The NHL draft goes June 26 & 27 in Sunrise, Florida. It is the 53rd draft in the league’s history. Edmonton’s best draft came in 1979, when Kevin Lowe, Glenn Anderson and Mark Messier were selected. That draft, along with the 1980 (Coffey, Kurri, Moog) and 1981 drafts (Fuhr, Smith) gave Edmonton a cluster that rivaled any in the game’s history.
The Oilers have been gifted with the best player in a generation through pure luck, but it will be hard work to marry that gem to other exceptional talents available in 2015. McDavid’s draft must also contain quality beyond the No. 1 overall selection.
Edmonton’s NHL franchise is standing on the threshold of another golden era. Pushing the door open isn’t enough, it’s time to kick out the jams.
TOP 90 PLAYERS IN THE 2015 DRAFT
- (1) C Connor McDavid, Erie Otters (OHL) Franchise cornerstone, Hockey Jesus.
- (2) C Jack Eichel, Boston U (NCAA) Franchise player.
- (3) R Mitch Marner, London Knights (OHL) Impact offensive player, size will impact draft number.
- (4) D Noah Hanifin, Boston College (NCAA) Complete skill set, money passer. Oilers perfect fit.
- (5) C Dylan Strome, Erie Otters (OHL) The good Strome, and the other guy is terrific!
- (6) D Ivan Provorov, Brandon Wheat Kings (WHL) Lubo 2.0? Fine range of skills. Strong Oilers fit.
- (7) C Mathew Barzal, Seattle Thunderbirds (WHL) Quick, skilled, dangerous. Smart.
- (8) D Zach Werenski, Michigan (NCAA) Terrific offensive defender.
- (9) R Mikko Rantanen, TPS Turku (SML) Creative, responsible, great passer.
- (10) R Timo Meier, Halifax Mooseheads (QMJHL) Tremendous talent, NHL-ready?
- (12) C Nick Merkley, Kelowna Rockets (WHL) Strong two-way skills.
- (11) R Evgeni Svechnikov, Cape Breton (QMJHL) Big, strong and skilled.
- (13) C Anthony Beauvillier, Shawinigan Cataractes (QMJHL) Small, elite skills.
- (18) C Travis Konecny, Ottawa 67’s (OHL) Impressive player with range of skills.
- (16) D Jeremy Roy, Sherbrooke Phoenix (QMJHL) Offensive D, has ability as a defender
- (15) D Mitchell Vande Sompel, Oshawa (OHL) Undersized two-way defender. Substantial skills.
- (17) C Jansen Harkins, Prince George Cougars (WHL) Two-way center, skilled.
- (19) C Kyle Connor, Youngstown (USHL) Smart two-way forward.
- (14) D Oliver Kylington, Farjestad (SHL) Great wheels, solid defender.
- (20) R Daniel Sprong, Charlottetown Islanders (QMJHL) Quick, skilled first-shot scorer
- (21) L Jake Debrusk, Swift Current (WHL) Goal-scoring winger with speed.
- (22) R Blake Speers, SSM Greyhounds (OHL) Two-way W, good speed. Terrific player.
- (27) C Pavel Zacha, Sarnia Sting (OHL). Big, physical center with average offense. Solid U18’s.
- (23) G Daniel Vladar, Kladno (Czech 2) 8GP, 1.97 .933
- (24) D Ryan Pilon, Brandon (WHL) Two-way defender with size and speed.
- (31) L Lawson Crouse, Kingston Frontenacs (OHL) Power forward with vague offensive skills
- (25) C Andrew Mangiapane, Barrie (OHL) Brilliant offensive player.
- (26) C Filip Chlapik, Charlotteteown Islanders (QMJHL) Two-way C, range of skills
- (29) C Joel Eriksson Ek, Farjestad (SEL) Skill C with size, speed.
- (30) C-R Jeremy Bracco, USNTDP (USHL) Small forward with fast hands, great skill.
- (28) D Travis Dermott, Erie Otters (OHL) Undersized, mobile defender.
- (33) R Brock Boeser, Waterloo Blachawks (USHL) Power winger, impressive scorer
- (32) D Ethan Bear, Seattle Thunderbirds (WHL) Mobile defender, very good shot.
- (34) D Thomas Chabot, Saint John Seadogs (QMJHL) Fine passer, solid defender.
- (36) L Paul Bittner, Portland Winterhawks (WHL) Big winger with some scoring ability
- (39) D Rasmus Andersson, Barrie (OHL) Smart 2-way D.
- (35) D Jakub Zboril, Saint John Sea Dogs (QMJHL) Two-way D, solid offense.
- (37) L Dennis Yan, Shawinigan Cataractes (QMJHL) Scoring W with some size.
- (38) R Nikita Korostelev, Sarnia Sting (OHL) Skill winger.
- (41) C Nathan Noel, Saint John Sea Dogs (QMJHL) Wide range of skills.
- (43) F Filip Ahl, HV-71 (SHL) 6.04, 214, strong all the walls. Tough to move.
- (52) C Mitchell Stephens, Saginaw Spirit (OHL). Speedy C had a massive U18’s.
- (45) F Colin White, USNTDP (USHL) Fine skater, two-way player.
- (40) L Dmytro Timashov, Quebec Remparts (QMJHL) Explosive winger with crazy numbers.
- (42) R Jens Looke, Brynas (SHL) Playmaking winger with speed.
- (46) D Nicolas Meloche, Baie-Comeau (QMJHL) Offensive defender, good size.
- (47) G Matej Tomek, Topeka Roadrunners (NAHL) 31GP, 1.71 .932
- (44) C Nicolas Roy, Chicoutimi Sagueneens (QMJHL) Rugged two-way C.
- (51) L Ryan Gropp, Seattle Thunderbirds (WHL) PF prospect, can score goals.
- (59) D Noah Juulsen, Everett Silvertips (WHL) Good size, can play defense, some skill.
- (56) R Zach Senyshyn, SSM Greyhounds (OHL) Terrific speed, no fear. Skilled.
- (48) C-R Roope Hintz, Ilves (SML) Intelligent two-way W, fine skater.
- (53) L Erik Foley, Cedar Rapids (USHL) Tough winger has offensive ability.
- (57) D Vince Dunn, Niagara (OHL). Smart offensive defender.
- (49) L Vladimir Tkachev, Quebec Remparts (QMJHL) Small W, extremely skilled.
- (50) D Matt Spencer, Peterborough Petes (OHL) Tough two-way defender.
- (54) D Jacob Larsson, Frolunda (SHL) Puck moving defender.
- (61) G Michael McNiven, Owen Sound Attack (OHL) 23GP, 2.78 .914
- (55) R Michael Spacek, Pardubice (Cze) Skilled, hard working.
- (58) C Julius Nattinen, JYP (Fin 2). Big skill C gaining steam during spring tournaments.
- (65) D Erik Cernak, Kosice (Slovak) Huge defenseman with a nice range of skills.
- (67) L Denis Gurianov, Lada (MHL). Smooth offensive player, good size. Quality U18.
- (60) L Graham Knott, Niagra Ice Dogs (OHL) Size, good scorer, range of skills.
- (66) D Brandon Carlo, Tri-City (WHL) Big, strong, mean defender.
- (63) G MacKenzie Blackwood, Barrie Colts (OHL). Big butterfly style goalie.
- (64) L Jordan Greenway, USNTDP (USHL) Power winger with skill.
- (68) D Parker Wotherspoon, Tri-City Americans (WHL). Good skater, defender, increasing offense.
- (62) C Tyler Soy, Victoria Royals (WHL) Lightning quick forward.
- (69) D Vili Saarijavi, Green Bay Gamblers (USHL). Small puck moving D is a wizard. Big U18’s.
- (70) C Jack Roslovic, USNTDP (USHL) Playmaking C had a tremendous U18’s.
- (71) C Thomas Novak, Waterlook Blackhawks (USHL). Skilled two-way center.
- (72) R David Case, Chomutov (Cze-2) Skilled winger with aggressive bent. Impressive U18’s.
- (73) C Glenn Gawdin, Swift Current Broncos (WHL). Keeps impressing with two-way skills.
- (74) L Jesse Gabrielle, Regina Pats (WHL). Projects as a scoring winger—better than boxcars.
- (75) R Christian Fischer, USNTDP (USHL). Scoring winger with size, 7 points at U18’s.
- (76) L Sebastian Ohlsson, Skelleftea (SHL). Small skill center showed well at U18’s.
- (77) D Kyle Capobianco, Sudbury Wolves (OHL). Skill D had a strong finish to OHL season.
- (78) C Gabriel Gagne, Victoriaville (QMJHL) Huge C, good speed, very creative offensively.
- (81) R Deven Sideroff, Kamloops Blazers (WHL). Skill winger, hard worker, very good passer.
- (79) R Lukas Jasek, Trinec (Czech). Smart two-way forward with skill.
- (80) C Alexander Dergachyov, St. Petersburg (Rus Jr). Giant skill C.
- (82) L Robin Kovacs, AIK (Allsvenskan). Skill winger with speed, rugged and pesky style.
- (83) L Austin Wagner, Regina Pats (WHL). Speedy winger emerged late and can do a lot of things.
- (84) C Yakov Trenin, Gatineau Olympique (QMJHL). Skilled forward, foot speed an issue.
- (85) G Ilya Samsonov, Magnitogorsk (Rus Jr) Big goalie, good numbers, quality U18’s.
- (86) C Brad Morrison, Prince George Cougars (WHL). Speedy and creative center.
- (87) D Gabriel Carlsson, Linkoping (Swe Jr). Rangy defender, highly rated by Central Scouting.
- (NR) G Adin Hill, Portland Winterhawks (WHL). .921 SP and he’s 6.04
- (88) C Dante Salituro, Ottawa 67’s (OHL). Small forward, terrific skill.
- (NR) D Gustaf Bouramman, SSM Greyhounds (OHL). Puck-moving defender with decent size, he has ability defensively.
Just for fun, and based on my list, this is what Edmonton could be looking at if they retained all of their picks inside the top 90 overall (I’m picking players ‘in the range’ but no selection is above the draft number below).
- No. 1 overall: C Connor McDavid.
- No. 16 overall: D Jeremy Roy
- No. 33 overall: D Jakub Zboril
- No. 60 overall: L Denis Gurianov
- No. 79 overall: R Lukas Jasek
- No. 88 overall: G Adin Hill
I’m really hoping they kill it in this draft and yes I know there’s every chance the Pittsburgh pick is sent away. It’s a deep draft, Edmonton ha six picks in the top 90 overall. They should have a spectacular draft.
Top 100 draft prospects feature is done. Posts in ~ a week. Time to leave the cave.
— Corey Pronman (@coreypronman) April 26, 2015
This is the real expert, Pronman’s list drops soon and I hope to have him on the show some time next week to talk about the draft. Questions? Let me know.
— Scott Cullen (@tsnscottcullen) April 25, 2015
If you missed it, well worth the read. Cullen is always first out of the box in looking at the bottom feeders and where they are headed, this is a great article.
HOW WILL I KNOW?
Last night’s discussion in regard to MacT being second in command was interesting and I sense some frustration from a few commenters. Here’s a really good way to look at things: The Oilers have clear issues and the solutions, while difficult, are clear. Peter Chiarelli needs to:
- Find the right coach
- Draft McDavid and deliver a strong group of complementary pieces with later picks
- Sign or trade for a legit starting goalie
- Fix the defense, which could include buyouts, trades and walking away from overpriced free agents.
If we see him deliver on these things, then Craig MacTavish and his reputation will rise. If we hear Peter Chiarelli talking about Nikitin as a top 4D and Schultz as a future Norris winner, we’ll know the call is coming from inside the house. VERY unlikely Peter Chiarelli loses his ability or courage of his convictions, and last I hear MacT hadn’t mastered hypnosis or the mind meld.