16. Jamieson Oleksiak - “Big Bird” - D - Canada/USA (Dual citizenship)
Vitals: Size - 6’7”, 241 lb.; Shoots left; Born: 21-Dec-92 - Toronto, ON
Team: Northeastern University, Hockey East
9 - Redline Report's Top 10
17 - E-Mac's 2011 NHL Entry Draft Top 120
17 - ISS's 30-May-11 per TSN
18 - Bob MacKenzie's June Poll of Scouts
18 - Dean Millard -The Pipeline Show Top 30
18 - Guy Flaming - The Pipeline Show Top 30
20 - The Scouting Report's Top 100 Skaters
22 - Kirk Luedeke's Top 50
26 - Christopher Ralph's Top 210
27 - McKeen's June Top 30
28 - NHL Central Scouting's Final Rankings (23rd North American skater)
30 - Future Considerations Final Rankings
30 - hfboards Readers’ Poll
54 - Cory Pronman's Top 100
59 - The Hockey News per TSN
15 - Dallas Stars
“He’s so big”, that is the first thought you come away with when you first see Jamie Oleksiak at 6’7, 241 lb. He may not even be done growing yet so he could end up playing NHL hockey at 6’8’’, 260-270 lb. (or start at defensive end in the NFL). As NHL Central Scouting's Gary Eggleston told NHL.com, "I think he has unbelievable upside. Whoever gets him is probably going to hit a home run with this kid. You could be looking at a 15 to 16 year player in the League, and to get a kid that size and skates that well is not common. He handles the puck well, has an excellent shot and his pass percentage completion in two games I saw was 100 percent -- he never missed. He covers a lot of ice in a very short time and it's a long trip around the outside with that wing span of his. He always has that stick out there dangling, too, so he keeps the guys about eight feet away." What makes Gary’s comments particularly enlightening is the amount of progression Jamie has shown in his game since last year.
So what does this “Big Bird” of a guy bring to the table? Size, the guy is huge, somewhere between Zdeno Chara and Hal Gill. Reach, see how effective a big man can be in the playoffs - think Zdeno Chara this year and Hal Gill in the previous two years - they are difference makers and difference makers lead to winning. Aggression, the guy uses his size and strength to make opposition forwards pay the price if they get in his way. Good first pass, Jamieson knows how to execute the breakout. Offense, Jamieson has a booming shot and is a strong skater. So, at a minimum, you are likely to get a slightly meaner, better skating version of Hal Gill. At a maximum, you may get a slightly less offensive version of Zdeno Chara. The biggest question with Jamieson is whether his skills and hockey sense are good enough to make a significant offensive contribution after he has some to develop in the bigs.
But as Garry Eggleston said above, Jamieson has a big upside. I was going to add “the sky is the limit” but then I realized that with his height he is probably already there. Bob MacKenzie’s final poll of scouts has him pegged at 17. However, he is a likely candidate for an off the board pick in the manner of Dylan McGrath last year i.e. he could be picked a way higher than 17.