The 93 Best Players in the 2019 draft

by Lowetide

We’re close to the final top 100 “Here Comes the Sun” list that will end our draft coverage in early June. From here, spikes from European tournaments, injury news and other facts revealed will be the only changes. My list doesn’t wait for the Bob McKenzie consensus and doesn’t resemble other scouting services or rankings. Here’s the 93 best in the draft.

THE ATHLETIC!

The Athletic Edmonton features a fabulous cluster of stories (some linked below, some on the site). Great perspective from a ridiculous group of writers and analysts. Proud to be part of the group. INSANE NEW OFFER IS HERE!

  • New Lowetide: Colby Cave and Joe Gambardella build late-season resumes with Edmonton.
  • Lowetide: The Oilers made a rare move and shopped the QMJHL at the 2018 draft. It could happen again.
  • Eric Duhatschek: Sorting through the organizational problems in Ottawa and Edmonton.
  • Daniel Nugent-Bowman: After a year of despair, Oilers prospect Cameron Hebig grateful for latest chapter with the Condors
  • Jonathan Willis: Bob Nicholson’s misguided Tobias Rieder comments reveal deeper problems within Oilers management
  • Jonathan Willis: Ken Hitchcock knows why Edmonton has trouble exiting its zone, but lacks the players to fix it.
  • Lowetide: Trimming cap fat and adding speed and skill will shape Oilers’ offseason.
  • Jonathan Willis: Former Canucks architects Mike Gillis and Laurence Gilman should be considered for any vacant NHL GM job
  • Jonathan Willis: The Oilers need to drastically revamp their forward group.
  • Lowetide: Identifying the risk and the right price if the Oilers were to trade Adam Larsson (to Toronto?)
  • Lowetide: Oilers’ prospect Tyler Benson’s rookie AHL season a revelation.
  • Lowetide: The Edmonton Oilers draft early, the WHL is loaded and there’s a lot of history.
  • Jonathan Willis: Analyzing how much the Oilers should be willing to spend on pending free agent Alex Chiasson.
  • Jonathan Willis: Keith Gretzky is a legitimate Oilers GM candidate, but would be a hard sell in Edmonton
  • Lowetide: How the Oilers can build a contender during Connor McDavid’s prime.
  • Jonathan Willis: The Oilers aren’t good, but this group has more potential than teams from the decade of darkness
  • Lowetide: Bob Nicholson’s search continues for the Oilers new tomorrow, but at a leisurely pace.
  • Daniel Nugent-Bowman: How Leon Draisaitl has found ‘another level’ by matching offensive wizardry with sound positioning.
  • Lowetide: The Edmonton Oilers and the OHL.

HERE COMES THE SUN

OILERS MOCK!

  • No. 9 overall— L Peyton Krebs, Kootenay Ice (WHL). Krebs offense (64, 19-49-68) led his team by 16 points. He was quality at the Hlinka, is aggressive and plays with an edge. More passer than shooter.
  • No. 40 overall—LC Blake Murray, Sudbury (OHL). Power forward with good speed and hands, Murray has a good shot and what is described as deceptive speed. Not much buzz but he’s a solid prospect.
  • No. 88 overall—L Brayden Tracey, Moose Jaw (WHL). Played very little previous to this season in the WHL, spiked this season.
  • No. 102 overall —R Sasha Mutala, Tri-City Americans (WHL). Heavy shot, excellent skater, 20 goals, May 2001.
  • No. 164 overall— LD Justin Bergeron, Rouyn-Noranda (QMJHL) . He isn’t getting mentioned at all, but Bergeron has good speed, creativity and is a good defender.
  • No. 195 overall—LC Linus Nassen, Frolunda (SHL). Solid two-way player who plays a strong checking style.

LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE

At 10 this morning, TSN1260. I’ll also be on the roundtable at 9 with Matt Iwanyk. Scheduled to appear:

  • Andrew Peard, Oil Kings PBP. We’ll chat about a split with Medicine Hat and what looks like a long series.
  • Michael Hurley, CBS Boston. Gronk retires after 20 years in the NFL. Well, it was only nine but the man had an incredible impact.
  • Jason Gregor, TSN1260. The Oilers and the future.

10-1260 text, @Lowetide on twitter. Talk soon!

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ArmchairGM

OriginalPouzar:
London and Guelph both in action tonight.

See if Bouchard can extend his league-leading points total…Byfield seems to be popping, I’ve been watching for this moment!

OriginalPouzar

London and Guelph both in action tonight.

ArmchairGM

Westchester Oil:
#17 Alex Newhook

Because of LT’s ranking, I went to see Newhook play Friday night. He scored 2 goals and one assist. He’s got good speed, hustles defensively, but more impressively he’s got great offensive instincts. And he’s the 2nd youngest player on his team. Close to 2 points a game in the regular season and almost the same in the playoffs. Hard to project how a BCHL star will translate to the big leagues but Jamie Benn also got drafted from the same Victoria Grizzlies. Oilers won’t take him at #8-10 or wherever they pick from, but I’d be thrilled if he fell to the second round and they grabbed him.

Damn. And here I always thought you were a New Yorker.

Victoria Oil

#17 Alex Newhook

Because of LT’s ranking, I went to see Newhook play Friday night. He scored 2 goals and one assist. He’s got good speed, hustles defensively, but more impressively he’s got great offensive instincts. And he’s the 2nd youngest player on his team. Close to 2 points a game in the regular season and almost the same in the playoffs. Hard to project how a BCHL star will translate to the big leagues but Jamie Benn also got drafted from the same Victoria Grizzlies. Oilers won’t take him at #8-10 or wherever they pick from, but I’d be thrilled if he fell to the second round and they grabbed him.

Pretendergast

SK Oiler Fan,

I was at that game as well. I saw Dach take the puck in stride to the front and almost score, retrieve the puck, and fake out a defender with a no look saucer pass tape to tape to the dman at the other side of the ice for a dangerous shot. The ease at which he did it was breathtaking.

He also got a breakaway after a faceoff at centre ice that i have no idea how he managed.

Has all the skill, every time he gets hit tho it looks like it really, really hurts.

Professor Q

Scungilli Slushy: Is it making the right choice or developing talented kids? Drafting 17 YO is a roll of the dice. Can’t imagine predicting younger players.

Well, I included both options, as they can co-exist, in my belief.

Scungilli Slushy

OriginalPouzar:
Cody Franson leading KHL playoffs in Dman scoring with 12 points in 9 games.

Boom: Puck moving, right show, PP d-man – LT approved – who needs boots?

Credit: Young Willis!

Do they still have the same Zamboni they used to tow some of the other old timey huge D with that can’t skate to the blue line with?

Scungilli Slushy

Professor Q: Even as a Knights fan, yes, I admit that they strong-arm their way into trading for top draft picks,prospects, and players, and have a way of convincing players to want to go there (which sort of forces the others teams to find ways to trade their own players to London).

They do, however, make smart decisions in “rebuilding”, such as offloading their top talent en masse last season to get multiple futures, and remain a top team this season.

However, once they get those picks, they have to make the right choices (and make them well even with their own, later picks). Then, they have to develop those players correctly, and make sure they gel together to make a cohesive and skilled and diverse culture and team that knows and cares about winning. Then, they have to make the correct choices in regards to trades.

It’s not a cut-and-dry situation and system, but there are multiple reasons why London is the highest producer of NHL talent by far. I think when I was watching recently, TSN had the stats (not sure how long the period was), and London was in the lead by a lot, and then the US NTDP and Kitchener Rangers. I think the Oshawa Generals were up there, also.

Is it making the right choice or developing talented kids? Drafting 17 YO is a roll of the dice. Can’t imagine predicting younger players.

Glovjuice

Boop de boop boop. ?????? draft Byram.

Professor Q

Ben: Convince me that his franchise is perpetually good because he’s great at evaluating talent, and not because they’re great at structuring incentive. Until then, I’d pass.

Even as a Knights fan, yes, I admit that they strong-arm their way into trading for top draft picks, prospects, and players, and have a way of convincing players to want to go there (which sort of forces the others teams to find ways to trade their own players to London).

They do, however, make smart decisions in “rebuilding”, such as offloading their top talent en masse last season to get multiple futures, and remain a top team this season.

However, once they get those picks, they have to make the right choices (and make them well even with their own, later picks). Then, they have to develop those players correctly, and make sure they gel together to make a cohesive and skilled and diverse culture and team that knows and cares about winning. Then, they have to make the correct choices in regards to trades.

It’s not a cut-and-dry situation and system, but there are multiple reasons why London is the highest producer of NHL talent by far. I think when I was watching recently, TSN had the stats (not sure how long the period was), and London was in the lead by a lot, and then the US NTDP and Kitchener Rangers. I think the Oshawa Generals were up there, also.

Gerta Rauss

godot10,

…so that’s a yes to Franson then..?

OriginalPouzar

ArmchairGM:
Leon Draisaitl hasn’t scored a goal in 3 games now, and has just 2 in his last 9. And now he’s lost his #2 spot in the Richard race, because Tavares scored 4 tonight. Leon needs a hat trick tomorrow against the Kings to regain his position… stay tuned!

Every goal, assist and point Draisaitl posts will be a new career high.

Every assist or point McDavid scores will be a career high. He needs 3 goals to reach his career high of 41.

Every goal or point Nugent-Hopkins scores will be a new career high. He needs 1 more assist to tie his career high.

Lots of reasons to watch and cheer tomorrow night.

Yup – lots of reasons to watch and cheer every night…

godot10

OriginalPouzar:
Cody Franson leading KHL playoffs in Dman scoring with 12 points in 9 games.

Boom: Puck moving, right show, PP d-man – LT approved – who needs boots?

Credit: Young Willis!

Just when I think I am out, they drag me back in….

godot10

OriginalPouzar:
Cody Franson leading KHL playoffs in Dman scoring with 12 points in 9 games.

Boom: Puck moving, right show, PP d-man – LT approved – who needs boots?

Credit: Young Willis!

00 bottles of beer on the wall, 99 bottles of beer….
if one of those bottles should happen tall, 98 bottles of beer on the wall.

Ben

lawrenharris: Mark Hunter for GM

Convince me that his franchise is perpetually good because he’s great at evaluating talent, and not because they’re great at structuring incentive. Until then, I’d pass.

godot10

OriginalPouzar:
Cody Franson leading KHL playoffs in Dman scoring with 12 points in 9 games.

Boom: Puck moving, right show, PP d-man – LT approved – who needs boots?

Credit: Young Willis!

21…22…23…24…25…26…27…28….29….30….

godot10

OriginalPouzar:
Cody Franson leading KHL playoffs in Dman scoring with 12 points in 9 games.

Boom: Puck moving, right show, PP d-man – LT approved – who needs boots?

Credit: Young Willis!

11…12…13…14…15…16…17…18…19….20…

flyfish1168

Will be an interesting game tomorrow. Kings win behind good goaltending. Outplayed badly

godot10

OriginalPouzar:
Cody Franson leading KHL playoffs in Dman scoring with 12 points in 9 games.

Boom: Puck moving, right show, PP d-man – LT approved – who needs boots?

Credit: Young Willis!

1…2…3…4…5…6…7…8…9…10…

Bulging Twine

Pretendergast:
ArmchairGM,

Dad’s crazy, declared his brother Colton will only play for the Blades with his brother Lavar Ball style and only let Kirby get Twitter this year.

Not sure about the first part but the second part is good parenting. Twitter is vile

Scungilli Slushy

Kinger_Oil.redux:
ArmchairGM,

-That’s all fine and dandy but really all’s I want to know are the following:

1) how’s his culture?
2) is locker room presence elite?
3) does he look like a stud when he skates. Like all sexy and pro like?
4) what’s his Alberta angle?
5) is he a winner with heart?

Reminds me of ‘The Stones’ (Flintstones), Fred as CEO or whatever stone age equivalent:

Who’s baby is that?
What’s you’re angle?
I’ll buy that!

Kinger_Oil.redux

ArmchairGM,

-That’s all fine and dandy but really all’s I want to know are the following:

1) how’s his culture?
2) is locker room presence elite?
3) does he look like a stud when he skates. Like all sexy and pro like?
4) what’s his Alberta angle?
5) is he a winner with heart?

ArmchairGM

Leon Draisaitl hasn’t scored a goal in 3 games now, and has just 2 in his last 9. And now he’s lost his #2 spot in the Richard race, because Tavares scored 4 tonight. Leon needs a hat trick tomorrow against the Kings to regain his position… stay tuned!

Every goal, assist and point Draisaitl posts will be a new career high.

Every assist or point McDavid scores will be a career high. He needs 3 goals to reach his career high of 41.

Every goal or point Nugent-Hopkins scores will be a new career high. He needs 1 more assist to tie his career high.

Lots of reasons to watch and cheer tomorrow night.

OriginalPouzar

lawrenharris:
Mark Hunter for GM, please.

May I ask why?

The Leafs drafting record when he was involved is quite poor.

OriginalPouzar

Cody Franson leading KHL playoffs in Dman scoring with 12 points in 9 games.

Boom: Puck moving, right show, PP d-man – LT approved – who needs boots?

Credit: Young Willis!

lawrenharris

Mark Hunter for GM, please.

OriginalPouzar

BornInAGretzkyJersey:
OriginalPouzar,

Wonder if it’s that they see something in his development meriting a potential fast-track, or they’re more wary of losing him.Or even that they want everyone together to enhance the competition for jobs and then slot everyone in at their proper station.Tough to say from public verbal, which is often inconsistent.

Now, I agree with your point totally.Bring up Berglund and let Marino and the others marinate while they work through their NCAA careers.It would be best to fully develop these prospects at the same time as staggering their integration to the minor-pro and professional ranks.Unless there’s a guy who starts to out perform his peers and/or draft position relative to development curve expectation.

You could be right – I have no idea the reasoning and anything would just be speculation. I don’t think they see something in him this year that means they don’t want to risk losing him next August (2020) – the sole reason I state that is that his offence has stagnated this year vis-a-vis the last few years.

I consider Berglund a more material prospect – I wasn’t even really concerned 12 hours ago when I figured they might never get Marino under contract.

OriginalPouzar

Primetime: May be a case of “now or never”?Correct me if I’m wrong but if he plays his last year of college, he would be a free agent and could leave the organization.They obviously must see something in him worth keeping….

I was thinking of the “now or never” – if he really wants to turn pro, I guess he could give the organization that ultimatum.

Yes, if we didn’t sign him after he is done his last year of college eligibility, he becomes a free agent but that isn’t until mid-August 2020.

SK Oiler Fan

godot10,

Saw Dach quite average on Sat. Only one viewing but looks like he projects to a large tweener to me

OriginalPouzar

McNuge93:
I like that KG values speed highly because we need to get faster. I also would be open to trading the pick if we could offload a contract (even if we need to retain some salary) and get a decent NHLwinger in return. That may then allow us to sign another winger in free agency. Picks in the 8 to 12 range are so hit and miss. Heck, we’ve seen picks at 4 overall as hit and miss I.e. Bennet and Pulu.

Lets not forget the potential implications of trading an expansion draft exempt asset for a non-exempt asset. In addition to losing the potential for a real nice value contract over the course of the next 2-4-5 years (depending on when the player is ready), it likely increases the materiality of players that will be exposed. We are already set up to potentially lose a player like Benson or Jones.

Not saying we cannot make such a move but there are other factors that increase the “cost” and risk.

Scungilli Slushy

Assuming the Oil don’t fluke out another top 2, from all of the great info from LT and everyone, the best fits for the Oilers are Cozens and Byram.

Cozens because he is also a shooter and the Oilers always have too many playmakers and not enough pure scorers, and Byram because if you have a shot at a first pairing all round D that has decent size you’ve found gold Jerry!

LD is loaded up already, but BPA when the talent is clear. Byram is probably a year and a half out, so that allows trading others to shore things up, and possibly some pretty good NHL guys after when he arrives. All in correct timing of course.

I think I’m most excited about Byram. Outside of the top 2. Seems like a potential major impact player in the current game that won’t get submarined if the league gets slack on obstruction again. They have been known to do that.

Melvis

Kinger_Oil.redux:
– There is a really great French Phrase that fits when I read these excellent draft posts.It’s roughly translated to mean: I really would like to be into this but…: “Je veux bien”

– Maybe next year the late March articles will be about 1st round opponents, rest vs. getting the home seed, projecting rest of schedule: whose healthy, whose zooming, how we stack up: you know playoffs and cool sh$t.Draft stuff at this point in season, again: “Je veux bien”

How about “Merde. Nous sommes encore – ici.”

BornInAGretzkyJersey

OriginalPouzar,

Wonder if it’s that they see something in his development meriting a potential fast-track, or they’re more wary of losing him. Or even that they want everyone together to enhance the competition for jobs and then slot everyone in at their proper station. Tough to say from public verbal, which is often inconsistent.

Now, I agree with your point totally. Bring up Berglund and let Marino and the others marinate while they work through their NCAA careers. It would be best to fully develop these prospects at the same time as staggering their integration to the minor-pro and professional ranks. Unless there’s a guy who starts to out perform his peers and/or draft position relative to development curve expectation.

jp

OriginalPouzar: Interesting because (1) he has another year of college eligibility and (2) I had heard rumblings that he didn’t have the desire to sign.

This doesn’t make sense to me.I mean, if he has another year of college, why sign him now when there is going to be a log-jam in Bakersfield to start with?

I mean, I’d rather leave him in college and sign and bring Berglund over.

Ah, that may be the heart of it. Perhaps MacT saw “all he needed to see” on Berglund’s first shift during his recent Euro trip.

Reja

Twenty-five percent of me believes they keep Keith for one year as a intern Gm while they do a comprehensive search for the next GM. If Keith does some magic with trades and drafting and the masses or happy he’s the next GM. If this plays out I can’t see Hitch as the Coach this fall the players look miserable playing under him.

Kinger_Oil.redux

Lowetide: Draft posts will be a part of Jan-June each year at Lowetide. It’s a process.

– to be clear son hat I’m not misunderstood- I think the draft stuff is a go to part of this blog. And I’m glad you do it. I would be nice though to have seasons where the draft is the only thing we have to project. I get the process. If/When we are a perennial playoff team it will be interesting to see how this blogs does both. – it’s all about draft every year but one by this time of year (or earlier)

Primetime

OriginalPouzar: Interesting because (1) he has another year of college eligibility and (2) I had heard rumblings that he didn’t have the desire to sign.

This doesn’t make sense to me.I mean, if he has another year of college, why sign him now when there is going to be a log-jam in Bakersfield to start with?

I mean, I’d rather leave him in college and sign and bring Berglund over.

May be a case of “now or never”? Correct me if I’m wrong but if he plays his last year of college, he would be a free agent and could leave the organization. They obviously must see something in him worth keeping….

McNuge93

I like that KG values speed highly because we need to get faster. I also would be open to trading the pick if we could offload a contract (even if we need to retain some salary) and get a decent NHL winger in return. That may then allow us to sign another winger in free agency. Picks in the 8 to 12 range are so hit and miss. Heck, we’ve seen picks at 4 overall as hit and miss I.e. Bennet and Pulu.

OriginalPouzar

leadfarmer: Some of those CHL teams give their best players ridiculous amount of ice time.So being the best player on a terrible team could mean you play a lot more than the cohort

This was Bouchard last year, in particular after they sold off at the deadline.

OriginalPouzar

BornInAGretzkyJersey:
KG specifically mentioned Marino by name (unprompted) as a Bakersfield candidate for next year.

Interesting because (1) he has another year of college eligibility and (2) I had heard rumblings that he didn’t have the desire to sign.

This doesn’t make sense to me. I mean, if he has another year of college, why sign him now when there is going to be a log-jam in Bakersfield to start with?

I mean, I’d rather leave him in college and sign and bring Berglund over.

Fiveinatrailer

LT would you consider reposting your older draft rankings from 2010 to today. It would be good for a giggle and some nostalgia. Maybe pair up a year with a prospect leading up to the draft. After all they’re our version of the playoffs anyway.

“Remember when the oil drafted David musil with a high second round pick…?” Ah, those were the days…

Kinger_Oil.redux

Ben,

– J’accuse! As that meaning has morphed into a general accusation about something sinister and rotten by the group in power. Also a good phrase

J’accuse le president et les grand buvers de vin rouge!

ArmchairGM

BornInAGretzkyJersey:
ArmchairGM,

Reminds me of Draisaitl with that scouting report.

I can see that. And Cozens reminds me of McKinnon – I think he’d be an outstanding addition to this roster. In 2020-21, of course. 😉

Ben

Kinger_Oil.redux: There is a really great French Phrase that fits when I read these excellent draft posts.

Actually, the French phrase that best fits the draft report would have to be “J’accuse!”, which is also the phonetic name of the top ranked player.

Primetime

ArmchairGM,

You’ve convinced me that Krebs would be an outstanding pick. My point was that I don’t think that his percentage of team points is why…all the great attributes you just quoted in that scouting report is why.

BornInAGretzkyJersey

ArmchairGM,

Reminds me of Draisaitl with that scouting report.