Among draft eligible players who will be available at No. 20, do you have one or two that you prefer? A year ago, my personal choice for Edmonton was Arthur Kaliyev, because I didn’t think Dylan Cozens would be on the board when Edmonton made its pick (he was, in fact, gone). It’s time for the annual draft Q and A, and the top 10 goalies for 2020.
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 Lowetide: Oilers prospect Raphael Lavoie’s possible impact in his first year pro
- New Daniel Nugent-Bowman: The good, bad and ugly of the Oilers’ last 15 years of free agent signings
- New Lowetide: Why you should be worried about William Lagesson’s future in Edmonton
- New Daniel Nugent-Bowman: Remembering the goal that made Fernando Pisani a cult hero in Edmonton
- New Lowetide: The Oilers’ 2016 draft remains an enigma, with a glimmer of hope
- New Jonathan Willis: The parallels from the fall of Alexander the Great and the 2006 Oilers
- Lowetide: 5 AHL forwards who offer the Oilers a chance to buy low on real talent
- Daniel Nugent-Bowman: ‘Agape’: Why Oilers prospect Cooper Marody wrote a song about Colby Cave
- Jonathan Willis: Connor McDavid’s recovery is just one of 2020’s incredible Masterton stories
- Lowetide: Every prospect in the Oilers system and what’s next for each player
- Lowetide: Oilers minor leaguers over 40 years, and Jay Woodcroft’s current role
- Lowetide: Charting Theodor Lennstrom’s future with the Oilers
- Daniel Nugent-Bowman: Projecting the Oilers’ black aces and how much they’ll play
- Jonathan Willis: Projecting the Oilers’ lineup for their play-in series versus the Blackhawks
- Lowetide: Could the Oilers draft a defenceman in the first round?
- Lowetide: Why the Oilers should extend Ryan Nugent-Hopkins as soon as possible
- Lowetide: Oilers farmhand Josh Currie’s small window of opportunity
- Jonathan Willis: Misguided priorities helped turn the Oilers’ 2010 rebuild into a debacle
- Lowetide: Oilers greatest areas of need for the 2020 draft
- Daniel Nugent-Bowman: Six bold (and not so bold) predictions as the Oilers prepare for the Blackhawks
- Jonathan Willis: Oilers facing a bonus penalty for 2020-21 but the news isn’t all bad
- Jonathan Willis: Multiple choice: What might an Oilers trade at the 2020 NHL Draft look like?
- Lowetide: Mike Green’s playoff role and possible future with the Oilers
QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS
Favourite player who will be available when Edmonton selects? It’s a tough question because I don’t know when the Oilers will pick. At 20, I expect Jarvis, Zary and Bourque could be gone. If all three have been chosen, plus the expected names by No. 20, I’ll name Jan Mysak as my choice. I’m uncertain Edmonton would pick him that early, though.
Who do you think the Oilers are considering in the first round? If the first 16 names on my list are gone, my guess is Edmonton would consider Russian goalie Yaroslav Askarov who by then would represent good to exceptional value. I think Kaiden Guhle would get a long look, perhaps Mysak and big college winger Dylan Holloway. I ordinarily have a better feel for Edmonton’s draft, but Holland-Wright are a new group and there is some mystery.
Holland rarely took a goalie in the first round as Detroit GM. Very true, but the draft is about value. I count (on my list) one goalie and three defenseman who bring enough to rank inside the top 20 prospects. That means 16 forwards, a big number. If those 16 forwards are gone when Edmonton picks, and the goalie remains, he may represent the best value.
One player in the draft who will go higher than you have him ranked? LD Yan Kuznetsov. He’s young, big, mobile and plays in the NCAA. I have him mid third round, Craig Button has him just outside the first round. Button is a scout. His reasons are rock solid I’m certain, but math led me to these rankings and we stand far apart on this player.
Probably you’re just bad at this. Well, Kuznetsov is the kind of player my list has a hard time with, but the truth is I don’t think drafting a shutdown blue in the first round is wise. Kids who are teenagers in the NCAA are difficult to project, but the verbal on him doesn’t scream offense and puck moving. Kuznetsov would benefit from an age 20 draft. Or not. I have him on my list, but Button’s number will be closer than mine.
Favourite player not on your list? RW Declan McDonell of the Kitchener Rangers. Good speed, skill, can check. Moved up the roster over the season. 21 goals in the OHL with very little notice.
What position gives you the most trouble? Defensemen.
Really? Not goalies? Shocking. I need to sit down. Who knew? I look for complete defensemen, then two-way, then offensive, then shutdown.
What would a successful draft for Edmonton look like? If the Oilers can grab Seth Jarvis in the first round, it’s a good draft. The nature of the team’s draft board is it’s likely just one pick will have an impact. That’s based on the traded picks. In a way, it’s like the 2014 draft.
How so? In 2014, Edmonton drafted Leon Draisaitl in the first round, then had to wait through the second and third rounds because picks had been traded for David Perron and Ben Scrivens. This year, it’s going to be slow due to trades that sent away picks for Andreas Athanasiou, James Neal (possibly) and Mike Green.
So you’re saying lower your expectations? I’m saying that if the first four rounds are Seth Jarvis, Andreas Athanasiou, offloading Milan Lucic’s contract and Mike Green, fans should be five miles beyond impressed.
GOALIES 2018 DRAFT (LT RANK)
1 Jakub Skarek, Jihlava (Czech). No. 72 to NY Islanders
2 Oliver Rodrigue, Drummondville (QMJHL). No. 62 to Edmonton.
3 Lukas Dostal, Brno (Czech). No. 85 to Anaheim
4 Olof Lindbom, Djurgardens (SuperElite). No. 39 to NY Rangers.
5 Amir Miftakhov, Irbis Kazan (MHL). Undrafted.
6 Ivan Prosvetov, Youngstown Phantoms (USHL). No. 114 to Arizona.
7 Joel Hofer, Swift Current Broncos (WHL). No. 107 to St. Louis
8 Justus Annunen, Karpat (Jr. Sm-Liiga). No. 64 to Colorado.
9 Vincent Purpura, Omaha Lancers (USHL). Undrafted.
10 Alexis Gravel, Halifax Mooseheads (QMJHL). No. 162 to Chicago.
GOALIES 2019 DRAFT (LT RANK)
- Spencer Knight, US National Team (USHL). No. 13 to Florida.
- G Mads Søgaard, Medicine Hat (WHL). No. 37 to Ottawa.
- Pyotr Kochetkov, HK Ryazan (VHL). No. 36 to Carolina.
- Hunter Jones, Peterborough (OHL). No. 59 to Minnesota.
- Colten Ellis, Rimouski (QMJHL). No. 93 to St. Louis.
- Jonathan Lemieux, Val d’Or (QMJHL). Undrafted.
- Trent Miner, Vancouver (WHL). No. 202 to Colorado.
- Carter Gylander, Sherwood Park (AJHL). No. 191 to Detroit.
- Amir Miftakhov, Irbis Kazan (MHL). Undrafted.
- Lukas Parik, Liberic (Czech Jr). No. 87 to Los Angeles.
Ilya Konovalov, drafted by Edmonton at No. 85 by the Oilers, did not appear on my list last season.
GOALIES 2020 DRAFT (LT RANKING)
- G Yaroslav Askarov, VHL. He’s famous, acrobatic and might represent the most value on the board when Edmonton picks in the first round.
- Calle Clang, SuperElite. Good size, a .913 SP and stellar work at the Hlinka. His resume is quite impressive over the last three seasons.
- Sam Hlavaj, QMJHL. Boasts a .915 save percentage and stands 6.04, 218. I have him higher than other lists; backup posted a .901SP.
- Nico Daws, OHL. .924 save percentage represents a big performance spike. He’s a December 2000.
- Joel Blomquist, Jr Liiga. Strong numbers (.929), good glove. He got into a couple of Liiga games.
- Dylan Garand, WHL. Eye popping SP (.921) for June 2002, but he’s only 6.0.
- Brett Brochu, OHL. Under the radar goalie who delivered a .919 SP as a rookie. Sept 2002. I think he could be a steal later in the draft.
- Devon Levi, CCHL. Impressive .941 SP, he’s a December 2001. You’d like to see him in a better league.
- Drew Commesso, USHL. Good size, thrived wherever he played in 2019-20. Big step forward. July 2002.
- Tucker Tynan, OHL. Had a ghastly injury but his .910SP and June 2002 birthdate have him here.
LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE
At 10 this morning, we hit the ground running with a full boat of guests and some big news. Jonathan Willis from The Athletic will join us with some major personal news and we’ll chat Oilers and changes in Buffalo. Tom Gazzola from TSN talks NHL return at 11 and Ken Boehlke from Sin Bin will chat about the possibility that Vegas will be a host city. 10-1260 text, @Lowetide on twitter. Talk soon!