Just about a year ago, he set out on his own. Seeking his fame and fortune, searching for a pot of gold. Year one was lowdown and trifling—but here comes the sun.
Our group was over the moon a year ago on draft morning, simply impossible to wipe the smile from our faces. Oh sure, the Flames tried with their diabolical Hamilton interference, but Connor McDavid shines like a beacon and will lead us all. My long and labored list one year ago fetched three Oilers picks:
- No. 1—C Connor McDavid, Erie Otters (OHL) All our trials, lord, soon be over.
- No. 38—D Ethan Bear, Seattle Thunderbirds (WHL) Mobile defender, very good shot.
- No. 112—D John Marino, South Shore Kings (USHS) Undersized skill D, stock is rising.
Edmonton traded a lot of picks last summer, important to keep as many as possible this time around. Last night, the first-round selection sounded liked it was in play, but let’s see how this plays out over the weekend.
LOWETIDE TOP 150, 2016
- C Auston Matthews, Zurich Lions (Swiss-A): NHLE is 42. Complete, would have gone No. 3 a year ago.
- W Patrik Laine, Tappara (Sm-Liiga): Sniper, offensive dynamo.
- R Jesse Puljujarvi, Karpat (Sm-Liiga): Big, fast, rambunctious.
- C Pierre-Luc Dubois, Cape Breton (QMJHL): NHLE: 34. Big, strong, fast, skilled.
- L Matthew Tkachuk, London Knights (OHL): NHLE: 49. Terrific shot, brilliant passer.
- LD Mikhail Sergachev, Windsor Spitfires (OHL): NHLE: 22. I believe he is best D. Big, strong, skilled.
- C Clayton Keller, USNDTP (USHL): NHLE: 36. Elite and aggressive. Fantastic.
- LD Olli Juolevi, London Knights (OHL): NHLE: 19. His passes are music. Great vision.
- LD Jakob Chychrun, Sarnia Sting (OHL): NHLE: 21. Complete prospect.
- C Logan Brown, Windsor Spitfires (OHL): NHLE: 33. Range of skills, good skater. Giant.
- RD Dante Fabbro, Penticton (BCJHL): NHLE: 16. Two-way D. Great passer, fantastic player.
- L Tyson Jost, Penticton (BCJHL). NHLE: 23. Explosive player, good arrows.
- R Alexander Nylander, Mississauga (OHL): Soft hands, brilliant, good speed.
- RD Charlie McAvoy, Boston University (NCAA). Complete D, good speed.
- R Alex DeBrincat, Erie Otters (OHL): Small sniper. NHLE: 44.
- C Luke Kunin, Wisconsin (NCAA): Luedeke: has skating & shot of prolific scorer. NHLE: 27.
- LD Jake Bean, Calgary Hitmen (WHL): Smart two-way D.
- C German Rubtsov, Team Russia (MHL). Fine two-way center.
- C Pascal Laberge, Victoriaville Tigres (QMJHL). Skill, size, consistency an issue. NHLE: 26.
- G Carter Hart, Everett Silvertips (WHL): .929 in playoffs.
- L Kieffer Bellows, USNDTP (USHL). Scoring forward, skating a concern. NHLE: 31.
- L Adam Mascherin, Kitchener Rangers (OHL): Undersized scoring W. Bona fide. NHLE: 33
- C Michael McLeod, Mississauga Steelheads (OHL): Playmaking PF, great skater. Gritty. NHLE: 28
- R Taylor Raddysh, Erie Otters (OHL). Power W who can score. NHLE:29
- R Vitalii Abramov, Gatineau Olympiques (QMJHL). Explosive scorer. Dynamic. NHLE: 31
- LD Cam Dineen, North Bay (OHL): Impressive offense. NHLE: 23
- C Rasmus Asplund, Farjestads (SHL). He is 6.0, 180 and quality two-way forward.
- R Julien Gauthier, Val D’Or Foreurs (QMJHL): Great hands, average speed. NHLE: 23.
- L Max Jones, London Knights (OHL). Otten calls him a throwback PF.
- C Janne Kuokkanen, Karpat (Fin Jr). Skilled C, good speed. Playmaker.
- LD Lucas Johansen, Kelowna Rockets (WHL). Two-way D, good mobility.
- C Will Bitten, Flint Firebireds (OHL): Fast skater, scoring playmaker. Intriguing.
- C-R Nathan Bastian, Mississauga Steelheads (OHL): Big skill F with smarts.
- L Tyler Benson, Vancouver Giants (WHL). Physical two-way forward. Injured a lot.
- G Tyler Parsons, London Knights (OHL). He looks substantial based on numbers. .921
- LD Kale Clague, Brandon Wheat Kings (WHL). Fast offensive defenseman.
- G Veini Vehvilainen, JYP (Fin 2). 26GP, 2.04 .925. Re-entry.
- R Maxime Fortier, Halifax Mooseheads (QMJHL). Speed and skill.
- C Dillon Dube, Kelowna Rockets (WHL): Speedy scorer, range of skills.
- L Vladimir Kuznetsov, Acadie-Bathurst Titan (QMJHL): Big, strong and skilled.
- L Jonathan Dahlen, Timra (Allsvenskan). Ulf’s boy, slick and brilliant.
- LD Samuel Girard, Shawinigian (QMJHL). The new M-A Bergeron.
- G Filip Gustavsson, Lulea (SHL): Big G with a .910 SHL SP. Impressive.
- C Sam Steel, Regina Pats (WHL). I call him lesser Eberle. Confusing season.
- L Kyle Maksimovich, Erie Otters (OHL). Small, very skilled player.
- LD Victor Mete, London Knights (OHL). Great skater, impressive offense.
- R Matthew Phillips, Victoria Royals (WHL). Tiny, brilliant offensive winger.
- L Riley Tufte, Fargo Force (USHL). Big W, buzz on this guy is pretty massive.
- R Jordan Kyrou, Sarnia Sting (OHL). Skilled winger, creative.
- RD Adam Fox, US National Team (USHL). Creative, intelligent, good skater. 5.10, 183.
- R Yegor Korshkov, Yaroslavl (KHL). Brilliant WJs, big and skilled winger.
- C Brett Howden, Moose Jaw (WHL). Good skater, skill center. Solid prospect.
- C Noah Gregor, Moose Jaw Warriors (WHL). Two-way C, aggressive.
- C Tage Thompson, Connecticut Huskies (NCAA). Legit skill player. Skating a concern.
- L Cameron Morrison, Youngstown (USHL). Skill winger, fine skater, shooter.
- RD David Quenneville, Medicine Hat Tigers (WHL). Small, very skilled. I like him.
- C Dmitri Sokolov, Sudbury Wolves (OHL). Big F, strong, aggressive. Solid offense.
- L Boris Katchouk, SSM (OHL). Rugged, throwback W with skill.
- C Adam Brooks, Regina Pats (WHL). Brilliant offensive season. Substantial talent.
- RD Frederic Allard, Chicoutimi Sagueneens (QMJHL). Two-way D, impressive offense.
- RD Filip Berglund, Skelleftea AIK (SEL). Intriguing offense, may take awhile.
- C Tyler Steenbergen, Swift Current Broncos (WHL). Spiked in-season.
- RD Filip Hronek, HK Hradec Kralove (Cze). Smart undersized skill D.
- L Carl Grundstrom, MoDo (SHL): Speedy two-way winger.
- L Artur Kayumov, Team Russia (MHL). Fast, skilled, great shot. One dimensional.
- C Brandon Gignac, Shawinigan (QMJHL). Skill C, nice numbers.
- C Linus Lindstrom, Skelleftea (SuperElite). Swede with two-way skills.
- L Simon Stransky, Prince Albert Raiders (WHL). Small skill winger.
- L Matthew Boucher, Quebec Remparts (QMJHL). Small, speed, skill.
- RD Luke Green, Saint John (QMJHL). Impressive offensive defender.
- L Mitchell Mattson, Grand Rapids (USHS). Tall forward with speed and skill. PF?
- L Givani Smith, Guelph Storm (OHL). Big, strong PF. Fine player on struggling team.
- C Jonathan Ang, Peterborough Petes (OHL). Quick, skilled, chaotic.
- C Otto Somppi, Halifax Mooseheads (QMJHL). Big C, has skill.
- LW Sebastian Repo, Pelicans (Sm-Liiga). Nice range of skills. Underrated.
- C Connor Bleackley, Red Deer Rebels (WHL). Draft re-entry, fast with some skill.
- C Oskar Steen, Farjestads (SuperElite). Small F with skill, impressive offense.
- LD Dennis Cholowski, Chilliwack Chiefs (BCJHL). Smooth skater, smart blue.
- L Matt Filipe, Cedar Rapids (USHL). 6.02, 200 and skilled.
- C Kasper Bjorkqvist, Blues U20 (Jr. SML). He sure scores goals a lot.
- G Mikhail Berdin, Team Russia (MHL). A strong (.929) season, highly regarded
- LD Stepan Falkovsky, Ottawa 67s (OHL). Actual giant (6.07, 224), monster shot.
- F Brayden Burke, Lethbridge Hurricanes (WHL). Impressive playmaker, undersized.
- LD Yegor Rykov, St. Petersburg (MHL). Two-way D, good passer, intelligent. Can skate.
- C Henrik Borgstrom, HIFK U20 (Jr. SML). Tall thin C with skill, plus shot. Heading to U. of Denver.
- C Alan Lyszczarczyk, Sudbury Wolves (OHL). Two-way C with PP numbers.
- R Wade Allison, Tri-City Storm (USHL). Size, skill, spiked in final CS ranking.
- R Egor Babenko, Lethbridge Hurricanes (WHL). Math puts him here. Small, very skilled.
- R Joey Anderson, US National Team (USHL). Very skilled, average size and speed.
- RD Andrew Peeke, Green Bay Gamblers (USHL). Big, mobile D, plus shot.
- LD James Greenway, US Nats (USHL). Giant blue with some skill.
- RC Dylan Gambrell, U of Denver (NCAA). Fast, skilled, brilliant.
- G Jeremy Helvig, Kingston Frontenacs (OHL). Numbers are solid.
- C-R Dante Salituro, Ottawa 67s (OHL). Back for another lash, very skilled.
- LD Cole Candella, Hamilton Bulldogs (OHL). Solid two-way D, injury hurt his numbers.
- C William Bower, Moncton Wildcats (QMJHL). Undersized C.
- C Ondrej Najman, HC Dukla Jihlava (Czech). He is posting some impressive boxcars.
- LD Lucas Carlsson, Brynas (SHL). Two-way defenseman, eligible last year.
- LD Jacob Moverare, HV71 (SuperElite). Two-way D, strong, mobile.
- W Tim Gettinger, SSM (OHL). He is a 6.06 winger. Itch will be scratched.
- LD Sebastian Aho, Skelleftea (SHL). Undersized, puck moving D.
- R Jesper Bratt, AIK (Allsvenskan). Very small, very skilled. Fast buzzsaw.
- C Cliff Pu, London Knights (OHL). Otten has him trending.
- C Tanner Laczynski, Lincoln Stars (USHL). A solid offensive player.
- RD Jordan Sambrook, Erie Otters (OHL). Solid two-way D, may be undervalued
- LD Chad Krys, US National Team (USHL). Two-way D, creative with the puck.
- L Jakob Stukel, Calgary Hitmen (WHL). Speedy W with skill. No buzz at all.
- LD Markus Niemelainen, Saginaw Spirit (OHL). Giant defender, mobile, some offense.
- L Jack Kopacka, SSM (OHL). Two-way forward with some size.
- C Reid Gardner, Prince Albert Raiders (WHL). Two-way C. A solid prospect.
- G Daniel Marmenlind, Orebro (SuperElite). Strong numbers (.920)
- C Aapeli Rasanen, Tappara U20 (Jr. SML). A fine prospect, good size and skill.
- G Zack Sawchenko, Moose Jaw Warriors (WHL). A .916SP is rock solid. Great glove.
- C Logan DeNoble, Peterborough Petes (OHL). Small scoring F, effective at ES.
- LD Sean Day, Mississauga (OHL). Mobile two-way D.
- L Brandon Hagel, Red Deer Rebels (WHL). Skill W, undersized.
- LD Ryan Lindgren, US National Team (USHL). Two-way D lacks one outstanding skill.
- C Brett McKenzie, North Bay (OHL). Smart checking center.
- LD Vojtech Budik, Prince Albert Raiders (WHL). Terrific skater, shut down blue.
- R Cameron Askew, Moncton Wildcats (QMJHL). Big, bruising F with skill (Sherren).
- RD Pascal Corbeil, Blainville-Boisbriand (QMJHL). Small puck mover.
- D Ben Gleason, Hamilton Bulldogs (OHL). Chaos defender with real ability.
- RD Jacob Cederholm, HV71 (SuperElite). Big defensive defender
- G Evan Fitzpatrick, Sherbrooke Phoenix (QMJHL). No. 1 ranked NA goalie by CSB. .896
- G Niilo Halonen, Jokerit U20 (Jr. SML). Phenomenal numbers.
- RW Matt Luff, Hamilton (OHL). Throwback W with size and skill.
- LD Libor Hajek, Saskatoon Blades. Big (6.02, 185) Big, strong and mobile.
- L Roman Krikunenko, Yaroslav (MHL). Scored 32 points in 35 games.
- LD Max Lajoie, Swift Current Broncos (WHL). Fine skater, smart player.
- R Steve Harland, North Bay Battalion (OHL). No buzz, interesting offense.
- C Otto Makinen, Tappara U20 (Jr. SML). Tall C with two way skills, could spike at the draft.
- C Rem Pitlick, Muskegon Lumberjacks (USHL). Small and very skilled C. Cousin of Tyler.
- G Julio Billia, Chicoutimi (QMJHL). Sherren: undersized but consistent. .919SP.
- LD Logan Stanley, Windsor Spitfires (OHL). Giant defensive defender, excellent skater.
- C Trent Frederic, US National Team (USHL). Two-way C with size.
- C Andrei Svetlakov, CSKA (KHL). Skilled, gritty forward. Might be a good target.
- LD David Bernhardt, Djurgardens (SuperElite). Puck mover with speed.
- C Cameron Hebig, Saskatoon Blades (WHL). Two-way C, overager.
- L Mikko Juusola, Kalpa (Jr. SML). Speed winger with skill.
- RD Chase Priskie, Quinnipiac (NCAA). Puck-moving defender.
- C Nathan Noel, Saint John Sea Dogs (QMJHL). Wide range of skills, undersized.
- RD Jake Ryczek, Waterloo Blackhawks (USHL). Appears to be a spark offensively.
- C Connor Bunnaman, Kitchener Rangers (OHL). Checking center looks a little shy offensively.
- Max Zimmer, Chicago Steel (USHL). Two-way talent has a nice range of skills.
- LD Matthew Cairns, Georgetown Raiders (OJHL). Smart defender with good size, mobility.
- R Nicholas Caamano, Flint Firebirds (OHL). Winger with size and speed, scored 20 goals.
- C Hugh McGing, Cedar Rapids Roughriders (USHL). A small and very skilled forward.
- C Tanner Kaspick, Brandon Wheat Kings (WHL). Has speed, range of skills.
- R William Knierim, Dubuque Fighting Saints (USHL). Huge winger with some skill.
- R Eetu Tuulola, HPK U20 (Jr. SML). Massive winger (6.03, 225) with some offense.
Note: I give credit here and explain things. If your favorite player is well down the list, the reasons are contained in the link. If you are a scout, your list is based on visual and mine is based on math (although bias and informed opinions leak into my list). I hope you enjoy the list, and the process this blog goes through each year. It is a labor of love, and I enjoy sharing it with those who find value.
OILERS PICKS GOING INTO THE WEEKEND
- No. 4 overall—L Matthew Tkachuk, London Knights (OHL)
- No. 32 overall—C-R Nathan Bastian, Mississauga Steelheads (OHL)
- No. 63 overall—R Wade Allison, Tri-City Storm (USHL)
- No. 84 overall—RD Filip Berglund, Skelleftea AIK (SEL)
- No. 91 overall—RD Jordan Sambrook, Erie Otters (OHL)
- No. 123 overall—R Matthew Phillips, Victoria Royals (WHL)
- No. 149 overall—R Nicholas Caamano, Flint Firebirds (OHL)
- No. 153 overall—C Cameron Hebig, Saskatoon Blades (WHL)
- No. 183 overall—RW Matt Luff, Hamilton (OHL)
The Ontario league. Tonight and tomorrow, if the Oilers are drafting out of the OHL, you can assume they are having a good run. If Edmonton spends four picks in the OHL, I would be pleased.
The other thing to watch for? The establishment of a trend that may have started last season. All of the positional players chosen in 2015 had enough offense to project into at least a two-way role—no Musil’s, no Abney’s, no Hesketh’s. That represents real progress.
CHIARELLI’S LIST—ONE YEAR AGO
- Draft McDavid (and sign him) [Update: They did, and did!]
- Find a quality goalie option (this is the Talbot item) [Procured Talbot]
- Acquire a legit top pairing blue [Sekera was the choice]
- Sign a more offensive two-way F [Traded for Lauri Korpikoski]
- Ignore MacT re: Marincin [did not ignore MacT]
I think Chiarelli did well with the goalie and the blue, but the secondary moves did not work. Would he have been better off with Gordon and someone, as the contract expired this summer? Yes. A poor bet for sure.
THE CHIARELLI LIST
- Top-pairing RHD (Two-way skills)
- Second-pairing RHD (Offensive defenseman)
- Acquire RHC with some skill
- Backup goalie
I have two defenders listed here, but suspect it will be Ursa Major and Ursa Minor—a Hamonic and a Dan Boyle. The RHC could end up being a RW, I have Leon moving betwixt C and R but a RW added means Leon stays at pivot. The backup goalie could be handled in the coming weeks.
THE CHIARELLI EXTENDED PLAY LIST
- Add a “Pisani” who can mentor, score 15, and play a two-way role up and down the lineup.
- Re-stock the shelves via the draft.
- Improve overall team speed.
- Offload Lauri Korpikoski.
- Improve goaltending depth (added Nick Ellis, but more is needed—likely draft).
- Improve AHL quality (Caggiula, Russell, Ellis, but more is needed).
- Cull the LHD herd.
- Rob the Islanders of something.
The restocking of the shelves is a big item for this weekend and should not be overlooked. I will have a new top 20 on Sunday morning, but the list needs help. If you are interested, I also posted about prospect trade value—Chiarelli may offload some of these chaps over the weekend, especially a LHD or two.
McKenzie: "I get conflicting reports. What I hear in Calgary is Dougie Hamilton is not available. Other people think he is." #Flames 1260
— Chris Nichols (@NicholsOnHockey) June 24, 2016
THE ASSETS LIST
- Cap space*
- Nail Yakupov
- No. 4 overall selection*
- Ryan Nugent-Hopkins
- Taylor Hall
- Jordan Eberle
- Benoit Pouliot
- Mark Fayne
- Griffin Reinhart
- 2017 1st round selection
I took Leon Draisaitl off the list (plus Darnell Nurse) awhile back and have chosen not to put them back on the list. If Chiarelli deals Leon, I think he will go from the insider list to the out door, without ever stopping on the assets list.
— Kevin Weekes (@KevinWeekes) June 24, 2016
- Peter Chiarelli: “I’ve had discussions that include that pick. We’re looking at all the different options: making the pick, trading down, including that pick in a trade for a defenseman, I’ve had discussions with teams on all those options.” Source
My suspicion this morning is that the Oilers will keep the pick, chose Matt Tkachuk and make their trade on Saturday. Montreal may be pushing for the No. 4 overall pick, but Edmonton owns the selection. Is keeping Leon and acquiring Tkachuk more important than adding P.K. Subban? I don’t think we know what Edmonton will do, while also knowing exactly what Edmonton should do in this scenario.
My sense is that the pick (Tkachuk) and the ask (Leon) are areas Peter Chiarelli feels are major pieces of Edmonton’s future. I would do that deal (No. 4 and Leon in a Subban trade) and I do it with extreme urgency.
LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE
At 10 this morning, TSN1260. A moving target for sure, so promises today may not come true. Scheduled to appear:
- Steve Lansky, Big Mouth Sports. NHL draft, Ron is back, Argos.
- Matt Iwanyk, TSN1260. Eskimos ready themselves for G1, Oilers go to work.
- Darcy McLeod, Because Oilers. Finding the sweet spot among all those blue, searching for unicorns.
- Paul Almeida, SSE. The man who called Tkachuk to the Oilers in January takes a bow.
10-1260 text, @Lowetide on twitter. Draft day! Bring on the pain!