The 20 best players for the 2020 draft not on the McKenzie list

by Lowetide

Have you ever seen a complete draft list from an NHL team? They sometimes shake loose and surprise the hell out of people, not just for the ranking but also for names not on the list.

THE ATHLETIC!

Great perspective from a ridiculous group of writers and analysts. I am proud to be part of The Athletic. Here are the most recent Oilers stories.

The Montreal Canadiens had part of the team list leak (looks like Philip Broberg was No. 13 overall) last year at the draft, but the 2010 Vancouver Canucks list remains the gold standard on what teams are looking (and not looking) for at a draft. Here are the picks that raised an eyebrow back in the day for this blog’s author:

St. Louis drafted Jaden Schwartz No. 14 overall, Vancouver had him No. 38. Schwartz more than covered the bet and has played over 500 NHL games with the Blues, who won Stanley in 2019. Schwartz led the Blues in playoff goals with 12.

Buffalo drafted Mark Pysyk No. 23 overall, Canucks had him No. 50. Pysyk has enjoyed a successful NHL career, playing in 417 games and moving up to forward at times this past season.

San Jose drafted Charlie Coyle No. 28 overall, Vancouver listed him No. 78. Coyle has played 570 NHL games.

New York Islanders drafted Brock Nelson No. 30 overall, Cancucks ranked him No. 63. Nelson has played 548 NHL games and has scored 20 or more goals five times.

Who did Vancouver prefer? Defenseman Julian Melchiori was ranked No. 23 by Vancouver, he went No. 85 to Atlanta. He played 30 NHL games. Mathieu Corbiel-Theriault was ranked No. 24 and was drafted No. 102 by Columbus. He did not play in the NHL. Vancouver ranked U.S. High School defenseman Patrick McNally No. 26 overall and were no doubt thrilled to get him with their first pick in the draft (No. 115 overall). He did not play in the NHL.

It would be easy to rip Vancouver’s scouts, but it’s likely they placed a bunch of guys near the end of their first round that represented their target list. The other men were there because it’s possible for a player to fall in a draft, but in all honesty the Canucks list is a guess on the industry’s opinion as opposed to a list created with real hope in landing a player in that range. McNally is about No. 3 on their list of possibles.

THE 20 BEST PLAYERS NOT ON BOB MCKENZIE’S LIST

Every year players go under the radar and every year teams get exceptional value from players outside the accepted group of draft-eligible prospects. I love McKenzie’s list but it doesn’t project teenagers perfectly. Mitchell Moroz was ranked No. 56 overall, Ethan Bear was not ranked. Here are the 20 best players in the 2020 NHL draft not listed on McKenzie’s rankings.

1 RW Connor McClennon, Winnipeg Ice (WHL). I have him No. 44 overall, that’s mid-second round. He scored 21 goals in 42 WHL games and is a June 2002. He’s 5.09, 145 shots in those 42 games and 15 even-strength goals.

2 LW Veeti Miettinen, Espoo (Jr Liiga). Similar story to McClennon, small winger with great skill. He is a September 2001, so a little older but he’s a pure scorer.

3 LW Pavel Novak, Kelowna Rockets (WHL). Speedster with skill, he’s a scorer. He’s a little bigger than the first two names, he scored 25 goals in 55 games. Red Line loves him, called Novak a speed demon.

4 LW Oskar Magnusson, Malmo (SuperElite). Smaller winger good speed and two-way acumen, he can also play center and has a plus shot. I like his year over year improvement (19 to 48 points in SuperElite) and he’s a January 2020. I’m way out in front, so maybe there’s something I’m missing but the scouting report looks complete. The four men listed here are all ranked in the second round on my list.

5 RW Owen Pederson, Winnipeg Ice (WHL). We finally get to a bigger player (6.03, 188) on my list. Pederson scored 28 goals in 61 games. He has some range (can play center, two-way type) but speed isn’t a strength.

6 RD Michael Benning, Sherwood Park Crusaders (AJHL). Impressive skills (fine skater, excellent passer). He’s undersized but plays an effective defensive game. The lead story here is the young man with the puck on his stick. I think he’s worth a late second, earl third round pick.

7 LW Kyle Crnkovic, Saskatoon Blades (WHL). Small (5.07) winger doubled his point total season over season. He isn’t ranked by most scouting services and 5.07 is very small for an NHL prospect. However, he scored a point per game and posted 21 goals in 63 games, turning 18 in February. He’s got some nice bullet points on his resume.

8 LC Elliot Ekmark, Linkoping (SuperElite). High skill, elusive, great speed, undersized. That’s the scouting report on most of these players, but the thing these kids have to punch up the resume is results. Ekmark posted 26 points in 31 games, The Draft Analyst says he’s similar to Oskar Magnusson above.

9  RW Wiljami Myllylä, Jr Sm-Liiga. Skates well, plus shot, scores goals in bunches. More shooter than passer or transporter. He’s a little bigger (6.0, 161) but also older (April 2001) by a year over some of these names.

10  LC Theo Rochette, Quebec Remparts (QMJHL). Undersized two-way center, intriguing offense. He might be a little shy offensively but would be worth a pick in the middle rounds.

11 RD Luke Prokop, Calgary Hitmen (WHL). A giant (6.04, 218) able to close gaps and suppress offense. He’s a raw talent, don’t know if the Oilers are going to draft a defenseman, but Prokop has some promise as a shutdown option. Can pass the puck.

12 G Sam Hlavaj, Sherbroke Phoenix (QMJHL). Boasts a .915 save percentage and stands 6.04, 218. Slovak goalie is an actual giant who (according to Red Line) is ‘scrambly like Spiderman’.

13 LC Daniel Ljungman, Linkoping (SuperElite). Emerged from nowhere at the Hlinka Gretzky. Great release. He’s 6.01, 161 and April 2002.

14 LC Cameron Berg, Muskegon Lumberjacks (USHL). Good speed and skill. He is a one dimensional player but he’ll score goals in pro hockey.

15 G Dylan Garand, Kamloops Blazers (WHL). Eye popping SP (.921) for June 2002, but he’s only 6.0 and for that reason is unlikely to get drafted.

16 LW Pavel Gogolev, Guelph Storm (OHL). Now 20, he is fast and has a great shot. He scored 45 goals in 63 games in the world’s best junior league. He is 6.01, 181. Draft him and turn him pro. Why not?

17 LC Juuso Mäenpää, Jokerit (Jr Liiga). Very small but highly skilled playmaker. Very much under the radar.

18 RD Kasper Puutio, Everett Silvertips (WHL). Talented puck moving defenseman. He’s 5.11, 180 and a June 2002.

19 LW Yevgeni Oksentyuk, Flint Firebirds (OHL). Impressive season for Feb. 2001, under the radar skill winger. You must be tiring of reading about “small skill wingers” but the thing to remember is these men have offensive success in junior. He scored 33-45-78 in 58 games. He. can. play.

20 LD Anton Johannesson, SuperElite. Small puck mover is a wizard, could be a steal. He’s a March 2002, stands 5.09 and could be the most valuable name in the 20. That’s the catch with these 20 (mostly) smaller players: Not all will make it but those who do are going to make their scouting director look like a genius.

OILERS DRAFT

As it stands, Edmonton has just four picks in a seven-round draft. Even more distressing the picks are in the first, fifth, sixth and seventh rounds. That’s a problem.

However, all is not lost. There is a strategy that can deliver four legit talents in those picks.

Let’s start by listing the players above who will be drafted before the fifth round. In my opinion, Connor McClennon, Pavel Novak, Michael Benning, Dylan Garand and Yevgeni Oksentyuk will be gone by selection No. 175.

So, let’s give the Oilers Jacob Perreault in the first round, since many of you like him as a first-shot scorer for Edmonton. If Holland and Wright add Oskar Magnusson (fifth round), Pavel Gogolev (sixth round) and Anton Johannesson (seventh round) the club will have drafted four legit prospects. They aren’t perfect, there are holes in their game, but offensively they are dynamic and project as productive players in pro hockey. Here are their NHLE’s:

  • Jacob Perreault (OHL) 32.5
  • Oskar Magnusson (SuperElite) 25.9
  • Pavel Gogolev (20) (OHL) 40.4
  • Anton Johannesson (SuperElite) 24.6

That’s an impressive list of talent and my bet is that those names or similar will in fact be available to the Oilers. When the team drafted Ethan Bear in the fifth round in 2015, we all knew it was a better bet than Evan Campbell. I don’t know if the Oilers will do it, but the idea makes a lot of sense.

Sail on, Mr. Granlund, we hardly knew you. You did play for all three western Canadian teams and that’s a rare thing.

LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE

At 10 this morning, we kickstart the weekend and make a lot of noise, MAN! TSN1260, we’ll talk to Steve Lansky about the NHL broadcasts to come in Edmonton and Toronto, and what the industry will be talking about two weeks from now in regard to the broadcasts. Matt Iwanyk will join me at 11 to talk about the Eskimos name change and the leak at Ford Hall. 10-1260 text, @Lowetide on twitter. See you on the radio!

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dessert1111

I think Granlund would’ve been a better bet for playoff minutes over the current “6th line” but circumstances being what they are, it’s likely Granlund wouldn’t have wanted to come back anyway.

I was hoping he’d be more than what he ended up being for the Oilers, but the margins on these bottom of the roster players tends to be thin.

OriginalPouzar

Is today the day we see Caleb Jones skate with the main group? On Tuesday the coach said “wouldn’t be the next few days” – maybe we are past that.

Is today the day there is a Corey Crawford sighting in Chicago – the longer the “non-appearance” the more intriguing this gets – in particular since Crawford has spoken about needing lots of pucks to get ready at the start of seasons (paraphrased from The Athletic yesterday).

hunter1909

Hunter1909 2020 Playoff Death March™

Now Accepting new entries!

Go to:

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Free to Enter! Easy to Play! Easy to Win!!

Returning Players are reminded their original names provide continuity thank you for your cooperation

BornInAGretzkyJersey

Does Pavel Gogolev have a fatal flaw that keeps him undrafted? He’s an intriguing bet for sure, and Holland does like to draft more seasoned over-agers so this seems to be reasonably likely to happen.

BornInAGretzkyJersey

Imagine for a moment that Old Dutch doesn’t trade anyone for picks at the draft. Unlikely, I know but an interesting thought experiment all the same.

If the draft comes and goes without any extra picks procured, we will really see a lot about the draft philosophy of Holland and Co. I bet he reverts to the M.O. of the Wings during his tenure, draft for skill with a swing for the fences approach the later the round.

stephen sheps

Apropos of nothing hockey related, but given how often this blog acknowledges music, the Edmonton underground music community lost an absolute giant. Ken Chinn, known to most as Mr. Chi Pig, front man and lyricist of SNFU passed away last night.

His music influenced a generation of punk kids and outsider artists. Tremendous loss. I’m gutted today.

Shane

stephen sheps,

We had SNFU blasting after rehearsal last night.

RIP

hunter1909

stephen sheps:
Apropos of nothing hockey related, but given how often this blog acknowledges music, the Edmonton underground music community lost an absolute giant. Ken Chinn, known to most as Mr. Chi Pig, front man and lyricist of SNFU passed away last night.

His music influenced a generation of punk kids and outsider artists. Tremendous loss. I’m gutted today.

A true Original, that’s for certain.

hunter1909

Shane:
stephen sheps,

We had SNFU blasting after rehearsal last night.

RIP

Are you in a band? Are you on YouTube? That’s my only source of music.

Bohologo

stephen sheps:
Apropos of nothing hockey related, but given how often this blog acknowledges music, the Edmonton underground music community lost an absolute giant. Ken Chinn, known to most as Mr. Chi Pig, front man and lyricist of SNFU passed away last night.

His music influenced a generation of punk kids and outsider artists. Tremendous loss. I’m gutted today.

No! Awful news.

Back when the earth was cooling I was trying to impress a young woman, so she called my obvious bluff and said okay let’s go to an SNFU show (yeah, you’re for me punk rock girl) at which point I visibly flinched and said okay with a tremor in my voice and a quivering lower lip. We got to the show and immediately a wall of noise hit me like a plunging anvil. She dove into the crowd as I cowered in the corner, hoping nobody would see me and come over to rip out my heart and eat it, just for pleasure. Great show in the end, and it was my only date with her as she wound up dating one of my buddies long term which was great for them if you like happiness I guess, but I always felt like it was both insult and injury if we are going to make it all about me.

Pour one out for Mr. Chinn. I would go home devastated, but I’m half way through my quarantine and will stay home devastated.

SNFU!

Durag

BornInAGretzkyJersey:
Does Pavel Gogolev have a fatal flaw that keeps him undrafted?He’s an intriguing bet for sure, and Holland does like to draft more seasoned over-agers so this seems to be reasonably likely to happen.

Seems like an ideal late pick as Bakersfield desperately needs forwards

hunter1909

Bohologo: and it was my only date with her as she wound up dating one of my buddies long term which was great for them if you like happiness I guess, but I always felt like it was both insult and injury if we are going to make it all about me.

Most everyone is to some degree selfishly motivated. Nothing much in it for you, but she did expose you to one of Edmonton’s all time Original music stars. From this, you have a great memory that you were kind enough to share.

Fantastic memory, btw.

Material Elvis

Chi Pig does not sound like a singer that LT’s dad would be on board with.

Material Elvis

Wasn’t that the period that Vancouver’s scouts were out drafted by a potato? Good times. Good thing for them that they hired a scouting director who knows what he’s doing. You wouldn’t want to get rid of *that* guy…..

ArmchairGM

“As it stands, Edmonton has just four picks in a seven-round draft. Even more distressing the picks are in the first, fifth, sixth and seventh rounds. That’s a problem.”

Easily rectified, as it turns out. At the last draft Holland traded a 5th round pick to Buffalo for a 6th and a 7th. Considering a 6th or 7th round pick has basically identical odds of becoming an NHL player as a 5th round pick, I think this is solid strategy.

Chayka has this figured out already, but he seems to be the only one so far. In 2018 he traded a 3rd for a lower 3rd + a 5th, then flipped the lower 3rd for a 4th + 5th, thus turning one mid-round pick into three.

In 2017 he made a similar deal with Chiarelli, moving back 4 spots in the 3rd round and picking up a 5th in the process.

In 2019 he was at it again, sending a 3rd to Pittsburgh in exchange for a 4th + 5th + 7th.

Of course, your scouting team needs to hit on some of these picks, but more bullets is more bullets and the math checks out. If he plays this right, Holland could end up with 5 or 6 of the players on LT’s list above.

BornInAGretzkyJersey

Material Elvis,

It’s because of the hairstyle.

Shane

hunter1909: Are you in a band? Are you on YouTube? That’s my only source of music.

Yea Hunter I’m in a few groups. A couple that are just(were) getting off the ground so no content yet. And a cover band.

However, my old band Mayday and the Beatcreeps has some stuff online you can check out.

stephen sheps

Bohologo,

hunter1909: Fantastic memory, btw.

Agreed, fantastic memory. Great story. I definitely had a few moments like that in my younger days, trying to impress people and then not quite being as hard core as I thought I could/would be. So it goes.

Did you ever find yourself in a pit later on in life? Sadly that is probably going to be a thing of the past in the post-covid world. Pushing 40 as I am, the pit was starting to get to be untenable, but it’s one part of the live music experience that I really miss, even in the small doses I can physically handle now.

Material Elvis,

No, he does not.

stephen sheps

Shane,

was just about to ask about this as well. thanks for sharing!

BornInAGretzkyJersey

Durag,

We could use a few of these types for sure: mature offensive types who are eligible to go straight to BAK instead of another year or two in juniour. If we could get a handful of those types to populate the roster for a couple consecutive seasons the recall pipeline will be flowing nicely.

dustrock

stephen sheps:
Apropos of nothing hockey related, but given how often this blog acknowledges music, the Edmonton underground music community lost an absolute giant. Ken Chinn, known to most as Mr. Chi Pig, front man and lyricist of SNFU passed away last night.

His music influenced a generation of punk kids and outsider artists. Tremendous loss. I’m gutted today.

Absolutely. Great band, great frontman, so cool to have a cool band from Edmonton.

2 personal favourties: Loser At LIfe/Loser At Death, and You Make Me Thick

OriginalPouzar

Caleb Jones on the ice with the main group today.

Now, we can see if there is a battle between K. Russell and C. Jones for 3LD opening night or if the coaches will get with Rusty as I think most of us suspect.

OriginalPouzar

Rogers Place
@RogersPlace
·
16m
After a thorough assessment of #RogersPlace & associated facilities it has been determined the damage experienced last night was due to significant water flow mixed with hail, which led to excess pressure on the facility’s storm drainage system causing two pipe couplings to fail.
Rogers Place
@RogersPlace
·
15m
One was located above the terminus of Ford Hall & the other was located on the mezzanine level corridor on the southwest side of #RogersPlace. The water damage is restricted to those two areas of the building, with the terminus experiencing more significant water damage.
Rogers Place
@RogersPlace
·
16m
Crews have begun work on the affected areas & we do not foresee any significant delays or barriers to either #Oilers training camp or preparations & activities related to our hosting as
@NHL
hub city for the 2020

godot10

OriginalPouzar:
Caleb Jones on the ice with the main group today.

Now, we can see if there is a battle between K. Russell and C. Jones for 3LD opening night or if the coaches will get with Rusty as I think most of us suspect.

Broberg vs. the 18th forward for a spot in phase 4.

Is a 10th D more important than an 18th forward? Probably yes.

defmn

Daniel Nugent-Bowman
@DNBsports
·
46s
The Oilers have split into two groups today. Caleb Jones is out with the first group.

Reja

godot10: Broberg vs. the 18th forward for a spot in phase 4.

Is a 10th D more important than an 18th forward?Probably yes.

If your going deep in the playoffs you can never have enough healthy D. Holland and Tippett both know this that’s why Holland acquired Green although it didn’t pan out. It wouldn’t surprise me if they kept Broberg and if he does get into action it means were probably in the conference finals.

defmn

Daniel Nugent-Bowman
@DNBsports
·
1m
Replying to
@DNBsports
Jones playing RD with Broberg. Benning, Russell, Bouchard and Lagesson are not on the ice with this group.

OriginalPouzar

Per Jack Michaels:

On the ice, Caleb Jones working with Broberg at practice today. Neal-Khaira-Chiasson line continues to look good, playing with pace. The pause seems to have allowed Neal in particular to fully heal from an assortment of lower-body injuries

defmn

Just in case anybody here follows him and didn’t know.

Mark Spector
@SportsnetSpec
·
5m
Hockey fans, Hall of Fame writer Jim Matheson had his Twitter account hacked, and was forced to open a new account.
Give @jimmathesonnhl
a follow for all things hockey.

hunter1909

Shane: Yea Hunter I’m in a few groups. A couple that are just(were) getting off the ground so no content yet. And a cover band.

However, my old band Mayday and the Beatcreeps has some stuff online you can check out.

I just checked out Mayday and the Beatcreeps highly watchable performance for the tv channel. Thank you for telling me about yourselves.

jimmers2

Aw man, sail on Chi Pig. I will sink a beer in his memory this evening and hopefully remembering being light up by him and his band at Spartan’s will shake me off my soft bourgeois butt…

Material Elvis

defmn:
Just in case anybody here follows him and didn’t know.

Mark Spector
@SportsnetSpec
·
5m
Hockey fans, Hall of Fame writer Jim Matheson had his Twitter account hacked, and was forced to open a new account.
Give @jimmathesonnhla follow for all things hockey.

Is the new account pushing for a Drew Stafford signing?

meanashell11

hunter1909: I just checked out Mayday and the Beatcreeps highly watchable performance for the tv channel. Thank you for telling me about yourselves.

Me as well. Very cool!

defmn

Material Elvis: Is the new account pushing for a Drew Stafford signing?

Hehe.

Probably.

Munny

stephen sheps,

Sad sad news.

OriginalPouzar

I guess interviews aren’t being streamed live today.

As per Gregor:

“The break was great for me to get completely healthy. Playing with an ankle injury or a foot injury can limit you. I, like most guys I assume, have never felt this fresh going into the playoffs.” James Neal on being healthy for first time since November.

————

While he didn’t score when he returned from injury, if i remember correctly, Neal did seam to be skating better and looked like his dirty self in the o-zone.

I think there is a decent chance he can be a material player in the playoffs – even if he starts down the lineup. If that fourth line can pop some 5 on 5 goals, that would a long ways!

Gerta Rauss

Sail on Kenny,you were an original

dustrock

I wouldn’t underestimate Playoff Neal.

maudite

Definitely spent last night spinning snfu lps last night. Next to smalls, artist I definitely saw live the most times. Such a giant on that stage.

I think I’ve seen both those your bands live Shane. I loved the name beatcreeps.

OriginalPouzar

Jones confirmed he tested positive for Covid and was asymptomatic.

He was back with the main group today.

Munny

Per Principe, Caleb Jones had tested positive for Covid but was symptom free.

Munny

defmn:
Daniel Nugent-Bowman
@DNBsports
·
1m
Replying to
@DNBsports
Jones playing RD with Broberg. Benning, Russell, Bouchard and Lagesson are not on the ice with this group.

The reporting on Broberg’s TC performance has become quite intriguing.

I’m kind of split on him returning to Sweden. On one hand, I’d love to see him here helping the Oilers, but on the other, I’d like him to be in the SHL safely figuring out what he can get away with offensively against adults.

SwedishPoster

I’d argue that Anton Johannesson has the highest upside of all swedish D in this draft. First half of first round level skillset but size and lots of injury issues will have him drop. If Old Dutch can grab him in the seventh I’ll pour myself one and then another to celebrate. Will be a very interesting kid to follow the next few years either way. So much talent.

defmn

Munny: The reporting on Broberg’s TC performance has become quite intriguing.

I’m kind of split on him returning to Sweden.On one hand, I’d love to see him here helping the Oilers, but on the other, I’d like him to be in the SHL safely figuring out what he can get away with offensively against adults.

I kind of like the fact that the Oilers are finally in a position to develop their dmen slowly rather than rushing them. I don’t think it guarantees success but I think it offers a better chance of success.

But, yeah, Broberg seems to be making a bit of a statement this week. Nice to hear.

GordieHoweHatTrick

LT, please text this info To KH:

16 LW Pavel Gogolev, Guelph Storm (OHL). Now 20, he is fast and has a great shot. He scored 45 goals in 63 games in the world’s best junior league. He is 6.01, 181. Draft him and turn him pro. Why not?
Pavel Gogolev (20) (OHL) 40.4

just in case he doesn’t swing by today 😉

BornInAGretzkyJersey

defmn,

I keep seeing this line of commentary, but when was the last time the Oilers rushed a defenseman? Jultz, maybe? Doubtful, as he was already fairly mature entering the organization, I think that was more a poor evaluation of ceiling/ability which PIT showed he’s capable when slotted properly.

Jones, Bear, Nurse, Klefbom, Petry, Davidson, Oesterle, Hunt (off the top of my head, I’m sure there are others) all took the slow and steady path into the league. The team has actually been decent at this for about a decade now. Or so it would seem.

Shane

meanashell11: Me as well. Very cool!

Thank you and Hunter for the kind words.

I’ll tell you, after playing nothing but dingy venues and festivals outside. Having all those super fancy cameras swinging around took a little getting used to.

defmn

BornInAGretzkyJersey

Nurse spent 4 games in the AHL in 13-14 and 9 games in 15-16.

Klefbom spent 48 games in the AHL in 13-14 and 9 games in 14-15.

Petry had 41 games in the AHL in 10-11 and 2 games in 11-12.

Those are the 3 on your list from the first two rounds.

Bear played 18 games for Edmonton his first year of pro.

Jones did play his first year of pro in the AHL but was in Edmonton for 17 games in his second season.

Both Bear and Jones were taken in places in the draft where I think you could say they were brought up early because of injuries, didn’t stick and went back down.

I didn’t look for Davidson or Osterle who were both late round picks.

I’d say Edmonton has been rushing their dmen somewhat for a long time if you look at their stats for those first years in Edmonton. You certainly wouldn’t claim that they were left languishing in the NHL due to lack of opportunity.

Shane

maudite,

Hey cool! Mind if I ask what venue you saw us in? We were playing lots there for a few years and some of those venues don’t exist anymore.

And thanks, the name was my idea ?

maudite

Honestly couldn’t say. I’m sure much like yourself catch a lot of shows anytime I’m home in edmonton or even when I find myself in Calgary for work.

I couldnt even wundi, starlite/rev, old but new new city, new city, dewies, rebar/pawnshop, broken city….etc etc.

Shane:
maudite,

Hey cool! Mind if I ask what venue you saw us in? We were playing lots there for a few years and some of those venues don’t exist anymore.

And thanks, the name was my idea ?