Sizing up the Oil Kings’ 2012 Draft Eligibles

TSR Features | 26 Feb 2012

Henrik Samuelsson has been very effective since coming to Edmonton from MODO in Sweden.

The Edmonton Oil Kings have emerged as a force this season, leading the WHL’s Eastern Conference standings up to this point. They are getting balanced scoring and fantastic defensive play and have seen large contributions from their talented group of 2012 NHL Draft prospects.

D Griffin Reinhart
After a slow start to the year, Reinhart has picked up his play over the last 2 months, putting him back on track as a surefire 1st rounder. Reinhart’s game, on the surface, is one where people will salivate over his stature and abilities with the puck. Away from the puck, however, is an area that needs continued development in order for him to eventually realize that potential at the NHL level. While some would hope he develops a more physical aspect of his game, his overall game has is what’s enticing to those looking for a player with size, skating ability, and some good offensive potential.

RW/C Henrik Samuelsson
Samuelsson has come to the Oil Kings and has fit in very nicely thus far. Samuelsson’s big frame compliments the smaller stature skilled forwards the Oil Kings have and adds an element to their lineup they were sorely missing. Offensively, he doesn’t have the flair that many of the offensive forwards in this draft have, but his value as a big body in front of the net and someone will who go to the dirty areas is of tremendous value. He’s already been suspended twice so far in his short WHL career, but the grit and size he brings to the lineup makes him a very interesting player for NHL teams. With a strong showing in the playoffs, expect Samuelsson to continue to ascend up the draft rankings.

D Cody Corbett
Corbett, in my eyes, is a player that isn’t getting enough recognition from the scouting world. He has all the tools to be a #1 Dman in the NHL if he can refine his offensive game to put up a few more points without having to sacrifice any of his defensive game. He’s very comfortable with the puck, has a very hard shot, and just needs to work on placing his shot better. I believe the ability to put up points is there, but on a defense as deep as the Oil Kings have, it’s tough for him to get power play time. Defensively he is very reliable. Positionally sound, keeps the play in front of him, knows when to engage the puck carrier. Knows when to throw a hit and knows when to go for the pokecheck. All of these little things makes him a fantastic defender and a player who could be an excellent pick for an NHL team.

D Ashton Sautner
Sautner is a player that is very quiet in his approach but defensively is solid as he rarely has defensive lapses on the ice. Limited offensive upside keeps him from being a prospect like Corbett but he does the little things very well. First passes, ability to handle the forecheck, and separating player from puck are just some of the skills he brings. Just like the rest of the Oil Kings defense, he keeps the puck moving forward. I expect Sautner to be a later round pick, and for a team that takes him there would be a good value pick.

LW Mitchell Moroz
Of the 5 players listed here, Moroz is the biggest project but could have a big reward if he’s able to put it altogether. On the Oil Kings as of right now, he is the tenacious pugilist playing a limited role as a 4th line energy player. He has shown glimpses this year of scoring some goals that strong power forwards usually score either by taking the puck strong to the net or taking a hard shot from the outside. Moroz could be a player that, with an opportunity, could be a refined power forward. He needs to work on his skating but as a 17-year-old is already very strong. I see a team taking a late round flyer on Moroz.

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