We’re one day away from history. Oh I don’t mean actual history, but for this Oilers fan (who would have heard the first whispers in 1971) tomorrow night is a monumental occasion. The Oilers have 10 picks in a deep draft and there’s little doubt the top 20 I post on Sunday will have many names as yet unknown to us. Here’s the current top 20 before the watershed.
OILERS CURRENT TOP 20 PROSPECTS
(Winter ranking in brackets, comments around trade value and wisdom of using them as assets).
- (1) C Leon Draisaitl. He’s a keeper. Remember the days without a big C in the system?
- (2) D Darnell Nurse. The Oilers future on blue, it’s just a matter of when he arrives.
- (4) C Bogdan Yakimov. Big C impressed during TC, hit his stride in final 13 AHL games (6-6-12).
- (5) W Iiro Pakarinen. 6.01, 205 winger with grit and skill.
- (6) C-R Greg Chase. Gritty forward with offensive ability. Agitator of the first degree.
- (9) C Kyle Platzer. Emerged as a genuine NHL prospect in his final junior year. Skill, 2-way ability.
- (16) G Laurent Brossoit. Tremendous step forward in one season, .918SP in OKC.
- (17) L Anton Slepyshev. Began the KHL season 39GP 5-7-12, then posted 19GP, 10-3-13.
- (14) D Joey Laleggia. Quality offensive defenseman at the NCAA level, pro career ahead.
- (NR) G Eetu Laurikainen. This signing was badly needed, .933SP in any league is eye-popping.
- (7) C Jujhar Khaira. Strong, physical F, shy offensively. First AHL season unimpressive.
- (8) D Dillon Simpson. Two-way D made steady progress as a rookie pro.
- (29) R Andrew Miler. A really good season has Miller in position to push for an NHL career.
- (10) R Tyler Pitlick. Injuries have derailed him, still has a chance, time running out.
- (15) D William Lagesson. Interesting D with a reputation for physical play and coverage skills.
- (22) D Jordan Oesterle. Speed and skill make him a great, if chaotic, bet.
- (21) D Brandon Davidson. Played well with NHL chance, should get another. Depth D.
- (20) D Brad Hunt. Offensive D impact player in the AHL. Of possible use in NHL.
- (23) D David Musil Effective shut down blue save for the speed, which is an important element.
- (24) G Zach Nagelvoort (13GP, 2.78 .904 NCAA) Big step back from .929 in draft season.
After the team adds McDavid, they should just keep drafting BPA. Will they? Until we see evidence I suspect it’s probably best to assume some of those 10 picks will be going to big men—what we hope for is that these big men can also play and are not drafted out of order. Plus, let’s remember that if they club grabs a Cam Abney or Mitch Moroz as a reach pick, ripping the player is very bad form.
If they are drafting for need, expect to see a goalie, at least one defenseman and a winger selected. If Edmonton goes McDavid, Svechnikov, Dermott, Vladar and then a defenseman, it might be difficult to suss out BPA/need. It’s a cool draft that way. I think we’ll know Saturday morning about Bob Green, Scott Howson and how closely they paid attention to the draft model provided by the analytics side of the company.
A reminder: Analytics reigned during the 2013 draft, reflected by the No. 2, 3, 5, 6 and 8 names on the above list. 2014? Not so much, although the weakness of the list (pre-draft) means Zach Nagelvoort joins Leon and William Lagesson until Sunday.
— Slav (@slavkornik) June 25, 2015
There’s a real chance Connor McDavid will be No. 1 on that list Sunday, making it one of the very strongest top 20 in the history of the Oilers. I don’t think that’s hyperbole, and save for the 1980 summer edition (Glenn Anderson, Paul Coffey, Jari Kurri, Andy Moog, Charlie Huddy, Walt Poddubny) the list that might include McDavid, Svechnikov, Draisaitl and Nurse on Sunday night would have to right up the all-time. What a fantastic time to be an Oilers fan. If you made it through death valley and came out the other side, you know more darkness than any fan should have to endure.
Dreger just said on TSN in Edmonton that teams have "talked to Boston about the potential of a trade" for Dougie Hamilton.
— Mike Cole (@MikeColeNESN) June 25, 2015
Boston is in a lot of trouble right now, losing Hamilton could contribute to a harmful free fall. I don’t think Hamilton gets traded, but have mentioned several times that an offer sheet makes sense. He’s a perfect fit for Edmonton. It DOES have mammoth impact on the next two drafts, however. Edmonton owes a second-round pick to Boston (Chiarelli) and a third to San Jose (McLellan) so an offer sheet effectively wipes out all but the 2017 first-round pick for the Oilers. The McDavid cluster would be impacted greatly.
- Draft McDavid (and sign him)
- Find a quality goalie option (this is the Talbot/Lehner item)
- Acquire a legit top pairing blue (as always, clear as mud days before bullets fly. Dougie Hamilton=perfect fit)
- Sign a more offensive two-way F (I’m hoping for Soderberg)
- Ignore MacT re: Marincin (Or trade Marincin for real value and not a damn pick)
I’m posting this because there’s a chance we see one of the items crossed off today (goalie). Seems to me the Rangers will want to have their picks settled for tomorrow in case they want to trade up (if they acquire No. 33, NYR could deal that pick and their own—No. 59—in an effort to get inside the first round).
NHL SCHEDULE IS OUT
It is here. Oilers go from rarely being on national television to being a regular. Suspect that is the future of the team, with McDavid, a new building and other things arriving.
— ActuallyBetter (@Isuckatpicking) June 24, 2015
What do you think? I’m thrilled for something new, although do love the current look. In the long history of the team, the only threads I didn’t like were late oughts form-fitting weird lines gear. I think this looks great!
LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE
A busy morning as we get set for CFL season and the NHL draft/free agency craziness. 10 this morning, TSN1260:
- Dennis King, Oilogosphere Icon. NHL Awards (lordy), Oilers draft and trades and we’ll try to get to some baseball.
- Dean Millard, TSN1260. Oilers at the draft and some hidden gems.
- Corey Pronman, ESPN. We’ll drill down on picks No. 16 and No. 33.
- Rod Pedersen, Sportscage. Roughriders have improved depth at QB, what about that O-line?
10-1260 on text, @Lowetide on twitter. Talk soon! ONE more sleep!