Oilers fans are contemplating the week to come with a combination of trepidation and adrenaline. Ken Holland has a chance to make some bigger moves and not just move around $1 million forwards. The rumoured OEL deal didn’t go through but the spirit of the trade is a good one in my opinion. Edmonton needs more players who can make a difference. Are there any others?
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: As Oilers exit the system, the situation is fluid
- Daniel Nugent-Bowman: What’s in a name? For NHL players, deciding on pronunciation can be a challenge
- Lowetide: Reconsidering Oilers’ offseason in light of Oscar Klefbom injury news
- Jonathan Willis: Buyer beware: Trade partners for Oliver Ekman-Larsson have to hope he ages well
- Lowetide: Ken Holland’s work week: Get good players, keep good players
- Lowetide: Who will be available if the Oilers pick at No. 14?
- 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
Hall is open to playing for anyone and the Oilers will no doubt give it their best shot. I will tell you the idea of a Hall-McDavid-Kassian, Nuge-Draisaitl-Yamamoto skill set is inspiring. Will it happen? Long shot. You’d need to buy out James Neal and make damn good and sure Klefbom wasn’t coming back (or trade Russell and buyout Neal).
There is evidence the Oilers were heading in a good direction at the draft table over the last decade. The arrival of Tyler Wright may send things in a different direction, but math was increasingly impressed with the work of Edmonton’s scouts. Here are the NHLE’s (F and then D) for 2010-19 draft picks outside the first round.
- Raphael Lavoie 2019 (27)
- Ryan McLeod 2018 (27)
- Ryan Martindale 2010 (26)
- Tyler Benson 2016 (23)
- Matej Blumel 2019 (23)
- Anton Slepyshev 2013 (23)
- Marco Roy 2013 (23)
- Tobias Rieder 2011 (20)
- Jackson Houck 2013 (20)
- Daniil Zharkov 2012 (19)
- Tyler Pitlick 2010 (18)
- Greg Chase 2013 (18)
- Bogdan Yakimov 2013 (17)
- Kirill Maksimov 2017 (15)
- Curtis Hamilton 2010 (15)
- John McCarron 2012 (12)
- Maxim Denezhkin 2019 (11)
- Mitch Moroz 2012 (9)
- Travis Ewanyk 2011 (9)
- Jujhar Khaira 2012 (7)
It isn’t perfect, but NHLE allows us to look at the decade and identify successful picks on draft day (they don’t all work out, but you want prolific scorers on draft day. Four of the top five names here are recent picks, and the three lowest totals come from 2010-22, with those picks being fairly high in the draft.
- Filip Berglund 2016 (19)
- Ethan Bear 2015 (14)
- Brandon Davidson 2010 (14)
- Jeremie Blain 2010 (14)
- Dillon Simpson 2010 (12)
- Markus Niemelainen 2016 (11)
- David Musil 2011 (10)
- Dmitri Samorukov 2017 (8)
- Erik Gustafsson 2012 (8)
- Caleb Jones 2015 (7)
The defense isn’t quite as obvious, partly because offense from defensemen isn’t as clear an indication of future success. Still, the best player on the list (I count as Bear) finished near the top.
NAMES IN PLAY AT NO. 14
When you’re picking No. 14 overall, it’s difficult to identify the names who will be available at that number. I think the names that have been mentioned as being preferred by the Oilers (Jarvis, Lundell, Quinn, Guhle, Holloway) are all solid, Holloway being the one outlier. I don’t think Edmonton takes him at No. 14 unless the other names are gone. I think the Oilers are using math in the draft to the extent they would be able to identify the Holloway selection at No. 14 overall as being shy in actual value. There are new influences at the Oilers draft table, right at the top with Holland and Wright. Will that third round pick land near Blumel NHLE? Or Moroz? We wait.