The Oilers and the OHL

by Lowetide

The Edmonton Oilers have chosen 71 OHL players in 42 NHL drafts, the most recent being Tyler Tullio of the Oshawa Generals. The best in the group, Paul Coffey, Jeff Beukeboom, Jason Arnott, Steve Smith, Kirk Maltby, Sam Gagner, Taylor Hall, Darnell Nurse, Connor McDavid, enjoyed great success in the NHL. All but Maltby did something with the Oilers that Edmontontians will remember. Maltby begat Dan McGillis who begat Janne Niinimaa who begat Raffi Torres, so there would good times there, too.

Edmonton has enjoyed great success when drafting in the OHL. The club should do it more often.


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.


This is how I ranked the 20 best OHL players in the draft for 2020:

  1. LC Quinton ByfieldPower forward with mad skill. Aug 2002, 6.04, 215.
  2. LC Marco Rossi. Good speed, exciting, range of skills. Exceptional talent. He belongs here.
  3. RHD Jamie Drysdale. Great speed, passing and instincts, instant offense.
  4. LC Cole Perfetti. Outstanding talent, not as fast as top forwards, has tremendous skill.
  5. RW Jack Quinn. Impressive offensive winger was a late breaker. Pure goal scorer.
  6. RC Jacob Perreault. Skates well, great shot, great numbers, excellent passer.
  7. LC Jan Mysak. Skilled and is effective in all areas. Major move in second half.
  8. RC Tyson Foerster. Great offensive weapon, quick release and accurate.
  9. LW Martin Chromiak. One of the most skilled players in the draft.
  10. RC Jean-Luc Foudy. Speedy center plus skill, mediocre season.
  11. RW Luke Evangelista. Skill winger, great passer, plays in all disciplines.
  12. RC Tyler Tullio. Small playmaking pivot. Good passer, great shot.
  13. LD Ryan O’Rourke. Good size (6.02, 181) projects as a top-four defenseman.
  14. RC Jaromir Pytlik. He’s a fine skater and has two-way skills.
  15. LW Will Cuylle. Has a great shot, plus size and skill. Smart winger.
  16. RW Brandon Coe. Power forward scored 25 goals in the OHL this season.
  17. LC Antonio Stranges. Terrific speed and skill, disappointing season.
  18. G Nico Daws. .924 save percentage represents a big performance spike.
  19. RC Zayde Wisdom. Pure scorer, strong season, wheels are the concern.
  20. LW Pavel Gogolev. Now 20, he is fast and has a great shot.

I had Tullio No. 53 on my list, he went No. 126 to Edmonton and that has a very good chance to be a steal. Here’s the next group.


  1. LC Mason McTavish Peterborough Petes and Swiss League. Top rated OHL player heading into the year that never was, so I have him starting at No. 1. He’s a pure goal scorer with a power forward’s tools should he continue to grow (6.0, 198). Fantastic shooter, good speed, hard worker 29 goals in 57 OHL games during his draft minus one season. This is an exciting prospect.19.5 -1
  2. RD Brandt Clarke Barrie Colts and Slovakian League. Puck-moving defenseman with terrific speed and good size (6.01, 185). He is a February 2003. He was on the draft radar entering the season and his Slovak numbers (26 games, 6-7-13) are encouraging. Teams will like his size and speed combination and the fact he had success (57 games, 6-32-38) in the OHL during his draft minus one year. 17.7 -1
  3. LD Daniil Chayka Guelph Storm and KHL. He’s an October 2002, so a little older than the other two men at the top of the list. Fine skater, 6.03, 185, he’s a two-way defender who will play big minutes wherever he lands. His draft minus one OHL offense (56 games, 11-23-34) and KHL numbers (11 games, 1-1-2) tells me he is in the same range as Clarke offensively. These two may switch on my final rankings. 16.1 -1
  4. LC Francesco Pinelli, Kitchener Rangers and Alps Hockey League. Smart, high skilled center who passes well and has plus speed. He’s 5.11, 182 and it isn’t certain he’s a center based on what I’m reading. He went 18-23-41 in 59 games in draft minus one season and did well in the Alps league but I don’t know that we can gather much from it. He’s a fine prospect, I’m not certain what his proper draft number should be. 18.4 -1
  5. LW Brennan Othmann, Fint Firebirds and Swiss League. Performed well in the Swiss league and is the best first-shot scorer among wingers in the OHL who are draft eligible. Smart player, just 5.11, 165 and a January 2003. Conflicting reports on his skating, we’ll have to find out before draft day. He appears to be rising based on the printed words over at Brock Otten’s OHL Prospects.
  6. LC Brett Harrison, Oshawa Generals. A two-way center with good speed and a solid reputation for good penalty killing. His OHL numbers in draft minus one (58 games, 21-16-37) aren’t far behind Pinelli’s but the scouting report for Harrison reads No. 2 or No. 3 center. He’ll likely be late first or early second round on my final list. Kind of a Ryan McLeod vibe.
  7. RW Chase Stillman, Sudbury Wolves. At 5.11, 170 he has plus speed and is effective in all game disciplines. His draft minus one offense (58, 13-21-34) in the OHL is just a little shy of the top end, so (like Harrison) I think he’ll fall down to the 25-35 range by draft day.
  8. RC Connor Lockhart, Erie Otters. Probably the best skater among draft-eligible forwards in the OHL this year, his offense has lagged so far but this would be the time for him to spike (January 2003). I have him ranked behind the two-way types for now, the OHL is going to get going (we hope) and Lockhart will be a player to follow.

I wonder if the Oilers could shoehorn Taylor Hall in under the cap. During the period 2011-16, Hall scored 32-61-93 in 2273:26 at five on five with Nuge. That’s 2.45 points-60 and represents great production. Hall is older now, and still misses games due to injury, but is worth pursuing if available and affordable.


The Oilers are off until Saturday, then play Monday and are off again until the following Friday. If Ken Holland has a move available, this would be the time to pull the trigger. What area has the most need? I’ve been saying goaltending but since the beginning of February Mike Smith has a .922 save percentage and Mikko Koskinen owns a .914 save percentage. So, it’s scoring left wing, right? Or No. 2 left defense?

What about a recall from Bakersfield? Holland could send Patrick Russell and Joakim Nygard to Bakersfield and recall two of Ryan McLeod, Cooper Marody and Tyler Benson, but who would those chaps force out of the lineup? There’s no use recalling these young prospects unless you’re going to play them. Perhaps that gives us our answer, as Cooper Marody is 24 and his time is now. Recall Cooper Marody, activate Alex Stalock and send Dylan Wells to the AHL. He could make those moves.


A busy morning with the NBA trade deadline upon us, we’ll kickstart the day at 10 on TSN1260. Bruce McCurdy from the Cult of Hockey at the Edmonton Journal will do his usual great historian work in regard to the canceled games this week, plus we’ll chat about the Oilers at the deadline. Joe Osborne from OddsShark will talk NBA trade deadline and the real madness that is March Madness 2021. 10-1260 text, @Lowetide on twitter. See you on the radio!


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Looks at standings and wonders:

How long until HH starts talking all things winnipeg jets?


This evening’s scoring highlights from The Bake are here:


Demko is one step closer to getting back onto the Vezina candidate track.

Improved his .862% from last game to .886% this game.


He was the only reason they were winning games. If he keeps up like these last two they’ll be looking up at Ottawa


Canucks and Flames with back to back losses during Oilers spring break.

The Hockey Gords made me watch these games.


Hows the Canucks and Demko doing with their soft schedule?


Maybe Sens can catch them too. If it wasn’t for Demko they could be in last place already.


Watched some of the Buffalo game. Taylor Hall looks terrible out there.
Whether hanging around the Sabres zone like he’s doing nothing except waiting to get the puck to charge up ice with;

Or falling down on his arse in the opposition zone while challenging for a puck;

Or falling behind the play as he hovers around behind the opposition goalie – meanwhile the puck has gone the other way effectively leaving his team shorthanded…

The poor sap has never played on a decent NHL team and after 10 seasons it looks like he’s not going to get it in a hurry. Unless he wants to come to the Oilers on a major “show me” deal meaning he costs next to nothing Oilers might be better off developing their prospects.

Hall is filthy rich with a big house in Rosedale so that’s his lot. The Marcel Dionne of the Coronavirus generation.

season not played

The only similarity Taylor Hall has to Marcel Dionne is they both (have) played on a lot of bad teams. Marcel Dionne is 6th in all time scoring with 1700 plus points. Hall is still scratching for 600. Not even an era adjustment makes these two men comparable as players.


Safin showed his release 3 times tonight (2 goals):

Bank Shot

Nice. Hope they keep bubbling up.


Weak call on Marody in OT but the Condors kill off the 2-minute 4 on 3.

Not the best played OT I’ve ever seen.

Benson first shoot and a beauty goal.

Baracuda match

Cracknell missed

Baracuda miss

Marody with a move but misses

Baracuda miss (game saver by Skinner)

Griffith scores

Skinner stops Gregor’s nephew for the win.


Love these Condors updates OP. Thanks!


After some good work by Cracknell ragging the puck and wasting 20 seconds, he make a poor dump in the neutral zone that is picked off and the play goes the other way on a quick break – a bad bounce and the game is tied with 2 and bit to go in the third.


I missed the go-ahead goal but Safin with his 2nd of the game on quick shot off a Cracknell faceoff win.


Safin with his 2nd goal in the game & season.


I am so happy for him. Here’s hoping for him good health and that this showing helps to cement his place in the line up & really gives him a confidence boost.

I wonder if they line him up with Lavoie, since they played together for a bit in Halifax. The Euro guys coming on board + Kesselring will make this season even more interesting. Exciting times for the org!


Dates for the re-scheduled games have been set – league is just discussing start times and they will be announced tomorrow (per John Shannon).


Oilers will be resting Mcdavid and Leon unless it means first place. What is the Badgers schedule and when will Hollaway sign his ELC contract?


It is far from certain that the games will simply be played at the end of the season.

We’ll know tomorrow.

Badgers play on Friday, it they lose, they are out. If they win, they play Saturday – if they lose, they’re out, if they win they go to the Frozen Four.

He’ll likely sign shortly after they are eliminated (or win the National Championship) – he very well could have his ELC signed for 2021/22 and not this season.


This is why Hitchcock/Sutter hockey should be reserved for only the most dreadful rosters. You’re turning the game into a coin toss and the winning percentage after giving up the first goal is abysmal because you aren’t generating anything unless the opposition gives it to you.

I remember when Hitch won his first couple. I wanna say Anaheim and LA like 1-0 and 2-1. I didn’t like it at all because I felt it wasn’t sustainable.

The truly elite jam it down your throat for 60 minutes.


At least a coin toss is more exciting to watch.


There’s a huge gap between “truly elite” and “most dreadful”.


comment image
Elliotte Friedman

Hearing Alexander Volkov going from TB to ANA, return will be late-round pick and a prospect.

Deepest apologies but I’ve been unable to confirm whether Elliotte was wearing a turleneck when he tweeted this. However, this IS a reverse of last years trade between the two clubs, involving the same player.

Last edited 26 days ago by Munny

Rumour has it Volkov was one of the players out there that was being dangled for Pujo last year.

Thankfully our GM is smarter than that.


Another chance involving Safin – a solid entry and pass by Griffith and Safin with a quick release – Harvey with a good save.

Safin is playing well on the 2nd line with Cracknell and Griffith


What a beautiful pass by Marody who wins a battle behind the next and sets up Benson for a one-time score in front.

3 defenders went to Cooper and left Benson all-alone.


I miss these HH Calgary game day updates. What happened to them I wonder?


He has been awfully quiet.

It’s almost like there are currently no articles or events on the internet that paint the Oilers in a negative light…


Top line with, yet another offensive zone shift but they give the puck away on the half-boards with an activating d-man and Gregor blows past Marody who was flat-footed, goes in alone and buries it high.


Umm… Go Canucks ?


How do I add a picture to my profile


Go to “edit profite” under “Howdy, jtblack” (grey square)


Niemalinen continues to show some puck skills and offensive zone IQ – where did THIS player come from?


How can a Sutter-led team lose twice in a row to the worst team in the Division?

Have they no pride? No backbone? No character?

A Sutter team…


Safin got some confidance.

A nice quick release shot on net from the slot on the PP (PP2) and then, on the same PP, nice look cross ice high to low on a pass back door.

No goals on those player but he’s making plays on scoring chances.


Sutter hockey sweeping the nation, no wait.


More like the nation’s capital sweeping Sutter hockey! 😀


The Sens are 12-13-3 against non-Oiler teams.


So tomorrow we want them to get to non Oiler fake .500


I haven’t been paying attention closely but has the rubber hit the road?  March is almost over and, given March schedule, how far behind the flames are the Oilers now?


Pfft, Edmonton’s just lucky Montreal got covid. Otherwise both Vancouver and Calgary would have passed them this week.


Turnover by the Baracuda, Cracknell takes a flip from Griffith (from the blueline towards the net) and makes a wonderful cross-ice pass to Safin who one-times er’ home – great pass and nice to see Safin finish with that shot.

1-1 (although its been mostly all Condors)

Last edited 26 days ago by OriginalPouzar

Poor Taylor Hall is getting blamed for everything in Buffalo by the announcers. Same as it ever was. Not that they have Tokarski in net or that Buffalo D think tying up a man means making him look dapper in his dinner party atire. Remember Dinner parties?

Anywho, Hall’s a riverboat gambler trying to make plays that aren’t working and he has no safety net in Buffalo. Bad fit.


Taylor Hall has given the puck away twice and goals were scored against.

I’m sure he’s “trying to do too much” but, still, full credit for the blame tonight.


He simply passed the Puck back to Dahlin, and Dahlin got walked all the way into his own net.

Not blaming Hall for Dahlins broken set of ankles.


His pass back to Dahlin was picked off and the play went the other way for a breakaway. Dahlin could have made a better play but he was standing still at the point and disadvantaged.

I don’t know how its arguable that Hall turned that puck over?

Victoria Oil

Taylor Hall turns the puck over and the Penguins score a shorthanded goal.


Stuart Skinner just made an unreal diving save with his paddle – save of the year type save – unfortunately, the rebound is put in.

1-0 Baracuda.

Hate the Turtle

Flames lose again. Couldn’t happen to a nicer team! Oh happy day!


NEWSWIRE – The Edmonton Oilers announce that they have transferred ownership of the Calgary Flames. The new owners of the Flames are based out of Kannata, Ontario.

A spokesperson for the Ontario group says the team’s management and staff will be allowed to remain in their roles indefinitely.

The Flames could not be reached for comment.

Last edited 27 days ago by Tarkus

Skinner starts and, with Deharnais back, they Condors go back to 11/7 – Safin in and Christensen and Folkes out.


with Deharnais back, they Condors go back to 11/7

How has he been, anyway?

I noticed he leads the Dcorps (and 6th overall) in shots.
(plus has a few points and a solid +/-).

I don’t know much about him but wasn’t aware he had any offense in his game.


Not going to lie to you, coming in to this season, I wasn’t happy to have Vinny back in an every day role as he was simply not good last year and he started off the year poor as well- not a great skater, poor puck skills, etc.

He has played MUCH better the last number of week – a pop in his development, in particular defensively.

He will have himself a minor league career but I don’t seem him ever receiving an NHL contract from a team.


Thanks, and good on him for taking a step.


Well I actually like Kia Nurse but her Jack imitation was pretty lame…


Fire Cassie. Hrudey and Stewart and replace them with Kia Nurse and the rest of the all female girls doing the Raptor game tonight.


As opposed to the only partially female girls? 😉

Last edited 27 days ago by defmn

hahaha. Well said.


l’m from the old world I can’t keep up with all the new entities springing up every month.

Material Elvis

I was getting Kia and Sarah Nurse mixed up. Sarah has done hockey commentary and is much better than Cassie or Hrudey.

Last edited 26 days ago by Material Elvis

Cassie is part of the Flames organization she should not be allowed to do national broadcasts where she spouts off her Flames propaganda. This job should be allotted to a non biased individual who doesn’t have a stake with a certain team.


Sutter must be saying to himself. F*ck what why did I come out of retirement for this pile of $hit. Smelling my cattle is better than this horse$hit


Sutter is part of the problem. yes, they were bad before him but he is a dinosaur. Even Hitch had more positive effect when the Oilers hired him, and even then he was rightly let go.

Brogan Rafferty's Uncle Steve

You know your team is absolute trash when Lucic plays 16 minutes.

You know you have a dinosaur coach when Lucic plays 16 minutes.

I love it.


I think this pretty much captures the essence of the debacle that is the Flame’s season.


Looch is a cancer. Funny how the camera is always on him, scowling. And he has been one of the prominent spokeman this year for interviews, etc. Pretty hilarious.

Scungilli Slushy

Not enough swagger. Get angrier.

Brogan Rafferty's Uncle Steve

This is not the same Senators team the Oilers faced earlier in the season!


But they are the same team the Oilers faced recently and beat 3 straight. Flames are a bad hockey team and I thank them.


No surprise but Kesslring won’t play tonight as today was the first day he got back on the ice. Sounds like he’ll be in the lineup shortly though.


This Calgary loss really made my day. Hilatious is a word right?


I’d do something like Turris and Joe G. for Sam Bennett…..


Sutter trolling Treliving everyone and their dog is distancing themselves from dead man walking Treliving.


Pretty sure Treliving is gone at the end of the season. Let’s just hope they hire somebody even more incompetent.


HH should apply and he knows experts that could lend a hand!


I think its time to fire Sutter. Nothing else going on so i’ll have to tune into Flames Nation tonight.


Cassie- “Well Senators just seem to have Flames number!” heehee!

Last edited 27 days ago by fishman

Her old man’s job is on the line her and the rest of the Flames suckholes will try to spin it that the Flames organization is solid heading into the new very expensive building.


And that kind of analysis doesn’t come cheap.


Loving the “Darryl Sutter brand of hockey”

Don’t score much and lose to bottom feeders.

goodnight calgary, enjoy the offseason.


How many coaches careers can the Flames sewer in one season? Imagine if this was a regular season and they still had 50ish games to go? I’d bet the over 3 if it was available….they look like poo.

I love seeing those flamers lose. Every. Damn. Time.


They don’t mind if they are boring as long as they are losing. That’s what they said right? Something like that…


Flames lose to the Senators again.


Empty net goal for the Sens…… a second straight regulation loss by the flames to the Sens will be official shortly.


It was a lovely 3rd period to watch as an Oilers fan, I’ll say that much! Sens looked like a great team — it was against the Flames, but still.

Bonus points for losing 2 games in regulation to the Sens after Flames’ fans mocked Oiler fans for a good deal of our points coming against a ‘shit team’ like the Sens.


I’m starting to doubt that the flames major issue was Geoff Ward and I’m also starting to doubt if Sutter actually makes the organization better.


Indeed. 2 more easy games for the Sens coming up. They may catch the Flames yet! hahaha


Check that, Tierney with another go-ahead goal in the 3rd period – this one with 8 to go.

Under 5 to play now, 2-1 Sens.