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Oilers draft pick Leon Draisaitl can't be rushed

Leon Draisaitl poses on the stage with Oilers senior VP of hockey operations Scott Howson and head...

Leon Draisaitl poses on the stage with Oilers senior VP of hockey operations Scott Howson and head scout Stu MacGregor at the Wells Fargo Centre during the NHL Entry Draft in Philadelphia Friday. (USA Today)

TERRY JONES, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 9:29 PM ET

CHICAGO - The Oilers failed at being bad for Ekblad. But Edmonton fans have to be good with Leon Draisaitl.

The large lad — six-foot-one and 206-pounds and still growing — Friday became the highest drafted German player in history and the third highest Prince Albert Raiders player ever picked, behind first overall picks Mike Modano and Chris Phillips.

Clearly the Oilers need a big, strong second-line centre to play behind Ryan Nugent-Hopkins on the first line.

The next question is if he can be that now. And whether you’ll be watching Draisaitl next year or the year after.

That, to me, will be entirely up to GM Craig MacTavish.

But I write it here now. The Oilers would be making a massive mistake to play the kid in that second-line spot next year.

The truth is that, despite the fact he managed to get three points in the four-game series against the Edmonton Oil Kings this past spring, he was effectively shut down by Griffin Reinhart and Curtis Lazar.


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