Back in November of 2013, Craig MacTavish made a nifty little trade with the Calgary Flames. He sent defenseman Ladislav Smid and goalie Olivier Roy south for Laurent Brossoit and Roman Horak. Edmonton played Horak in Oklahoma City for most of that season (he did score a goal for the Oilers in January 2014), and then he settled in on a productive four-year career in the KHL. He is 27. Last I checked, Edmonton controls his NHL rights, but Horak’s career remains in Europe.
— Patricia Teter (@Artful_Puck) June 16, 2018
Give The Athletic as a gift or get it yourself and join the fun! Offer is here, less than $4 a month! I find myself reading both the hockey (Willis, Dellow, Pronman, et cetera) and the baseball coverage a lot, it’s a pure pleasure to visit. We’ll sell you the whole seat, but you’ll only need the edge.
- New Jonathan Willis: No. 14 prospect—Olivier Rodrigue
- Lowetide: No. 15 prospect—William Lagesson
- Jonathan Willis: No. 16 prospect—Cameron Hebig
- Lowetide: No. 17 prospect—Graham McPhee
- Jonathan Willis: No. 18 prospect—Ryan Mantha
- Lowetide: No. 19 prospect—John Marino
- Jonathan Willis: No. 20 prospect—Tyler Vesel
- Lowetide: Top 20 prospects: Forwards outside the top 20
- Jonathan Willis: Are Hayden Hawkey and Phil Kemp underrated gems?
- Lowetide: Oilers 2013 draft: Two NHL players and one crazy trade.
- Lowetide: Tracking Oilers training camp six weeks out.
- Lowetide: Some lingering questions about Oilers 2018 draft and evaluating goalies.
- Lowetide: Oilers training camp: 28 men for 23 jobs.
- Jonathan Willis: Predicting the winners in the top 6 and top 9 forwards.
- Lowetide: The news is out: Youth shall be served.
- Lowetide: Cap decisions of 2017 may continue to hamper 2019 decisions
- Jonathan Willis: Analyzing the Oilers 2018-19 depth chart (including additions)
- Lowetide: Bakersfield Condors could be best Oilers AHL team in ages
- Lowetide: Is Evan Bouchard NHL-ready?
- Lowetide: The maturation of Daryl Katz, or heading down a dangerous road?
- Bogdan Yakimov:“Last year, I played in the pro league and I think I can play. I need more work, but after development camp, I will stay in Edmonton. In my head? One thought. NHL. NHL. NHL. So no problem if they say eat this, do that, I do it. No problem.”
It was a problem, because Yakimov was sent to the minors and did not complete his entry deal. Yakimov was a slow train and maybe he doesn’t make the NHL, but Edmonton had 10 picks in 2013 and Darnell Nurse is the only man standing. Six picks in the top 96, Nurse is stone alone now that Anton Slepyshev is heading back to the KHL.
HOW TO FIX IT!
The only way to overcome a poor crop is to recover the next fall and the next and the next. Here are the players who turned pro beginning in the fall of 2014, and the men who will turn pro this fall and next:
- 2014-15 Entry Deals (8 deals, 581 games): Leon Draisaitl (269), Iiro Pakarinen (134), Jujhar Khaira (94), Jordan Oesterle (80), Dillon Simpson (3), Bogdan Yakimov (1), Kellen Jones, Mitchell Moroz. Draisaitl emerged as a quality NHL player and Khaira took one giant leap last season toward becoming an NHL role player. If an NHL general manager delivered these two talents each season, that would have to be considered quality in my opinion.
- 2015-16 Entry Deals (9 deals, 508 games): Connor McDavid (209), Darnell Nurse (197), Anton Slepyshev (102), Eetu Laurikainen, Joey Laleggia, Kyle Platzer, Greg Chase, Braden Christoffer, Ben Betker. The motherlode, McDavid is the strongest trump card in the world, leveling entire cities in a single bound. Nurse has emerged as a bona fide NHL player. If a general manager could deliver this every year, Stanley would buy a house in Brander Gardens.
- 2016-17 Entry Deals (6 deals, 355 games): Matt Benning (135), Drake Caggiula (127), Jesse Puljujarvi (93), Patrick Russell, Nick Ellis, Jere Sallinen. Benning and Puljujarvi are likely to be solid contributors, if JP emerges as the player his tools suggest this rookie crop will be remembered well. The big issue here has been patience and it appears the Oilers see the long-term potential of the Finn. None of the 2014 draft picks were signed and began their entry deals in 2016 fall.
- 2017-18 Entry Deals (6 deals, 18 games): Ethan Bear (18), Joe Gambardella, Caleb Jones, Ryan Mantha, Shane Starrett, Ziyat Paigin. It was a quiet year, although Kailer Yamamoto did get into nine games not listed here. When your team skips a beat in graduation, it means the following year has to be much stronger.
- 2018-19 Entry Deals (9 deals): Kailer Yamamoto, Tyler Benson, Cooper Marody, William Lagesson, Nolan Vesey, Stuart Skinner, Cameron Hebig, Dylan Wells, Tyler Vesel. This is a much better group than last year, and Evan Bouchard might end up as part of this year’s grads. The good thing about the nine players listed here is their outer markers fit team needs. There are more reasonable bets in this group than in any season since 2014.
- 2019-20 Entry Deals: Evan Bouchard, Joel Persson, Dmitri Samorukov, Kirill Maksimov, Ostap Safin. More names to add over the course of the next 10 months but a nice start. We can’t get ahead of ourselves with Maksimov and Safin but the arrows are good so far. Evan Bouchard should help the Oilers in a big way during his career.
Some of the 2018-19 deals listed here could slide and some not mentioned (Ostap Safin) could end up playing in pro hockey this winter. I give credit to Peter Chiarelli for working like a bugger in order to sign players in the spring and summer of 2016, because there wasn’t one damned thing coming through the system. It’s amazing to see what the 2014 draft did to 2016 summer. Devastating.
Jesse Puljujärvi jätti Raimo Summasen valmennuksen – ”Tänä kesänä harjoittelu on ollut monipuolisempaa” https://t.co/UNWPZA52Mf
— Ilta-Sanomat Urheilu (@isurheilu) August 1, 2018
Good signs all around for Jesse Puljujarvi, the Oilers fortunes would improve greatly with a big step forward by the gigantic winger. He’s wildly popular in Edmonton already, if he can score 20 goals this coming season and sign a reasonable contract the Oilers will have a major piece of the future via the draft.
This is the McDavid cluster, I count three strong contributors (97, Leon, Nurse) and four guys who may or may not reach their outer markers. It’s important to build as strong a group as possible around the captain, this is your heart of the order.
LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE
A special show this morning and I can’t wait for it. Steve Lansky in studio from 10-11, we’ll talk about the old days (Steve was a television producer during the glory years and worked for both networks at that time) through modern times (we’ll chat about CFL live-mic, the Jays season and talk Oilers future). Matt Iwanyk will be around at 11 to talk Eskimos, and you can text 10-1260 with questions for either of my guests or to comment. @Lowetide on twitter, I will check this blog comments section for Lansky questions during the hour. Check out Steve’s website.