The Edmonton Oilers have drafted No. 14 overall just twice in 40 years. In 1997, the club drafted a skill winger (Michel Riesen) out of the Swiss League, he was eventually dealt along with Doug Weight to St. Louis in what we call the Jochen Hecht trade.
The second player chosen No. 14 overall was Devan Dubyk, who entertained me as a member of the Kamloops Blazers. As a junior, Dubnyk never met a penalty he wouldn’t take, but he was solid for the Oilers 2010-13 and then even better than that for the Minnesota Wild 2014-19.
Ironically, it appears the Oilers could be choosing between a skill forward and a goalie at No. 14 this year. The seasons go round and round and round in the circle game.
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.
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MOCK FIRST ROUND, VOLUME 2
1 NEW YORK RANGERS: LW Alexis Lafreniere, Rimouski QMJHL. General manager Jeff Gorton finally received his karmic payback for fine work done for the Boston Bruins in 2006 (signed Zdeno Chara, Marc Savard, traded for Tuukka Rask, drafted Phil Kessel, Milan Lucic and Brad Marchand) before being sent away. No brainer for the Blueshirts despite a depth chart on LW that boasts Artemi Panarin and Chris Kreider. The Rangers could get 90 goals from their left wingers next year.
2 LOS ANGELES KINGS: LC Quinton Byfield, Sudbury OHL. Byfield is perfect for the Pacific Division: A gigantic center who combines power forward torque, pure skill and a complete set of tools. Smart player. General manager Rob Blake has a smart crew helping him at the draft, including friend of the blog (and show) Rob Vollman. The Kings drafted my No. 4 (Alex Turcotte), No. 5 (Arthur Kaliyev), No. 33 (Samuel Fagemo) and No. 36 (Tobias Björnfot) ranked players a year ago, suspect they’ll go high skill again.
3 OTTAWA SENATORS: LC Tim Stutzle, Mannheim DEL. GM Pierre Dorion can’t go wrong with this player. He is pure skill, an expert passer who can also score goals in bunches. Some reports I’ve read suggest he’ll play wing over center but this is an elite talent. Ottawa has a pile fo quality forwards, this player will add to a ridiculous ‘department of youth’ depth chart.
4 DETROIT RED WINGS: LC Marco Rossi, Ottawa OHL. As it turned Steve Yzerman’s Steve Yzerman moment came at the draft lottery. Yzerman’s time in Tampa Bay, the Lightning were solid to excellent at the draft table and not just in the first round. This is my No. 4 player this year, I think he’s being underrated elsewhere. Red Line, who know what they’re doing, have him at No. 3 overall. Big time player in a small package.
5 OTTAWA SENATORS: LHD Jake Sanderson, US National Team (USHL). I’ve spoken to enough scouts to believe the first defenseman chosen is an open question. I chose Sanderson for GM Pierre Dorion because that’s going to be important down the line. Sanderson is big, strong, fast, and has a great shot. He can impact the game at both ends.
6 ANAHEIM DUCKS: LC Cole Perfetti, Saginaw OHL. Perfetti is a winger who can score and is the final high skill OHL forward. He’s a shooter, and should thrive in the Pacific Division with his combination of strength and skill. Bob Murray has been general manager since 2008 and the first round has been hit and miss since the impressive Fowler-Rakell-Lindholm-Theodore run 2010-13. This is a great pick.
7 NEW JERSEY DEVILS: RHD Jamie Drysdale, Erie OHL. He’s a two-way defenseman who can scoot and the most likely blue to spend substantial time on an NHL power play. New Jersey’s defense of the future has Ty Smith as the main piece, but could use a righty who will man the power play down the line.
8 BUFFALO SABRES: LW Lucas Raymond, Frolunda (SHL). Raymond is a fine prospect, he’ll find chem with one of those young centers (Jack Eichel, Sam Reinhart, Dylan Cozens). Main skill is passing, outstanding creativity with the puck. Great skater.
9 MINNESOTA WILD: LW Dylan Holloway, Wisconsin NCAA. It’s more likely he’ll have a career as a two-way winger, but he was 17 when he went to camp and scored 8 goals as a freshman. Intriguing player. Holloway is a bit of a risky pick (his offense isn’t guaranteed) but I think Bill Guerin will like his size (6.0, 192 at 17) and skills. GM’s are often very careful about their first picks.
10 WINNIPEG JETS: RD Braden Schneider, Brandon WHL. He’s a big, mobile defensemen who delivers enough offense to be considered a two-way player. Red Line compares him to Darnell Nurse, and the Jets, who have Morrissey, Pionk, DeMolo with Heinola and Stanley bubbling under. Kevin Cheveldayoff has to rebuild the blue, Schneider is a nice foundation piece.
11 NASHVILLE PREDATORS: RW Alexander Holtz, Djurgardens SHL. Holtz is an impressive scorer, Nashville’s David Poile badly needs to add that element to the Preds system. Red Line compares him to Vladimir Tarasenko.
12 FLORIDA PANTHERS: RC Seth Jarvis, Portland WHL. Great speed and skill, he also owns an impressive shot. Dynamic player, I don’t know who is going to run Florida but this is a terrific prospect.
13 CAROLINA HURRICANES: G Yaroslav Askarov, St. Petersburg VHL. Askarov will represent too much value to pass on at this point. Scott Wheeler mentioned Minnesota, Carolina and the Oilers as possible landing spots for the goalie, I put him here.
14 EDMONTON OILERS: RW Jack Quinn, Ottawa OHL. He spiked at the right time. One of the best scorers in the draft, good speed, his 52 goals in 62 games rivals Lowetide favourite Arthur Kaliyev’s OHL numbers from 2018-19 (51 goals in 67 games). He won’t be ready for the NHL for a couple of years. Red Line compares his style to TJ Oshie.
15 PITTSBURGH PENGUINS: RC Dawson Mercer, Chicoutimi QMJHL. He has a nice range of skills, fine passer, smart player. Mercer is a safer pick than a few others in this range, Jim Rutherford will need this pick to turn out by 2022.
16 MONTREAL CANADIENS: RC Mavrik Bourque, Shawinigan QMJHL. Righty center is creative, effective and intelligent. Came out of nowhere during the season and has the complete range of skills. He is my favourite player in the draft.
17 CHICAGO BLACKHAWKS: LD Kaiden Guhle, Prince Albert WHL. Guhle is a mobile defender who can defend and play a complementary offensive role. He has speed and size (6.02, 186) and can cover well. Stan Bowman needs to remake a blue line and Guhle is a substantial player.
18 NEW JERSEY DEVILS: LC Anton Lundell, Helsinki Liiga. He’s a big pivot with skill and a complete skill set. If the Devils get him this late there will be an investigation. NJD have Hughes, Hischer, Zacha and Zajac at center but Lundell is an excellent two-way prospect.
19 CALGARY FLAMES: LC Connor Zary, Kamloops WHL. He’s a fine two-way center who delivers significant offense and has a range of skills. Calgary used to be awful at the draft now they just keep adding good prospects. It’s a battle Edmonton is losing despite improved results.
20 NEW JERSEY DEVILS: RW Jacob Perreault, Sarnia OHL. Perreault won’t provide immediate help but he’s a pure scorer. Red Line compares him to Jake DeBrusk and if he’s available here the Devils would have to consider him strongly. He’s the final healthy forward who could emerge as an offensive difference maker based on development leading up to his draft.
21 COLUMBUS BLUE JACKETS: LW Rodion Amirov, Ufa KHL. He’s a hidden gem this year, responsible winger who should score enough to play on a skill line and power play. Aggressive, great skater. The Jackets shop the world for talent, Amirov is probably best available here.
22 OTTAWA SENATORS: RW Noel Gunler, Lulea (SHL). Another scoring winger and another good match if he falls to Ottawa. I haven’t drafted a center for Ottawa, but the two forwards are fantastic value and the Sens get the player many believe is the best defenseman in the draft.
23 DALLAS STARS: LW Ridly Greig, Brandon WHL. He’s a fascinating player who has plus skills and plays with an edge. He finished strong, and there’s a good chance many teams who pass on him will be kicking themselves a couple of years from now. Dallas needs a lot of help, this is a good start.
24 NEW YORK RANGERS: LC Marat Khusnutdinov, St. Petersburg MHL. Undersized center with impressive skills, breathtaking passer and may be badly underrated here. The one NHL organization that doesn’t have to hesitate inn drafting Russians, Rangers get an exceptional talent.
25 PHILADELPHIA FLYERS: LW Lukas Reichel, Berlin DEL. Mid-season riser. He has skill, speed and plays with abandon. There is some range of opinion on this player.
26 SAN JOSE SHARKS: LC Hendrix Lapierre, Chicoutimi QMJHL. Brilliant playmaking center who would go much higher without injury issues. San Jose, who never met a first-round risk they wouldn’t love to take, go all-in on a player who could emerge as a top performer.
27 ST. LOUIS BLUES: LC Jan Mysak, Hamilton OHL. He can score and has speed, plus has figured out the defensive part of the game. Fine prospect. The Blues have been inconsistent at the draft table recently, going from Tage Thompson to Robert Thomas, but Mysak is an excellent pick.
28 WASHINGTON CAPITALS: LD Ryan O’Rourke, Sault Ste. Marie OHL. In a draft year with few defensemen chosen in the first round, the Capitals go off the board a little and take a player with the complete skill set. Mobile, can defend, impressive passer.
29 COLORADO AVALANCHE: LW John-Jason Peterka, Munich DEL. A speedy winger with skill, Red Line compares him in style to Tomas Tatar. Avs need another high skill guy like a fish needs a bicycle, but get good players keep good players remains a good idea.
30 ANAHEIM DUCKS: RD Justin Barron, Halifax QMJHL. Good size and mobility, solid two-way defensive prospect. He had some health issues before the break but was back and ready to go when things shut down. Solid value at this pick.
31 VEGAS GOLDEN KNIGHTS: LW Jake Neighbours, Edmonton WHL. It’s ironic that the Oilers-Oil Kings draft stories are so predominately negative, so much so that few are talking about a fairly unique player. Red Line calls him a goal scorer with a grinder mentality. Whenever I watch him, it’s obvious he has a player who has figured out how he can impact the game on every shift.
No. 14: RW Jack Quinn, Ottawa OHL. His NHLE from last season is 38.0 and he scored 50 goals in the world’s best junior league at age 18. He is just three months younger than Kaliyev, so the development time is closer to completion than some of the other skill forwards in this draft. Along with Kailer Yamamoto and Raphael Lavoie, Quinn could help turn right wing into an area of strength in fairly short order.
No. 82: LW Maxim Groshev, Nizhnekamsk KHL. He has good size (6.02, 194) and is a good skater with a plus shot. Smart and aggressive, plays a two-way game. NHLE is 12.8.
No. 144: G Brett Brochu, London OHL. He is a September 2002, meaning he barely qualifies for the draft. His SP as an OHL rookie was .919, none of the backups hit .895. He is 5.11, 156. I’d take a chance and pray for a growth spurt.
No. 175 LC Cam Tolnai, Ottawa OHL. A late, late breaker who is absolutely under the radar from a draft perspective. Highly touted youngster who had some issues getting adjusted but posted a point per game in his final 10. Brock Otten writes about him here.
No. 208 R Dmitri Sheshin, Magnitohorsk MHL. Undersized skill winger is something of a wizard with the puck. Good not great speed, an intriguing skill player. I had him at No. 80 on my list last year.
I am now officially pleased with that right wing depth chart, every player on that list is a prospect of one type or another. Of course, counting on anyone but Quinn and Lavoie is folly, but stories are being written. Left Wing is not strong and that’s a problem but you have to build with the bricks available and Quinn was the best one at No. 14 in my mock. You can see why Dylan Holloway is of interest (reportedly) to the Oilers.
Graham McPhee’s signing window is complete. He could sign an AHL deal but that doesn’t make much sense with no AHL on the horizon.