole, Marr typified it as deep, with plenty of top-end centre talent available.
"There's a lot and the teams have a selection, a wide variety of players to choose from," he said. "I don't think they're going to get carried away. If they're going to analyze a first line centre, a second line centre or third line centre; they just want good players that are going to step into their lineups."
Video: COMBINE | Bob Green on the Combine
While there will be an abundance of premier skill on the board when the Oilers choose at the eight spot, there will also be a critical pick to make when Holland picks the 38th-overall selection.
"All these players, they bring the right mix of skills and intangibles that will bring value to their team," said Marr.
"I know we say it every year, that everyone's going to get a good pick in the first round, but this is a deep draft at the top end for the first 30-40 players."