I always cheer for the prospects, even when it takes five years. Hell, Brandon Davidson took six and Oilers fans waited on him. In the days ahead, Ken Holland is going to be shuffling the deck and changing the depth chart of his roster. I was impressed with his work a year ago (gave him a B-), beginning with his choice of coach. He has a little more money and one less draft pick entering draft week. Fewer needs (Goalie, No. 3 center, scoring winger, Jesse Puljujarvi) and a ringing in our ears about OEL. If you listen closely, out in the distance, past the sound of Trans-Canada railroad chugging down the track, you can hear the name of the goalie arriving soon. I think I hear Holtby. You?
I’m proud to be writing for The Athletic, and pleased to be part of a great team with Daniel Nugent-Bowman and Jonathan Willis. Here is our recent work.
- New Lowetide: Oilers’ defence prospects are pushing, and changes are coming
- Lowetide: A reasonable trade price for the Oilers to pay in pursuit of OEL
- Jonathan Willis: Could it make sense for the Oilers to trade Oscar Klefbom?
- Lowetide: Why Oilers’ Leon Draisaitl won the Hart Trophy and Ted Lindsay Award
- Daniel Nugent-Bowman: Breaking down my ballot for the 2019-20 NHL awards
- Lowetide: Rising talent, acquiring picks key to Oilers’ success at draft
- Lowetide: European leagues are open, and Oilers prospects are everywhere
- Lowetide: Ken Holland and Dave Tippett’s past players: Can any help the Oilers?
- Lowetide: Roster projections for Oilers, including trade and free agent targets
- Jonathan Willis: Why the Oilers should buy out James Neal
- Lowetide: Oilers approach 2020 draft with increased depth in important positions
- Lowetide: Stock Watch: Hot starts and safe landings for Oilers prospects
- Jonathan Willis: There are no good shortcuts for the Oilers with Jesse Puljujarvi
- Lowetide: Potential trades and partners for the Oilers’ offseason
- Lowetide: The Oilers could find a world-class agitator in the draft
- Daniel Nugent-Bowman: Should the Oilers select goalie Yaroslav Askarov 14th at the NHL Draft?
- Lowetide: A bold draft strategy for the Oilers in 2020
- Jonathan Willis: Oilers third-line centre search should include other teams’ cap casualties
- Lowetide: Dealing a defenceman? Taking stock of Oilers’ blueline assets
- Daniel Nugent-Bowman: Q&A: Oilers GM Ken Holland on improving internally, the flat cap and goaltending
- Jonathan Willis: Can the Oilers find value picks among the 2020 NHL Draft’s impressive Russians?
- Lowetide: 10 free agent targets for the Oilers this offseason
- Lowetide: What if the Oilers went scorched earth in front of 2020 free agency?
- Lowetide: Oilers Top 20 Prospects, Summer 2020
- Jonathan Willis: Unqualified RFAs could be top offseason targets for the Oilers
- Daniel Nugent-Bowman: Who stays? Who goes? The most likely players to stay with and leave the Oilers
A YEAR AGO
This was last year heading into the draft, Rishaug hitting the left coast and delivering several interesting items. We’ll get that in the days ahead no doubt, but it is interesting we haven’t heard a name mentioned as often as Broberg’s in 2019. Much of that may have to do with the large number of draft eligibles who could be available at No. 14. The later this goes, the better for Edmonton, Russians (Askaros, Amirov) are surging and who knows if one or both go before No. 14 overall. Bodes well for acquiring Jarvis or Quinn or Guhle.
I think it’ll be a ‘good news, bad news’ offseason for Oilers fans. You’re really going to like some things (youth invades the defense, some youth infused on the wings) and balk at the choices of veterans to fill. The roster below reflects Holland’s own past and what the Oilers pipeline is giving him. It’s a guess, but there are reasons behind why I think he might make all of the moves. Here’s the roster via CapFriendly (there’s $1,002,849 in cap space):
It’s a young blue line but you could go Klefbom-Bear, Nurse-Bouchard and Jones-Larsson to make sure there’s a veteran presence. I do think Holland will re-make the No. 3 line, and Sutter’s presence in the middle gives the team a veteran there while also giving Haas a real chance to slide in between Bjork and Puljujarvi. Holtby, in my opinion, is a top dead center match for Holland’s modus operandi. Here are the trades:
Important to note: This is neither an endorsement of the path described here, nor what I would do (that will come later in the week). This is what I think Holland might try, providing he doesn’t pull the trigger on an OEL deal.
OILERS MOCK DRAFT
Adding the pick from Anaheim gives the Oilers draft a little more significance.
First round, No. 14 overall — RW Jack Quinn, Ottawa 67’s (OHL). He scored 52 goals in junior, that’s a stunning total (in 62 games). Quinn is a September 2001 (not as much development track) and played on a great team (may be more complementary player) but there’s just too much here to ignore. I think Jarvis is gone by No. 14 overall.
Third round, No. 67 overall—LW Roby Jarventie, KooVee (Mestis). This is a terrific prospect, who brings size (6.02, 184), scoring ability (23 goals in 36 games) and speed to every shift. He’s an August 2002, so is on the other end of Quinn in the age spectrum for this draft.
Third round, No. 76 overall—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.
Fifth round, No. 138 overall—G Calle Clang, Rogle (SuperElite). Big goalie with good results in league play and internationally, projecting goaltenders and where they’ll land is impossible in the era of ‘searching for giants’ but I like Clang’s resume a lot.
Sixth round, No 169 overall—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.
Seventh round, No. 200 overall—RD Mason Langenbrunner, Eden Prairie High School. Young defenseman with the vital stats of a pencil (6.03, 170). He has the complete range of skills and is on his way to Harvard.