I enjoy writing this blog, but the Oilers and the BCJHL (written annually at this time) is not a fun item. Why? The odds of Edmonton getting full value from their currently invested picks is poor, and further selections from the league just does not make sense. Except this season, where picking from the BCJHL makes real sense—even in the first round. Confused? Well, there are two ridiculous talents in the league this year, and another one worth a top 70 overall pick.
BCJHL PLAYERS TO THE DRAFT
- 2015 NHL draft—211 total players, 1 from BCJHL
- 2014 NHL draft—210 total players, 5 from BCJHL
- 2013 NHL draft—211 total players, 7 from BCJHL
- 2012 NHL draft–211 total players, 5 from BCJHL
- 2011 NHL draft, 211 total players, 2 from BCJHL
- 2010 NHL draft 210 total players, 4 from BCJHL
- 2009 NHL draft, 211 total players, 4 from BCJHL
- 2008 NHL draft, 211 total players, 6 from BCJHL
- FINAL TALLY: 1,686 total players, 34 from BCJHL
- PERCENTAGE: 2.0%
BCJHL PLAYERS TO THE OILERS
- 2015 NHL draft—6 total players, 0 from BCJHL
- 2014 NHL draft—6 total players, 1 from BCJHL
- 2013 NHL draft—10 total players, 1 from BCJHL
- 2012 NHL draft–7 total players, 1 from BCJHL
- 2011 NHL draft–9 total players, 0 from BCJHL
- 2010 NHL draft–11 total players, 1 from BCJHL
- 2009 NHL draft–7 total players, 1 from BCJHL
- 2008 NHL draft–5 total players, 0 from BCJHL
- FINAL TALLY: 61 total players, 5 from BCJHL
- PERCENTAGE: 8.2%
FIVE FOR THE OILERS
- D Kyle Bigos, 2009: Oilers traded him to San Jose before signing him after college. Played for the Edinburgh Capitals this past season, that isn’t bad landing spot in life.
- F Kellen Jones, 2010: Damned fine AHL PK man. He has gotten a lot out of his career. Seriously.
- C Jujhar Khaira, 2012: A strong season included his NHL debut. Offense still a concern, but he could have a career.
- L Evan Campbell, 2013: UMass-Lowell three years in. Subpar season, he is 23.
- C Liam Coughlin, 2014: Chiarelli dealt him to Chicago for Anders Nilsson. Helluva trade, interested to know what the Blackhawks see in him (does have size).
Last year, I did rate Marcus Vela and he was chosen, No. 190 overall. That’s the way you do it. Smart NHL teams do not seek treasure in the BCJHL, no matter the round. Hidden gems in the CHL are far more likely to cash. Seriously.
Now, do me a favor. Forget everything I told you. Why? This year is different, at least for three picks.
TOP PLAYERS FROM THE BCJHL, 2016 DRAFT
- RD Dante Fabbro, Penticton: Impressive two-way D. Great passer. top 15.
- L Tyson Jost, Penticton: Great skater, creative offensive player. top 15.
- LD Dennis Cholowski, Chilliwack Chiefs: Smooth skater, smart blue. top 90.
- L Colin Grannary, Merritt Centennials: Winger with wheels. Very good season.
- C Kyle Betts, Powell River Kings: Good skater, some skill. Nice story here. later rounds.
- R Kohen Olischefski, Chilliwack Chiefs: Tall, lean playmaking winger.
The top three names are locks to get drafted, the first two in Round 1. After that, I think Grannary’s numbers (his NHLE is 15 points) suggest he is a distant bell—and for me, the math says he is the best of the group 4-6 (Betts is rated higher by Central). I have obviously never seen any of these men, but the math tells us there are three actual prospects from the league in 2016. That top duo is outstanding, though.