Oilers Top 20 Prospects

#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.

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12 Responses to "Oilers Top 20 Prospects"

  1. PunjabiOil says:

    Pretty good top 5. I guess one can argue Chorney to be better than Gilbert, since he put up similar numbers 2 years earlier.

    Other than that, looks good.

  2. godot10 says:


    Does one dedicate Pisani to Gagner’s wing to accelerate his development as a centre?
    (i.e. best long term plan)

    Or does one use Pisani to help make Stoll effective?
    (i.e. best short term plan)

  3. Lowetide says:

    godot10: Louise mentioned this in a post below, and I’m inclined to agree that Pisani should stay with 89.

    Stoll’s struggles imo may still have something to do with the concussion problem of last season AND the fact that he is no longer the featured back on the PP.

    Stoll is what he is, Gagner is something else again. The Oilers aren’t going to win the Stanley this season, and as long as that assclown in ANA doesn’t get a lottery pick from the Penner signing then using Fernando to mentor the future is the right thing to do.

  4. jon says:

    This year Stoll is on pace for 15 ES points, while the last he was on pace for double that at 30 in an 82 game season. Taking into account that we scored 195 last season and we’re currently on pace for around 210 (the optimist in me says we’ll round out at 220-225), and we have hints that there might be something wrong with Stoll. At this point I’m thinking that Lowe sees the situation as a gamble. Bet on Stoll bouncing back, or roll the dice on yet another trade for potential (i.e., Brule)?

    I have no doubts that Torres is on the way out by the deadline, I predicted as much in the first 10 games, but what shall be interesting to see is if Lowe has the cajones to send away Stoll and Roli too.

  5. IceDragoon says:

    Good day.

    Lain… I tried to respond yesterday, but your server had other plans.

    Stoll’s struggles imo may still have something to do with the concussion problem of last season AND the fact that he is no longer the featured back on the PP.


    Tho, I’ve been thinking…

    Gagner has looked to hit a few walls, (coinciding with changing linemates and/or positions, btw) but he’s in no danger of stagnating or regressing. A couple of weeks of reduced ice time may even help him catch his breath.

    Perhaps it is better for the Oilers, short and long term, to help Stoll find a simple game. I think the Stortini experiment was meant to force 14 & 16 into keeping it simple, but they got a little puck luck, then thought they were good enough to cheat the system. Pisani would help to keep them honest, so to speak. At the very least he could up their trade value. ;-)

    Moot for now…

    According to Kevin Quinn on moron sports this morning, Thoresen practiced with Stoll and Torres yesterday, and Stortini will sit out tonight.


  6. Andy Grabia says:

    No way Gagner is better than Hemsky. You mean in their rookie years, right? I dunno. Hemmer made me choke on air, even in his rookie season. Gagner hasn’t done that for me.

  7. Lowetide says:

    Andy: It’s interesting. Even considering that Gagner is 18 and Hemsky was 19, their rookie seasons seem different somehow. Can’t put my finger on it.

  8. Jonathan says:

    McDonald ahead of Pouliot and Jacques? Wow. I guess that pretty much sums up there respective seasons to date, doesn’t it?

  9. Lowetide says:

    Jonathan: Just to be clear, I don’t consider JFJ and MP prospects anymore. They have both played 50 NHL games and at this point are a known quantity.

    McDonald otoh is just establishing his level of ability.

  10. IceDragoon says:

    Can’t put my finger on it.

    TOI and expectations.

  11. oilerdiehard says:

    O’Marra is starting to show signs of coming around. A very slow start but lately he is putting up some nice points. He seems to be getting his points in all situations PP, ES, PK. He is a +4.

    He is coming up on a PPG, 1 point out of 2nd in team scoring. I am still hopeful as the kid came off of 2 back to back season ending type injuries. We will see I hope he forces his way up soon.

    If O’Marra dropped that far I would have expected Trukhno to have a further drop as well. He has a heck of a time staying in the line up and not being a healthy scratch. He is a minus player and his point totals are rather disappointing.

    On a side note MAP seems to be continuing to drop. Coach Buckberger’s comments on him as of late have not been overly flattering IMO. I have such high hopes for the guy but it sounds like his effort level and mental toughness are going to continue to be a problem for him going forward. Though he always does seem have that lame first half and then great 2nd half, not sure how long he can keep up that act though.

  12. Black Dog says:

    Great stuff LT – thanks for that.

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