The Edmonton Oilers signed Olivier Rodrigue yesterday, he is the fourth goaltender drafted by the organization from the QMJHL since 2000. The Quebec league and the Oilers haven’t done business much in the last 15 years, but there is quality there this season.
Russia is such an interesting subject for the Oilers, now that Ken Holland is the general manager. A franchise that cannot unlock the Russian hockey player has just hired a man who is trusted by Russian hockey players. It is going to be an interesting journey.
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 OFFER IS HERE!
- New Jonathan Willis: Why Ken Holland’s worst years in Detroit tell us the most about how he’ll fare in Edmonton
- New Jonathan Willis: Three offseason scenarios and how each one would affect the Oilers salary cap
- New Lowetide: Examining the Oilers’ goaltending options in free agency.
- Lowetide: Ken Holland’s Oilers could go the high octane procurement route but will need a driver
- Lowetide: How much can Connor Brown help the Oilers?
- Lowetide: Dmitri Samorukov is off to the Memorial Cup and is the Oilers’ fastest rising prospect
- Jonathan Willis: Craig MacTavish leaves the Oilers, signalling the first major front office change under Ken Holland
- Lowetide: What kind of coach should Ken Holland hire for the Oilers?
- Jonathan Willis: Every Oilers AHL prospect, rated by how close they are to the NHL
- Jonathan Willis: A resurgent Andrej Sekera gives the Oilers much-needed defensive options
- Lowetide: Is Joe Gambardella destined to become the Oilers’ next Fernando Pisani?
- Daniel Nugent-Bowman: Protector, supporter, confidant: Connor McDavid’s mom, Kelly, is his off-ice rock through good times and bad
- Lowetide: An offseason plan for Ken Holland to remodel the Oilers roster.
- Daniel Nugent-Bowman: Ken Holland steadfast that buck stops with him as new Oilers GM.
- Lowetide: How will Ken Holland proceed in Year 1 as Oilers general manager?
- Jonathan Willis: What does the arrival of Ken Holland mean for the Oilers coaching search?
- Daniel Nugent-Bowman: Prioritizing the roster issues that await Ken Holland in Edmonton.
- Lowetide: Ken Holland’s procurement list for his rumored move to Edmonton will include front-office personnel
- Jonathan Willis: A Milan Lucic trade is at the top of the to-do list for the Oilers’ next GM.
THE FINAL 2019 QMJHL LIST
1 L Jakob Pelletier, Moncton (QMJHL). Undersized skill winger with two-way ability. Intelligent, consistent and creative, great skater. Impressive production (39-50-89 in 65 games), including 5-on-5 (65, 27-28-55).
2 RC Raphael Lavoie, Halifax Mooseheads (QMJHL). Adam Sherren: “Lavoie is a big physical force who is that old fashioned power forward.” He is a strong skater and has a goal-scorer’s touch. Aggressive, a force.
3 R Nathan Légaré, Baie Comeau Drakkar (QMJHL). Power winger who can score goals, he can find open ice and cash (45 goals in 68 games) and drives to the net with abandon.
4 R Maxim Cajkovic, Saint John (QMJHL). Fantastic skater has impressive potential, played for a poor team that limited opportunity. His offensive output is miles behind his potential ala Peyton Krebs.
5 L Samuel Poulin, Sherbrooke Phoenix (QMJHL). Smart, two-way player who delivers a heavy game, speed is just okay. He can fend off defenders while buying time to find an outlet, and then deliver a quality pass.
6 LC Nikita Alexandrov, Charlottetown (QMJHL). Skill center who can impact the game as a passer or scorer. Good balance, he is aggressive and can make exceptional skill plays. Lacks consistency.
7 LD Sam Bolduc, Blainville-Boisbriand (QMJHL). Big defenseman with good speed and two-way ability. I might have him underrated here.
8 LD Artemi Knyazev, Chicoutimi (QMJHL). Two-way defenseman, he is a quality skater. Makes good passes, has puck moving ability.
9 G Colten Ellis, Rimouski (QMJHL). Has posted two quality seasons in a row, with SP’s of .913 and .910 in two consecutive seasons. It’s more rare than you’d think.
10 LD Maxence Guenette, Val d’Or (QMJHL). Smart two-way defenseman, he improved markedly offensively this season. I’m surprised there isn’t more buzz about him.
11 LC Mikhail Abramov, Victoriaville (QMJHL). Small forward with plus speed and passing ability. 54 points in 62 games.
12 R Alex Beaucage, Rouyn-Noranda (QMJHL). Impressive scorer has a quick release on his wrist shot, it’s good enough for 39 goals. His speed keeps him outside the higher regions but he’s worth a draft pick.
13 RD Jordan Spence, Moncton (QMJHL). Outstanding skater who makes good decisions with the puck. A two-way defender, his size (5.10, 164) will be an issue due to the position he plays.
14 LD Justin Bergeron, Rouyn-Noranda (QMJHL) . He isn’t getting mentioned at all, but Bergeron has good speed, creativity and is a good defender.
15 LC Valentin Nussbaumer, Shawinigan (QMJHL). He’s a smart two-way center but what will get him drafted is his speed. His boxcars (58, 17-21-38) are not fabulous for a September 2000, but someone will draft him based on speed alone.
16 G Jonathan Lemieux, Val d’Or (QMJHL). A nice step forward year over year (.902, from .867) and he was buried by an awful team in year one.
1 R Vasili Podkolzin, St. Petersburg (MHL). Smart player with tons of offensive ability, but also possesses good two-way instinct and no fear. Scouts love him, his numbers lagged after Hlinka/Gretzky. June birthday.
2 L Pavel Dorofeyev, Magnitogorsk (MHL). Dangerous skill winger who has a quick release, heavy shot and a sixth sense about where to be and when to be there.
3 LC Yegor Spiridonov, Magnitogorsk (MHL). Tenacious two-way winger with impressive skill.
4 LD Daniil Misyul, Lokomotiv (MHL). At 6.03, 176, Misyul offers NHL teams an intriguing size/speed combination on the blue line. Raw and not close to the sum of his parts, he would be a reasonable bet because of potential.
5 R Dmitri Sheshin, Magnitohorsk (MHL). Undersized skill winger is something of a wizard with the puck. Good not great speed, an intriguing skill player.
6 L Ilya Nikolayev, Yaroslavl (MHL). He’s more likely a checking center or possibly No. 2, but has played with high skill wingers and delivered.
7 L Yegor Chizhikov, Cherepovets (MHL). Haven’t read a thing on him, but he’s a July birthday and scores in every league they send him to, so I’d grab him here.
Goalies are tough to figure out and for scouts it must be a major pain in the arse to project them. I like consistent goalies, even among prospects. Olivier Rodrigue looks like a fairly consistent goaltender and that’s a good thing.
If there was an expansion draft and Edmonton could only protect on of these goalies, which one would you choose? I’d protect one of Skinner or Rodrigue but Wells could be the best of the three. There is some consistency there, although the consistent excellence of Devan Dubnyk in his draft plus two seasons (.917, .912, .912) towers over the current group.
This story has more momentum than that giant boulder headed for Indiana Jones back in the day. Dave Tippett is going to be the head coach of the Edmonton Oilers unless he asks for McDavid money. What would that look like? I’m writing today (likely up tomorrow) on that very subject.
LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE
A short show today, with Canada playing at the WHC’s (game is on TSN1260). We’ll be on before or around 11, with guests John Horn (French Open) and Dave Jamieson (WHC’s, Tippett). 10-1260 text, @Lowetide on twitter. Talk soon!