On Friday afternoon at five, a rumor hit the Al Gore. Edmonton was apparently in talks with the Boston Bruins, with Oscar Klefbom and No. 10 overall possibly heading east. Coming west? Torey Krug, Danton Heinen and or Anders Bjork. Whether it was real or not, the rumor died on the vine with the Evan Bouchard selection. Oilers added five prospects via the draft and one through trade while in Dallas. Plenty of work to do this summer, but a productive draft weekend.
Give The Athletic as a gift or get it yourself and join the fun! Offer is here, less than $5 a month and your Dad will love a unique gift. I find myself reading both the hockey (Willis, Dellow, Pronman, et cetera) and the baseball coverage a lot, it’s compelling reading and a pure pleasure to visit. I’ll be running draft articles for my contribution to The Athletic now through next weekend, come aboard!
- New Lowetide: Oilers are finally over walkabout draft picks.
- New Corey Pronman: NHL draft grades.
- Scott Wheeler: Ryan McLeod (excellent article) to the Oilers
- New Jonathan Willis: Oilers second-round pick (mentions McLeod)
- Lowetide: Evan Bouchard a perfect fit for need, will the Oilers fast-track him?
- Jonathan Willis: Oil will get a crack at another high-end prospect in round two
- Corey Pronman: Pick by pick breakdown of round one
- Lowetide: Low budget free agents can deliver Oilers big bang
- Lowetide: The maturation of Daryl Katz, or heading down a dangerous road?
- Lowetide: Oilers top 10 prospects in front of the 2018 draft.
- Lowetide: Draft 2018: Oilers scouting directors: A history.
CURRENT PROSPECT LIST
- The Leftorium fever is broken! After what seems like a decade, the Oilers have more RHD bubbling under than LHD.
- I’d say the top three defensemen left and right are prospects we can project to the next level, at least for an audition period. Joel Persson is kind of a wild card, John Marino looks promising but there may be some running in place, and Phil Kemp is matriculating.
- Edmonton went into the weekend with one “A” prospect (in my opinion), Kailer Yamamoto. I believe Evan Bouchard is also an “A” prospect, your mileage on one or both may vary.
- The second tier has (again my opinion) one more prospect in the addition of Ryan McLeod. For me, Ethan Bear, Caleb Jones, Kirill Maksimov and Cooper Marody are also in that group. There are others who may well emerge (Filip Berglund, William Lagesson, Stuart Skinner, Graham McPhee, new arrival Olivier Rodrigue) but we’re going to have to see them spike.
- I have no idea where to slot Hayden Hawkey, but will say he has a fabulous name for the sport and the position he plays.
- One full year is a good time frame to get a view on progress. Looking back on last year, the two prospects who have moved forward the most are Kirill Maksimov and William Lagesson.
- The best non-drafted newcomers in the last 12 months are Cooper Marody, Joel Persson and Cameron Hebig.
- Graham McPhee and Aapeli Rasanen are two players to watch this winter. It’s easy to forget about them, and it isn’t like they’re scoring at Fernando Pisani (when he was in college) levels, but McPhee took a nice step forward and perhaps Rasanen will do the same.
Definitely a three prospect draft, interesting to see Bouchard’s rankings having more range than one might expect from a likely top 10 selection. Part of that may come from his age (he is a 1999) something that also impacts McLeod (who was universally ranked in the final third of the first round). Rodrigue’s rankings are fairly consistent and Steve Kournianos probably has you ranked somewhere, that guy is thorough.
The Oilers extended qualifying offers to Darnell Nurse, Ryan Strome and Anton Slepyshev yesterday, that’s news on several levels. Although the Nurse contract number remains uncertain, I think we might see Strome’s deal at $3 million for one season. Slepyshev’s transaction is merely paperwork based on what we know, they are retaining his rights.
- Still massive amounts of room to sign free agents, I wonder if we see a bunch of secondary signings on July 1 ala one year ago.
- You can see the roster as it may appear this fall, there are jobs at No. 2R, No. 3R, No. 4C and No. 7D.
- There’s lots of work to do, but as of now new faces on opening night might include Mikko Koskinen, Keegan Lowe, Cooper Marody.
OILERS 2018 FREE AGENTS
- G Nick Ellis RFA. Retired.
- G Laurent Brossoit UFA. Unlikely to return.
- LD Darnell Nurse RFA. Qualified
- RD Matt Benning RFA. Signed.
- LD Yohann Auvitu UFA. KHL bound.
- RD Mark Fayne UFA. He’s done with the Oilers.
- LD Keegan Lowe UFA. Signed.
- LD Dillon Simpson UFA. Appears headed to free agency.
- LD Joey Laleggia UFA. Appears headed to free agency.
- LD Ben Betker RFA. Not Qualified.
- RC Ryan Strome RFA. Qualified.
- RC Kyle Platzer RFA. Not Qualified.
- LC Grayson Downing UFA. Appears headed to free agency.
- L Mike Cammalleri UFA. Appears headed to free agency.
- L Drake Caggiula RFA. Signed.
- L Braden Christoffer RFA. Signed an AHL deal.
- R Anton Slepyshev RFA. Qualified.
- R Iiro Pakarinen RFA. Not Qualified.
- R Patrick Russell. RFA. Signed.
- R Brian Ferlin UFA. Appears headed to free agency.
Dillon Simpson is the most likely of the pending free agents to be signed based on Edmonton’s own history. His skill set is duplicated by Keegan Lowe, and if we’re honest Lowe might be the better defenseman at this time.
Edmonton now has … deep breath … Stuart Skinner, Dylan Wells, Shane Starrett, Olivier Rodrigue and Hayden Hawkey as 24-and-under goalies in the system. https://t.co/cym0DZqxj3
— Jonathan Willis (@JonathanWillis) June 23, 2018
I think this is the best road, to be honest. Every NHL team has five slots for pro goalies (two NHL, two AHL, usually ECHL starter) and ideally you have three younger men pushing for NHL work. As I see it, the depth chart this winter will be Cam Talbot with Mikko Koskinen in the NHL; Condors goalies Shane Starrett and Dylan Wells; ECHL starter Stuart Skinner. I also think Wells and Skinner will shuffle often to make sure both get a lot of work.
His resume looks good, one year from the pressure point of signing him. Providence goalies appear to be an itch the Oilers must scratch, as Nick Ellis was the starter before Hawkey. Jon Gillies was the goalie in Providence before Ellis and Hawkey, he was highly touted and hasn’t worked out as a pro (yet). Maybe the Friars suppress dangerous shots, or maybe the shot counter is a madman, or maybe Hayden Hawkey is an excellent prospect. We wait.