Here Comes the Sun 2021

by Lowetide

I use NHLE as a strong guiding light. I also use scouting reports from trusted sources and publications, although this year not as much. I punish poor foot speed liberally, but have been trying to establish something beyond “fast” and “slow” from sources. My list list rewards offense heavily, and players with a range of skills usually do well.

The biggest difference between my 2016 list and the 2020 edition? Pretty much all rankings now have the small skill players flooding the first round, in the case of this year, the top-10 overall. This morning, a few days early, my final 2021 draft list.


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’s the latest!


This is a weird year for the draft. I like to get my list done and final by June 1 and had planned to release it next week. I decided to publish now because after this list, I get to read everyone else and enjoy the process fully. My list relies heavily on math, even this year, maybe especially this year. It isn’t like anyone else’s list, not meant to be and for me the proof will come over the next five or so years.

I didn’t mean to make the local scorer No. 1 overall for most of the late winter and spring, and sure as hell had no plans to demote him to No. 2 on the final list. It came down to Eklund playing in the SHL and Guenther playing in a portion of the WHL and the gap in NHLE washed away when that came into consideration.

I didn’t get time to read much this year, but want to point you to Corey Pronman and Scott Wheeler at The Athletic, Craig Button, Red Line Report.

The Draft Analyst provides mountains of useful information. I value McKeens, Grant McCagg, Tom Hunter, Brock Otten, Adam Sherren, ISS. Simon Boisvert has been on the show once this year and I’m going to have him on again soon. remains a gem.

I follow him on twitter, but am going to spend the next few weeks leading up to the draft reading Byron Bader’s work at I think his work on prospects is brilliant, and want to see how he views this one (but wanted to get my list done first). I think Red Line will be along soon, too. Fun times. Here’s the list, enjoy!

  1. (2) LW William Eklund, Djurgardens. Exceptional offensive talent already in SHL.
  2. (1) RW Dylan Guenther, Edmonton Oil Kings. Great skater, has pure goal-scoring ability. Shoots right. April 2003.
  3. (3) RD Brandt Clarke Barrie Colts. Puck-moving defenseman with terrific speed and good size (6.01, 185). Feb 2003. 
  4. (4) LW Matthew Beniers, Michigan Wolverines. Two-way center with impressive skill. Plus shot, great passer.
  5. (5) LD Owen Power, Michigan Wolverines. Great skater, terrific two-way ability and a great passer.
  6. (6) LD Luke Hughes, U.S. National Development Team Terrific skater with complete range of skills.
  7. (7) RW Nikita Chibrikov, St. Petersburg Small skill winger can stickhandle in a phone booth. Massive U18’s in Texas.
  8. (8) LC Mason McTavish Peterborough PetesHe’s a pure goal scorer, PF’s tools. Reports on skating are mixed.
  9. (10) LW Kent Johnson, Michigan Wolverines High skill level, impressive numbers, October 2002.
  10. (11) LC Zachary Bolduc, Rimouski Oceanic. A fairly complete talent, his offense is the main calling card.
  11. (9) LD Simon Edvinsson, Vasteras IK Huge (6.05, 207) two-way blue with great mobility.
  12. (12) LW Zachary L’Heureux, Halifax Mooseheads Plays like PF, is a streaky scorer, I like his numbers.
  13. (13) LC Francesco Pinelli, Kitchener Rangers  Smart, high skilled center who passes well and has plus speed.
  14. (14) RC Xavier Bourgault, Shawinigan Cataractes There’s just too much offense to ignore.
  15. (15) RW Chaz Lucius, U.S. National Development Team Great shot, high skill, good speed. He could be a steal.
  16. (16) RC Logan Stankoven, Kamloops Blazers 5.07, 165. Demon on the forecheck with plus skills.
  17. (17) RW Fabian Lysell, Lulea. Breathtaking skill winger, great release.
  18. (18) G Sebastian Cossa, Edmonton Oil Kings. He’s a giant goaltender had a .941 save percentage this season.
  19. (19) G Jesper Wallstedt, Lulea. 6.03, 214, 22 games and a .908 SP in the SHL.
  20. (21) LW Matt Coronato, Chicago Steel Pure scorer, great release, headed to Harvard.
  21. (22) RW Olivier Nadeau, Shawinigan Cataractes More bull than beauty, he is effective.
  22. (23) LD Daniil Chayka, CSKA Moscow Two-way defender who will play big minutes wherever he lands. 
  23. (24) LW Brennan Othmann, Flint Firebirds Best first-shot scorer among wingers in the OHL. Skating?
  24. (20) LW Eric Alarie, Moose Jaw Warriors 6.01, 196. Big PF with plus skill. I expect Tyler Wright likes him.
  25. (25) LW Fedor Svechkov, Ladia Togliatti. Smart two-way winger who can push the river.
  26. (26) LC Aatu Raty, Karpat Talented center who struggled in the Liiga but has a solid junio resume.
  27. (27) LD Carson Lambos, Winnipeg Ice A big man already (6.01, 200) he is a fine skater. Two-way blue.
  28. (28) RC Ryder Korczak, Moose Jaw Warriors A top play-making center in the WHL. Good speed, elusive.
  29. (29) LW Oskar Olausson, HV 71. Skill winger, great hands and 6.02, 181.
  30. (30) RD Corson Ceulmans, Brooks Bandits. Tremendous offensive defenseman, has size, overager.
  31. (31) LW Ayrton Martino, Omaha Lancers Small speedy winger, September 2002.
  32. (32) LW Conner Roulette, Seattle Thunderbirds He has good hands/speed, has a sixth sense for offense.
  33. (33) RW Chase Stillman, Sudbury Wolves At 5.11, 170 he has plus speed and is effective in all game disciplines.
  34. (34) RW Isak Rosen, Leksands. Speedy playmaker, March 2013. Sixth sense offensively.
  35. (35) LD Olen Zellweger, Everett Silvertips He is undersized (5.09, 165) but very skilled.
  36. (NR) LW Joshua Roy, Sherbrooke Phhoenix. Ridiculous skill, I’d have him high but pts-game a little shy.
  37. (36) RW Simon Robertsson, Skelleftea.  Bert’s boy, has a powerful shot. Feb. 2003.
  38. (37) LC Cole Sillinger, Sioux Falls Stampede Dangerous shooter, fine passer. Average skater.
  39. (38) LD Evan Nause, Quebec Remparts Two-way defender is 6.02, 186 and spiking offensively.
  40. (39) LC Brett Harrison, Oshawa Generals A two-way center with good speed. Texas tournament hurt his ranking here.
  41. (40) RC Connor Lockhart, Erie Otters.  Probably the best skater among draft-eligible forwards in the OHL this year.
  42. (41) LW Sasha Pastujov, USNDTP Plus shot, offensive winger. Average speed.
  43. (42) LW William Stromgren, MoDo  Big skill winger with good wheels.
  44. (43) RC Riley Kidney, Acadie-Bathurst Titan. Another skill pivot, a good skater.
  45. (44) LD Stanislav Svozil, Brno. Outstanding outlet passer, patient, impressive with the puck, solid without it.
  46. (45) LC Oliver Kapanen JYP Smart offensive player who drives offense.
  47. (46) LC Wyatt Johnson, Windsor Spitfires Skill center showed second half improvement
  48. (47) RC Justin Robidas, Val d’Or Foreurs. He’s Yvan Cournoyer small, an absolute bullet on skates.
  49. (48) LW Alexander Kisakov, Moscow Dynamo  Just 5.10, 141, terrific skill.
  50. (49) LD Sean Behrens, USNDTP. Undersized blue is very skilled and makes smart plays with the puck.
  51. (50) LC Lorenzo Canonica, Shawinigan Cataractes. Another skill center, one of the best skaters in the QMJHL
  52. (51) G Alekesi Kolosov, Minsk. KHL goalie, .911 SP and still a teenager.
  53. (52) RW Samu Tuomaala, Karpat Good shooter, average speed, two-way resume.
  54. (53) RW Prokhor Poltapov, Moscow.  Skilled winger plays NA style. 25 goals in 61 games.
  55. (54) LD Ethan Dal Mastro, Mississauga Steelheads A big, strong shutdown blue with good speed.
  56. (55) LC Sami Päivärinta, Lukko. Small two-way center, fine playmaker.
  57. (NR) RC Danila Klimovich, Minsk Zubry. Size, speed, shot, set the U18s on fire.
  58. (56) LC Zach Dean, Gatineau Olympiques. He is going in the first round, numbers have him as a second-round pick.
  59. (57) LD Artyom GrushnikovMoscow. Big shutdown blue, mobile, great passer.
  60. (NR) LW Zack Ostapchuk, Vancouver Giants. Speed and size, plus some skill.
  61. (NR) RD Aleksi Heimosalmi, Assat. Versatile two-way defender.
  62. (58) G Benjamin Gaudreau, Sarnia Sting. Impressive U18 (.919 SP) has him here.
  63. (NR) LC Jakub Brabenec, Brno. Skilled center with size, quality at U18s.
  64. (NR) LW Jackson Blake, Chicago Steel. Elusive skill winger with big-leauge moves. Smaller.
  65. (59) LD Nolan Allan, Prince Albert Raiders. A big (6.02, 190) D with good speed, lots of skill but the numbers are shy.
  66. (60) RC Daniil Tesanov, Yaroslavl. Big center with speed and range.
  67. (NR) LC Redmond Savage, USNDTP. Solid two-way center with speed.
  68. (61) RW Mackie Samoskevich, Chicago (USHL) Speedy skill winger.
  69. (63) LC Cole Huckins, Acadie-Bathurst Titan. He has size, can skate and posted 32 pts in 33 games. May 2003.
  70. (64) LW Matvei Petrov, Moscow. Big winger (6.02, 178) can score, great shot.
  71. (NR) RD Jacob Guévin, Muskegon Lumberjacks. Offensive defenseman, fine skater.
  72. (65) LD Anton Olsson, Malmo. Big, sturdy shutdown defender. Mobile.
  73. (66) LD Graham Sward, Spokane Chiefs. He’s 6.02, 169. Physical shutdown blue with mobility.
  74. (67) LD Janis Moser, EHC Biel-Bienne. Overager, fine skater and complete skill set.
  75. (68) LW James Malatesta, Quebec Remparts. Speedy winger is small (5.09) but plays a rugged style.
  76. (69) LD Vladislav Lukashevich, Yaroslavl. Another shutdown blue, he’s a good skater, good shot.
  77. (NR) LC Florian Elias, Mannheim. Small skill center, he’s a determined player.
  78. (NR) LW Sean Tschigerl, Calgary Hitmen. Two-way winger aggressive in all areas.
  79. (NR) LD Shai Buium, Sioux City Musketeers. Big defender plays smart two-way game.
  80. (70) LW Viljami Marjala, Quebec Remparts. C-LW is highly skilled and a creative playmaker.
  81. (71) LW Nikita Buruyanov, St. Petersburg. Small winger, terrific speed and aggressive play.
  82. (72) LD Aleksi Malinen, JyP. Fantastic skater, skilled, some chaos.
  83. (NR) LD Jack Peart, Fargo Force. Impressive young player, slightly undersized with range of skills.
  84. (73) G Brett Brochu, London Knights. Under the radar goalie who delivered a .919 SP as a rookie.
  85. (74) LC Victor Stjernborg, Vaxjo. Two-way forward, aggressive forechecker, great passer.
  86. (75) LD Vasily Machulin, Moscow Dynamo (MHL). Good size, dynamic skater, impressive player.
  87. (76) RD Jack Bar, Chicago Steel. Good size, plus shot, some skill.
  88. (77) LW Jeremy Wilmer, USNDTP. August 2003, great passer, high skill.
  89. (78) LW Ville Koivunen, Karpat. Smart winger with skill.
  90. (NR) Jake Chiasson, Brandon Wheat Kings. Good size, improved offensively.
  91. (79) LC Samuel Helenius, JYP. Huge checking center already in the Liiga.
  92. (80) LW Tristan Broz, Fargo Force. Nice range of skills, fine passer good skater.
  93. (81) RC Ryan Winterton, Hamilton Bulldogs. Solid prospect, skilled and September 2003.
  94. (82) LD Aidan Hreschuk, USNDTP. Solid two-way defender, effective in coverage.
  95. (83) LW Owen Pederson, Winnipeg IceBig winger with goal-scoring ability.
  96. (84) RW Zakhar Bardakov, Vityaz Podolsk. Big PF with some skill. He is 20.
  97. (85) LC Theo Rochette, Quebec Remparts. Undersized two-way center, intriguing offense.
  98. (86) LC Cameron Berg, Muskegon Lumberjacks. Good speed and skill.
  99. (87) LC Juuso Mäenpää, Kalpa. Very small but highly skilled playmaker.
  100. (88) RC Josh Pillar, Kamloops Blazers. Fast player, scored well and is draft re-entry.
  101. (NR) LC Vasily Atanasov, Mamonty Yugry. Great speed and he is skilled. Undersized.
  102. (89) LD Dave Ma, USHL, Chicago Steel. Tremendous skater and very creative.
  103. (NR) RW Ilya Fedotov, Nizhny. Smart player with skill and utility.
  104. (90) RW Oliver Suni, Lukko Rauma. Strong winger with range of skills.
  105. (NR) RD Brent Johnson, Sioux Falls Stampede. Undersized chaos blue with great speed.
  106. (92) LW Ilya Nazarov, Yaroslavl. Big winger with skill, May 2003.
  107. (93) RC Ethan Cardwell, Surahammars. Two-way center with skill, effective forechecker.
  108. (NR) RW Nikita Grebyonkin, Magnitogorsk. Skill and size plus some speed.
  109. (NR) LW Arvid Sundin, Brynas. Underzied burner has breathtaking shifts but not a complete game.
  110. (NR) LD Cameron Whynot, Halifax Mooseheads. Two-way blue, fine skater.
  111. (NR) LC Samu Salminen, Jokerit. 6.03 center with real talent, heavy boots.
  112. (NR) LD William Trudeau, Charlottetown Islanders. Puck mover with calm feet. Raw.
  113. (91) RD Roman Schmidt, USNDTP. Huge shutdown blue with some offense.
  114. (NR) LC Liam Dower-Nilsson, Frolunda. Two-way center with some offensive spark.
  115. (NR) G Patrik Hamrla, HC Energie Karlovy Vary. Dominated Czech junior.
  116. (NR) LW Matthew Knies, Tri-City Storm. 6.02, 210 PF, might be a little shy on top-9 skill level.
  117. (NR) LD Kirill Kirsanov, St. Petersburg. Good skater, passer, physical. Bet the Oilers like him.
  118. (NR) RD Scott Morrow, Shattuck-St. Mary’s. Big D has complete skill set at high school level.
  119. (NR) LD Yaroslav Busygin, Chekov. Big blue who can hit, has some skill.
  120. (NR) G Carl Lindbom, Djurgarden. Top draw U18s has him here.
  121. (NR) RW Robert Orr, Halifax Moosheads. Two-way winger with a great shoot.
  122. (NR) RD Ryan Ufko, Chicago Steel. Mobile puck mover can run a power play. Undersized.
  123. (NR) RW Albert Sjöberg, Sodertalje. Great shot and work ethic.
  124. (NR) RW Simon Knak, Portland Winterhawks. Prolific junior scorer, January 2002.


I always use a control list (usually Bob McKenzie) and always draft my best available player who is still on the guideline list. Here’s how I did a year ago:

No. 14 overall: RC Seth Jarvis, Portland Winterhawks (WHL). I am not completely convinced the Oilers will take a small forward (see my article at The Athletic this morning) but it’s the right play here. Anton Blundell’s availability may change things, and I wonder if Rodion Amirov and Dylan Holloway are too much for Tyler Wright and Ken Holland to resist. Still, if you’re looking for the best available player, Jarvis is absolutely it if he’s on the board at No. 14 overall. 

No. 76 overall: LW Daniel Gushchin, Muskegon Lumberjacks (USHL). Speedy winger with terrific skill, his size (5.08, 167) will be a drawback for some teams. Red Line compares him to Kailer Yamamoto. 

No. 135 overall: RW Zayde Wisdom, Kingston Frontenacs (OHL). Agitating winger with skill, he’s an actual Coke Machine (5.10, 199) but has boundless energy and real scoring ability. 

No. 169 overall: G Devon Levi, Carleton Place Canadians (CCHL). Guy Flaming said he was an intelligent guy and a great interview, and he had a .941 save percentage last season.

No. 200 overall: LD Peetro Seppälä (Liiga) 41, 2-10-12. He was a regular in the Liiga a year ago and is back with KooKoo again this season. Has size and some skill, easy to get lost in the flood of Finnish blue. 


No. 21 overall: LC Zachary Bolduc, Rimouski Oceanic. I have him No. 10 overall, The Draft Analyst has him No. 25. Bolduc has a nice range of talent and the QMJHL seems to be producing these complete players annually now. A fine center, great passer and owner of a great shot, Oilers fans should be thrilled if he falls to Edmonton at No. 21 overall, February 2003. NHLE 25.0

No. 117 overall: RW Olivier Nadeau, Shawinigan Cataractes. I have him No. 21, The Draft Analyst has him No. 127. He’s 6.02, 205 and posted 13-32-45 in 34 games. He’s a bull in a china shop, January 2003. NHLE: 30.8

No. 181 overall: RC Connor Lockhart, Erie Otters. I have him at No. 41, The Draft Analyst doesn’t have him on its list. He is undersized, didn’t play in 2020-21, and that could work to Edmonton’s advantage. He is fast, quick and skilled. NHLE for draft-minus-one: 12.5

No. 189 overall: LC Lorenzo Canonica, Shawinigan Cataractes. I should mention that I don’t target leagues, etc, the QMJHL does have some gems but this is unusual and perhaps a reflection of The Draft Analyst’s list being unique. I have Canonica No. 51, he is NR by The Draft Analyst. He’s a fast skater, has skill and projects as a two-way NHL player if he develops as hoped. NHLE: 15.5

No. 213 overall: G Alekesi Kolosov, Minsk. KHL goalie, .911 SP and still a teenager. Not ranked by The Draft Analyst, I had him No. 52. You may think that’s strange but last year’s list (in a minute) had similar results. My list is unique no matter the other list I use in these things.

If you’ve read this far, there’s a chance you’re saying “Lowetide, no WAY you get five of your top 52 names with these picks! Impossible. Well, let’s look at the 2020 draft.

  • No. 14 overall: Oilers select Dylan Holloway, my list chose Dawson Mercer (who I ranked No. 10 overall). Using just NHLE, Edmonton’s Holloway (41.6) has the edge on Mercer (36.5) but it’s a mighty long way down rock and roll.
  • No, 100 overall: Oilers select Carter Savoie, my list chose Martin Chromiak (my list had him No. 31). Again the Oilers chose wisely, with Savoie delivering 30.0 NHLE in draft plus one. Chromiak posted 7-12-19 (32 games) in the Slovak league, a less impressive season, but remains a quality prospect.
  • No. 126 overall: Oilers choose Tyler Tullio, my list grabbed Connor McClennon (who I had No. 44). Tullio played in the same Slovak league as Chromiak, posting 4-9-13 in just 19 games. McClennon had a strong WHL season, owning an NHLE of 34.0. Math works! Having said that, Wright had a strong start with the Oilers, those picks are quality.
  • No. 138 overall: Oilers chose Maxim Berezkin, my list produced Veeti Miettinen (I ranked him No. 48). Wright and the Euro scouts may have a gem in Berezkin, who played most of his season in the KHL. Miettinen played for St. Cloud State and delivered 27.9 NHLE. Both are solid prospects, I think my guy is better.
  • No. 169 overall: Oilers select Filip Engaras, my list chose Oskar Magnusson (No. 60 on my list). Engaras had a solid season with UNH in Hockey-East, delivering an NHLE of 16.1. Magnusson scored 6-7-13 in 24 HockeyEttan games in Sweden. HockeyEttan is Sweden’s third league. I’d give Edmonton the edge here.
  • No. 200 overall: Oilers pick Jeremias Lindewall, LT list was Owen Pederson (No. 63 on LT list). Lindewall went 2-3-5 in 36 Allsvenskan games (4.1 NHLE) while Pederson went 13-18-31 in 24 WHL games (NHLE 32.0). Edge my list.

Six picks a year ago, my list filled every slot by selection No. 63. Here’s last year’s list. The best part of last season for me came in seeing Wright and the Oilers scouts picking skill. I know they did, because I ranked their players high through several rounds:

  • Holloway was No. 25 on my list.
  • Savoie was No. 56 on my list.
  • Tullio was No. 53 on my list.
  • Berezkin was No. 122 on my list.

I’m excited to see the results of this year’s draft, wrote a piece at The Athletic this morning about what I believe we might see the Oilers do at the 2021 draft.


At 10 this morning, we start the weekend rolling on TSN1260. Steve Lansky from Inside the Truck podcast will break down the Oilers playoff series and what can be learned, while Matthew Iwanyk from TSN 1260 will talk summer moves and I’ll ask why the Edmonton Football Team still hasn’t announced the name. 10-1260 text, @Lowetide on twitter. See you on the radio!


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is there anybody out there?


just nod if you can hear me…


The Avs goaltending is one Grubauer lower body injury away from being an unmitigated disaster – this is a goalie that makes Mike Smith look like an iron man of tenders.


This is far more true for the Avs than it is for the Oilers.

With all the focus on Joe Sakic this year it’s going be be fascinating to see how the Avs navigate this off season.

They have Grubauer, Landeskog and Saad as UFAs. Makar and Jost as notable RFAs. Not quite $20M in cap space.

Seems like they’ll ice at least a bit weaker team next year than they did this year. But maybe Sakic can pull some stuff out of his sleeve.


Yeah, it would be nice to see.

I guess this year is their single best shot at it, with Makar on ELC. And MacKinnon probably doubles his salary 2 years from now.


We hope lol, he sure doesn’t mind taking discounts


MacKinnon? He’d scored 63, 38 and 52 points on his ELC before signing that deal. Then he became a top player. Not sure why he’d sign for less than Rantanen on his next deal, but you never know I guess.

Bank Shot

I don’t care to see the Avs ever win again. They got parachuted in a Stanley Cup team from Quebec. They’ve had it too good. Let them freeze on the mountain for awhile.


Myself seeing what Burnaby Joe has pulled off in last few yrs, I think he gets through it with maybe losing Saad tops.


Yeah we’ll see. I suspect they’ll have a different goalie in the fall as well.

Harpers Hair


The Oilers have terrible forward depth, the D is average and the goaltending is a Mike Smith groin pull from being an unmitigated disaster.

Over and above the Oilers being, at best, the 5th or 6th best team in the conference, the road to “dominance” is blocked by those teams and the best the East has to offer.

Certainly, the Oilers have the opportunity to fill those holes but other teams won’t be standing still while they do it.

And then you have Father Time.

Unless the dominance starts next season (it won’t) a decade of dominance would have to include McDavid, Draisaitl, Nurse and others remaining “dominant” into their mid to late 30’s.

I wouldn’t count on it…would you?

Harpers Hair

Reply to JP.


They already are a lock for playoffs. Have the two best players in the league. A young core outside of G. One of the better prospect groups (see Buttons list) and a lot of cap space. The future is very bright
now back under the bridge stupid troll

Harpers Hair

They are not a lock for the playoffs.

Its more than likely, with teams returning to normal divisional play next season, only 3 Pacific Division teams will make the post season with the wildcards coming from the Central.

Vegas is a much better team than the Oilers, you have no idea what Calgary will look like and Vancouver has to be better.

Its also possible Seattle will be a major player pending the expansion draft and free agency since there are some real smart people running that franchise.

The LAK are awash in blue chip prospects and are about to draft another one and, with $20 million in free cap space will likely be adding several impact players this offseason.

Pronman has the Oilers prospect pool in the bottom third of the league and a draft in the mid 20’s with no second or third round picks means they’ll fall even further behind the pack.

You seem to be forgetting the Oilers were just swept by a middling team like the Jets with the “two best players in the league”.

How could that happen to a team that will dominate the league for the next decade?

Oh, and piss off sycophant


Hahaha, Leadfarmer is a sycophant? To who or what?

I mean, your characterization here is such a stretch. It’s constructed pretty much entirely of future possibilities and maybes (example: “Vancouver has to be better”. Yes, but that’s a far cry from finishing in range of the Oilers next season).

As everyone knows the Oilers are in the top third of the league right now. They have cap space to retain or replace current players while also adding a substantial piece this off season.

They have a prospect pipeline that’s flowing and a number of substantial prospects that are close. They are a good team, with ever reason to expect they’ll get better.

Multiple cups? We’ll see. But all indications are that they’ll be a strong team for a long time.


The Oilers have terrible forward depth, the D is average and the goaltending is a Mike Smith groin pull from being an unmitigated disaster.

Also, this is a remarkable characterization of the #11 team in the NHL. By the description you’d think they were the Canucks or something.

The Oilers have 2 NHL goalies under contract for next season in the event of a Mike Smith groin pull, by the way.


Man what is wrong with you??? Seems the older you get the more desperate you get.


Why do you continuously post that all these other teams will be better next year for a myriad of reasons, but exclude the Oilers from this? What is it about the Oilers, besides your bitterness, that has them not getting better while every other team does.


see Buttons list

And finally moved Podkolzin down in line with his scoring.


Bo Harvat is -70 as a pro.


Oof. That’s a lot of meandering.

Harpers Hair

One of them plays top competition and the other can’t keep up with the dregs of the AHL.

Ice Sage

That’s some 90’s era grappling hockey in game 7 right there – Avalanche will have their hands full if the next round is called like this.

Harpers Hair

The Avalanche bottom 6 are built to handle it.

Ice Sage

It’s the top 6 who will get mugged if the game’s called like we’ve been seeing.
Being rested (and playing at altitude, their long-time advantage) will help the Avalanche but Vegas is a tough out


Depends on definition of dominance, but if he means a pretty darn good team then he’s not wrong

Harpers Hair

Pretty darn good applies to about 10-12 teams in the league.

Its far from dominance.


That’s where they already are you twat


I mean, I enjoyed that read. Thanks for posting.

Do you disagree?


Oh my what???


So the Oilers are going to lose Nuge, replace Nuge, then wish they still had Nuge to play with Nuge’s replacement.

Scungilli Slushy

No, they won’t, if they can get what is needed on LW.

Nuge is not a centre on the Oilers.

He isn’t good (never has been) 5v5. He’s not good on the boards, gets his takeaways at times.

He isn’t a strong physically player.

He isn’t good in traffic.

He isn’t an explosive skater.

He still sports a muffin shot.

He said he should work on skating and his shot.

He’s really good at PP, but they already have the two best scorers in the league on it.

He can PK, but that is what 750K players are for.

He still can’t win faceoffs consistently.

Lovely guy, not what the elite talent needs to get a step further.

On a team that needs those traits he could be the team leader and perhaps the captain.

And get paid more.


Ok 🙄

Scungilli Slushy

I wouldn’t trade this year’s 1 OV to rid Meal.

I would trade 2022 to do it.

I would also trade excess depth for picks.

A good team makes a decision about a player. Instead of letting them age out, trade them for a pick.

It is possible you are wrong. It could be the trade that makes them improve.

Get something for spent picks, don’t waste them and time.

Lagesson will not displace Russell this season almost for sure.

Samu or Bro will after a year in the Bake. And Lags.

Being sentimental about players means not Cupping.

Gamma Cassiopeiae

Who’s “rid Meal”? Do they want the 1 OV, and do we have it?


I don’t think a 2021 first is enough to get rid of Neal so I definitely don’t think a less valuable 2022 first is enough.

I’m not sure what excess depth we have that is going to get a pick back. Maybe Lagesson can get a 4th or a 5th. Are you talking about Khaira and Kahun and the like?


Toronto paid a first for $6.25M cap relief on Marleau, so a first with $1M retained should be in the range. Don’t think I would do it though.


A first for one year of Marleau who was a much more serviceable player than Neal.

This is two years of Neal, who may not be able to play in the NHL any longer.


Did you really just refer to winning the Cup as “Cupping”?

Ugh. Have some respect for the Stanley Cup and for the English language.

Does every word in the lexicon have to be shortened?


Does anyone understand what this post is saying?

Pretty long winded to simply say that a team shouldn’t be sentimental about its players.

Randle McMurphy

All is not lost!

We beat Khazakistan!!

What a Spring to remember….


I was told the North Division was bad, but….


I understand the importance of math however given what I have observed in this year’s playoffs should we putting a greater emphasis on size? Assuming that what we have observed this year with Logan Stanley being an ultimate shut down D my question is how does this fit with our drafting strategy? What is the current average size and weight for an NHL defenseman? When the officials put the whistles away size trumps skill 8 out of 10 times. It seems to me that the media for some reason refuses to call out the league which is supposedly professional for their double standard in penalty calls regular season versus playoffs. The media has the evidence but seems afraid or unwilling to use it!


The top end of the Oilers drafting recently has been all about size and/or speed:

Holloway – Good size, plus skating

Broberg – Good size, high end skating

Lavoie – Good size

Chiarelli’s last draft as well:

Bouchard – Good size, decent skating

McLeod – Good size, high end skating.

Previous year had Samorukov, Safin, Maksimov (after Yamamoto in the 1st).


I agree we have done well but having said that we have not been using an analytics methodology. My question to LT is size going to have to be a consideration in the analytics model moving forward.

Bag of Pucks

Highly doubt that the man who coined the term “Coke Machines” is going to adjust his evaluation model to factor in size measurables. DeBrincat, Caufield, Yamamoto. LT loves the skilled smurfs.

I’ve said from Day 1, if all else are equal with the production equivalencies between two prospects, a GM should lean towards to the bigger player. That seems logical given what you’re hoping for in the playoffs.

We can lobby for the officiating to change OR we can draft players less reliant on favourable officiating. What’s more likely to yield a beneficial outcome?

People see players like Logan Stanley being less effective in the regular season and smaller players thriving in the contact lite paradigm of the regular season and that becomes the proof of concept that drafting smurfs is good business. The reality is the Humvee holds up in true battle conditions much better than the Mini.

Last edited 3 months ago by Lowetide

Agreed but I’d put Holloway at high end skating as well


Kolosov was looking real good for Belarus at the WHCs today and is seemingly en route to be a KHL regular next season. Wallstedt is the best swedish goalie prospect since for ever, at his age noone has been at his level really, both Pelle Lindbergh and Henrik Lundqvist broke out later, and yes those are the guys you need to compare this kids upside to. He’s also on an accelerated path and I could see him reaching the NHL in his draft +2.
And Sebastian Cossa seems like one hell of a prospect as well. I’ve heard good things on russian kid Kirill Gerasimiyuk.

Could be one hell of a goalie draft this.


Pelle Lindbergh. What a goalie. That cup final was incredible. I can still remember exactly what I was doing when I heard he died. I can still see the picture of the crushed Porsche on the front page of the paper.

Cape Breton Oilers 4EVR

I’m getting more open to trading the first this year, as IMO this year’s has a bit of a crapshoot feel to it.

Quick poll: 2021 1st round pick and Neal (no retention) out for 5th rd pick from anywhere.

Yay or Nay?


I don’t do it as it would essentially mean the Oilers skip the draft and, also, I don’t think a 1st rounder as 20th (apx) is enough to get rid of two years of that contract.

Randle McMurphy

As always, for me its 100% dependant on how badly we need the cap space. For example, after a bit of wheeling and dealing, you find you have to buy out Neal in order to sign Hyman, you consider / do it.

If you can improve the team enough without the buyout, then you wait one more year.


buyouts dknt make sense this year; because you wont add all the players you need in 1 year. next year if you need space, buyout neals last year. the year after maybe kassian s last 2 years.


Buying out a two-year term is tough.

We’ve been lamenting the Pouliot buyout hit for what seems like forever now and are finally now going to be free of it.

Buying out Neal this summer keeps him on the books for the same amount of time post-buyout as Pouliot.


Unless I’m badly mistaken, the buyout window closes before Free Agency so this timing (eg. for Hyman) wouldn’t work.



Just J

I hope there’s some thugs and plugs in there. No point in the team loading up on talent that’s just going to be neutralized by the zebras come playoff time. Referees like violent hockey, hopefully the Oilers can start moving in that direction and the refs will let them compete later than in the first round.

Randle McMurphy

Somewhere locked away in the League Offices is a Gary Bettman memo to himself.

It reads, “Once the average Oilers player reaches 6’3″ and 218 lbs, implement the no holding/hooking/mugging rule”


“I don’t expect to see Barrie back, I don’t. I think Larsson will be back” – Elliot Friedman on today’s 31 Thoughts Pod

Randle McMurphy

Thought 32….Unless he signs a team friendly deal at 4 x 5m


That isn’t team friendly, because it makes it impossible to develop Bouchard properly. And Bouchard is a critical path prospect if the Oilers are going to contend. Signing Barrie means the only way to maximize Bouchard is to trade him.

Barrie/Bouchard is an either/or.

Barrie leads directly to a path of mediocrity. Bouchard leads directly to a path of potential upside.


Nothing team friendly about that deal.


I would not be in favor of signing him to 4 X $5M.


Agreed. Barrie brought exactly what we expected, a whole lot of offence and absolute chaos in his own end. It’s time to see exactly what Evan Bouchard can do. If he can bring half the offence and twice the defence on his ELC it’s a win for the Oilers.


I think Bouch can bring more than half the offense. No, I don’t expect him to be a 70 point guy next season but I do think he can be 35 points plus. His P/G this season was on a 35 point pace and his 5 on 5 P/60 was just below Barrie and that is with 45 minutes with McDavid at 5 on 5.

I actually don’t think Barrie was awful in the defensive zone but he was prone to making offensive zone mistakes (and neutral zone mistakes) that would lead to the puck going back the other way on a jail break. I don’t think Bouchard would make those types of mistakes in those areas nearly as consistently as Barrie did.

Harpers Hair

Bouchard is -20 in his professional career.


You’re a -20 every day on this blog. 👎


Quinn Hughes is -34 in his NHL career.

I’m sure all will note that, taking away the fact that plus/minus has nothing to do with the conversation, the poster is using plus/minus in the Hockey Allsvenskan as some sort of determiner of something.

You can’t make this stuff up.

Of further note, in his 20 year old rookie pro season, Bouchard was even in the 2nd half on a team that was massively negative while putting up close to a point per game in that time.


It’s going to be so fun watching Bouchard as a regular next season.

We should keep our expectations in check, but I agree a 35 point season is quite possible.

He barely played this year, but if you lower the minutes threshold to 150 minutes, Bouchard was among the top 20 Dmen in 5v5 Pts/60 (out of about 250 D). He was also 1st in shots/60.

We’ll see if Tipp gives him much PP time..


Yup, if he gets a decent amount of PP1 time, his point total could be something special. Assuming not Barrie, I think we know Nurse will get some of those PP1 minutes (likey the first shot at them) and, of course, if and when Klef comes back, he’ll be in the conversation subject to just how good the shoulder is feeling.

There is also the possibility of an acquisition of a legit top 4LD with PP pedigree if Klef is indeed scheduled to be on LTIR all season and they can spend his reserves.


Yes, I imagine Nurse/Klef get many of the minutes.

An outside addition is possible too I guess.

If Bouchard gets some looks with the man advantage though and looks really good, why wait? That’s his future.

It could help manage minutes a bit for Nurse/Klef as well. Curious to see how it plans out.


I agree, 100% – I think the year will start with Nurse on PP1 – I would be surprised if the year doesn’t end with Bouchard on PP1.

Randle McMurphy

The first week of Free Agency is going to be facinating. What does the market re-set due to lost revenues really look like?

Please hockey gords, let the downside re-set be in the neighbourhood of 20%.


Curious why no Colton Dach on your list. Point a game player with great hands in tight, size and snarl. He looks to have taken a (deservedly) big jump on the Central Scouting list.

Randle McMurphy

In terms of fine tuning the explanation of your process, am I wrong to say that NHL General Managers generally rank Defensemen (especially either highly skilled or large good skating defensemen) higher than your methodology does?

Last edited 3 months ago by Randle McMurphy

What are the chances Boone Jenner is available from CBJ, and what would be the cost? He would be an ideal 3C.


I don’t see the Jackets trading him.


Shoulda drafted him when we had the chance 😏


LT, congrats on getting your list out early. Your enjoyment of the draft is infectious, you have opened the window to many fans with your enthusiasm.

Msybe even too much at times! As many fall in love with draft pics and never want to move them.

If you look at the roster now, all we have for good players is via the draft. Not one real Savy acquisition can be listed or seen from my chair.

Dies this tell is Oilers are really good at drafting? Or really terrible at every other method of acquiring players?

If I had any confidence in their trade abilities I would say with certainty; trade the first and any other pics for that matter, to get a good 22-25 year old player for this season.


Was posted last night but this Benson to Lavoie for the one-time goal is heartening:

Also nice to see Benson scoring on a one-timer:

Of note, Phil Kemp played last night – his first game since getting clocked in a fight a while ago – just going by memory, its got to be 6 weeks or so since his last game.


Just my $0.02, but I’ve always kind of liked the approach that the New England Patriots (ducking for cover) take at the draft table. To me, it’s kind of like this: unless there’s someone out there who falls into your lap who you really like, trade down and add picks. With the benefit of hindsight, it’s probably what should have been done for the Yakupov draft, one of the weakest draft classes in recent memory. I know there’s miles between football and hockey, but with the uncertainty in this draft, it’s an approach that may have some merit IMO.


Bill hasn’t drafted a pro bowler in how long?

The Patriots do not draft well if you’re looking at recent history.

Look at Bill’s drafter receivers 🤣🤣🤣🤣 do not draft like the Patriots.

Should be interesting to see if the free agent money they threw around amounts to anything, because their draft picks have not. Yea Brady, Gronk, yadda yadda drafted by the Pats.what has been drafted in the last 10 years? Lol

Bill lost touch of drafting.


Tough year to handicap 1st round pick for the Oilers. After the top 10 ish , it’s seems somewhat up in the air.

Last edited 3 months ago by Rondo

Many seem high on the local goalie. What would you say to spending a first round pick on a keeper in a year with such variation in rankings?


Goalies are so tricky but if Cossa and Wallstedt are available , Oilers I think would look seriously at them. Using LT’s rankings I like Cole Sillinger


That’s a largely bold statement 😉

Thanks, always value your input on prospects.


Tampa picked Vasilevskiy in the first round in a lousy draft year. i.e. picked a goaltender high in a high volatility draft because of lack of talent.

Picking a goaltender, a more stable asset, in a high volatility draft year, because of less information about the draft class, if they fall to you is not a bad strategy.

Paddy Morans Jockstrap

In general it’s not a great idea to use a 1st round pick on a goalie – UNLESS – the goalie is truly elite for his age. You can even make the case that the very highest part of the goalie market is under-valued as these guys usually slip to mid-first round. In any year, if you are drafting in the 2nd half of the first round and the #1 goalie is available, you think about it. If the goalie in question is truly elite (not just the best of a mediocre bunch) then the pick certainly could be value.


Because of volatility in the market, the value of late round picks is larger than in a normal year because of option premium. There is a bettter chance of getting a better player than normal, and a better chance of getting a worse player than normal. #DoYouTrustYourScouts


Brandon Saad at 28, probably last big contract and shooting 22% is not the solution we are looking for


Career average around 11%, and he’s not shooting much this season, about half what he usually puts on net.


That’s why I said, “the next Saad.” 🙂

There have to be a few decent forwards with a year left on their contract playing for teams that won’t be in contention next year.

I want Holland to get creative and shop the RFA market as well.

I am not advocating for Holland to go out and sign an Eriksson-type contract.

I’d be on the fence even with a guy like Doogie Hamilton. His next contract is going to be long and expensive, but at least he should be effective for the next four years.

To beat a dead horse, I prefer how Joe finds players rather than loading up on expensive free agents.

Although in this case, it’s imperative that Holland do what he hasn’t done thus far which is add impact players to the cluster given that we have 4 years remaining on 29’s contract.


Not saying you. Multiple people want him signed and yesterday someone had Saad at 6mil as a signing. Seems like incredibly high risk signing to me. Hard to say do what Joe Sakic does and then sign Saad to a 6mil contract.


No worries.

I doubt Jersey would trade Myles Wood, but he has size, speed, and some shooting ability.

Anaheim should trade Rickard Rakell given he has a year left and they can’t even see their window yet. I wonder what Rakell would cost, but he would probably be expensive. I’ve always liked this player.

Holland likes the aged, you could probably get Brown out of LA for free if you think he has one more season left.

What about Tomas Hertl who has 1 year left at $5.625 in San Jose?

Connor Brown doesn’t fit Ottawa’s window either and he has two more years left.

**Note, I am just digging some names out, I haven’t done any analysis on the actual players.

Last edited 3 months ago by Ryan
Harpers Hair

I’ve seen multiple mock expansion drafts where Rackell is lost to Seattle.
He would be a good target in a trade.

But otherwise it’s likely best to seek out a skilled player who is blocked or misused on a cap strapped team like JT Miller was in Tampa Bay.


I guess the question is always between assets out for 1-2 years of a player vs probable overpay in money/term with no assets lost.

In the Saad example, 1 year of him at $5M cost the Avs Zadarov, a legit NHL player (but where Sakic had depth to spare).

As a UFA does Saad sign somewhere for $5M x 4? I’d guess in that range.

The ‘better’ move really depends on the case I’d think.


Zadarov was a cap dump. They were going to get rid of him either way. He was already replaced in the lineup. He was an RFA due for a raise, which he got.

Last edited 3 months ago by Ryan

Sakic is like that guy from Rust to Riches.

He knew Zadarov was due for a raise and he had him replaced. He trades him to Chicago.

Chicago pays Zadarov him $3.2m and now they have a guy with 36% DFF playing elites without Makar or Ian Cole.

Last edited 3 months ago by Ryan

His all situations DFF is 45%, slightly positive on a crap team. He also led their D corps in minutes at 5v5 and GF% (while playing the difficult minutes). I’d think both teams are happy with that trade.

The Oilers are going to have to send away a Samorukov or something in a trade like that.

I’m not sure that’s a better move than giving a comparable player 4 years and holding onto Samorukov.

Last edited 3 months ago by jp

He can’t be a true cap dump when he was traded for a player with a higher AAV.

Colorado’s depth made him expendable, yes. And he returned 1 year of a top 6 forward. Zadarov had real value to NHL teams.

My point I guess is the Oilers will have to spend legitimate assets (picks/prospects most likely) for these types of moves.

And IMO it’s not clear cut that that’s a better approach than signing a similar player for similar AAV for say 4 years.

Clearly there’s issues with going 6 or 7 years, but it is possible to mitigate that by limiting term (as Sakic himself has done).

I’m not sure there’s much to choose as it concerns the Oilers between 1) the Avs trade for 1 year of Saad vs 2) signing a Saad to $5Mx4.


They needed Zadarov’s cap space ($3.2m) to pay Toews’ $4m cap hit. They also needed Saad to provide scoring depth on their 3rd line.

It’s a little complicated for us Oiler fans to connect the dots since we’re used to pretty simple transactions. 🙂 Watching a team kill two birds with one stone is hard to follow.

We’re trading two seconds for Toews to play on our top pair. Oh, Zadarov is too expensive for what he’s worth and we don’t need him anymore.

Okay, let’s see if we can trade him for someone who can score on the third line…

Chicago’s interested. how does one year of Brandon Saad sound?

The Oilers don’t have a lot of assets in the Zadarov class, unfortunately.

We either have assets that are way more valuable (Bouchard, Holloway, or Broberg) or players that are not worth as much (Jones, Lags).

I don’t expect to see a series of savvy transactions from the Oilers in my lifetime, but I’ll keep hoping for it.


Yeah I was able to follow, no need for that.

I’m not saying the Saad trade was a poor one. Just that it wasn’t per se (IMO) a better move than a restrained UFA signing (say $5Mx4 for Schwartz, Saad, Hyman). And as you say, the latter is likely more accessible to the Oilers at this point.

We’ll have to wait and see if Holland can do anything savvy going forward. Or if he can manage to build something more out of simple transactions.

Last edited 3 months ago by jp

I apologize for how I phrased that. I didn’t mean that to sound patronizing.

It’s possible that we see another weak UFA market where there are deals available.

It’s also possible that we see some unqualified RFA’s given cap and dollar constraints.

Mostly, I just want Holland to find the deals wherever they are available.


Yes agreed on that last point obviously.

We’ll see, this is the first year he can actually take advantage of any pressure points.

And without any meaningful cap he he’s already managed to move the team from the bottom (25th in Pts% the 2 years before) to the top half/third of the league (11th in Pts% past 2 years).

I know that you and a lot of others don’t think he can do it, but I’m remaining optimistic he can continue to build this thing now that he has a little cash.

Harpers Hair

That’s about right I think but the middle class is getting squeezed and there aren’t really all that many teams with walking around money..

Scungilli Slushy

Good point, I don’t worry about his SH% because he is a long time 20 + goal scorer. It’s not really buying a heater.

If you could find the 23 YO version that would be better and great, but as Holland said it’s not often players like that get moved.

Compounding that, the world is heavily scouted, so it’s also rare to pull a fully formed two way power forward out of the ether.

It’s more the type I’m interested in, to me Connor needs size and good board / defensive play and finishing on his flanks.

Leon probably as well, because with both players, if others can’t, they try to do everything and that is when trouble starts IMO.


Agreed to 100% slow play to see who shakes loose.

Unless you can convince Dougie Hamilton to come, in which case, get the dump truck full of money ready to drive up on his driveway.

He’s not made of stone.


I would pay for Dougie Hamilton. He is relatively young and legit


Edmonton’s Museums won’t nearly be up to scratch.

Hamilton says no quickly.


Thank you LT, as always this is my favorite draft list.

I hope Oilers draft Cossa.

I also hope Oilers trade Jones + Koskinen (50% retain) for Elvis Merzļikins.

This would allow me to be at peace with the Smith re-signing.

The Stanley Cup playoffs this year are Mostly Goal Tending – same as it ever was.

Ice Sage

That would be a really good move, unless Caleb doesn’t like his bro


Merzlikins is Columbus’ #1 and would cost a lot more than that.


He’s also exempt from the expansion draft, so they’re not exactly incentivized to make such an underwhelming trade.


I would also hope the Oilers take that trade because it is highway robbery

Ice Sage

Korpisalo would be alright too, ? Finn for Finn?


I asked this when you suggested it the other day – why would Columbus do that?

Koskinen at 50% retained may take away all the negative value of his contract and will allow Koskinen to be traded for zero/nomial return which really leads to the trade being Jones for Merzlikins (who is expansion draft exempt) – in my opinion.

Jones does not have that value, in my opinion, and no, I don’t think being Seth’s brother has legit value, even for Jarmo.

Todd Macallan

I’ve got a lot of time for Isak Rosen if the list plays out on similarly on draft day, perhaps even able to trade down a bit and still get him. Viewings are limited to the U18s but that seems to be the norm for this year unfortunately.

Also, I don’t believe Ceulemans is an overager, as he played @ the U18s this year (and also looked very good).


Here’s what I’d do if I was GM;
1. Build an analytics department and overhaul professional scouting.
2. Find playoff players even if it means a slight slip in the regular season. I HATE having to do this and I think the NHL is stupid but we live in a world where Ryan Lomberg out scores Connor McDavid so it’s time to accept that.
3. Don’t “accept that”. I’m Ken Holland and I’m apparently one of the most respected men in hockey. If I use my grandfatherly voice to explain to my peers that times have changed and the league must move forward perhaps they’ll actually be some change.
4. Trade the first for the best forward (23-26) you can get but wait for value. Now, at the draft or in September. And it should be a doozy. Paul Stastny cost a fourth. Vinny Trochek cost a few assets. Toffoli cost a second and a prospect. Lehner cost a second and Subban. Burakosky went for a 2 and 3.
5. Turn off your phone on Day 1 of the free agent frenzy. We all want Blake Coleman or Zach Hyman but do we want them at 5 x 5? I’m not saying “bargain basement” but I’m not setting the market and that’s what happens on day 1. And none of those guys excites me enough to risk it all. Plug in on day 2 and see what’s going down.
6. Save Cap space and assets for two more major moves;
a) a salary cap casualty just before the season starts. We could have had Fleury for 50% retained and no assets. Devin Toews and the 2 2nds. Find that deal.
b) trade deadline. Trust the guys to get you there and then go get that final piece when the cap hit is a fraction of what it will be now.
7. Cheat like Tampa did. LTIR Klefbom till March 1st.


All we have to do is look over Joe Sakic’s shoulder.

Step 1. Look at teams in cap trouble that have RFA’s of interest (the next Burakovsky, Toews, or Grubauer)

Step 2. Look at teams that are nowhere near their window that have players nearing the end of their contract (find the next Saad).

Step 3. Look at teams lost a sea that has a nearly developed gigantic goalie prospect entering their prime (Jonas Johanssen).

Step 4. Look at teams that have a problem player they want to dump (the next Kadri).

Step 5. Look around at teams that are right at the end of their window that is desperate for that last piece (like Nashville was looking for that second-line centre).

Harpers Hair

Depending on what happens with Landeskog, the actual Saad is likely available however it’s quite possible he will be a giant squid.


I would look for the next Saad. This one will be a 28-year-old UFA looking for that retirement contract if it’s out there.


I looked, for Step 1, didn’t find too many forwards in that bucket at this point. Most teams have enough space to sign their RFAs. Maybe Conor Garland in Arizona but he’s undersized, not sure we want more smurfs.

Last edited 3 months ago by TheGreatBigMac
Harpers Hair

As Ryan notes, this is exactly the Joe Sakic template except for #7.

Of course it’s largely irrelevant if #1 is not executed in a very short time frame and Holland’s availability gave little hope that is in the cards.


The Joe Sakic template took 8 years and, as of now, has not yielded playoff success – that looking like its coming but it hasn’t yet. Of course, its going to get harder going forward with the younger players about to get paid and, fairly soon, the best non ELC value contract in the NHL will need to be re-upped.

As far as LTIR Klef until March 1. That doesn’t do anything more than LTIRing him until November. If they are going to spend his LTIR reserves, he needs to be on until the end of the regular season (or they have $4M of space upon activation).

Drai by Shooting

Id like to drop back and take Oskar Olausson please and thanks. He’s like an Elias Petterson Filip Forsberg hybrid who seems to be getting more love lately but not enough. Id like to hear if SwedishPoster has any input. Although ive watched ALOT of him. And read even more. Make it so KH


Which teams are in the most cap trouble for next season?

Do they have any RFA’s of interest?


Thank you for doing this LT. Love the list.

As an Oiler fan – I feel much more at home thinking, debating, about draft prospects.

The 144 hour playoff ‘experience’ feels like a dream now…


Ya, being in the playoffs is such an unusual experience that I didn’t know how to feel!

106 and 106

T-minus two months till draft day on ESPN baby!

(Take that Outdoor Life Network, we’ve graduated)!


Just when I thought i was out…

Barry Trotz/Peter Laviolette both turn Oilers into overnight contenders/champions. With added good players.

Tippett has seen his team bounced 2X in a row. Prior Oilers coaches all blew so no point of reference since Sather/Muckler. The team as constituted stinks, and there is zero reason to think there is improvement without another playoff disaster ahead.


Ice Sage

Why not Torts?


He crossed my mind, but Torts might be too much for the precious snowflakes.

Harpers Hair

Who had zero in your playoff sweepstakes?



The lowest prediction was Oilers having 5 wins.


Gonna be the ultimate “well, let’s pick and follow” draft this year. Least I’ve followed draft prospects at the very least since 2010.

Still think the prospect cupboards are fairly bare for forwards, I’d prefer Holland send out some of our roster players to get some picks.

The other part of me wants to trade the 1st for immediate help, but (1) that’s essentially a lost draft year, thanks to AA and the NHL gifting the Flames the 3rd, and (2) I do wonder if the 1st has less value this year because of the uncertainty.


Volatility because of the pandemic increases the value of a #21 pick. It doesn’t decrease it. i.e. There is more premium value in the optionality of the #21 pick.


Put me down for picking Aatu Räty @21 please, LT.

Jethro Tull

IT’s just Ty Ratty with a fake moustache.

Cape Breton Oilers 4EVR

The uber-aggressive play this off season would be to trade the first rounder for scoring help, buy out Neal and Koskinen, and push the chips into the middle of the table for next year. I’d be willing to bet the first round pick would be pretty valuable to a good team that is afraid of losing something of value in the expansion draft. Not sure Holland is the guy for this strategy though.

Does anybody have Glen Sather’s cell number? Asking for a friend.


At this point I’d give Mark Messier a call.


That would be uber-aggressive but, of course, not necessarily the “right play” and fraught with risk. It’s not necessarily the “wrong play” but, if it doesn’t work out, it has the potential to crater what is being built.

Yes, I agree with “building” and the general strategy. I believe that Holland is 100% ready and willing to spend the futures when it makes sense – if the team is looking great at the deadline, highly competitive with maybe one clear hole or need for upgrade – he’ll fill that for cost.

He was clear that he won’t be spending valuable assets out for one year fixes – he would consider it for players with term but not for guys with one year left (i.e. the 1st rounder isn’t going out for Rackel without being allowed to talk extension first).


Why trade a first round pick for wingers, when there are lots of UFA forwards who will have to settle for one year bargain yields because caps are still squeezed? Or cap dump forwards from squeezed teams.

The wingers will have to be pretty special to trade a first round pick for him.