Today I’m posting my final list for 2019’s draft. It’s miles before most of the other lists and shouldn’t resemble any other. I have a long list of things that factor into the rankings below, math is the number one component and then I tweak things based on things heard and seen about skating and other issues. I love doing this each year, hope you enjoy reading.
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 Lowetide: NHL Combine brings Oilers dual problems into focus for Ken Holland
- New Lowetide: Analyzing the Oilers roster to see which players fit Dave Tippett’s ‘aggressive, fast team’ approach
- New Daniel Nugent-Bowman: Dave Tippett’s coaching philosophy, how he relays information to his players and why information is king
- Lowetide: What will Ken Holland see in Evan Bouchard?
- Lowetide: Does Oilers’ signing of Joakim Nygard signal a measured approach to summer 2019?
- Lowetide: Dave Tippett’s roster deployment in Arizona and what it might mean for the Oilers
- Jonathan Willis: Why Ken Holland’s worst years in Detroit tell us the most about how he’ll fare in Edmonton
- Jonathan Willis: Three offseason scenarios and how each one would affect the Oilers salary cap
- 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.
I use NHLE as a strong guiding light. I also use scouting reports from trusted sources and publications. I punish average to poor foot speed liberally. My list 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 (Nolan Foote and Samuel Poulin would have been higher on this list a few years ago).
If you play significant minutes on the No. 3 line during your draft year, that’s a factor. I have found that slicing numbers into even/PP doesn’t separate the wheat from the chaff. If you have big boxcars, you spend time on the power play. If you do not, that’s 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, success over more than one season has terrific value.
I view Bob McKenzie’s list as the draft Bible. Corey Pronman has been an education for years now, his final list is here. Scott Wheeler is a unique voice, his final list is here. His use of video and description of each player are welcome now and will be vital on draft day.
Craig Button’s list has high value for me, I like the fact he has the courage of his convictions. I pay attention to Red Line Report. Their scouting reports are the industry standard. Simon Boisvert is a wonderful resource. He’s on the Lowdown often and he’s a very wise man. Steve Kournianos guides me through the draft season with his fantastic site and insight. I value McKeens, Grant McCagg, Tom Hunter, Brock Otten, Adam Sherren, ISS. I do have conversations with scouts in junior hockey and they are very helpful.
Mark Edwards Black Book (Hockey Prospect.com) is a brilliant reference. His release last year has been very useful for this year’s draft. Highly recommended. If there’s one publication I would suggest purchasing, it would be Edwards.
I have been following the NHL draft since 1971, so can blame politics, Guy Lafleur, Marcel Dionne and the Edmonton Oil Kings for this obsession. Each year has a wrinkle, this year’s it’s the USHL. The American junior league delivered an historic crop of talent and that will be reflected from beginning to end of this year’s selection.
One final thing. This year, more than any other, I’ve received a lot of pushback in regard to my rankings, specifically Arthur Kaliyev. A reminder: My rankings are math based, so a scout might have several reasons to exclude him from the top 10 or top 40. That’s cool. I’m not stealing his work. On the other hand, I’ve had several people in the scouting community send messages about Moritz Seider. I’m convinced my previous ranking was too low, based on vague NHLE conversion. So, in short, I’ll move a player up if convinced the math doesn’t surround him but will remain stubborn on a productive player in an established league. I think that’s reasonable. I will tell you that math works well, looking back through past lists. I had Alex DeBrincat No. 15 in 2016, he had an NHLE of 44. Arthur Kaliyev’s NHLE is 38.2. I have him where he belongs.
With that, here we go.
The 120 best players in the 2019 draft
1 (1) LC Jack Hughes, U.S. National Development Team (USHL). He’s 5.10, 168 but an absolute rocket who takes no time at all to reach high speed, and he can make hockey plays at peak speed consistently.
2 (2) R Kaapo Kakko, Turkku (Sm-Liiga). He’s 6.02, 190 and already flourishing in the Sm-Liiga. Scouts rave about his advanced two-way game and ability to control the pace of play.
3 (3) LHD Bowen Byram, Vancouver (WHL). A complete skill set, dynamic skater, effective in all areas. Best D out of the west since Cale Makar.
4 (4) LC Alex Turcotte, U.S. National Development Team (USHL). A strong two-way reputation, he is skilled and an excellent skater. Spiked late in rankings due to fading healthy worries.
5 (5) L Arthur Kaliyev, Hamilton (OHL). He scored 51-51-102 in 67 OHL games, age 17. I’ve read about skating, hockey sense and playing on the perimeter. I can’t ignore the math. A June 2001.
6 (6) RC Kirby Dach, Saskatoon (WHL). A dynamic player with size and tremendous skill, has speed, wingspan and an excellent release.
7 (7) R Dylan Cozens, Lethbridge (WHL). Size, skill and he can skate. Range of skills, accurate shooter. He and Dach are basically equal.
8 (9) LC Trevor Zegras, U.S. National Development Team (USHL). Undersized and highly skilled, elusive and aggressive with very good speed. I think he’s a Ken Holland type.
9 (8) R Cole Caufield, U.S. National Development Team (USHL). He’s small, fast and a ridiculous scorer. Quick release, accurate. Does he drive to danger areas?
10 (10) LC Peyton Krebs, Kootenay (WHL). Skill forward who can score, he has quick feet and good hands.
11 (12) LD Cam York, U.S. National Development Team (USHL). The latest impact puck mover out of the USHL, great speed, passing and creativity.
12 (13) L Matthew Boldy, U.S. National Development Team (USHL). Bigger winger with skill, he’s strong on the puck and can score goals.
13 (11) LC Connor McMichael, London (OHL). He has good speed and lots of skill, effective shot. Responsible. 36 goals, he’s a January 2001. Owns the dreaded projectable frame.
14 (14) 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).
15 (15) LD Thomas Harley, Mississauga (OHL). Good size, elite skater, he’s an August 2001. Posted 11-47-58 in 68 games. Excellent puck handler and passer, his year over year spike is remarkable.
16 (18) LD Philip Broberg, AIK (Allsvenskan). He’s big and can skate like the wind, while also displaying puck moving ability. Offense may be shy, but Swedish blue can fool you.
17 (21) 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.
18 (16) LC Alex Newhook, Victoria (BCHL). Fast and skilled center, visually he’s among the most intoxicating skaters available this year. He dominated the BCHL at about the same pact as Tyson Jost in the same league, same age.
19 (19) R Bobby Brink, Sioux City (USHL). Small, fast and very skilled, he’s an intelligent player with great vision. He could be a bargain.
20 (17) LC Ryan Suzuki, Barrie (OHL). Great vision, skill, tremendous passer. If he were faster, he’d be top five. Mike Morreale says he’s the best draft eligible playmaker in the OHL this season.
21 (20) RD Victor Soderstrom, Brynas (SHL). Impressive offensive player. Good skater, good decisions, very quick. A terrific prospect.
22 (23) RC Philip Tomasino, Niagra (OHL). Underrated player with impressive skill, spike offensively year over year has him here. 30 5-on-5 goals.
23 (22) L Brayden Tracey, Moose Jaw (WHL). Flew up the ranking late, his goal-scoring prowess (33 in 66) a major selling point.
24 (24) LD Matthew Robertson, Edmonton (WHL). He’s had some injury issues but has also emerged as a fairly complete defender.
25 (25) L Nick Robertson, Peterborough (OHL). Undersized skill winger with a sixth sense as a goal scorer. Impressive at Top Prospects.
26 (27) 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.
27 (26) 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.
28 (30) L Egor Afanasyev, Muskegon (USHL). His numbers are outstanding, plus he’s a big forward with a powerful stride and an excellent shot. I like him plenty.
29 (41) RD Moritz Seider, Mannheim (DEL). An actual teenage giant (6.04, 198) with a Condor wingspan. He’s a good passer and has decent speed.
30 (28) L Nolan Foote, Kelowna (WHL). Power forward with skill, not certain he’s a future scorer on an NHL skill line.
31 (29) LD Ville Heinola, Lukko (Sm-Liiga). A mature player for his age, two-way talent with good speed and calm feet. Excellent passer.
32 (31) LC Blake Murray, Sudbury (OHL). Big center with plus speed and a scoring touch. A July 2001.
33 (32) F Samuel Fagemo, Frolunda (SHL). I liked him a year ago, no reason to change now. A bona fide shooter, he has more clarity in his game now.
34 (39) L Nils Hoglander, Rogle (SHL). A small skill winger, he can beat defensemen clean. More playmaker than scorer, but has a quick release and an effective shot.
35 (33) RC Brett Leason, Prince Albert (WHL). He is 20. Impressive scorer, massive year over year spike (36 goals in 55 games this year).
36 (34) LD Tobias Björnfot, Djurgardens (SuperElite). Outstanding speed, he has impressive offensive talent but is an adventure without the puck.
37 (35) RD Anttoni Honka, Jyp (Sm-Liiga). Draft Analyst: Swift skating puck rusher who knows how to handle the puck and has the kind of mobility that keeps forecheckers honest.
38 (37) 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.
39 (36) G Spencer Knight, US National Team (USHL). A .929 save percentage in the USHL and a mountain of positive scouting reports have him as the top goaltender in this year’s draft.
40 (42) 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.
41 (38) RD Lassi Thomson, Kelowna (WHL). Mobile, skilled defenseman with good speed.
42 (40) LC Jamieson Rees, Sarnia Sting (OHL). Undersized skill forward who works hard on the forecheck. Terrific speed and a great motor.
43 (43) R Albin Grewe, Djurgardens (SHL). Rugged winger with skill. I think he’s the kind of player who will be drafted by Boston, Philadelphia or Anaheim.
44 (44) LC Karl Henriksson, Frolunda (SuperElite). Small and very skilled forward, he is a cerebral player in the offensive zone. He might be a steal.
45 (45) L Robert Mastrosimone, Chicago (USHL). Some scouting reports have him as a top tier scoring prospect, he has skill for sure.
46 (46) G Mads Søgaard, Medicine Hat (WHL). Posted a strong season (.921). He is 6.06. Danish goalie had a solid year in the NAHL a year ago.
47 (47) L Vladislav Firstov, Waterloo Blackhawks (USHL). Skill winger has a plus shot and delivered impressive results in his first North American season. I think he’ll land in the third round but that shot might get him drafted sooner.
48 (53) RD Drew Helleson, US National Development Team (USHL). Impressive puck moving defender, his speed/size will make him popular on draft weekend.
49 (51) L Ethan Keppen, Flint (OHL). Good speed, size (6.02, 214) and skill (30-29-59 in 68, 24 goals at 5-on-5).
(50) (50) L Patrik Puistola, Leki (Mestis). High skill, consistent scorer who also plays a responsible game beyond his years. My kind of player.
51 (49) LC Yegor Spiridonov, Magnitogorsk (MHL). Tenacious two-way winger with impressive skill.
52 (48) LD Henry Thrun, US National Team (USHL). He’s a two-way defender who delivered sold offense (23 points in 28 games). Lacks one outstanding skill, that might cause him to slide.
53 (52) 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.
54 (57) L Antti Saarela, Lukko (Sm-Liiga). ISS: Smart and gifted, quality stick skills. Noticeable on PP and PK.
55 (54) RC Shane Pinto, Lincoln/Tri City (USHL). Big RHC is intriguing because of his size (6.02, 192) and scoring prowess (28 goals in 56 games). He’s a November 2000.
56 (56) L Dillon Hamaliuk, Seattle (WHL). Promising numbers (31, 11-15-26) before losing his season to injury. Strong, great forechecker and he has skill.
57 (55) RD Billy Constantinou, Kingston (OHL). Fast as lightning, high risk and reward defender.
58 (58) R Leevi Aaltonen, Kalpa (Jr Sm-Liiga). ISS: “Slick offensive play-maker, undersized but highly skilled.”
59 (60) G Pyotr Kochetkov, HK Ryazan (VHL). Huge goalie performed well in two Russian junior leagues and posted a .953 SP at the World Juniors. He might be the second goalie taken (behind Knight).
60 (62) LD Mikko Kokkonen, Jukurit (Sm-Liiga). Two-way defender who adjusted quickly in Finland’s best league. No dominant skill, across the board good.
61 (63) R Graeme Clarke, Ottawa ’67s (OHL). Pure scorer (20 goals in 49 games) who has been famous for some time. Good skater, great shot.
62 (64) L Adam Beckman, Spokane (WHL). Among the best scorers in the league under 18, he posted 32 in 68 games. Averages 2.46 shots per game.
63 (59) 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.
64 (66) RW Simon Holmstrom, HV71 (SuperElite). Elite Prospects: A deft skater with some explosiveness to his game.. has remarkable passing ability and likes to set up teammates from below the goal line.
65 (61) LC John Beecher, US National Development Team (USHL). Center with good size and two-way ability, Black Book has him as having “certain power forward elements to his game” including a strong skating style.
66 (65) R Tuukka Tieksola, Karpat (Jr Sm-Liiga). Small skill winger, great passer and skating.
67 (67) (NR) LD Alex Vlasic, US National Development Team (USHL) Big defender who will probably make his living on the defensive side of the puck, he’s 6.06, 192.
68 (68) L Nando Eggenberger, Oshawa Generals (OHL). Two-way talent, enjoyed a solid year in the OHL (he was eligible last season). I’m not sure anyone will take him, but Red Line loves him.
69 (71) R Judd Caulfield, US National Development Team (USHL). He’s a power forward who HockeyProspect.com said “is capable of penetrating through defense using his above-average hands and excellent edges” a year ago.
70 (72) LD Vladislav Kolyachonok, Flint Firebirds (OHL). Mike Morreale: “The Belarusian can skate and think the game so well.” Good passer, massive wingspan.
71 (73) L Marcus Kallionkieli, Sioux City (USHL). He scored 29 goals in 58 games, that’s excellent production. He’s 6.01, plus shot, he could be a steal in a deep draft of USHL scorers.
72 (74) R Luka Burzan, Brandon (WHL). A January 2000, so an older prospect. He scored 40 goals in 68 games. Speed, skill, works hard.
73 (75) 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.
74 (76) LC Matias Maccelli, Dubuque (USHL). He’s got all kinds of skill, that’s going to get him drafted. A October 2000, he was dominant (62, 31-41-72) in the USHL last season.
75 (69) G Hunter Jones, Peterborough (OHL). He’s a big goalie who has a solid reputation, but .902SP saw me fading him.
76 (81) LC Oleg Zaitsev, Red Deer (WHL). A physical two-way center with impressive skating and passing skill. Great along the wall, patient.
77 (77) RW Filip Koffer, Padrubice (Czech). Nice hands, he showed well at the U18’s. He isn’t well known and may not be picked, but he has real skill.
78 (78) LD Albert Johansson, Farjestads (SuperElite). The scouting reports give us a picture of a fairly complete defenseman. That’s the best scouting report.
79 (79) LC Matvei Guskov, London Knights (OHL). Another solid two-way center, I like his complete skill set.
80 (80) R Dmitri Sheshin, Magnitohorsk (MHL). Undersized skill winger is something of a wizard with the puck. Good not great speed, an intriguing skill player.
81 (82) LD Mike Vukojevic, Kitchener (OHL). Big defender has good speed and is a powerful defender. Has some offense, he’s a shutdown type.
82 (NR) LC Reece Newkirk, Portland (WHL). Undersized skill center exploded in his second junior season (68, 23-36-59). Good speed, has skill.
83 (85) RD Ronnie Attard, Tri-City (USHL).He’s a 1999, so all of the numbers are skewed. Still, he’s a giant with a bomb for a shot and that has appeal.
84 (86) LD Artemi Knyazev, Chicoutimi (QMJHL). Two-way defenseman, he is a quality skater. Makes good passes, has puck moving ability.
85 (NR) LC Alexei Protas, Belarus (Belarus). Listed under European list, he is in fact rolling like a Mack truck for the Prince Albert Raiders this spring. He’s 6.05, 195, and has great hands.
86 (88) 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.
87 (89) RW Michal Teply, Liberic (Czech). Big scoring winger has some footspeed issues
88 (90) LD Ryan Johnson, Sioux Falls (USHL). Smart, mobile defender who hasn’t shown offensive ability.
89 (NR) 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.
90 (92) LC Oscar Bjerselius, Djurgardens (SuperElite). Good speed and size, he’s a solid two-way forward with enough offense to project him into pro hockey. Does he have enough offense to play in the NHL someday?
91 (NR) R Sasha Mutala, Tri-City (WHL). He has good speed and size, scored 20. Impressive at Hlinka, solid but unspectacular during the season.
92 (NR) LC Mikhail Abramov, Victoriaville (QMJHL). Small forward with plus speed and passing ability. 54 points in 62 games.
93 (NR) 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.
94 (91) LD Semyon Chistyakov, Ufa (MHL). Small defender who skates well and passes the puck with skill. He’ll need some luck.
95 (97) R Martin Lang, Kamloops (WHL). Impressive skill winger is barely eligible for the draft (Sept 15, 2001). 11-22-33 in 65 games.
96 (NR) RW Yevgeni Oksentyuk, Shahkter (Belarus). Small and highly skilled, he rocked the U18’s.
97 (NR) R Wiljami Myllylä, HIFK (Jr Sm-Liiga). Speed demon, has been posting gaudy scoring numbers for several years.
98 (NR) RD Simon Lundmark, Linkoping (SHL). A fascinating player, Lundmark’s scouting reports talk about his vision and outstanding outlet passing. He may go late but the potential is impressive.
99 (NR) LD Nikita Okhotyuk, Ottawa 67’s (OHL). Big defender plays a two-way game. He can pass or carry, may have more offense than numbers imply.
100 (NR) LD Mattias Norlinder, MoDo (Allsvenskan). I like the league a lot and his skills and performance are worth a bet. Offensive defenseman.
101 (83) R Josh Williams, Edmonton (WHL). Terrific skater and impressive skill, lack of consistency saw him slide a long way during the season.
102 (NR) RD Cole Moberg, Prince George (WHL). Good mobility, can move the puck and posted good numbers. October 2000.
103 (NR) LD Gianni Fairbrother, Everett (WHL). Puck moving defenseman came on as the season wore along, he’s a Sept 2000 so he’s a little lower on my list.
104 (95) L Daniil Gutik, Yaroslavl (MHL). Streaky scorer with outstanding ability, he’s not a burner.
105 (NR) R Aku Raty, Karpat (Jr Sm-Liiga). Skill winger who also provides solid play without the puck. Average speed.
106 (NR) R Cole Schwindt, Mississauga (OHL). Strong two-way play are one thing but his offense (68, 19-30-49) represents huge progress. He’s a April 2001.
107 (NR) LW Premysl Svoboda, Litvinov (Czech U19). Torched his junior league (32, 22-33-55), has been dominating all the way through junior. November 2000.
108 (96) LC Valentin Nussbaumer, Shawinigan (QMJHL). Two-way center is a quality skater, delivered less offensively than expected in 2018-19.
109 (NR) RD Antti Tuomisto, Assat (Jr Sm-Liiga). Puck moving blue, good skater and has an excellent shot. Some chaos.
110 (NR) LC Luke Toporowski, Spokane (WHL). Undersized skill forward who can play all three positions. Plays with an edge.
111 (NR) 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.
112 (NR) LD Justin Bergeron, Rouyn-Noranda (QMJHL) . He isn’t getting mentioned at all, but Bergeron has good speed, creativity and is a good defender.
113 (NR) LD Marshall Warren, US National Development Team (USHL). I have a healthy respect for blue from this program, Warren can skate and has a plus shot.
114 (NR) RD Kaedan Korczak, Kelowna (WHL). Shutdown defender with good speed, he’ll go far higher than I have him.
115 (NR) 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.
116 (NR) LD Layton Ahac, Prince George (BCHL). Big defender with good speed, he’s a shutdown type and may go higher than my ranking.
117 (NR) LD Domenick Fensore, US National Development Team (USHL). Great skater, very skilled, his size (5.07) a concern for his position.
118 (NR) LC Harrison Blaisdell, Chilliwack (BCHL). Two-way center, just over a point per game in tier-two league. He’d be higher but the point total is a concern.
119 (NR) LC Lukas Wernblom, Modo (Allsvenskan). I’m all over the Allsvenskan like a fly on stink. That league has found a formula that works. Wernblom is a 2000, very skilled and smart.
120 (NR) 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, he’s worth a pick.
OILERS MOCK DRAFT
First round, No. 8 overall — LC Trevor Zegras, U.S. National Development Program (USHL). My estimates have the top 7 (in order) as Hughes, Kakko, Byram, Turcotte, Dach, Cozens, Caufield, meaning the choice will come down to Zegras v. Krebs v. Boldy v. Kaliyev (no one thinks Kaliyev is going that high, but I’m including him because he belongs based on my numbers). Zegras is not the ideal (Caufield) choice for need, and I do believe the Oilers would prefer Dach or Cozens. Enormous potential. Craig Button: “I would take Trevor Zegras. Zegras reminds me so much of Elias Pettersson.” He was 5.10, 159 one year ago, currently 6.0, and one-quarter inch, 173 pounds. If the Oilers draft him, you’ll love him. Seriously. NHLE: 32.8
Second round, No. 38 overall — L Jakob Pelletier, Moncton (QMJHL). I have him inside my top 15 overall but Pelletier will go much later. An intelligent player with great hands, cerebral and creative. He would be a candidate to play with one of Edmonton’s top end centers a couple of years down the line. He’s 5.09, 160. NHLE: 27.5
Third round, No. 85 overall — L Adam Beckman, Spokane (WHL). I have him No. 62, so this might be aggressive. There are several math reasons to like this player, volume shooter. NHLE: 21.7
Fourth round, No. 100 overall — LD Mattias Norlinder, MoDo (Allsvenskan). Elite Prospects says he’s a great skater with good offensive instincts and a great first pass. He’s 6.0, 181, and a April 2000. NHLE: 12.7
Sixth round, No. 162 overall — R Kirill Slepets, Lokomotiv (KHL). He’s an April 1999 and could go much earlier, but there’s a chance he slides. He’s small and skilled, dangerous off the rush. 5.10, 146. NHLE: 15.6
Seventh round, No. 193 overall — L Nicholas Porco, Saginaw (OHL). He has plus speed and scored 20 goals on a deep Spirit team and might be a little under the radar because of it. NHLE: 13.5