To Look for America

by Lowetide

Ken Holland’s first two drafts as general manager of the Edmonton Oilers have a decidedly American feel to them. Through his first 12 selections over two drafts, Holland and his scouting staff have used four selections on men playing in the United States, with a fifth (Carter Savoie) drafted from the AJHL and now playing in the NCAA.

On the other hand, I was fairly certain Holland would take USHL impact forward Trevor Zegras at No. 9 overall in 2019, but the club went with big Swedish defenseman Philip Broberg instead. So, we’ll just have to make the list for 2021 and pay attention. B flat, follow the changes.

THE ATHLETIC!

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.

OILERS USA PLAYERS SINCE 2010

  • 2010—Tyler Pitlick (286 NHL games)
  • 2011—Dillon Simpson (3 NHL games)
  • 2012—Joey Laleggia, John McCarron
  • 2013—Aidan Muir
  • 2014—Zach Nagelvoort, Tyler Vesel
  • 2015—Caleb Jones (85 NHL games), John Marino (98 NHL games)
  • 2016—Graham McPhee, Vincent Desharnais
  • 2017—Skyler Brind’Amour, Philip Kemp
  • 2018—Mike Kesselring
  • 2019—Matej Blumel, Tomas Mazura
  • 2020—Dylan Holloway, Filip Engaras

I would suggest the USA has been a worthwhile investment for the Oilers over the last decade plus, with Jones and Marino giving us a signal that the USHL and its feeder leagues are bringing enormous quality. That is reflected in today’s list.

OILERS 2019 DRAFT

I ranked Holland’s second round pick just 10 spots from the first rounder and Red Line Report was even closer. About two years after this draft, there is much that is yet unknown. One thing I’m beginning to pick up on: Craig Button’s list and the Oilers list are often similar.

OILERS 2020 DRAFT

Once again Button nails the first-round pick, RLR and me are off the grid. I did rank three other selections made by Edmonton, I’m quite fond of the 2020 draft by Tyler Wright and the scouting staff at this point.

TOP PLAYERS IN THE USA, 2021 DRAFT

  1. LW Matthew Beniers, Michigan (NCAA). Two-way center with impressive skill.
  2. LW Kent Johnson, Michigan (NCAA). Highest skill level among the college men, impressive numbers.
  3. LD Owen Power, Michigan (NCAA) Complete skill range (none elite). No. 1 on McKenzie’s list.
  4. LD Luke Hughes, USNDTP (USHL). Rangy puck mover, third Hughes brother.
  5. RC Chaz Lucius, USNDTP (USHL) One of the most dynamic players in the draft.
  6. LW Matt Coronato, Chicago (USHL). Pure scorer, great release, headed to Harvard.
  7. LW Ayrton Martino, Omaha (USHL) Small speedy winger, September 2002.
  8. LC Cole Sillinger, Sioux Falls (USHL). Dangerous shooter, fine passer. Average skater.
  9. LW Sasha Pastujov, USNDTP (USHL) Plus shot, offensive winger. Average speed.
  10. RW Mackie Samoskevich, Chicago (USHL) Speedy skill winger.

LOWETIDE TOP 22, 2021

  1. RW Dylan Guenther, Edmonton Oil Kings. 
  2. LC Mason McTavish Peterborough Petes.
  3. RD Brandt Clarke Barrie Colts.
  4. LW Matthew Beniers, Michigan Wolverines.
  5. LW Kent Johnson, Michigan Wolverines
  6. LD Simon Edvinsson, Vasteras IK
  7. LD Owen Power, Michigan Wolverines.
  8. LC Zachary Bolduc, Rimouski Oceanic.
  9. LW William Eklund, Djurgardens.
  10. LD Luke Hughes, U.S. National Development Team
  11. RC Ryder Korczak, Moose Jaw Warriors.
  12. LW Zachary L’Heureux, Halifax Mooseheads
  13. RW Fabian Lysell, Lulea.
  14. RW Chaz Lucius, U.S. National Development Team
  15. G Sebastian Cossa, Edmonton Oil Kings.
  16. LW Fedor Svechkov, Ladia Togliatti.
  17. LC Francesco Pinelli, Kitchener Rangers
  18. RC Xavier Bourgault, Shawinigan Cataractes
  19. G Jesper Wallstedt, Lulea.
  20. LW Brennan Othmann, Flint Firebirds

If the season ended today, Edmonton would pick No. 20 overall and there wil be good players available. I will head to Europe next and we should be able to cobble together a top 50 by the end of April. June 1 will be the final “Here Comes the Sun”.

LOWETIDE USA LIST 2020

  1. LD Jake Sanderson, USNDTP (USHL). Smart, fast two-way defenseman has complete skill set.
  2. LC Dylan Holloway, Wisconsin (Big-10). Big power forward. Strong skater, nice range of skills.
  3. LW Brendan Brisson, Chicago Steel (USHL). Undersized speedster spiked late. Big riser.
  4. LC Ty Smilanic, USNDTP (USHL). Lean center, plus skater and pure scorer. Had mono.
  5. RW Dylan Peterson, USNDTP (USHL). Big W with skill/speed, shy offensively this season.
  6. RW Sam Colangelo, Chicago Steel (USHL). Big power winger with skill, scored 28 goals in 44 games.
  7. LC Thomas Bordeleau, USNDTP (USHL). Owns a great shot and is highly skilled with the puck.
  8. RW Daniil Gushchin, Muskegon Lumberjacks (USHL). Small, speedy playmaking forward. Good numbers.
  9. LW Luke Tuch, USNDTP (USHL). Alex Tuch’s brother, he plays a similar style with less offense.
  10. LD Tyler Kleven, USNDTP (USHL). A big shutdown defenseman (6.04, 201) with good speed.
  11. RD Ian Moore, St. Mark’s (USHS). Massachusetts offensive defenseman.
  12. G Drew Commesso, USNDTP (USHL). Good size, thrived wherever he played in 2019-20.

There were eight USHL/NCAA/High school kids in the top 100 a year ago that I did not rank, that’s partly because the USHL equivalency numbers are tough to trust. The USHL number for NHLE I use (here) is .27 (points times .27 times 82 divided by individual games played) but I think that’s too strong a number so I fade it. Jack Hughes went straight from the USHL to the NHL and his transfer number was .17, so I’m using that number now and it obviously impacts the rankings.

LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE

A fun Friday edition of the Lowdown gets started at 10, TSN1260. Steve Lansky from Inside the Truck podcast will talk about the Oilers ideal playoff opponent, the CFL’s season a go and the OHL’s season canceled. Matthew Iwanyk from TSN 1260 will join me to chat about the CFL season to come and the upcoming NFL/CFL drafts. 10-1260 text, @Lowetide on twitter. See you on the radio!

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JimmyV1965

I predict Marody is traded in a package deal before the start of next season.

Oilerguy

I wont disagree with that.

OriginalPouzar

There was an interesting tidbit from Nugent-Bowman at the end of his piece at The Athletic today that we may see Broberg in Edmonton after he’s done with Skelleftea.

It doesn’t make sense to go to Bakersfield as he’d have to come to Edmonton, quarantine for 14 days while waiting to get a US visa and then go down and quarantine for a few more day. They don’t have many games left.

Berglund isn’t coming due to the same process and it not being worth it.

When Nugent-Bowman mentions that Broberg may join the Oilers, I would expect that would be after the regular season is over and there are not “call-up” issues.

SwedishPoster

Was wondering why everything has been so quiet on the Berglund front. Having to go via Canada to get a US work visa has never been the case before from what I recall but maybe it has, just that without quarantine it’s never been an issue with guys basically just touching down in Canada before flying to Bako.
Shame we won’t be able to see him in the AHL this spring but it is what it is.

N64

Button was all in on one of our prospects today. Asked the best option for LW with 97 and 13 said unfortunately for this year he’s got a broken thumb.

Hurry up and heal Holloway

Last edited 22 days ago by N64
OriginalPouzar

Yup, Holloway’s skill set may be perfect of McDavid (even with “meh” puck skills) – speed, size, high-end board battler, aggressive, 2-way present, good release, smart offensively.

He should be able to get the puck and, once he gets it, find McDavid with time and space and he should be able to finish in the offensive zone from medium range and closer.

Here is hoping he is developed enough for that role in 2022/23.

Oilerguy

Yep or drive the third line as our best third line C since maybe Peca or Adam Oates at his end?

Last edited 22 days ago by Oilerguy
Oilerguy

Yep gonna fill a hole somewhere next year of that I have no doubt I believe.

fishman

So Markstrom gives up 2 goals in 8 shots. Tofolli goal was pretty soft. Maybe we dodged a bullet not signing him to the long term contract??

Scungilli Slushy

Yup

Scungilli Slushy

Benson and Marody have never had a better chance at the NHL since Woody showed up.

If they don’t make it at camp or are not there, they didn’t have or wouldn’t do what the Oilers want.

The path for needed players is now clearly established from the farm. It is definitely not a coach thing, or GM, anymore.

nelson88

Skinner’s numbers in the Ahl aren’t quite as strong as Swayman’s but not a bad comp and certainly encouraging to see Swayman’s NHL success

Cassandra

I went through this for a post below, but if the Oilers would really commit to going cheap and young at the bottom of the roster, they are well positioned to make a big splash in free agency.

If Mcleod, Holloway, Benson, and Marody all make the team that would leave them about 19 M to:

sign or replace RNH
sign or replace either Barrie or Larsson (there is no room for both if Bouchard is on the team)
replace Jones (assuming lost in expansion)
Improve elsewhere

That is enough money to sign the incumbents (RNH and Larsson, say) and add the best forward you can convince (Schwarts, Hall, Granlund, etc.)

But if you really wanted to make the team something, this is the year to give Dougie Hamilton whatever he wants.

It sounds like Carolina and his agents don’t have the same set of comparables, which isn’t surprising because Carolina grinds hard. However, he is far and away the best player available as an UFA

If you sign him for 7 x 9, that leaves 10 M to sign the best forward you can (say RNH) and a mid level free agent to either hold down the fort until Klefbom returns or get another forward. Let’s say Kulikov works out so you sign him. That gives you this team:

Kahun–McDavid–Puljujarvi
RNH–Draisatl–Yamamoto
Archibald–Khaira–Kassian
Benson–Mcleod–Marody
Shore–Holloway

Nurse–Bear
Kulikov–Hamilton
Russell–Bouchard
Lagesson

With Klefbom lying in the wings.

That’s a great team. I ignored the goalies, as is my want.

A man can dream.

defmn

That’s 5 rookies counting Bouchard as a rook. As a rule of thumb mature teams in their contending window have a maximum of 2 rookies in their line up to start a season.

pts2pndr

Signing Hamilton is a death knell if you are talking 9 million in a flat cap world only a ver desperate individual would even contemplate doing this!

GMB3

how could you not contemplate adding one of the top 5 defensemen in the NHL? It’s absolutely worth the discussion.

winchester

It is a good line up.

Im not completely sold on Hamilton at 7 years, he can be an odd duck. Have to assume homework was done. Cross fingers.

i like the newcomers, Holloway learning with his eye on that top 6 left wing.

I would add a veteran depth acquisition similar to what Spezza is doing for the leafs this season.

or a Getzlaf and have Mcleod and Holloway working to
oust Kahun from
that to spot.

Have to squeeze a little more $ from
somewhere.

Kraz

Giving Hamilton that kind of money doesn’t make much sense especially if the cap is going to flat for a couple more years. Yamamoto will need a new contract this year and the year after will be Puljujarvi, Bear and Nurse.

Last edited 22 days ago by Kraz
MushedPeas

Agree w premise. Feel existing and upcoming blue will be enough. Would rather blow brains out for another top three forward.

Paddy Morans Jockstrap

Being realistic I think we’ve seen the last of Oscar on the ice in an Oiler uniform. His shoulder is probably patched together enough to lead a reasonably normal life, but would likely fall apart again playing pro hockey. Good to see the guy and he will be missed. He’s got another 50+ years of life to think about and financial security. Hope he chooses well.

jp

The TSN video isn’t available in the States, so I haven’t watched yet.

But from everything else leading up to it I think he’s better than 50% to return. He clearly wants to play again. And he played for years (it sounds like) with some degree of chronic pain. I’m not sure why the shoulder should be expected to be WORSE, or more fragile, after the surgery.

Who knows if it’s the right decision for him (for his own future), but I don’t see any reason to count him out at this stage.

OriginalPouzar

I don’t think its realistic to think that Klefbom won’t play another NHL game. That’s obviously a possibility but, given the info we have, its no more realistic than the other end of the spectrum

He clearly wants to resume his NHL career. He made the decision to have a major surgery that could give him the chance to do just that. The surgery was successful and the process of rehabbing with the view of playing in the NHL has begun.

Maybe his shoulder won’t ever allow it but it doesn’t look like that’s the case at this point.

He waited until he could fly across the hemisphere during Covid to have the world’s best perform the surgery, he’s spend a full month post-surgery in Edmonton to be around the guys, his teammates, and he very much wants to play in the NHL again.

Last edited 22 days ago by OriginalPouzar
Paddy Morans Jockstrap

Sure everyone knows he wants to play again, and everyone likes Klef, great player without the injuries. But he did not answer the question about which surgery he got, add in the length of time it took to happen, and it makes me think it was a joint replacement. A debridement doesn’t take that long to organize and heal and is pretty non-invasive. So it looks like he got a new joint to me and he’s done. But I’m speculating and what do I know about shoulder treatments. We will find out this summer. In any case, live long and prosper Oscar. Will always be an Oiler.

OriginalPouzar

It took so long to get done because he couldn’t get to Cleveland in order to see the surgeon and get it done – for like 6 months (give or take).

I have no idea if it was a joint replacement and, as you say, that is just wild speculation.

What we do know is that the player himself, who has all the information, believes there is at least enough of a positive prognosis on playing to go through months of rehabbing plus training in order to get ready to play.

I’ll take that commitment and dedication as primary over speculation.

Paddy Morans Jockstrap

It’s all conjecture at this point and joint replacement is just as likely (or even more likely given the lack of verbal) than debridement. But the guy he used also does something new called joint preserving surgery.

https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/327103

Has anyone ever played after a joint replacement or joint preserving surgery? Time will tell. Not much to argue about. Nobody outside the team is saying one way or the other.

OriginalPouzar

I don’t understand why “joint replacement” is more likely than the multitude of other procedures that may have been performed on his shoulder and I don’t know why “lack of verbal” would point to that specific procedure.

We do know it was a serious procedure.

We also know that the procedure went very well and the prognosis is positive enough for the player to commit to a vigorous rehab schedule in the name of getting it ready for an NHL hockey season combined with training for an NHL hockey season.

That is a commitment one likely only makes if there is a reasonable prognosis of success – in my opinion.

Keeper_13

On the one hand, pretty sure no surgery has been invented that cures arthritis.
On the other hand, humans are clever and determined and often find a way.
I’m hoping for the other hand, myself.

leadfarmer

You have no way of knowing this as we have absolutely no idea what surgery he even had other than “shoulder surgery “

90s fan

Who was the last oiler regular to play his entire career here?

Oddspell

I don’t know about the last player, but there’s a very real chance Oscar would become the most prolific player to ever spend his entire career in Edmonton.

Oddspell

Just did a quick perusal:

Edmonton has zero (retired) one club players with over 200 NHL games played.

Brett Callighen both spent his entire NHL career with us, as well as played over 200 games for Edmonton… but that’s only if you include the WHA where he also played for the Whalers.

The player with the longest career who spent the entirety of it in Edmonton is Jaroslav Pouzar with 186 gp.

Last edited 22 days ago by Oddspell
jp

Edmonton has zero (retired) one club players with over 200 NHL games played.

I answered Anton Lander above in jest. But he actually played 215 games, only for the Oilers. Debatable if he was a ‘regular’ though.

Surprisingly difficult question.

Oddspell

Ah, I was considering Lander is still active even if he hasn’t played in the NHL in a while. But in all likelihood you’re right. Very unlikely he plays in the NHL again.

jp

Pretty strong group of current Oilers who *could* change the conversation. Time will tell.

Nuge 645 GP (15th all time)
Leon 467 GP (27th)
McDavid 396 GP (37th)
Nurse 395 GP (38th)
Klefbom 378 GP (43rd)

jp

Anton Lander 😉

Indy

Do not think this link has been posted as of yet. Oscar had a media availability today, nice to see him around the boys. C’mon shoulder!

Klefbom staying optimistic he will play again after shoulder surgery – Video – TSN

defmn

Right at the end of the video he is asked outright if the doctor said he could play hockey again. I am paraphrasing but Oscar says he wasn’t guaranteed that and there are still questions but the doctor did tell him the surgery was successful and was cautiously optimistic but it was too soon to know.

Wishing him well for both his career and the rest of his life.

OriginalPouzar

Leivo has been added to the Covid-Protocol list but its been announced that the game is going ahead – all others tested negative and they are playing – per Chris Johnston

defmn

John Shannon
@JShannonhl
·
24m
Game on! Montreal @ Calgary is a go tonight after a positive Covid test yesterday on the Flames.

Chris Johnston
@reporterchris
·
22m
Josh Leivo (CGY) has been added to the NHL’s COVID Protocol list. The
@NHLFlames
announced tonight’s game against Montreal will be played.

Last edited 22 days ago by defmn
flea

Crazy, let’s hope the NHL has gotten this right. I’m guessing they are thinking it’s a false positive. He’s tested negative since but needs to be in protocols for a few days.

jojonoshow

I know we are all happy with Broberg and I really really like drafting high end Defensemen (especially when you’ve already drafted generational players up front) but we would all be losing our collective lowetidian minds here if Holland had grabbed Zegras instead.
would have made world juniors a lot of fun too.

jojonoshow

But who knows. Hopefully Bro’b has the better career in the end.

Reja

Should of taken Zegras he would be in the top 6 with Mcdavid and Leon as I speak. Have to think Broberg was his Detroit pick and he stuck with it when he took over the show in Edmonton. Broberg is raw and years away from making a impact.

OriginalPouzar

Zegras hasn’t been able to stick on a roster where the top scorer has 28 points and only two players have 20 points or more. He would almost certainly be playing on the Condors right now, in my opinion.

Broberg is likely a few year away from making an impact but I believe Holland believed he could get a top tier d-prospect and 2nd tier forward prospect with top tier potential out of the first two round and he did just that.

jp

Really curious how it will look 5 (+) years out.

I had no problem with the Broberg pick at the time and still think he’s got a great chance to be the better player.

I’ve thought all along Nurse was the best Broberg comparable. And even without Nurse’s step forward this year, that player is every bit as valuable as an average top 6 forward, IMO.

Lots and lots of road left before we can pronounce the ‘right’ 2019 #8 pick.

McSorley33

Agree on Zegras likely being in the AHL with us as well.

Trevor is lighting up the AHL and he still has some acne on his face.

Here is the thing – Holland still could have taken Zegras at 8 AND. taken Lavoie in the 2nd round.

Trevor Zegras playing with McDavid or Draisaitl would have been a sight. Almost like the idea of seeing Debrincat play with McDavid.

OriginalPouzar

Yes, he could have had Zegras and Lavoie, two high potential forwards, but instead he got Broberg and Lavoie, a high potential d-man and a high potential forward.

I can’t tell you which would have been the best choice quite yet – I’ll need a few years.

I can say that, while I think Klefbom plays again for the Oilers, maybe that doesn’t actually happen and the Oilers are looking at the left side depth chart of:

Nurse
Russell
Lagesson
Samorukov

Jones could be gone in the expansion draft, Klefbom may not play again (we just don’t know right now), Kulikov is a UFA and we have no idea if he’ll fit in or want to re-sign here if he does, etc.

pts2pndr

You don’t know that! A ten year plus first pairing D given the teams needs at the time trumps a Zegras draft all day long. I wish both players a long and productive career!

Litke 94

Sounds like Kassian could be out a while. Between that, Khaira not being cleared for contact, and Neal looking ghastly last game, probably time to call up Benson and Marody. Is this feasible? If so, why the hell not? Not like Nygard has gotten a real push, and Turris is cooked. I agree with Cassandra, even if they don’t have the fleetest of boots, they can’t be any slower than Neal or Turris at this point.

TheGreatBigMac

Would be nice but there is the four callups thing to consider.

OriginalPouzar

Nygard was call-up 1.

McLeod will be call up 2.

Presumably Ennis will be needed and a place saved for Bouchard.

Neal doesn’t count as he was an “emergency call-up”.

Woogie63

If Kassian is out for a while- Benson should be next man up.

ArmchairGM

My hope was

Nurse-Bear
Jones-Larsson
Kulikov-Barrie

I suppose the coach will get there eventually with some trial and error. 😏

OriginalPouzar

This is fantastic. Finally Kahun gets a shot with McDavid and I feel he’s so much better suited up there than Archie.

Also note Jones in over Russell.

With Khaira, Kass and Nygard banged up, this is all but perfect deployment in my opinion.

Per Gazolla:

Kahun – McDavid – Puljujarvi
RNH – Draisaitl – Yamamoto
Ennis – Haas – Archibald
Neal – Shore – Chiasson
Nygard – Turris – P.Russell

Khaira taking some reps on Neal-Shore-Chiasson line. 

Nurse – Barrie
Kulikov – Larsson
Jones – Bear

K.Russell rotating in as well.

Keeper_13

I’ve been wanting Kahun to get a shot with McDavid for a while. What do we have to lose?

Yeti

Hockey games?
I kid – I’m happy to see this too. But it might be temporary until McLeod is cleared for play. Word is that they hope for him to play on Monday if possible.

OriginalPouzar

I would anticipate that:

McLeod goes to 3C
Haas to 4C
Shore to 4LW
Neal back to taxi squad

McLeod comes out of quarantine on Sunday so will have one full skate with the team prior to Monday’s game. Not sure if that’s enough for him and/or Coach.

Last edited 22 days ago by OriginalPouzar
JOFA

MSM has been saying they anticipate him playing centre since the recall. We shall see.

Dustylegnd

looks like I was wrong about Krusty vs Jones…I hope Jones has an awesome game monday

JOFA

Don’t worry. OP was wrong too😉

OriginalPouzar

Not necessarily – I asked the question if Jones had done enough to keep his lineup spot over Russell.

pts2pndr

You should have left it alone. Jones record when given a second chance ( see getting in shooting lanes) has not been stellar. I believe that given the chance he can be a very good top four D. Young D do not develop on a straight line. I will continue to cheer for the young man regardless of his jersey after the expansion draft.

Brogan Rafferty's Uncle Steve

The top two lines and the D look close to optimal (I would go Nurse-Bear/Kulikov-Barrie/Jones-Larsson) by my eye.

Lines 3 & 4 are pretty gross. Time to call up Benson and Marody.

Cassandra

I agree with every word, especially Benson and Marody.

I don’t believe there is such a thing as a player that is too good for the AHL at 5on5 and yet not good enough for the NHL. (I do believe that there are players that seem like they are too good for the AHL because of powerplay time, but lose that value when they don’t play on the powerplay in the NHL).

Marody and Benson have crushed the AHL at 5on5 and the Oilers are on the verge of losing them for nothing. They are a likely upgrade in the short term (for sure as injury replacements) and a definite upgrade in the longterm (because they are cheap).

And don’t talk to me about footspeed issues. They won’t be the slowest forwards on the team, so how could this be some kind of universal limit.

jp

Marody and Benson have crushed the AHL at 5on5 and the Oilers are on the verge of losing them for nothing

Why?

I’d be surprised if Holland didn’t re-sign both players.

I expect at least one of them will be on the opening night roster next season.

OriginalPouzar

I don’t see why they would lose either for no reason.

They will both be qualified and both likely to sign their qualifying offers and will be happy receiving one-way contracts.

Both will be in camp in September and should have real opportunities to make the team, in particular Benson.

The only way they would be lost for nothing is on waivers and, if they don’t make the team out of camp next season and are exposed, well, it is what it is.

I don’t see that happening with Benson, maybe Marody.

Cassandra

I was thinking they would lose them through waivers based on my operating assumption that, until proven otherwise, that once the Oilers make their mind up on a player they don’t change their mind.

Given this, it doesn’t matter how they play in training camp, what matters is what connected people are saying about them.

It has been telegraphed for months that Macleod was the prospect to watch in Bakersfield. Now he is on the team. Nobody talks that way about Benson or Marody. Therefore they are longshots to make the team (especially Marody).

Conversely, if they were legitimately in the plans for next year they would be on the team now. If they aren’t good enough to help the team now they won’t be good enough to help the team later. And in any case, why not find out under actual game conditions rather than during a training camp in which all the spots have been decided in advance.

Cassandra

When you look at the likely forwards for next season you get something like this:

McDavid
Draisatl
RNH (or replacement)
Puljujarvi
Yamamoto
Kassian
Khaira
Archibald

That’s 8 spots more or less for sure. Then you have these guys

Kahun
Shore
Macleod
Holloway

All of whom are ahead of Benson and Marody on the depth chart, which makes them 13 and 14 on the depth chart

And then you have about 12 M bucks to spend to improve the team. Unless they blow the bank on Dougie Hamilton (please do) that leaves plenty for two depth forwards to push everyone in the Kahun group down. Even if they sign a LHD and a RHD, which is probably the right move, they are going to sign at least one veteran forward.

Benson and Marody enter training camp as the 14th and 15th guys at best. Benson might make the team but there is no way they both do.

Because life is unfair, Marody will likely pass through waivers, but he is never going to mean something to the Oilers simply because they refuse to give him a chance.

defmn

And I wouldn’t be shocked if Chiasson was on that list as well if he is willing to sign for $1.5 or less this off season.

He brings some things I think Tippett likes to have situationally.

pts2pndr

Chiasson at 1.5 or lower has value on a short term contract.

OriginalPouzar

As far as

Kahun, Shore, McLoed and Holloway

vs.

Benson

I don’t have all four of them ahead of Benson on the depth chart.

McLeod, yes, he’s ahead but they may not be competing for the same position (McLeod is seen by the org as a center and is likely competing for 3C/4C and Benson for top 9 LW).

Holloway is clearly the more substantial prospect, however, while he will for sure have an opportunity at camp, I anticipate he’ll start next season in the AHL. Benson is likely closer to the NHL.

Shore is a fine depth player and utility guy but there is no certainty he’s brought back and he should be 4LW/4C and not really competing for top 9LW.

Kahun is the real direct competition for Benson as I see it.

pts2pndr

Halloway has attributes that the team needs more than those of Benson plus more versatility plus a higher upside. In my opinion Benson is in a tough position through no fault on his part.

OriginalPouzar

I agree on everything in the first sentence.

At the same time, Holloway is 19 and I think that Benson is more than likely more NHL ready and more likely to be on the 23 man roster in October.

pts2pndr

Realistically has he earned that opportunity! He is getting to the age that he is no longer a prospect and is now a suspect. He is not a top six player and has not showed the defensive acumen to be a bottom six centre.

Scungilli Slushy

I’d pay Hamilton 25% more than I would sign Barrie for. Or so.

Putting aside that I have an impression that Hammie is a freak somehow and nobody wants to keep his thing around.

OriginalPouzar

Whoa, 25%? I’d go like 50% – $3.5M vs. $7M and Hamilton is probably worth more than that.

At the same time, I also think that Hamilton will get 6 plus years on that contract and, as with most UFAs for term, this is paying for regression years for at least part of the contract.

defmn

Seravelli suggesting today on his TSN piece on expansion draft possibilities for Canadian teams that Benson could well be Seattle’s choice from the Oilers.

Also repeating the rumour that Lucic had to agree to waive his NMC in order to complete the trade to the Flames.

pts2pndr

That proves one of two things.
1 Seravelli has no idea of Oiler prospects and or
2 His source is not very well informed
The lack of knowledge of so called experts in central Canada on what is happening outside the GTA is profound!

JOFA

Who has foot speed issues? 😉

Kert

Jiri Dopita?

MushedPeas

Wow, super long threads today.

Overjoyed with prospective roster deployment. Hope they crush it so coach doesn’t fall back on instincts.

JOFA

Hahaha classic!😄

Darth Tu

Kahun-McD-Puljujarvi
Nuge-Drai-Yamo

at practice. So sayeth Reid Wilkins.

Darth Tu

Also sounds like Khaira is subbing in and out with Neal on the 4th line. Great to see him back, and the in and out use sounds like the Oilers are being suitably cautious with him.

Ennis-Haas-Archie
Neal/Khaira-Shore-Chiasson

Darth Tu

D:

Nurse-Barrie
Kulikov-Larsson (oh boy)
Jones-Bear

Durag

Here’s hoping that Kulikov-Larsson pairing is as unpleasant to play against as I think it will be.

Keeper_13

Zero doubt in my mind JJ wants back on the ice ASAP, just unsure whether that is a good idea. Very much hope the franchise is protecting the player from himself – athletes need that. We’ll maim ourselves or each other unless we’re stopped.

Reja

Khaira is looking for a contract next year if not with the Oilers then with a different team

OriginalPouzar

Khaira is an RFA still (with arb rights).

Given his play this season, he will 100% be qualified by the team and they will likely negotiate another contract with ease – probably a bump to apx $1.5M and a couple of years.

I see zero chance he’s with another team unless there is a trade for value.

Reja

More than likely but nothing’s a 100% when someone doesn’t have a contract. The NHL can be a cruel world and if a player has ongoing concussion concerns ( I’m not saying J.J has them ) A GM may pass on resigning him as well as the rest of the league.

pts2pndr

Do you believe your statement is fair? Could it also be JJ as a good team mate is willing to put the team first! I think JJ deserves the benefit of the doubt!

Justthestatsman

I agree. It’s not like he can wear a no contact jersey in a game, and he’s not particularly effective if he’s not dishing out hits himself. Seems like a bad idea to me, particularly since it’s his second knock in just a few weeks. I’m no medical expert however, and trust he’s getting diagnosed and counseled by wise professionals.

Dee Dee

Weebles wobble but they don’t fall down.

It’s scary to see someone’s bell get rung so many times, serious stuff that could affect the rest of his life.

OriginalPouzar

Khaira is on the ice for practice today.

Kassian is not.

I’m sure the talk will be about being extra cautious with Khaira and, fair enough, but it’s heartening to see that he’s symptom free enough to practice.

Whaler Slamamoto

I’m just happy that he has elevated his game from *almost run out of town* to * some of us miss him when he is out*. That’s a big swing!

Boil-in-the-Oil

Joe Thornton somehow avoided a suspension for a blatant and dangerous hit to the head of Mathieu Perreault… he was issued a fine of $3,017.24. This is another example of the Player Safety Dept totally ignoring player safety. The TML get a very nice award.

https://twitter.com/i/status/1385401744767823878

Keeper_13

NHL is a little like the Mob – once you are ‘made’ all the rules change.

Reja

And why shouldn’t a 20 year veteran not get the benefit of the doubt. It’s called respect and I’m glad they still have it in the NHL.

Keeper_13

Right. Just like the mob. If only we could run society that way, too. *sighs wistfully*

Abbeef

Being punished for breaking the rules is not disrespect…

pts2pndr

That is the singular stupidest thing you have ever posted!

Oilman99

Total BS, McDavid gets a fine for his love tap, and Thornton gets away with an obvious elbow to the head for a puny fine because he wears the friggin maple laugh.

Keeper_13

Given that this is supposed to be a bad draft year and our scouts won’t have had many chances to scout, what do you guys think of pulling a “Crazy MacTavish” with the 1st rounder? Maybe the 1st for 2 2nds and one of the 2nds for a 3rd and a 4th. Super speculative of course, no idea what the market would be, just spitballing.

McSorley33

Yes, not a bad idea. A few posters have mentioned the same thing…..

pts2pndr

Depending on the scouting department this could be brilliant. If they have their man available I doubt they do it. Your logic is in my opinion valid.

knighttown

Interesting that you are choosing USA to refer to anyone playing in the USA regardless of their birth certificate.

If you are the GM of the Oilers do you discount American-born and raised players at all due to signability?

pts2pndr

It is a valid concern given what we know. Is there any chance that they make a change in regards to this!

Cape Breton Oilers 4EVR

I’d be pretty OK with Holland trading down to late first round if it adds a second rounder. This draft is a crapshoot, so 2 bullets inside the top 50 or so would be better than 1 around #20. I’d be willing to bet there’s not much consensus on the draft boards of each team.

ArmchairGM

That’s an excellent idea, but you’re unlikely to get a top-50 pick unless you move back at least 7-8 spots. Detroit owns 27, 41, 51 and 52, so that’s an option if they’re interested. Vegas owns 32 and 34… I don’t see any other top-50 options though.

ArmchairGM

New Jersey has 24 and 56, that would be a good return based on similar recent transactions.

Harpers Hair

Flames with a positive test.

Darth Tu

Hopefully it’s isolated or a false positive.

Harpers Hair

They cancelled their morning skate ahead of tonight’s game against Montreal.

Potential to really screw up the remaining schedule.

flea

I’d guess tonight and tomorrow’s game are not gonna happen. NHL won’t take chances after the Vancouver situation.

McSorley33

Damn

OriginalPouzar

Although I haven’t looked in a few hours, as of a few hours ago, all other players (staff, etc.) tested negative and the plan was to play tonight (of course, subject to confirmation).

Here is hoping that there is no outbreak and its isolated to the one person and following the protocols worked.

I would anticipate the game tonight to be postponed out of an abundance of caution but hopefully its just the one game.

Litke 94

I really loved that 2019 draft, still do. Broberg may not be a true number one D, but he seems destined to land in the top 4 of this team in due time and stay there for several years. A true replacement to Klefbom, likely. If only he would have been fully healthy at the WJC, we would have been in for even more of a treat.

The Lavoie pick was excellent value, and I think his stock has only risen since draft day. I am also a big fan of Konovalov, but do wonder what effect his short stature will have in the NHL. With that being said, Koskinen is 6’7″ and gets beat high often, so who knows.

2020 seems pretty damn good so far, I agree. Have to think at least one of Holloway, Savoie, or Tullio will cash into a long-term, productive player.

Keeper_13

I have to admit to being gobsmacked at the time that the Oilers didn’t take a winger, but I’ve gotten over it.

OriginalPouzar

I cannot say who will be the “better player” as between Zegras and Broberg.

Zegras is in the NHL now (struggling a bit but developing) and Broberg is likely a full year away but that was the likely situation on draft day. Broberg was going to need a few years.

Yes, the team could currently use the offensive skill of Zegras on the roster but its unlikely that he would be making a material difference this season, right now.

I believe that Holland read the draft quite well and realized there was going to be a run on d-man (as there was) and that there was a large group of very skilled forwards that were “1st round projected” that would be available at 38.

No Lavoie is not in the same tier of prospect as Zegras but Lavoie is a “1st round talent” that is one tier down from Zegras and Holland was able to get both a high end forward and d-man in the first two rounds.

Time will tell if he made the “right” choices.

wolf8888

Didn’t Zegras get sent down recently?

McSorley33

Yes.

Sent down April 5th

McSorley33

Man, as an Oiler fan, I love the draft.

But, with so few kids playing…..its pretty tough to get into it.

I wonder if the US kids will get a big boost at the draft just from simply playing games.

McSorley33

Add: Can’t help but think those late risers or late bloomers ( relative) will fall much farther.

However, I have heard a few people say this is likely to be a weaker class so who knows….although if a lot of kids are not even playing not sure how we can be sure.

Keeper_13

I’m loving not paying attention to the draft! All those years where we’d be talking about the draft in November caught up with me. You know who’s going #1 overall? I don’t! Woohoo!

dustrock

I said be careful his bowtie is really a camera

Tarkus

Back in the 70’s, the band Yes decided to prog-ify “America”. It runs over 10 minutes long. It is fantastic.

dustrock

ha ha ha not a Yes fan, but this is pretty good.

Spartacus

I saw YES at Northlands Coliseum in the ’80’s for the price of a donation to the Food Bank. They were filming the concert and needed more fans to fill the seats.

Every song had a 10-minute long Rick Wakeman organ solo.

Yeti

I’m guessing that anyone with the handle Tarkus is probably fairly comfortable with the prospect of 10-minute long organ solos 🙂

Gerta Rauss

I was at both of those shows. I dragged a bunch of friends along, they still haven’t forgiven me LoL

LMHF#1

I’m hoping at the moment they trade up to take Cossa. It’d be very nice to have an A-Grade goalie prospect in the system. I suspect they won’t as that’s far too bold for this crew, but we’ll see.

defmn

Even if Cossa turns out to be a starter in the NHL how many years away would that be? I don’t consider that a ‘bold move’.

I expect a trade or a UFA signing this summer for that position.

Todd Macallan

*Elvis Merzlikins has entered the chat*

ArmchairGM

You’ll find better goalies in free agency for similar money, no need to give up assets for meh.

ArmchairGM

They can do both, can’t they? Sign a UFA to a reasonable number of years and also draft a goalie in the 1st round?

I’d target Ullmark and whichever of Cossa or Wallstedt are available at ~20.

LMHF#1

Both trading up and drafting a goalie in the first round are bold.

I’m not suggesting that be “the goalie move” of the offseason. They clearly need to go out and get someone for the immediate future.

OriginalPouzar

Ullmark was one of my primary acquisition targets in the off-season.

Now, he will be $5M plus and I don’t imagine the Oilers will be signing him.

OriginalPouzar

Also, on this note, I look for a Konovalov signing once we are in to May….

defmn

Me too. Have you heard anything or is all quiet on the rumour mill?

defmn

I guess I misunderstood your initial post then. I am always in favour of trading up in the first round for the best possible player but I don’t think of that as bold so much as difficult since pretty much every other GM in the top 15 selections has the same idea.

But for me the old BPA is still the way to go in the first round. If you do that part well then trades are always possible for positional weaknesses imo.

Brantford Boy

Oh right, the draft… I see there’s some LD available, so we’re covered… kidding.

LT: NHLE I use (here) <— no link

LT: Will you be using the new NNHLE (Network-based NHL Equivalency) in any of your rankings this year or were you just sharing that with the group when it became available?

I hope we have two posts to read on June 1, Here Comes the Sun and Oilers vs Leafs Round 2 Game 2.

Clarkenstein

I feel for the young men in the OHL. The adults let them down.

Keeper_13

Remember when people accepted their responsibilities, instead of demanding their rights? Yeah, me either. Grown-ups aren’t grown-ups anymore.

LadiesloveSmid

I did hope they would have taken Zegras at 8 over Broberg but with them waiting for Bouchard to grow grey hairs, I’m not sure he would help until 2025 anyway.

godot10

Trevor Zegras 17GP 1 goal 6 assists 7 points

Press + if there is just a whole lot of dementoring going on
Press – if the results are just underwhelming

Hughes, Turcotte, Zegras, Boldy, and Caufield are sort of underwhelming overall so far. Sort of confirmation of their failure to win the World Juniors.

I’ll give you any three of the above, and I will take Dach, Cozens, and Krebs still.

Darth Tu

Eh… Didn’t Caufield just win the Hobey Baker? From watching a bit of Holloway with him this year he looked just fine to me.

I’ll give you those others though.

Harpers Hair

And 4 points in 2 AHL games before being called up to the taxi squad.

Montreal having issues getting him into the lineup because of cap restraints.

McSorley33

Trevor Zegras has 18 points in 15 games played in the AHL.

Not bad for his first few weeks of pro hockey.

godot10

Have you checked Tyler Benson’s point totals in the AHL?

Once one has a significant number of NHL games, what you do or did in the AHL doesn’t really matter.

jp

I know it’s too late for you to reply, but does Trevor Zegras (17) or Tyler Benson (7) have a ‘significant number of NHL games’ (or both)?

I’d argue neither does but obviously ymmv.

Last edited 22 days ago by jp
BornInAGretzkyJersey

With Dach and Cozens off the board, I was disappointed they didn’t take Krebs. Still am, but Broberg is tracking nicely.

OriginalPouzar

Matt Blumel had a great season in the Extraliga and I wonder if there is a tough of signing him and bringing him to Bakersfield for 2021/22.

McSorley33

I was actually just going to ask you about Blumel