#1 SAM GAGNER -better than Hemsky?
#2 ANDREW COGLIANO -stepped right into the NHL out of college
#3 TOM GILBERT -quality defender graduates to the NHL
#4 TAYLOR CHORNEY -best Oilers prospect outside pro
#5 ROB SCHREMP -having an impact at AHL level this year
#6 KYLE BRODZIAK -earned an NHL job this fall
#7 RILEY NASH -tremendous start to college career
#8 SLAVA TRUKHNO -slow start to pro, has a lot of talent
#9 DEVAN DUBNYK -big man trying to find consistency
#10 JEFF PETRY -having a very good season in college
#11 THEO PECKHAM- showing signs of being able to play at AHL level at 20
#12 ALEXANDRE PLANTE- injuries having major impact
#13 LIAM REDDOX- out of the blue
#14 CODY WILD- offensive defender with some work to do
#15 COLIN MCDONALD- turned pro and gaining some fans
#16 MATHIEU ROY- Role player with injury troubles
#17 JEFF DROUIN-DESLAURIERS- Enigma having good year
#18 CHRIS VANDE VELDE- Emerging talent
#19 SEBASTIEN BISAILLON- Impressive player
#20 RYAN O’MARRA- Free fall
The list is finally done. Some outstanding talent here, probably the best list since Prendergast took over in 2001 (although that Hemsky list in 2002 summer would have been exceptional). Some quick facts:
- Lots of graduates from last year, including Pouliot, Jacques and from the summer list Grebeshkov.
- Lots of players won’t be on this list in June, including Gagner, Cogliano, Gilbert and Brodziak.
- Two most obvious prospects going downward are Trukno and O’Marra.
- Chorney and Schremp will be the two top prospects (along with possibly Nash and the club’s first round pick in 2008) next June.
- Two trades (Gilbert & O’Marra) and one free agent signing (Bisaillon) are on the list.
- 2005 draft has 4 players, 3 players each from the 2007, 2006, 2004 and 2003 draft. Plus Deslauriers who was a 2002 draft but goalies usually take a little longer.
This is a very nice prospect list. Gagner, Cogliano and Gilbert are solid bets for quality NHL careers and betting against Brodziak is a bad idea. Chorney and Schremp would seem to have at least a good shot and then you have a fairly long list of “possibles” (say 7-14) before the long shots take over.
Two things that are true: Oilers will have a weaker list next summer because of the graduates and it was a stretch to get this list to 20. There aren’t many players you can talk about after the 20 listed here.
Finally, European drafting. Of the 20 players listed above, I’ve included none drafted while playing in Europe. These young men are either not good enough in the first place, spend too many seasons before coming over (recent examples being Johansson and Almtorp) or cost too much to bring over. The Edmonton Oilers seem to enjoy spending late round picks in Sweden in order to appease someone on the scouting staff (Nilsson or Musil would be my guess, since that’s the European scouting department) but it’s simply a horrible waste of time and money. Me spending time talking about Josef Hrabel when they’re never going to bring him over (and what if they did?) seems burdensome and more than a little ridiculous.
Kevin Prendergast did a good job 01-07 as the Oilers director of scouting and so did his staff. They could have done better had they told the European scouts to sleep in on draft day.