During the 2010’s, the Oilers found NHL talent off off Broadway three times. Martin Marincin (Slovakia), Jujhar Khaira (BCHL) and John Marino (United States Premier Hockey League) all came from the walkabout leagues and nations (sorry Slovakia, I’m quite fond of your hockey players). Perhaps Michael Kesselring and Tomas Mazura add their names to the list in coming years. Is this a year to invest in an obscure league or nation again? Probably.
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, check it out here.
- New Scott Wheeler: Why Oilers prospect Raphael Lavoie is the shot creation king.
- New Lowetide: How can Andreas Athanasiou — Ken Holland’s big bet — help the Oilers?
- Lowetide: What are Evan Bouchard’s chances of making the Oilers in 2020-21?
- Jonathan Willis and Lowetide: Who are the Oilers’ top 10 prospects and where do they project in the NHL?
- Jonathan Willis: How do Connor McDavid’s first five NHL seasons compare to the all-time greats?
- Lowetide: Oilers 2020 draft: Are fans ready for Oil Kings’ Jake Neighbours?
- Jonathan Willis: Oilers need to keep feeding their currently rich pipeline of defensive prospects
- Daniel Nugent-Bowman: How a series of oddball jobs prepared Ken Holland for his front-office career
- Jonathan Willis: 2020 NHL offseason goalie market: Team needs, free agents and trade possibilities
- Lowetide: Oilers Ryan Nugent-Hopkins far more than ‘also in photo’ contributor
- Jonathan Willis: Building the best all-time Oilers roster, with a twist
- Lowetide: What are Tyler Benson’s chances of making the Oilers in 2020-21?
- Daniel Nugent-Bowman: ‘They were looking outside the box’: Oilers’ distinctive third jerseys still stand out
- Lowetide: If Oilers draft for skill, Seth Jarvis likely to be best available
- Jonathan Willis and Lowetide: Should the Oilers pursue Taylor Hall this summer?
- Daniel Nugent-Bowman and Jonathan Willis: The results are in: How you voted in our inaugural Oilers fan survey
- Daniel Nugent-Bowman: How the Oilers are preparing for an NHL draft in June
Wheeler does fantastic work and this article on Raphael Lavoie is a must read.
THE HINTERLANDS 2020
- LC Tim Stuetzle, DEL. Dynamic player, highlight reel offense and dangerous on every rush.
- LW Lukas Reichel, DEL. He has skill, speed and plays with abandon.
- LW Dylan Holloway, Big 10. Big power forward. He has a great shot and is a strong skater.
- LW John-Jason Peterka, DEL. A speedy winger with skill, and not yet the sum of his parts.
- LW Carter Savoie, Sherwood Park Crusaders (AJHL). Small, fleet skill winger.
- RD Michael Benning, Sherwood Park Crusaders (AJHL). Impressive skills, can transition well.
- LD Yan Kuznetsov, H-E. He’s 6.03, 201 and 18 and completed a season of NCAA. hockey.
- LW Blake Biondi, USHS. High skill, great speed.
- G Devon Levi, CCHL. Impressive .941 SP.
- RD Ian Moore, USHS. Massachusetts offensive defenseman.
- LD Wyatt Kaiser, USHS. Two-way defenseman, best Minnesota HS blue.
- RD Ethan Edwards, Spruce Grove, AJHL. Impressive speed and skill puck mover.
At No. 20, one wonders if Reichel or even Peterka will be considered by Edmonton’s scouts. I think the Oilers might take Savoie if he’s around at No. 82, but my list has him going right at the start of the third round. Benning is also worth considering in that third round. Later names I like include Moore, Kaiser and Edwards.
- RD Moritz Seider, Mannheim (DEL). An actual teenage giant (6.04, 198) with a Condor wingspan.
- LC Alexei Protas, Belarus (Belarus). He’s 6.05, 195, and has great hands.
- RW Filip Koffer, Padrubice (Czech). Nice hands, he showed well at the U18’s.
- RW Michal Teply, Liberic (Czech). Big scoring winger has some footspeed issues.
- RW Yevgeni Oksentyuk, Shahkter (Belarus). Small and highly skilled, he rocked the U18’s.
- LW Premysl Svoboda, Litvinov (Czech U19). Torched his junior league (32, 22-33-55).
Several of these names weren’t chosen, that’s the nature of the Hinterlands. Protas got picked, but came over to play in the WHL during the season so had more exposure (remained on the Central Euro list).
This completes my list of players from each draft pool, and gives us 140 names for my final top 125 that will publish June 1. Here is the breakdown by league/nation:
- OHL 30
- WHL 25
- USHL 23
- QMJHL 17
- Sweden 15
- Finland 11
- Russia 7
- Germany 3
- AJHL 3
- USHS 3
- NCAA 2
- CCHL 1
I used to combine the NCAA/USHL names but the USHL became a monster. I used to do overagers but it became easier just to include them in their own leagues/nations. Now, who did I miss? Let me know. There were 29 USHL, 17 WHL and 15 OHL players chosen inside the top 125 one year ago.
This year I’d say the OHL will have the most players chosen from the top 125. Now the good news: Unless something unforeseen happens, today’s article is the last draft item before June 1.
I like the idea of Broberg experiencing the playoffs, and practicing with the big club. Assuming William Lagesson, Evan Bouchard and Dmitri Samorukov are along for the ride, that’s a large pile of the 2020’s blue getting a peak of their possible future.
LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE
A packed show this morning, TSN1260. At 10:20 Bruce McCurdy from the Cult of Hockey at the Edmonton Journal will talk Mike Smith and the Oilers unrestricted free agents. At 11 Joe Osborne from OddsShark will join us to discuss UFC 249 and KBO. Corey Graham pops in at 11:25 to set the stage for the 2014 Memorial Cup semifinal which will air this evening at 6 on TSN1260.