by Marc Ciampa
The Edmonton Oilers selected five players on Saturday in the 2006 NHL Entry Draft, choosing defenceman Jeff Petry
with their first choice, 45th overall. The Oilers also chose defenceman Theo Peckham
(75th overall), goaltender Bryan Pitton (133rd), defenceman Cody Wild (140th) and forward Alexander Bumagin
(170th).Oilers V.P. of Hockey Operations Kevin Prendergast talks about Edmonton's draft choices
For the first time in franchise history, Edmonton did not have a first-round pick. The draft also involved the fewest number of total selections in franchise history with the Oilers only taking five players.
The first player taken was Jeff Petry, a rock-solid defenceman out of Des Moines (USHL). In 48 games last season, Petry had one goal and 14 assists for 15 points and 68 penalty minutes. In terms of numbers, size and pedigree the Oilers defenceman Petry could be compared closest to is Matt Greene but Petry plays a bit more of a finesse game with skating one of his major strengths.
Petry will also play next season in Des Moines before moving on to NCAA - likely Michigan or Michigan State.
View Jeff Petry's career statistics.
"We had him rated in the top 15 on our list," said Prendergast. "Our scouts really, really liked him only because of the upside. We're a little thin on defence within the organization and we think he's going to be able to play for us in four or five years."Kevin Lowe on Oilers' first pick Jeff Petry
With the Oilers' second pick they chose Theo Peckham, another defenceman out of Richmond Hill, Ontario. Peckham played last season with the Owen Sound Attack of the Ontario Hockey League. He scored six goals and registered 15 points in 67 games but perhaps most importantly he had 236 penalty minutes and was one of the league's heavyweights.
"He's probably the toughest guy in the OHL and he skates well enough to be an Oiler," said Prendergast.
Before selecting Peckham, the Oilers made a deal with Atlanta to shift from 80th to 75th overall.
"We were worried Philadelphia was going to take him," said Prendergast. "They had made a deal to move right in front of us."
View Theo Peckham's career statistics.
Edmonton bolstered their goaltending with the selection of Bryan Pitton 133rd overall. Pitton had a successful rookie season with the Brampton Battalion of the OHL, posting a 16-4 record with a 3.43 goals-against average and .904 save percentage as the team's backup. View Bryan Pitton's career statistics.
Cody Wild likely caught the Oilers' eye while they were monitoring 2003 pick Colin McDonald at Providence College. Wild had an outstanding freshman year in Hockey East for the Friars. He led the entire team in defence scoring with 21 points (six goals) in 35 games. As a result, he was chosen for the Hockey East All-Rookie team at the end of the season.
Wild is a prototypical NCAA defenceman. He's a smooth skater with a lot of speed and good hands. He has an uncanny ability to get his shot on net and while he doesn't play a physical game he has size at 6-1. View Cody Wild's career statistics.
For their final pick of the night, the Oilers went off the board to take forward Alexander Bumagin
170th overall. Bumagin played the season with Togliatti of the Russian Superleague and led his team in scoring with nine goals and 23 points in 40 games. View Alexander Bumagin's career statistics.