One area I can see the Edmonton Oilers being active at this year’s draft: Overagers. A team needing plug and play help at the pro level would do well in drafting mature juniors. There are a lot of very attractive options this season. Peter Chiarelli has drafted overagers (Ziyat Paigin, Vincent Deslauriers) in the past two seasons, but the CHL hasn’t been used in some time.
OILERS AND OVERAGERS (CHL)
- 2008—Jordan Bendfeld
- 2010—Brandon Davidson (98 NHL games)
The fact Edmonton hasn’t drafted overagers from the CHL recently doesn’t make it a bad idea. I’m generally bullish on the current scouting department, especially the 2015 and 2016 drafts. That said, this year’s new eligibles should go inside the top 90, meaning an overager could give real value as early as the fourth round.
BEST CHL OVERAGERS, 2017
- RC Morgan Geekie, Tri-City Americans (WHL). C w/2-way rep and emerging offense.
- L Ivan Kosorenkov, Victoriaville Tigres (QMJHL). Undersized, 34 goals by getting inside.
- RD Dylan Coghlan, Tri-City Americans (WHL). 2-way defender, good skater.
- C Tyler Steenbergen, Swift Current Broncos (WHL). Blossomed over last two years.
- L Ryan Moore, Flint Firebirds (OHL). Small and very skilled.
- L Kevin Hancock, Owen Sound Attack (OHL). Impressive offense, battle. Average speed
- LC Brayden Burke, Moose Jaw Warriors (WHL). Small, high skill, he is 20.
- R Artur Tyanulin, Ottawa 67’s (OHL). Skill F posted strong season.
- RC Maxime Fortier, Halifax Mooseheads (QMJHL). He is 5.10, very skilled.
- G Stephen Dillon, Niagara Ice Dogs (OHL). 59gp, 3.46 .914.
- L Jordan Topping, Tri-City Americans (WHL). Good skater, no dominant skill.
- L Kyle Maksimovich, Erie Otters (OHL). Small, very skilled player.
- RD Brennan Menell, Lethbridge Hurricanes (WHL). Smooth offensive D, good on PP.
- RD Thomas Gregoire, Sherbrooke Phoenix (QMJHL). Undersized skill D, good speed, passing.
- R Patrick Bajkov, Everett Silvertips (WHL). Scoring winger who can shoot the puck.
- C Domenic Commisso, Oshawa Generals (OHL). Small rocket on skates, skilled.
- L Vladimir Kuznetsov, Acadie-Bathurst Titan (QMJHL). Good skater, skilled, with size. 1998.
- G Zach Sawchenko, Moose Jaw Warriors (WHL). 51, 2.79 .917.
- LD Ben Gleason, Hamilton Bulldogs (OHL). Good skater, has skill.
- L Simon Stransky, Prince Albert Raiders (WHL). Small skill winger.
- RD Matt Brassard, Oshawa Generals (OHL). Two-way D, impressive defensive player.
- LC Matt Fonteyne, Everett Silvertips (WHL). Playmaking C, average speed.
- L Maxim Mizyurin, Val d’Or Foreurs (QMJHL). Skill F adjusted well to NA.
- LD Justin Murray, Barrie Colts (OHL). Intelligent two-way defender.
- LD Kristians Rubins, Medicine Hat Tigers (WHL). 20, mobile, impressive. Shy boxcars.
OILERS AT THE 2017 DRAFT
- First Round: No. 24 overall
- Third Round: No. 84 overall (FROM ST. LOUIS—this is payment for Nail Yakupov)
- Third Round: No. 86 overall
- Fourth Round: No. 117 overall
- Fifth Round: No. 126 overall (FROM Vancouver—this is payment for Phil Larsen)
- Fifth Round: No. 148 overall
- Sixth Round: No. 179 overall
- Seventh Round: No. 210 overall
OILERS NEEDS BASED ON CURRENT DEPTH CHART
- Left Wing: The Oilers prospect depth chart includes Drake Caggiula and Jujhar Khaira, both of whom are on the current NHL roster. Former defender Joey Laleggia and oft-injured prospect Tyler Benson are the only other prospects of note at this position.
- Right Wing: Jesse Puljujarvi is a major piece of the future and does a long way to solving things at RW. Anton Slepyshev is edging closer to securing an NHL job, but not much coming up after those two men. Note: Slepyshev is a natural LW, but shows up often at RW.
- 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: 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. Note: The Oilers just signed college goalie Shane Starrett, further advancing position depth.
- Left Defense: At the big league level, the Oilers have youngsters Oscar Klefbom and Darnell Nurse. Caleb Jones and (newly signed) 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
- Dylan Coghlan, Tyler Steenbergen, Brennan Menell.
MY PREFERRED TARGETS
- Morgan Geekie, Ivan Kosorenkov, Tyler Steenbergen.