This year’s draft, the 2019 edition, is a big one for the Edmonton Oilers. The team’s first-round pick, No. 8 overall, may best be used in a trade for immediate help (say, Nikolaj Ehlers).
It might also be used on a draft pick who will emerge in a season or two as a legit piece of a successful team. Kirby Dach. Peyton Krebs. It’s also possible the new general manager trades the pick as part of a package for a No. 1 goaltender. It can go any of several directions. How valuable is the player at No. 8?
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: Red Wings front office shuffle could impact Oilers’ future.
- New Jonathan Willis: Potential coaching candidates and why the Oilers don’t need to rush the GM search to get one
- Lowetide: What would Glen Sather do with these Oilers?
- Jonathan Willis: Some creative solutions to address the Oilers’ goalie problem
- Lowetide: The Milan Lucic saga rolls into Year 4 for Oilers with no easy answers
- Jonathan Willis: Who stays and who goes? An early projection of which players will remain on the Oilers’ roster in 2019-20
- Lowetide: How high can these Condors fly?
- Lowetide: Ron Hextall’s patient approach as GM would be shock to Oilers’ system
- Jonathan Willis: Michael Futa’s success at the NHL Draft makes him a credible GM candidate for the Oilers
- Lowetide: The Oilers possible summer trade pieces, and which longtime players might be saying goodbye.
- Daniel Nugent-Bowman: Ten prospects likely to be available when the Oilers make their first-round pick.
- Jonathan Willis: Bob Nicholson mostly says the right things, but stalls on making changes to the Oilers.
- Daniel Nugent-Bowman: The pressure’s squarely on Bob Nicholson to make right GM hire for Oilers.
- Daniel Nugent-Bowman: Oilers Report Cards: Few passing grades remain in season full of failure.
- Lowetide: The Edmonton Oilers, the republic of Finland and the 2019 draft.
- Lowetide: The Oilers made a rare move and shopped the QMJHL at the 2018 draft. It could happen again.
- Lowetide: The Edmonton Oilers draft early, the WHL is loaded and there’s a lot of history.
- Lowetide: The Edmonton Oilers and the OHL.
TOP SEVEN MOCK
I want to drill down today on the decision that could be facing Edmonton at No. 8 overall. I don’t think the team will try to trade up, but that could change if a player who is a target (Byram, Dach) begins to fall. Here’s my guess for the first seven picks.
- New Jersey Devils: C Jack Hughes, U.S. National Development Team (USHL).
- New York Rangers: R Kaapo Kakko, Turkku (Sm-Liiga).
- Chicago Blackhawks: LC Alex Turcotte, U.S. National Development Team (USHL).
- Colorado Avalanche: R Vasili Podkolzin, St. Petersburg (MHL).
- Los Angeles Kings: LD Bowen Byram, Vancouver (WHL).
- Detroit Red Wings: RC Kirby Dach, Saskatoon (WHL).
- Buffalo Sabres: R Dylan Cozens, Lethbridge (WHL).
That leaves Peyton Krebs, Cam York, Cole Caufield, Matt Boldy, Arthur Kaliyev and others.
Edmonton has some very nice players available at No. 8 (if this ends up being the list). My top option would be Arthur Kaliyev, but I think most readers would hope for a scorer like Cole Caufield or a big winger like Matthew Boldy. Peyton Krebs would be a worthy choice. There are some draft observers who are now seeing goalie Spencer Knight just outside the top 10 overall (Craig Button has him No. 13).
What this means, initially, is that the Oilers could trade down from No. 8 to (say) No. 12 if there’s an opportunity to add a pick. Let’s say the new general manager trades No. 8 for No. 17 and No. 67 (Ottawa traded No. 12 and No. 73 in 2016 for No. 11). Would that give the team real value?
If the Oilers (using Button’s list) grab Peyton Krebs and Nils Hoglander, that might end up the same as Zach Parise for Marc Pouliot and J-F Jacques, but the Oilers are (imo) better at drafting now. It’s a consideration.
LOWETIDE TOP 100
There are more changes this week, I’ve tweaked the top 10 and the European kids are moving up (happens every year around this time).
Using my list, Edmonton picks No. 8 (Peyton Krebs), No. 38 (Nathan Legare), No. 88 (Semyon Chistyakov) and No. 100 (Cole Schwindt).
I don’t especially enjoy some of the attention my list has received this year, but can say the reaction has been substantial compared to recent seasons. For those who don’t know, allow me to run through how my list is compiled and what it’s meant to represent.
I use NHLE as a strong guiding light, Rob Vollman’s list is my gold standard at this time. I also use scouting reports from trusted sources and publications.
I punish average to poor foot speed liberally. My list rewards offense heavily, and the most gifted offensive players will be at the top. Players with a range of skills usually do well, but there is a fine line between a two-way player and a checking future. One of the major lessons I’ve learned over the last 15 years is that future third-line forwards have numbers that are very close to future skill line forwards. Usage, even in junior, is a tell.
The list does not give high numbers to players who have a lot of their value tied up in the defensive side of the game.
Goalies are graded (almost exclusively) by save percentage, although success over more than one season has terrific value.
I view Bob McKenzie’s list as the draft Bible, but my list does not factor in any scouts input beyond the obvious. (My list is complete before his final one). Craig Button’s list has high value for me, I like the fact he has the courage of his convictions.
Previous to the draft, I pay attention to Corey Pronman, Scott Wheeler, HockeyProspect.com, Simon Boisvert, Steve Kournianos, Brock Otten, Adam Sherren and a couple of WHL scouts who reach out to correct me when I’m wrong.
On June 1, I publish my final list. At that time, I devour Red Line Report, McKeens, ISS and any rankings I can find. I do not copy rankings (this should be fairly obvious if you look at the rankings of the scouting services) and make no claims about being a scout.
I am not a scout, my list is informed by them but only to the point where adjustments are made due to exceptional arrows up and down, plus late spikes.
This list uses math, previous draft trends (the CHL delivers enormous talent to the NHL), various pieces of anecdotal information volunteered by scouts and observers along the way, and an educated guess based on watching these things unfold since 1971.
If you enjoy it, I am pleased. If you understand the goal of my list and still trash it, there is nothing I can do for you. I wish you well in your endeavors.
Why did I publish my list today? I’ll tell you. J.D. Burke is a person I respect a great deal, and he has an enormous project launching at Elite Prospects. As part of the launch, he’ll appear on the Lowdown with me on Monday morning. J.D. sent me his list, it is sitting in my mailbox. I couldn’t look at it until posting my updates, because that would be cheating. The Elite Prospects link is here.