What do you want and when do you want it?

The 2017 entry draft had three specific themes for the Edmonton Oilers: Skill forwards, a trade up for a goalie they clearly valued, and less emphasis on defensemen. In both the 2015 and 2016 editions, the club drafted four blue, meaning a large group coming through the pipeline from 2017-2020 from those draft summers. Can we identify player style and positions that might be the focus at this year’s draft? Let’s have a look.

THE ATHLETIC!

Great playoff special! Try The Athletic on for size free and see if they enjoy the in-depth, ad-free coverage on the site. Offer is here.

  • New Lowetide: Even in a trying season, Adam Larsson delivered solid defense.
  • New Jonathan Willis: Edmonton can’t afford to enter ’18-19 with Kris Russell as top 4D.
  • New Ian Tulloch: The search for a right defence upgrade (Leafs, but fits Oil)
  • Lowetide: It was a tough season for Oscar Klefbom.
  • Jonathan Willis: Darnell Nurse delivered a strong season for the Oilers.
  • Scott Wheeler: Final Draft Rankings 2018.
  • Lowetide: Oilers summer to-do list short and sweet.
  • Lowetide: Draft 2018: The Oilers and Russia: A draft tragedy.
  • Lowetide: Draft 2018: The Oilers and the Republic of Finland
  • Lowetide: Draft 2018: The Oilers and Sweden.
  • Lowetide: Draft 2018: The Oilers and the QMJHL.
  • Lowetide: Draft 2018Oilers and the WHL.
  • Lowetide: Draft 2018: Oilers draft history and the OHL
  • Lowetide: Draft 2018: The Oilers and the NCAA.

INVENTORY

  • Goalies are not a feature group in this draft.
  • Defense is a strong option at No. 10 overall. Edmonton has a deep pool of young blue (Oscar Klefbom, Adam Larsson, Darnell Nurse, Matt Benning) in the NHL and a large number (Ethan Bear, Caleb Jones, Filip Berglund, Dmitri Samorukov, others) of kids bubbling under. The team lacks a complete player who can do everything, but there’s quality and quantity when taken as a whole. The team doesn’t have to take a defenseman at No. 10 overall. Even if a righty blue who can move the puck is sitting there, that player won’t be able to help Edmonton in the fall (very small chance). However, bottom line: This is the team’s chance to fill a need at the position (RHD puck mover).
  • Center is an area of strength but the Oilers under McLellan have been collecting centers since he arrived, playing some on the wing. So, if there’s a center at No. 10, don’t be surprised if the Oilers grab him.
  • Wingers are an area of need and if one of the dynamic wingers fall, suspect the Oilers won’t hesitate to grab him.

PROJECTED OILERS LIST

I’ve been watching the Oilers draft forever but Keith Gretzky and Bob Green aren’t Kevin Prendergast and Stu MacGregor. Drafting Kailer Yamamoto represents a departure in thinking for the organization and so we could be in for another surprise this time. Here’s my guess for Edmonton’s top 10 (they are currently holding meetings on the subject via Bob Stauffer).

  1. LD Rasmus Dahlin, Frolunda (SHL). If there was a way, PC would move heaven and earth. Buffalo finally wins something. Dahlin is No. 1 on Edmonton’s list, they’ll never see him in an Oilers uniform.
  2. R Andrei Svechnikov, Barrie Colts (OHL). Major talent. I can see Edmonton trying to trade up for this player. He is as close to McDavid’s Kurri (he is ridiculously skilled and has the tools for a 200-foot game) as we’ve seen since 97’s draft day.
  3. L Brady Tkachuk, Boston University (NCAA). Rugged power winger with two-way skills. Edmonton values him highly based on their own modus operandi. Some concern possible over recent reports he will stay in college, but I bet you a 2-4 he’s inside their top 5.
  4. RD Evan Bouchard, London Knights (OHL). Big numbers, intelligent two-way D. He is a good skater and has a big shot, plus Bouchard can find seams and passing lines and hit them on the fly consistently. I imagine they love his game.
  5. L Filip Zadina, Halifax Mooseheads (QMJHL). Size, shooter, he’s fast and might be a great fit for Edmonton. I think they would be less likely to trade up for him.
  6. RC Oliver Wahlstrom, U.S. N. D. P. (USHL). Sensational shooter, he’s one dimensional based on reports. Phil Kessel had similar reports in his draft season.
  7. RD Adam Boqvist, Brynas (SuperElite)Brilliant puck mover, chaos defense. With the puck on his stick, Boqvist is exceptional, highly creative and a nightmare for opponents.
  8. LD Quinn Hughes, Michigan (NCAA). Fast as lightning defender, smooth as silk. I bet they would take him in a heartbeat at No. 10.
  9. LC Jesperi Kotkaniemi, Assat (Sm-Liiga). Smart, very skilled and he’s 6.02, 190. Value spiking. I think the Oilers might take him if he’s there at No. 10.
  10. RD Noah Dobson, Acadie-Bathurst Titan (QMJHL). Two-way defenseman isn’t the dynamic offensive force they want but represents terrific value at No. 10 overall.

CONNOR MCDAVID AT THE WORLDS

There was a shortage of words to describe Connor McDavid in his rookie season, now it’s a real issue on its way to being a constitutional crisis. Jesus, Mary and Joseph what a hockey player.

Maybe the Oilers will announce the signing of both men on the same day. Skinner is playing the best hockey of his life and Viveiros is apparently drawing interest from 10 states and four provinces.

OILERS 2018 DRAFT

No one drafts for need, while everyone drafts for need. With that understood, I think the Oilers prospect chart could most use the following:

  • Complete forward: Svechnikov and possibly Kotkaniemi fit the bill, I like Farabee a lot in this category as well.
  • Complete defenseman: He is in the draft but will be gone when Edmonton makes the pick.
  • Two-way D: You can never have too many of these guys. Defensemen are always breaking down so you have to double up whenever possible.
  • Two-way F: I still don’t see a Pisani, although Benson might grow into the role.
  • Goalie: I like the idea of grabbing one per summer after the third round.

CURRENT PROSPECT DEPTH CHART

PERSONAL OPINION

One year beyond Keith Gretzky’s first draft with the Oilers and we’re talking positive about Kailer Yamamoto, Stuart Skinner, Dmitri Samorukov, Kirill Maksimov and Ostap Safin. Hell, even Phil Kemp had a strong draft +1.

I would recommend giving this scouting staff a draft pick in each round, do that for about five years and you can turn this rig around. I don’t know how a general manager does that with his job on the line while facing a summer of substantial procurement, but that’s the play here.

LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE

Hockey Helps the Homeless will be on the ice from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. with 19 teams, including 30 Oiler alumni and other pros, at the Terwillegar Rec Centre today. I’ll be there broadcasting live, the entire TSN1260 lineup will be out there all day. Much fun, many goals, insane lying about things that happened 30 years ago, and a wonderful cause proving these gentlemen have their hearts in the right place. Lansky will be along, I’ll also have an interview with Theo Fleury about an upcoming event you might be interested in. 10-1260 text, @Lowetide on twitter. Talk soon!

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209 Responses to "What do you want and when do you want it?"

« Older Comments
  1. hunter1909 says:

    rickithebear: Oilers beat Anaheim in 5 if first goalie interferference call is made.

    Just about any competent NHL coach wins that series from 3-1 up. McLellan should have been fired if the team is serious about winning.

    Oh I forgot. Oilers are also a team where washed up players go to morph into fake NHL management, bankrolled by “Super Katz”.

  2. hunter1909 says:

    Alpine: It’s truly fascinating that we’re still here. Hell, people were probably more optimistic back then. We didn’t know what would follow.

    Coming up: TSA style body scans for everyone entering the new arena.

    “Only people with something to hide object to the new anti-crime measures”

  3. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    Wilde: Running the numbers, trademarked.

    Consists of not watching the games.

    Ha!

    I thought it was a website at first glance.

  4. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    VOR,

    . Drai is a huge asset, trading him for a strong likelihood of a player who has a 7/18 chance of being clearly worse, a 50% chance of being some what worse and only a 15% of being clearly better makes no sense to me.

    While I love Drai, we still don’t know what he is.

    Away from McDavid 5v5, last 2 years:

    16/17 – 500 minutes – 21 year old year
    CF% 47.7%
    GF% 42.2%
    SCF% 47.2%
    HDSCF% 43.6%

    17/18 – 628 minutes – 22 year old year
    CF% 50.2%
    GF% 42.4%
    SCF% 50.2%
    HDSCF% 46.8%

    He’s not running roughshod over the opposition away from McDavid and away from the toughest comp.

    Some of that is on the quality of team mates for sure, but in terms of quality of center Drai is better than RNH imo, but he’s not displacing a 1C on many (if any) teams in the NHL.

    Also,

    It was mentioned in the thread about “unlocking Jordan Staal”

    He’s usually been over 50% GF in the toughest minutes on a team that is never over 50%GF

    On ice GF% Staal last 5 years:

    13/14: 53.3%
    14/15: 44.4%
    15/16: 50.7%
    16/17: 51.2%
    17/18: 49.5%

    Relative GF% for Staal last 5 years while playing the toughest minutes:

    13/14 +7.08%
    14/15 -1.22%
    15/16 +7.07%
    16/17 +6.06%
    17/18 +2.85%

    He’s better than Drai and its not close.

    They could really use a good 2C and that’s where he would fit there.

  5. VOR says:

    Woodguy v2.0:
    VOR,

    . Drai is a huge asset, trading him for a strong likelihood of a player who has a 7/18 chance of being clearly worse, a 50% chance of being some what worse and only a 15% of being clearly better makes no sense to me.

    While I love Drai, we still don’t know what he is.

    Away from McDavid 5v5, last 2 years:

    16/17 – 500 minutes – 21 year old year
    CF% 47.7%
    GF% 42.2%
    SCF% 47.2%
    HDSCF% 43.6%

    17/18 – 628 minutes – 22 year old year
    CF% 50.2%
    GF% 42.4%
    SCF% 50.2%
    HDSCF% 46.8%

    He’s not running roughshod over the opposition away from McDavid and away from the toughest comp.

    Some of that is on the quality of team mates for sure, but in terms of quality of center Drai is better than RNH imo, but he’s not displacing a 1C on many (if any) teams in the NHL.

    Also,

    It was mentioned in the thread about “unlocking Jordan Staal”

    He’s usually been over 50% GF in the toughest minutes on a team that is never over 50%GF

    On ice GF% Staal last 5 years:

    13/14:53.3%
    14/15: 44.4%
    15/16: 50.7%
    16/17: 51.2%
    17/18: 49.5%

    Relative GF% for Staal last 5 years while playing the toughest minutes:

    13/14 +7.08%
    14/15 -1.22%
    15/16 +7.07%
    16/17 +6.06%
    17/18 +2.85%

    He’s better than Drai and its not close.

    They could really use a good 2C and that’s where he would fit there.

    Okay, let’s say I give you Stall and actually I’m not because Stall very clearly lacks dimensionality. I will explain dimensionality in a subsequent post. For now let’s go with the assumption you are right. 7/18 are better than Drai.

    Only a poor gambler would trade that much certainty for that much risk. Not at even odds.

    You can lose too many different ways only some of which you can mitigate or offset.

    Risk 1. You plan this entire strategy to get Svechnikov and Buffalo takes him. You’ve now traded Drai for Dahlen. Me I am over the moon. But I am betting many here are not. And minimally you have a great gaping hole in your forwards, a position the team is paper thin at to begin with. Minimally this will have to be a draft floor deal.

    Risk 2. Drai goes to Carolina and becomes a superstar. They go to the playoffs and he proves just as dominant as he looked for the Oilers. Any rational person would have to admit there is some chance of this coming to pass and as a GM you failed regardless of Svechnikov’s performance because at best you’ve run in place while you helped another team improve.

    Risk 3. Svechnikov is Patrik Laine but you aren’t the Winnipeg Jets. Ask yourself this, if you just replaced Drai with Patrik Laine are the Oilers a playoff team? Fun as hell to watch, but a playoff team? Honest question which guy takes you closer to Stanley Laine or Drai?

    Risk 4. Cap issues start coming into play when they shouldn’t. I am certain much of the Drai for 2OV is fuelled by Drai’s cap hit. OP for example says what if we used the money freed up to sign John Carlson and traded Oscar for the Islanders 1st and Beauvillier. Well if Svechnikov makes the team his cap hit combined with his bonus and Beauvillier and Carlson probably put you over the Cap.

    But most of all, what if after this Svechnikov isn’t as good as Laine or Drai. We say that teams that do this bleed value. Can the Oilers afford to bleed any more value?

    One final thought if you think Svechnikov is the answer why wouldn’t you just move Drai up to play with McDavid?

    Are you really, any of you sure, truly sure Svechnikov will be a better right winger for McDavid than Draisaitl? So why trade Drai for Svechnikov?

  6. flyfish1168 says:

    OriginalPouzar:
    In the last off-season, once it was apparent where our cap structure was going, it became clear that we were going to be in a very tight cap crunch with our star player contracts (McDavid, Drai, Nuge) and some bloated contracts that are likely to be under-performed (Russell, Lucic).

    I formulated the opinion that the way forward to consistent contender status was going to be prospect depth, development and graduation – young players coming in to replace the “aging veterans” and providing value contracts – performance that outperforms their cap hit.

    The problem was that the plan was to contend this year and to improve the team around the deadline by sending out futures to plug any holes. I had expressed my concern that our prospect pool was already shallow and becoming buyers at the deadline would further deplete it and it could hurt the future.

    As it turns out, we weren’t buyers and, while this is unfortunate, the silver lining is we didn’t have to give up future for immediate and short term fixes and deplete our prospect pool.

    Nothing has changed. We still need to have value contracts in the future in order to complete and we still need to accumulate depth in our prospect pool

    Make the pick at 10 and lets move on.

    Well, put OP. The only way out now is patience and hope Lucic and Russel can improve or they agree to a trade. I’m not a fan of Sekera contract but see him as the most probable player that will improve his performance.

  7. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    VOR,

    . For now let’s go with the assumption you are right. 7/18 are better than Drai.

    That’s where we diverge.

    Svechnikov’s OHL results are very high end and the group he should be compared to are the group closest to him in OHL draft year results, and not the 2nd overall.

  8. OriginalPouzar says:

    Woodguy v2.0:
    VOR,

    . Drai is a huge asset, trading him for a strong likelihood of a player who has a 7/18 chance of being clearly worse, a 50% chance of being some what worse and only a 15% of being clearly better makes no sense to me.

    While I love Drai, we still don’t know what he is.

    Away from McDavid 5v5, last 2 years:

    16/17 – 500 minutes – 21 year old year
    CF% 47.7%
    GF% 42.2%
    SCF% 47.2%
    HDSCF% 43.6%

    17/18 – 628 minutes – 22 year old year
    CF% 50.2%
    GF% 42.4%
    SCF% 50.2%
    HDSCF% 46.8%

    He’s not running roughshod over the opposition away from McDavid and away from the toughest comp.

    Some of that is on the quality of team mates for sure, but in terms of quality of center Drai is better than RNH imo, but he’s not displacing a 1C on many (if any) teams in the NHL.

    Also,

    It was mentioned in the thread about “unlocking Jordan Staal”

    He’s usually been over 50% GF in the toughest minutes on a team that is never over 50%GF

    On ice GF% Staal last 5 years:

    13/14:53.3%
    14/15: 44.4%
    15/16: 50.7%
    16/17: 51.2%
    17/18: 49.5%

    Relative GF% for Staal last 5 years while playing the toughest minutes:

    13/14 +7.08%
    14/15 -1.22%
    15/16 +7.07%
    16/17 +6.06%
    17/18 +2.85%

    He’s better than Drai and its not close.

    They could really use a good 2C and that’s where he would fit there.

    I think more emphasis has to be put on “quality of teamates” when looking at Drai’s numbers away from McDavid – a combo of Caggulia, Aberg , Cammy, Lucic, etc.

    While I want the 2RD to be the target for this off-season, to the extent the organization is intent on acquiring a “scoring winger” the target should be a winger for Drai, not a winger for McDavid.

  9. Munny says:

    Wilde: This was his third year in a row carrying a line that outscored the best lines in the NHL.

    He’s had 3 better years than any of Leon’s.

    Here’s his on-ice goalshare 5v5 and points/gp:

    Age : GF – GA (+/-) GF% / / pts/gp

    Age 20 : 50 – 33 (+17) 60.24% / / 0.893
    Age 21 : 41 – 30 (+11) 57.75% / / 0.852
    Age 22 : 67 – 56 (+11) 54.47% / / 0.987

    Please note there is nothing in this set of stats that supports your contention that Barkov was facing the toughest competition.

    I watch a fair amount of the Panthers, because I have two buddies who are fans and they “force” me to, and there is no doubt in my mind Barkov WAS facing the toughest comp this past year. There’s also no doubt in my mind that he largely WAS NOT as a 20 yr old. The year in the middle is likely a blend.

    LT likes to use 3 years as an established level of ability. He looks like he’s franchise and the arrows point that way, but really we need one more year to carve it in stone.

    For the sake of this argument though, it is probably fair to include him as a “likely”.

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