Edmonton Oilers head amateur scout Stu MacGregor doesn't believe the 2014 NHL Draft is as deep as previous years, but is confident several prospects within this class will ultimately develop into solid NHL performers.

The Oilers hope to target one of those future stars with the third choice in the first round slated to kick off at Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia on June 27. It marks the sixth straight year the Oilers will be picking among the top 10 and fourth time in the past five years they will hold a choice in the top three.

One thing is certain, MacGregor and his staff need to make the pick count as the organization currently doesn't own another selection until the fourth round (No. 91).

"We have to start making some moves, and by moves I don't necessarily mean trades, but moves as a team in moving forward to build our prospect base and make some strides," MacGregor said. "Everyone has asked me why it isn't happening right now with the young core we have in place.

"But keep in mind our best players, and the players we rely upon, are still only 21, 22, 23 years old, so some of those players are still learning the NHL."
MacGregor makes a legitimate point, as forwards Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (2011, No. 1) and Nail Yakupov (2012, No. 1) are still adjusting to the rigors of an 82-game regular season and Taylor Hall (2010, No. 1) is now beginning to find his niche within the system. Hall is 22, Nugent-Hopkins 21 and Yakupov 20.

"These guys have been able to gain that experience early in their career and hopefully that will be an advantage in the end," MacGregor said. "It's been challenging for them and us to be able to try and produce these players slightly earlier than most."

The Oilers will likely take the best available player with the third pick, meaning if defenseman Aaron Ekblad of the Barrie Colts is off the board then the next best forward will be selected.