WHAT TO EXPECT AT NO. 22

At the draft in 2008 (photo by Rob Ferguson, all rights reserved), the Edmonton Oilers chose Jordan Eberle from the Regina Pats. Eberle arrived in the NHL in 2010 and has flourished in the world’s best league. His 165 NHL goals rank Eberle No. 15 on career Oilers goals among Edmonton picks. Only Ales Hemsky (174 goals) has more goals as an Oiler among players drafted after 2000.

It is extremely unlikely the Oilers will get as good a player at No. 22 in this draft, but that is in fact the task at hand. Chris Westcott does good work for the Oilers on their website and has a recent article about the draft and what might be available when Edmonton chooses. This is a more important document than you may think, because it does offer some clues about what the organization may be thinking. Back 15 years ago, the organization would call in Robin Brownlee in the days before flying to the draft. I counted those articles as some of the most anticipated of the year, and Westcott’s article may be a modern day comparable. Here are some of the names Westcott mentions:

  • “Sioux City’s Eeli Tolvanen could be among the better prospects”.  My list has Tolvanen at No. 10, but Bob McKenzie’s Top 15 has him just outside that ranking. Craig Button’s latest mock sees the Finn land at No. 20 and that’s definitely in the range. His estimated goals per 60 leads the draft eligibles in the USHL. The big item for Tolvanen? 246 shots in 52 games. Volume shooter.
  • “Another winger to consider would be another Finn: Kristian Vesalainen.” I am not as strong on Vesalainen, ranking him No. 23. McKenzie had him at No. 15 (narrowly beating out Tolvanen) and Button’s mock puts him at No. 18 (to the Boston Bruins). Vesalainen had a big spike at the U18’s and could go much higher. If he is around at No. 22, good chance Edmonton takes him.
  • “Isaac Ratcliffe is another interesting winger from Guelph in the OHL.” One of the reasons these articles are interesting is that someone, somewhere mentioned this name. I have him No. 42, while acknowledging his skating and size. I don’t know that he is in the same offensive range as the two Finns. McKenzie and Button did not have him on their most recent work, but Button’s most recent big list had the winger at No. 28 overall.

Those three names get special play in the article, along with mentions for several other prospects:

  • Lias Andersson: (LT No. 14) (BM No. 14) (Button mock No. 16)
  • Kailer Yamamoto (LT No. 11) (Button mock No. 25)
  • Elias Petterson (LT No. 4) (BM No. 11) (Button mock No. 9)
  • Joshua Norris (LT No. 26)
  • Robert Thomas (LT No. 14) (Button mock No. 24)
  • Kole Lind (LT No. 21) (Button mock No. 22)

The only player I would find perplexing at No. 22 is Ratcliffe. Based on what this article indicates, they have the first round forwards surrounded. If this is their list, it’s a good one.

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32 Responses to "WHAT TO EXPECT AT NO. 22"

  1. Rondo says:

    LT,

    I could see Klim Kostin falling in the draft what is your opinion of him?

  2. Lowetide says:

    Rondo:
    LT,

    I could see Klim Kostin falling in the draft what is your opinion of him?

    I like his bio but not his injury. Idon’t now him well based on so little math, so i faded him a little.

  3. MacT's Neglected Helmet says:

    IF Kailer Yamamoto is available at #22, you HAVE to take him.
    Also, I don’t know anything about these prospects and am judging them purely on how much I like their names.

    PS: I wonder when Spencer Foo will sign (remember him? Also a great name!).

  4. Rondo says:

    I think the Oilers would take at #22 if available Lias Andersson, Robert Thomas, Kailer Yamamoto, Kristian Vesalainen, Klim Kostin and perhaps a D Erik Brannstrom

  5. Scungilli Slushy says:

    After years of watching undersized players getting boxed out of the play when the other team chooses to play that way I am hesitant about them without extreme scoring, and I’m not seeing that this year.

    That player has to be a top 6, so that means the talent ( Connor and Leon) have to be more responsible for physical play on the cycle and forechecking, which is bass ackwards to me.

    Keep the top talent healthy, wingers do the majority of the dirty work because they are the most easily replaced. Smaller players also get hurt more easily in contact as we saw with Sekera and Benning.

    I’m not anti small, it’s that they have to be wolverines or Pat Kane, or I’ll have a guy that can provide the physical support to the teams best forwards and provide the finishing to a high enough level.

    I also feel there is not enough centre depth in the minors yet to draft wingers. Trade Nuge and the team is shallow on talent again. A checking centre can be found but that is a short term stopgap.

  6. Richard S.S. says:

    The top D will last until early 20’s and then there’s a big dropoff. There is very good talent available until mid-20’s, then there’s a big dropoff. There are always GMs who go off the board with theirp1st round picks, so someone good could fall to Edmonton. It will be interesting to see what comes of the Draft.

  7. Lowetide says:

    Richard S.S.:
    The top D will last until early 20’s and then there’s a big dropoff.There is very good talent available until mid-20’s, then there’s a big dropoff.There are always GMs who go off the board with theirp1st round picks, so someone good could fall to Edmonton.It will be interesting to see what comes of the Draft.

    I think you can make a case that:

    1. The top three (Patrick, Hischier, Tippett
    2. 4-15 or so
    3. 16-60 or so

    It might be a good year to make a crazy trade.

  8. Scungilli Slushy says:

    Lowetide: I think you can make a case that:

    1. The top three (Patrick, Hischier, Tippett
    2. 4-15 or so
    3. 16-60 or so

    It might be a good year to make a crazy trade.

    For sure, with such a young core there is a little space to use before the firsts are absolutely essential. However as we’ve seen before the other GMs know the draft ‘seems’ shallow as well. I think a lot comes down to a circumstance pressuring a rival make a less than good trade.

  9. Scungilli Slushy says:

    Now that the Anaheim Hacks have put out Johansen I want anybody else to win. I was hoping not the Pens (and of course the Hacks) because I don’t like teams that aren’t truly dominant to think they’re dynasties, that is for our Oilers.

  10. JDI says:

    Scungilli Slushy: Anaheim Hacks

    Analheim…

    makes fart noises

  11. Glass says:

    It’s really tough to choose. If we are trying to suss out ‘who would be best on McDavid’s wing’, I don’t know who I take between (LH) Vesalainen, Tolvanen, Kostin, Robertson, (RH) Lind, Yamamoto, and Thomas. Will they all be available at #22? Obviously not, but this is purely speculation and hypothetical.

    Who would be best to go with McDavid?

    LH: Vesalainen > Kostin > Robertson > Tolvanen. I think that Kostin has the highest ceiling, but is also the most likely to bust out of these guys. Don’t think Vesalainen is far behind; he has the full package, and will have Puljujarvi to help him adjust to NA. Remarkably fast, good vision, good puck handling and good at protecting the puck. Not much to dislike. Robertson is still a great pick, and his skating concerns are a tad overblown. As for Tolvanen, I think we have a similar player in the system in Caggiula, so I’m not as interested.

    Wouldn’t be surprised if Vesalainen isn’t available, so I bet it’s a choice between Kostin and Robertson for best LH forward.

    RH: Thomas > Lind > Yamamoto. Thomas is an automatic pick as he will provide TMac with a lot of flexibility in the top 6, being a RHC. Kind of a toss up between Lind and Yamamoto. Do you go with the safer pick in Lind, or grab Yamamoto who has all the makings to be the next Gaudreau, Arviddson, and Johnson? Perhaps you can trade down and pick up a guy such as Boqvist or Lodnia instead.

    I’m not sure if Maroon will be around in a couple seasons due to contract negotiations (cap). Perhaps the move may be to find a big LH forward that can keep up with McDavid and score goals?

  12. Rondo says:

    Lowetide,

    1.Nico Hischier
    2.Nolan Patrick
    3.Gabe Vilardi
    4.Miro Heiskanen

  13. JDI says:

    I would like to see a replay of that slash, but it looked as if Kessel was slashed on his left hand, and then waved the right one in the air.

  14. Scungilli Slushy says:

    JDI: Analheim…

    makes fart noises


    He he

  15. Rondo says:

    Glass,

    I think from what I have read Robertson skating is an issue. Kostin maybe a 1- way player like so many Russians that would be my worry.

  16. JDI says:

    JDI: Kessel was slashed on his left hand, and then waved the right one in the air.

    I guess The Don agrees.

  17. Glass says:

    Rondo,

    I should of mentioned Kostin’s offensive ceiling is the highest in my opinion. As for Robertson’s speed, I believe scouts are concerned primarily about his explosiveness/acceleration, and that his top end speed is fine.

  18. Doug McLachlan says:

    LT, at 22 are we looking at any wingers who are so impressive that we ignore C and D?

    I thought we had adopted the philosophy that wingers are relatively easier to acquire through college (Foo?) or NHL FAs (why do we hate P.A.Parenteau?).

  19. Lowetide says:

    Doug McLachlan:
    LT, at 22 are we looking at any wingers who are so impressive that we ignore C and D?

    I thought we had adopted the philosophy that wingers are relatively easier to acquire through college (Foo?) or NHL FAs (why do we hate P.A.Parenteau?).

    If there is a PF or volume shooter, I can see the Oilers going that way (Winger) at 22. If you look at LW, for instance, that is a major need.

  20. leadfarmer says:

    Playing Cotton Eye Joe in public should be a felony offense. That is all.

  21. dustrock says:

    Funny how Steve Kournianos, who I have a lot of time for, has the Oilers taking Adam’s son, Cal Foote, the RHD at 22. Think it certain, unless someone unexpected like Lil’ Jen-Gren falls, they’ll pick a forward.

    Thoughts on Suzuki? Would say not a Chia Pet, but then Chia picked Pasta a few years back.

    I’m fine with Andersson if he falls, Robert Thomas, Suzuki, Vesalainen, Lind.

    Don’t think this draft has anybody who blows me away at 22.

  22. Glass says:

    dustrock,

    Of the D in our range, I’m okay with a Timmins pick, but I am not at all interested in Foote and hope the Toronto grabs him so we dont have to.

  23. Jaxon says:

    What would Dallas be looking for at #3? Would Eberle do it? I read Dallas’ GM is looking for an established player to consider for #3, and they need a top line RW. It would be great to trade Eberle for #3 and pick either Nolan Patrick and Gabriel Vilardi. Eberle plus Jones? Would be great to have a few more 3 year ELCs when McDavid and Draisaitl are getting new contracts, as well as Nurse, Benning, Slepyshev, and Caggiula. Players like Puljujarvi, Foo (fingers crossed), Benson, Bear and Paigin. Adding Vilardi to that group would be amazing.

  24. Jaxon says:

    It looks like Vesalainen has now jumped up in the draft and out of Edmonton’s reach. Draftsite has him at #9 and MyNHLDraft now has him at #14. They both had him in the #22-#25 range a short time ago.

  25. Jaxon says:

    I still like Popugayev or Timmins at #22.

  26. Professor Q says:

    Jaxon:
    It looks like Vesalainen has now jumped up in the draft and out of Edmonton’s reach. Draftsite has him at #9 and MyNHLDraft now has him at #14. They both had him in the #22-#25 range a short time ago.

    If seems like there was a lot of jumping. Even Tippett was in the 20s not too long ago!

    Could Yamamoto and Thomas be serious contenders for Edmonton, though? Could they be the Oilers’ DeBrincat, Marchand, or Gaudreau?

    Miind you, Thomas is quite a bit behind Yamamoto in points…but doesn’t play as often, and has a game more similar to other Knights System-bred players like Horvat, though not as big.

    I know the “size” issue is being a thing these days for some fans, aside from a few players from Boston like Marchand etc. which might suggest Chia could have room for some outside of purely going for Power Forwards and Grinders, so maybe they go for the falling Big Scoring Russian Popugaev (or is he falling to the 2nd? Could Edmonton trade into the 2nd for him?), or Ratcliffe.

    Though I personally believe winger depth to be their biggesr issue, even more than RHD (I know many will disagree), Foote and Timmins are indeed very interesting options, though I acknowledge the concern over Foote…

    Might be nice to have Two Swedes and Two Greyhounds in the backend one day…

  27. Ducey says:

    I kinda like Lind.

    Projectable size, excellent speed, very good boxcars.

    The Oilers could use a burner who might be able to keep up with Connor. And he is no johnny come lately when it comes to scoring. He has scored everywhere he has ever played.

  28. Clarkenstein says:

    Lowetide: I think you can make a case that:

    1. The top three (Patrick, Hischier, Tippett
    2. 4-15 or so
    3. 16-60 or so

    It might be a good year to make a crazy trade.

    I agree that it would be a good year to put a deal together with somebody. The team is now “in the window” to win. Do what it takes to go for it NOW!! Number one priority imo is RW for Connor. If you’re just going to draft yet another Finn then let’s make a deal!!

  29. jtblack says:

    Jaxon,

    Popaguev is super lazy … like Pavel Brendl many moons ago ..

  30. jtblack says:

    LT: You always mention “he checks all 3 boxes; size, speed, scoring” … Does Kole Lind not check all 3? He would be my pick ..

    yamamoto is tiny. thomas has possible skating issues. For every Matthew Tkachuk (who apparently had skating issues), the AHL is littered with players who were stars in junior but we average to below average skaters … If they can’t skate their scoring rarely translates well to the next level.

    What about Nic Hague? I could see him being a great piece, like Braydon Coburn or Brandon Carlo. I know we have LHD covered, but NSH And ANA are loaded up on young D and if they profress then the organization can pick and choose who to keep and then utilize the excess to fill other areas.

    I think whovever we get is at least 3 years away from playing ….

  31. jtblack says:

    Would the Jason Smith connection in Kelowna impact us choosing Lind? We would obviously have an inside track on if Smith thinks this kid can produce at the next level.

  32. Johnny Stomper says:

    Clarkenstein: I agree that it would be a good year to put a deal together with somebody. The team is now “in the window” to win.Do what it takes to go for it NOW!! Number one priority imo is RW for Connor.If you’re just going to draft yet another Finn then let’s make a deal!!

    Absolutely in the now. We should be pushing like crazy next year. We already saw enough this year to think we could do it. With Connor and Drai contract being the best value in the NHL lets get this done now!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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