I’m always looking for draft clusters, a congregation of players over two seasons who provide substantial roster solutions to three or more of the 12 ‘key’ roster spots (top two lines, third-line center, top 4D, goaltender). It’s an elusive thing, but can sustain an organization from entry through Stanley. Can the Oilers 2015-2016 drafts fuel this team with as many as five key roster men?
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 Athletic, less than two coffees a month offer here.
- New Lowetide: Oilers No. 3 prospect: Ethan Bear. The 2015 Ethan Bear was a good NHL bet. This Ethan Bear is something else.
- New Pierre Lebrun: How Leon Draisaitl’s contract has gone from outlier to bargain in just 2 years
- New Daniel Nugent-Bowman: How the Oilers managed without Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and why the solutions aren’t ideal for the long haul
- Lowetide: Tyler Benson posting a strong November in hopes of an Oilers recall
- Daniel Nugent-Bowman: A superstar shines, a goaltender stands tall and a ‘road hockey’ power play helps the Oilers return to form
- Lowetide: Why Dave Tippett’s deployment is a sign the Oilers need a No. 3 centre
- Jonathan Willis: A Jesse Puljujarvi trade is an opportunity of which only one NHL team gets to take advantage
- Daniel Nugent-Bowman: Leon Draisaitl takes the blame as the Oilers’ struggles against lowly foes continues
- Jonathan Willis: A list of which Oilers are most likely to be traded in 2019-20
- Daniel Nugent-Bowman: Q&A: Woodcroft on Benson’s ‘gift,’ the next step for Bouchard and acting like a proud parent watching the Oilers
- Lowetide: Oilers’ No. 2 prospect winter 2019: Philip Broberg
- Lowetide: Joel Persson’s demotion highlights difficult adjustment for Oilers’ ‘European showtime’ trio
- Daniel Nugent-Bowman and Jonathan Willis: Evaluating the Oilers’ readiness for the 2021 Seattle expansion draft
- Lowetide: Oilers’ No. 1 prospect winter 2019: Evan Bouchard
- Lowetide: Oilers’ college procurement could increase under Ken Holland
- Jonathan Willis: A shift-by-shift analysis of Caleb Jones in his Oilers season debut
Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl are the heart and soul of these Edmonton Oilers and will be for some time. It would be an enormous help to the organization if three men who were drafted in the same years—Ethan Bear, Caleb Jones and William Lagesson—can play in the heart of the game.
The emergence of Bear at the start of the season and the strong recent showing of Jones offers some hope for Lagesson joining the party. It was just last season the trio displayed similar goal differentials as members of the Bakersfield Condors.
I’m using Eric Rodgers’ numbers this time, the even strength numbers give us more separation. Lagesson had a strong year in 2018-19 and may be able to transition to the NHL over the coming months. Evan Bouchard is likely to do the same, but his cap hit is on a more expensive trajectory. Lagesson should be an inexpensive player next year and that has outstanding value for the Edmonton Oilers. If he can play top 4D, even in a pinch? Music!
One item about Lagesson that rarely gets mentioned is his offensive output at even strength. He’ll never get power-play time in the NHL but finds a way to make himself useful as well as ornamental at even strength.
TOP 20 PROSPECTS 2011 SUMMER
A few notes: I missed on two prospects who played in the NHL. Both Mark Arcobello (139 games) and Taylor Fedun (120 games) were undrafted free agents who beat the odds.
I always wonder what ‘reasonable’ is for a top 20 prospects list. Using the ‘key 12′ positions on a roster as the line in the sand, I think Nuge, Klefbom, Petry are locks. I’d like to include Rieder but the ’12’ doesn’t include third-line wingers, only the centers.
You know, that’s not much for a top 20 prospects list. It should be more, right? I think so. Lots of high picks in there.
TOP 20 PROSPECTS SUMMER 2015
This list is basically the heart and soul of the current Edmonton Oilers, but we’re starting to see a second wind this season. Clearly McDavid, Draisaitl and Nurse qualify for the ’12’ roster spots, and Bear appears to be there as of this season. Jones is emerging 20 games behind Bear, that could mean five names from this list. Add Lagesson? You can say it’s a stretch but his defensive chops are impressive.
TOP 20 PROSPECTS SUMMER 2017
This is a very recent top 20, so there’s miles to go with everybody. The problem here is that the first rounders aren’t way out in front already, meaning the Oilers will need some luck. Ethan Bear appears to be exactly what the doctor ordered, Jones looks good too. I don’t have William Lagesson on the list (No. 21) nor Patrick Russell (No. 33).
There are many candidates for ’12’ positions, including Puljujarvi, Yamamoto, Benson, Skinner, Wells, Samorukov. Marino would be on his way to being a counter but he’s in faraway Pittsburgh now.
LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE
A busy and fun morning starts at 10, TSN1260. Jonathan Willis from The Athletic joins us to talk about the Oilers current run, what to do about No. 3 center and the summer cap for 2020. Andrew Peard also joins us to talk Oil Kings and their recent travails, Tom Gazzola pops in for some Oilers chat and we’ve left a segment open just in case we get some CFL news. 10-1260 text, @Lowetide twitter and it’s going to be a fun ride.