There were times over the last seven years where the highlight of the season for Edmonton fans was the draft lottery. This year? Not so much. There is some question about where Edmonton will select in the first round, and it has a lot to do with how far they go in the playoffs.
— Steve Kournianos (@TheDraftAnalyst) April 29, 2017
These are the odds for each team, I’m hoping Vegas wins the whole damn thing and drafts No. 1 overall. Here are my 31 best players in the draft:
LOWETIDE’S FIRST ROUND RANKINGS, 2017
- RC Nolan Patrick, Brandon Wheat Kings (WHL). A complete talent but not an elite one.
- L Nico Hischier, Halifax Mooseheads (QMJHL). A more dynamic offensive player than Patrick.
- R Owen Tippett, Mississauga Steelheads (OHL). He covers 3 important categories (size, speed, sniper).
- L Elias Pettersson, Timra (Swe-1). Impressive talent, very skilled.
- RD Timothy Liljegren, Rogle (Swe Jr). He is a mobile 2-way D with impressive skill.
- LC Casey Mittelstadt, Green Bay Gamblers (USHL). Speed and skill, NHLE.
- RD Cale Makar, Brooks Bandits (AJHL). Fast, exceptional puck-moving acumen.
- RC Cody Glass, Portland Winterhawks (WHL). Complete skill set(NHLE: 30).
- RC Gabriel Vilardi, Windsor Spitfires (OHL). Creative C with size, NHLE (33).
- L Eeli Tolvanen, Sioux City Musketeers (USHL). Plus skater, NHL shot and release.
- R Kailer Yamamoto, Spokane Chiefs (WHL). Smart, elusive, offensive.
- LD Juuso Valimaki, Tri-City Americans (WHL). A big two-way D, smart, creative.
- RC Nick Suzuki, Owen Sound Attack (OHL). Skill and creativity, a little one dimensional.
- RC Robert Thomas, London Knights (OHL). Speedy forward, creative.
- LC Lias Andersson, Linkoping (SHL). Throwback 2-way C, aggressive, quick. 5.11, 200.
- RC Martin Necas, Brno (Czech). High speed skill W, just 5.11.
- C Michael Rasmussem, Tri-City Americans (WHL). Big C, physical, good skater.
- LD Nicholas Hague, Mississauga Steelheads (OHL). Rangy, aggressive, emerging offense.
- R Kole Lind, Kelowna Rockets (WHL). Speedy W with skill. Good Oil option.
- R Klim Kostin, Balashikha (MHL). Giant winger, good offense. Injured.
- LC Alexei Lipanov, Dyanmo Balashikha (VHL). Impressive 2-way resume.
- L Kristian Vesalainen, Frolunda (SHL). Big W, skilled, strong, can play L or R.
- RD Conor Timmins, SSE Greyhounds (OHL). Smart, reads plays well, excellent passer.
- LD Miro Heiskanen, HIFK (Sm-Liiga). Puck-mover, excellent vision and speed.
- LC Ryan Poehling, St. Cloude State (NCAA). Big skill C with an offensive reputation.
- RC Morgan Geekie, Tri-City Americans (WHL). C w/2-way rep and emerging offense.
- RC Ivan Lodnia, Erie Otters (OHL). Small skill C, great skater.
- LC Joshua Norris, USNDTP (USHL). Two-way C showing good offense.
- RD Cal Foote, Kelowna Rockets (WHL). Huge D, awkward skater, good passer, tough.
- L Matthew Strome, Hamilton Bulldogs (OHL). Strong 2-way W, offensive potential.
- C Mason Shaw, Medicine Hat Tigers (WHL). Small skill C, terrific skills.
THE OILERS AT THE DRAFT TABLE
- First Round: No. 24 overall
- Third Round: No. 84 overall (FROM ST. LOUIS—this is payment for Nail Yakupov)
- Third Round: No. 86 overall
- Fourth Round: No. 117 overall
- Fifth Round: No. 126 overall (FROM Vancouver—this is payment for Phil Larsen)
- Fifth Round: No. 148 overall
- Sixth Round: No. 179 overall
- Seventh Round: No. 210 overall
One of the cool things to follow is Edmonton’s second-round selection this year. Lost to an NHL ransom rule in 2015 spring, it now belongs to Boston in payment for Peter Chiarelli—fired by the Bruins days before being hired by the Oilers.
So, fans may take some delight in the possible implications of the current playoff run. Edmonton’s pick currently stands at No. 55 overall, but a victory over Anaheim puts that pick anywhere from No. 59 to No. 62. If you are interested in reading more about my draft rankings, my complete list is here.