The QMJHL is not a popular area for the Edmonton Oilers. In team history, the most successful pick from the Q was Kevin Lowe, the team’s first selection. In this century, Ales Hemsky would represent the most successful pick from the Quebec league. The Oilers have tried, selecting Francois Leroux (1988), Matthieu Descoteaux (1996), Hemsky (2001) and Marc Pouliot (2003) in first rounds after the Lowe success. Bottom line: The Oilers don’t shop heavily in the QMJHL compared to the rest of the NHL.
What about Peter Chiarelli? From 2006 through his leaving before the 2015 draft, PC’s Bruins drafted Brad Marchand (third round, 2006), Andrew Bodnarchuk (fifth round, 2006), Maxime Sauve (second round, 2008), Jordan Caron (first round, 2009), and then stopped shopping in the league entirely. During that same period (2006-14), Edmonton drafted Phil Cornet (fifth round, 2008), Olivier Roy (fifth round, 2009), Jeremie Blain (fourth round, 2010) Marco Roy (second round, 2013) and Keven Bouchard (seventh round, 2014). PC spent a first, second and third on the Q, Edmonton spent only a second rounder during the period.
NHL PLAYERS/QMJHL PLAYERS DRAFTED BY YEAR
- 2016 NHL draft—211 total players, 14 from the Q
- 2015 NHL draft—211 total players, 30 from the Q
- 2014 NHL draft—210 total players, 17 from the Q
- 2013 NHL draft—211 total players, 31 from the Q
- 2012 NHL draft–211 total players, 19 from the Q
- 2011 NHL draft, 211 total players, 22 from the Q
- 2010 NHL draft 210 total players, 22 from the Q
- 2009 NHL draft, 211 total players, 23 from the Q
- 2008 NHL draft, 211 total players, 27 from the Q
- FINAL TALLY: 1,897 total players, 205 from the Q
- PERCENTAGE: 9.7%
TOTAL PLAYERS/QMJHL PLAYERS DRAFTED BY THE OILERS
- 2016 NHL draft—9 total players, 0 from the Q
- 2015 NHL draft—6 total players, 0 from the Q
- 2014 NHL draft—6 total players, 1 from the Q
- 2013 NHL draft—10 total players, 1 from the Q
- 2012 NHL draft–7 total players, 0 from the Q
- 2011 NHL draft–9 total players, 0 from the Q
- 2010 NHL draft–11 total players, 1 from the Q
- 2009 NHL draft–7 total players, 1 from the Q
- 2008 NHL draft–5 total players, 1 from the Q
- FINAL TALLY: 70 total players, 5 from the Q
- PERCENTAGE: 7.1%
CHL BREAKDOWN SINCE 2008
- WHL 24.3
- OHL 14.3
- QMJHL 7.1
CHL BREAKDOWN SINCE 2014
- WHL 14.3
- OHL 9.5
- QMJHL 4.8
All three CHL leagues have seen fewer picks in the last three seasons, as the Oilers have been spending more assets in the USHL and Europe.
QMJHL PLAYERS SINCE 2008
- 2008—Phil Cornet (2 NHL games)
- 2009—Oliver Roy
- 2010—Jeremie Blain
- 2013—Marco Roy
- 2014—Keven Bouchard
This list suggests the Oilers have pretty much abandoned the QMJHL, although one year ago I thought there was a good chance the club would use the first-round pick on Pierre-Luc Dubois. The truth is the USHL and Euro looks for 2017 may be more compelling for Edmonton fans based on this team’s established preferences. Why run the Q now? Force of habit. The WHL and OHL are very likely to house at least one draft pick each for Edmonton this summer, and the QMJHL will probably pitch a shutout again this draft weekend. Although the league is No. 3 in terms of available talent this year, are there good prospects? Yes there are, more than a year ago.
Q’S BEST, 2017
- L Nico Hischier, Halifax Mooseheads. May go No. 1. Dynamic. 38 goals, 82 points.
- RD Pierre-Olivier Joseph, Charlottetown Islanders. Two-way D, some nice boxcars.
- L Maxime Comtois, Victoriaville Tigres. Skilled, good size, skating average. Smart player.
- LC Antoine Morand, Acadie-Bathurst Titan. Very small, very skilled. Impact season.
- L Pavel Koltygin, Drummondville Voltigeurs. Two-way winger, 21 goals a solid number for a 1999.
- L Ivan Kosorenkov, Victoriaville Tigres. Undersized Russian has 33 goals on hard work in tough spots.
- L Joel Teasdale, Blainville-Boisbriand Armada. Impressive season, smart and skilled, good speed.
- L Vladimir Kuznetsov, Acadie-Bathurst Titan. Good skater, skilled, with size. 1998.
- L David Noel, Val D’Or Foreurs. Strong winger with an excellent shot. Shy offense.
- LC Ivan Chekhovich, Baie-Comeau Drakkar. Undersized skill forward, point-per-game.
- L Yaroslav Alexeyev, Sherbrooke Phoenix. Smaller winger with great speed and can score.
- LD Antoine Crete-Belzile, Blainville-Boisbriand Armada. Two-way defender has had some injury issues.
- L Samuel Bucek, Shawinigan Cataractes. PF with average speed, good passer. Somewhat raw.
- R Shawn Boudrias, Gatineau Olympique. Two-way winger with size, average speed. Late scoring surge.
- LD Matteo Pietroniro, Baie-Comeau Drakker. Offensive defender with skill.
- L Ivan Kozlov, Val-d’Or Foreurs. March 1999 will finish around 20 goals. Not a lot on him.
- R Denis Mikhnin, Rimouski Oceanic. 20-goal scorer, I don’t have much on him.
- G Alex D’Orio, Saint John Sea Dogs. A .903 SP as a QMJHL rookie.
- R D’Artagnan Joly, Baie-Comeau Drakker. Creative winger with speed and size, could surprise.
- LD Thomas Gregoire, Sherbrooke Phoenix. Puck mover, 1998, he has posted a strong season.
- LD Jocktan Chainey, Halifax Mooseheads. Skating is excellent, smart defender, can move the puck.
- RD Leon Gawanke, Cape Breton Screaming Eagles. Puck moving defender. Solid season.
- RD Walter Flower, Halifax Mooseheads. Good skater, has potential, but may take some time.
- RC Maxime Fortier, Halifax Mooseheads. He is 20, very skilled, small. I had him No. 4 a year ago.
- LD Alexander Krief, Sherbrooke Phoenix. Big defender with good speed, plus shot.
- LD Zachary Lauzon, Rouyn-Noranda Huskies. Rugged defender, less offense than his brother.
- LD Simon Le Coultre, Moncton Wildcats. Small offensive defensemen, good speed, long way to go.
- G Antoine Samuel, Baie-Comeau Drakker. A .901 SP, fourth year in the league.
OILERS PICKS AT THE 2017 DRAFT
- First Round: No. 20 overall
- Third Round: No. 77 overall (FROM ST. LOUIS—this is payment for Nail Yakupov)
- Third Round: No. 82 overall
- Fourth Round: No. 113 overall
- Fifth Round: No. 130 overall (FROM Vancouver—this is payment for Phil Larsen)
- Fifth Round: No. 144 overall
- Sixth Round: No. 175 overall
- Seventh Round: No. 206 overall
OILERS NEEDS BASED ON CURRENT DEPTH CHART
- Left Wing: The trade of Taylor Hall means the NHL team has no LW younger than 28 (Lucic, Maroon) on the everyday roster. Tyler Benson is an excellent prospect but can the Oilers count on him?
- Right Wing: Jesse Puljujarvi was a big get from last year’s draft, but this position needs more help at the draft in June.
- Right Defense: Aggressive procurement of Matt Benning, Ethan Bear and Ryan Mantha make this position a little stronger from what we were looking at this time next season. More needed, but the club is getting there.
- Goal: The trick here is to shore up the position without spending any high picks. Laurent Brossoit is in the NHL now, with Nick Ellis trending very well in his first year pro. Dylan Wells has been an excellent draft bet so far. We could see a goalie added fairly early in this year’s draft, lots of strong candidates.
- Left Defense: At the big league level, the Oilers have youngsters Oscar Klefbom and Darnell Nurse. Griffin Reinhart may or may not force himself into the lineup, but he better hurry because Caleb Jones and or Ziyat Paigin could be pushing soon. Edmonton can afford to pass on a LHD unless the value is extreme.
- Center: If you include Connor McDavid, Leon Draisaitl and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, this is one of the deepest positions in the entire NHL.
OILERS TARGETS BASED ON THEIR OWN PAST
- Vladimir Kuznetsov, Samuel Bucek, Shawn Boudrias.
MY PREFERRED TARGETS
- Antoine Moran, Joel Teasdale.