SUN Hockey Pool

Oilers take big centreman Leon Draisaitl with third overall pick

Leon Draisaitl pulls on an Oilers jersey Friday during the NHL Entry Draft at the Wells Fargo...

Leon Draisaitl pulls on an Oilers jersey Friday during the NHL Entry Draft at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia. (USA Today Sports)

ROBERT TYCHKOWSKI, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 8:43 PM ET

You can’t win in the NHL without a big, strong centre.

Nobody knows this more than an Edmonton Oilers team that never wins in the NHL.

So in the city that Rocky made famous, hockey’s ultimate underdog hopes to have addressed its most glaring need by picking 6-1, 213-pound Leon Draisaitl with the third pick in the this year’s draft.

The German-born pivot, ranked fourth by NHL Central Scouting behind Sam Bennet, Aaron Ekblad and Sam Reinhart, is said to be strong on, and smart with, the puck.

He put up 105 points in 64 games with the Western Hockey League’s Prince Albert Raiders last season.

The Oilers believe Draisaitl is NHL ready and can slot in next season, but a lot of that will be up to the kid.

“That would be our hope,” said general Craig MacTavish. “But we’re not going to force somebody into a situation they can’t handle.”


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