Complete First Round Mock

by Lowetide

The Edmonton Oilers used just one first-round pick on a defenseman in the first 10 drafts of the century (10 forwards, defenseman Alex Plante and goalie Devan Dubnyk). Between 2010 and 2019, the club drafted four defensemen (Oscar Klefbom, Darnell Nurse, Evan Bouchard and Philip Broberg) and just seven forwards.

The 2021 draft is heavy on blue at the top. Will Edmonton pick another defenseman in the first round?


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!


  1. Buffalo Sabres: LD Owen Power, Michigan Wolverines. Great skater, terrific two-way ability and a great passer. The team is a mess and uncertainty is the order of the day. Jack Eichel and Sam Reinhart could be gone this summer, so GM Kevyn Adams has many ways he can go. I have Power No. 5, his NHLE is 16.8 and he is a November 2002 (older player in this draft). Expect a quality NHL player for a long time. I don’t see him quarterbacking a power play but can see him playing a shutdown role effectively. This is the player type who often gets passed in the following years by a more dynamic player. Not exactly the Yakupov year at No. 1 but many miles from McDavid level talent.
  2. Seattle Kraken: LC Matthew Beniers, Michigan Wolverines. Two-way center with impressive skill. Plus shot, great passer. Kraken general manager Ron Francis will be drafting a center with many of the same skills he brought to the game. Beniers (27.3 NHLE) might be a little shy offensively for the No. 1 center role, but he has the complete range of skills and would be a fine pick for an expansion team (I have him No. 4 overall).
  3. Anaheim Ducks: LD Luke Hughes, U.S. National Development Team Terrific skater with complete range of skills. GM Bob Murray celebrates his new relationship with analytics by taking a fast, brilliant defenseman who is 10 months younger than Power and owns an NHLE (18.5) that is already better. He is 6.02, 176 and I have him No. 6 overall.
  4. New Jersey Devils: RD Brandt Clarke Barrie ColtsPuck-moving defenseman with terrific speed and good size (6.01, 185). Feb 2003. RH blue should join youngsters Ty Smith, Shakir Mukhamadullin and Nikita Okhotyuk in the coming years to form a smart, mobile and effective defensive group. I have him No. 3 on my list, the top defender, and he might be the best player in the draft.
  5. Columbus Blue Jackets: LD Simon Edvinsson, Vasteras IK Huge (6.05, 207) two-way blue with great mobility. His NHLE (10.5) suggests a defensive player but the rankings have him top-5 pretty much everywhere. The combination of size and speed is going to be difficult for GM’s to pass on. He is a February 2003, I have him No. 11.
  6. Detroit Red Wings: LC Mason McTavish Peterborough Petes. He’s a pure goal scorer, PF’s tools. I have him No. 8 overall and I think there’s a chance he falls out of the top-10, but Yzerman’s first two drafts (Seider, Holtz) show no fear and a pursuit of skill. January 2003, he scored 29 OHL goals at age 16. I’d love to see the Oilers trade up for him.
  7. San Jose Sharks:  LW William Eklund, Djurgardens. Exceptional offensive talent already in SHL. His NHLE (28.1) is fantastic considering he played in a pro league that doesn’t hand out playing time easily. He’s an October 2002 and my No. 1 player in this draft. Why will he fall to No. 7? Eklund could go earlier, but the lists I’m looking at suggest the scouts are far more enamored of the blue than the forwards.
  8. Los Angeles Kings: RW Dylan Guenther, Edmonton Oil KingsGreat skater, has pure goal-scoring ability. Shoots right. April 2003. Kings grab another big piece to a draft haul that includes Quinton Byfield, Alex Turcotte and Arthur Kaliyev in the past two seasons (2019 and 2020). Guenther has the highest NHLE (49.5) in this year’s draft. Fantastic player.
  9. Vancouver Canucks: LW Kent Johnson, Michigan Wolverines High skill level, impressive numbers, October 2002. His NHLE (28.4) is strong compared to most in the group, and he has ridiculous skill. The Canucks have some outstanding skill forwards (Elias Pettersson, Brock Boeser) and Johnson could fit right in. It’s important for Vancouver to get it right, the club had three brilliant drafts 2017-2019 but didn’t pick until No. 82 one year ago.
  10. Ottawa Senators: RW Nikita Chibrikov, St. Petersburg Small skill winger can stickhandle in a phone booth. Massive U18’s in Texas. Ottawa often goes outside normal in the first round and have been rewarded handsomely for it. I think they might look center here (see below) but the Russian would be the most talented player if the draft rolls out this way.
  11. Chicago Blackhawks: RC Chaz Lucius, U.S. National Development Team Great shot, high skill, good speed. He could be a steal. Lucius didn’t play a lot this season, it may hurt his final number but most rankings have him in this range. Chicago has been a little porridge in recent seasons, this would represent a spike in talent for the organization.
  12. Calgary Flames: LC Zachary Bolduc, Rimouski Oceanic. A fairly complete talent, his offense is the main calling card. Bolduc had some injury issues in 2020-21 but he’s skilled (25.0 NHLE) and a February 2003. This is an important draft for the Flames, who last hit a home run in 2016.
  13. Philadelphia Flyers: LD Carson Lambos, Winnipeg Ice A big man already (6.01, 200) he is a fine skater. Two-way blue. Flyers seemed to be in a bit of a draft funk in recent seasons, but Joel Farabee blossomed last season and there are some good pieces bubbling under.
  14. Dallas Stars: LW Fedor Svechkov, Ladia Togliatti. Smart two-way winger who can push the river. Last time the Stars drafted out of Russia it was Denis Gurianov in 2015 and it worked out fine.
  15. New York Rangers: LW Matt Coronato, Chicago Steel Pure scorer, great release, headed to Harvard. He’s a real burner and a dynamic scorer (48 goals last season). I’m not sure what the Rangers are doing, wonder if some of the team’s best young talent could be available. That may also mean this pick is in play.
  16. Montreal Canadiens: LC Zachary L’Heureux, Halifax Mooseheads Plays like PF, is a streaky scorer, great skater and a determined checker. He is not a big man (5.11, 186) but he’s in the play constantly. Along with McTavish, L’Heureux is the forward I’m most like to see fall to the Oilers. Montreal drafted Jesperi Kotkaniemi, Alexander Romanov and Cole Caufield in 2018-2019 and that window is paying off already. Habs are always a fun team to follow at the draft.
  17. St. Louis Blues: RW Fabian Lysell, Lulea. Breathtaking skill winger, great release. He has speed and shiftiness, and can pass and take a pass in full flight. The Blues have been inconsistent in recent drafts, and need a home run skill forward. Lysell is a perfect fit for St. Louis.
  18. Winnipeg Jets: LC Francesco Pinelli, Kitchener Rangers  Smart, high skilled center who passes well and has plus speed. I’ve read in a few spots that he could land on LW, but he has enough ability to be a net positive wherever he plays. Had a strong U18’s. The Jets are one of the best teams in the league at the draft table, the heart of its team is on past draft pages.
  19. Nashville Predators: LC Aatu Raty, Karpat Talented center who struggled in the Liiga but has a solid junior resume. Teams looking for good centers this year are going to be taking risks, but Raty will be a bargain if he can find the range offensively. A great drafting team, Preds have bled a lot via trades of young prospects over the years.
  20. New Jersey Devils: RC Xavier Bourgault, Shawinigan Cataractes There’s just too much offense to ignore. His NHLE (32.2) tells us he is a dynamic scorer (great shot) but he’s also a creative passer and playmaker. The QMJHL is producing major talent at the three forward positions in recent history, I think the NJD pass on the two goalies avaiable and take the scoring forward.
  21. Edmonton Oilers:  G Sebastian Cossa, Edmonton Oil Kings. He’s a giant goaltender, had a .941 save percentage this season. Cossa blocks out the sun, has a good glove and moves well laterally. If I’m right about this pick, it will confirm the resume on Wright/Holland in Edmonton. By drafting Broberg, Holloway and then Cossa, the organization will be adding players who are low risk and should play in the league. I believe Cossa’s upside is high, but he’s also a safe pick.
  22. Minnesota Wild:  G Jesper Wallstedt, Lulea. 6.03, 214, 22 games and a .908 SP in the SHL. Wallstedt is rated as the top goalie across the lists I’ve seen, and probably goes in the top 15 overall. Wild GM Bill Guerin has been running circles around the rest of the league since he was named, expect Wallstedt will be a home run.
  23. Columbus Blue Jackets: LC Cole Sillinger, Sioux Falls Stampede Dangerous shooter, fine passer. Average skater. He is ranked higher on other lists (I have him No. 38) and his NHLE is 32.9 (a strong number this year). I punished him for skating issues, perhaps he is underrated on my list.
  24. Detroit Red Wings: RW Isak Rosen, LeksandsSpeedy playmaker, March 2013. Sixth sense offensively. I think I’ll like Yzerman more as a GM than I did as a player. Rosen had just one assist during 22 SHL games, but he was dominant against his own age group (7, 7-2-9) at the World Juniors. In McTavish and Rosen, Detroit would be procuring two of the more impressive scorers in the draft.
  25. Columbus Blue Jackets:  RC Logan Stankoven, Kamloops Blazers 5.07, 165. Demon on the forecheck with plus skills. No team takes advantage of the WHL’s undersized skill demons more than Columbus. In Edvinsson, Sillinger and Stankhoven, the Blue Jackets would be adding three ‘up the middle’ solutions who may one day occupy a prominent spot on the depth chart in Ohio.
  26. Minnesota Wild: LD Daniil Chayka, CSKA Moscow Two-way defender who will play big minutes wherever he lands. Chayka’s defensive abilities are already solid and his speed allows him to play well in coverage. Offensively, he’s a good passer and has a plus shot, but doesn’t have a resume that suggests a future on an NHL power play.
  27. Florida Panthers: LW Brennan Othmann, Flint Firebirds Best first-shot scorer among wingers in the OHL. He is also an excellent passer and a good skater (not lightning fast but very efficient). The Barkov-Eklbad-Weegar drafts were 7-8 years ago and the team went through a down period. The last two drafts (Spencer Knight, Anton Lundell) have been much better, and Othman would be a solid addition to the prospect pool.
  28. Vegas Golden Knights: LC Zach Dean, Gatineau Olympiques. He is going in the first round, I have him No. 58. Dean is 20.2 NHLE and a January 2003. He has been compared to Ridly Greig from last year (Oilers were rumoured to have interest) and I’ve seen scouting reports with “compete” as a bullet point. The math doesn’t love him.
  29. Boston Bruins: RW Olivier Nadeau, Shawinigan Cataractes More bull than beauty, he is effective. He is a big winger (6.02, 204) and had a strong year (13-32-45 in 34 games) in 2020-21. He is a good passer, plus shot, and is a January 2003. Boston has had one pick in the top-30 overall in the last three seasons, important to cash here.
  30. Carolina Hurricanes: LW Ayrton Martino, Omaha Lancers Small speedy winger, September 2002. All of his cannons are pointed in the offensive direction, he is 5.10, 170 and one of the older players in the draft. Carolina routinely hits home runs in the first round, the last time the organization struck out at the draft was 2008.
  31. Colorado Avalanche: RW Mackie Samoskevich, Chicago (USHL) Speedy skill winger. I have him at No. 61 but he shows up high on a few respected lists. Has an NHLE of 22.8. This draft is all over the place, the Avalanche are a team that can take chances.


  1. USHL-6
  2. SHL-5
  3. QMJHL-5
  4. OHL-4
  5. WHL-4
  6. NCAA-3
  7. Liiga-1
  8. KHL-2
  9. VHL-1

The OHL and WHL are off the usual pace, USHL and SHL have strong crops and the NCAA shows early domination. Finland having a down year.


A small show today, just one hour (10-11) on TSN1260. We promise to make it entertaining, with Frank Seravalli the feature guest and we will chat a little about the draft. WHC featuring Canada and Russia at 11. 10-1260 text, @Lowetide on twitter. See you on the radio!


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Othmann is the pick I would make at 21, we need scoring wingers with skill, goalies are voodoo. Othmann is a first shot scorer with good hands and nhl skating

Bag of Pucks

Expected Goals (i.e. All the woman I could’ve, would’ve, should’ve slept with)


Having more opportunities to score usually translates to more scoring.

Not scoring in the end is definitely frustrating though.


What would have to be added taken away from a trade to get Seth Jones? Puljujarvi, Koskinen to CBJ for Seth Jones? How much would we have to add? What about Klefbom?

Bag of Pucks

Corsi is an amazing drug.

It can turn a 4 game sweep into a coin toss in the mind of some fans.

If only Stanley Cups were decided by the shot totals. Why is the world so unfair?


Just occurred to me on Wallstedt vs Cossa.

Do we really expect Ken Holland to take the Oil King over the Swede?

I guess Holloway is a +1 for local scouting. But more generally, Holland’s history suggests picking a pro from Sweden is at least as likely as a junior from his own backyard (see Broberg over the USHL).

Anyway, just a thought that this isn’t your DoD Oilers any more.


Wallstedt will be gone by time we pick


Well yes, but there was a considerable discussion about it today regardless.

My comment I guess was as much about draft tendencies and re-setting expectations as about who the Oilers will actually pick.


OTOH, Covid has impacted the way scouts can go about their business.

Owning the major junior team who plays in the same building as the big club could be a significant advantage.

Even if the scouts aren’t allowed into games due to protocols (unlikely given they’re corporate employees) the GM and coach of the Oil Kings are employed within the Oilers’ overall umbrella, so there is a considerable amount of inside intel at Kenny’s disposal.


That’s a good point.

Seems that Holland has pretty good intel from Europe as well, but I agree the local viewings could have amplified importance this year.


Holland, with his Swedish contacts, and with Cossa literally in the building, will have more information on both goaltending prospects than any other GM in the league.


That’s probably true.

Bag of Pucks

Marchand is just money.

Ice Sage

That was a Tikkanennesque snipe.

Our Edmonton Operation

Hall had a nice textbook backcheck on their first goal, showing real hustle and presumably buying into the Bruins system, turning the play the other way and getting the primary assist on Smith’s goal. If I had Munny’s skills, I’d show a GIF. I was stunned at Hall’s two way play on the goal but then again, I haven’t watched him in years.



During Taylor Hall’s 16:37 of 5-on-5 ice time tonight, the Bruins outshot the Islanders 15-0.


Watching the canes lightning games. Interesting hooking call just made. Connor couldn’t even get one exactly the same and worst hooks. Different standards I’m guessing

Last edited 4 months ago by flyfish1168
Bag of Pucks

Connor is a very quiet player especially for a Captain. If he wants to get more calls, he could definitely be more vocal with the refs to lobby his cause.

Gretzky complained to the refs a ton. He was known by the nickname ‘Whiner’ by opposition fans because of it. But it worked. He got the calls.

I actually admire that Connor doesn’t complain about the officiating a lot, like so many fans. He just gets on with his business.

Last edited 4 months ago by Bag of Pucks

It would behoove him to be more vocal in strategic instances.

Less of the sure you don’t want to check upstairs kind of vocal, and more lobbying the league in competition committees and checking in with them during TV timeouts to ascertain what they are and aren’t going to call. And then call them out on their own inconsistencies when their verbal doesn’t match their actions. Escalate strategically as necessary.

Tippett could be more vocal too. And Holland should be on the phone with Gary more often. One post season is a fluke, two in a row isn’t a coincidence — it’s a pattern.


Perhaps Holland is on the phone with Gary quite often? I would say “probably not” as he’s not part of the inner circle of power although we don’t know what we don’t know……


And Holland should be on the phone with Gary more often.

However much he’s on the phone right now, clearly isn’t enough.

And this isn’t just an isolated issue for the Oilers, either.


I would hazzard a guess that Holland was more part of the “inner” circle when he was in States and the league was pushing for Detroit success because it was needed or the team was gonna suffer financial castrophy.


The day Bettman gets punted or dies will be the yr the next Canadian team wins a cup or there shortly after,until then enjoy Bettman always propping up the US teams

Bag of Pucks

2 in a row is a pattern?

I’m just going to leave that here.

Last edited 4 months ago by Bag of Pucks

Seasons, not games.


Didn’t see that play.

What I’ve noticed, more generally, is that penalties are more likely to be called inside the offensive zone, on infractions involving the puck carrier on a scoring chance.

What the Jets realized and maximized was that they could slash, grab, obstruct, and even tackle McDavid all day long provided he wasn’t the puck carrier, inside the offensive zone, with a scoring chance.

Last edited 4 months ago by Ryan

Rakell for a 2nd and 3rd.
Sam Reinhart for a 1st and 3rd
Goalie through either trade or UFA. I wouldn’t mind Broberg or Bouchard + for a 25 YO top goalie

Rakell 4m-McDavid-Kassian
Nuge 5.5m-Drai-Yamamoto 2m
Holloway/Benson/McLeod/Lavoie-Reinhart 5m-Puljujarvi

46 Million

Klefbom-Larsson 3.5
Kulikov 1.75-Bouchard
Lagesson, Russel, Koekkoek, Broberg

20 Million

5 Million goalie
Mike Smith 2m

Dead Cap:
2.25+ 2.25 Koskinen trade half retained + 2m Neal Buyout

80 Mill cap hit

Big upgrades at 1LW, 3C and 1A goalie

Weaknesses: 1RW, 3LW, 2LD

Candidates for better seasons: Nuge, Yamamoto, JP, Bear, Larsson, Kulikov, Bouchard.

Candidates for regression: 4th line, Klefbom, Smith

Main problem would be the Nurse, Bear and Puljujarvi contracts the following year. At that point Klefbom, Kassian or Rakell might have to be traded/let go

Harpers Hair

The Oilers, unfortunately, do not possess the 2nd and 3rd round picks you’re trading for Rackell.

I doubt the Ducks would be interested in 2022 picks.


You might be right and I did mean the 2022 picks. I guess it depends on what else is offered for him. If not they could use that 4 million for a different LW such as coleman


Yeah who wouldn’t want picks in a year you actually get to scout players

Harpers Hair

Yeah…who wants to wait an extra year for players selected in the 2nd and 3rd round who might make a difference in 4-5 years.


When you trade players for picks you know what you are signing yourself up for.
it will be interesting to see how teams treat this years picks given the complete crapshoot of scouting


I would rather have 2022 picks.


Bear is very far from a top pair D and Larson is very far from a 4 D. Yikes. Oilers fans need to stop thinking this is good enough.


I mean, we know Larsson is about to be signed to a 4*4 so I can’t really do much about that.
Bear did fine in his rookie season, maybe we see improvement from him. Enough at least for until Bouchard, Broberg and Samorukov push up


Bear was quite good as a 1RD in 2019/20 – Darnell Nurse makes his partner better.

Adam Larsson is 100% a top 4D – is that really in question?


100% no to trading Bouchard for any available goalie.


What if that goalie is Spencer Knight?


I don’t believe Spencer Knight is available.


How is no one’s response to this that the trade offers are laughably too low?

Like even HH’s attempt focuses on… the year of the draft picks??

Hello??? Have you all gone dull?????


4 games for Scheiffele seems steep for a first offender.

Decidedly Skeptical Fan

He could have ended Evans’ career with that hit. I would have given him the 5 game maximum.


I might be wrong but I think the in-person hearing is needed for 5 games plus.

4 games is the max when an in-person hearing is not offered.


Yup, seems steep but, for me, the key is that he simply didn’t need to blow the player up like he did – it was no longer a hockey play. Scheiffele didn’t get there in time and the puck was in the net and he knew that. It was a split second emotional decision to blow up a player in an extremely vulnerable position which was, while not super late, after the play was over so with no hockey play value.


Yes he was a split second late and have no problem with the 5 and a game. He did stop skating halfway into the zone though
Seems like a fine line between some non penalized open ice hits where a player gets blown up and it’s clean and when It’s not
I have no problem with calling players out on “lack of respect for players safety”. It’s just treated very inconsistently


Watching the replay again, I’m not convinced he couldn’t stop the goal if he extended his stick; maybe if he dove stick first.


Potentially, but that leads more credence to the fact that he was not making any sort of hockey play and the sole intent of the play was to blow the player up.

When the hit happened, the play was over.


How many games did Tkachuk get for his run at Zack?


I don’t think Tkachuk’s run at Kass is even close to what Schieffele did.

Kass’ over-reaction, on the other hand…..


Why not?
He took just as many strides as Schieffele did and hit Kassian just as hard. And Kassian was engaged with another Flame at the time.
That hit was just as predatory as the Evans hit. The only difference is that Kassian wasn’t hurt.


Tkachuk started from a standstill at the hashmarks – the speed of the incident wasn’t even close to the same. He also hit Kass just as Kass was making a second play on the puck and the hit impacted the play – not like last night where the play was over, the puck was in the net.

The main difference is the best delta in the speed of the two plays.

Paddy Morans Jockstrap

Sure Crossa is good, but Wallstadt is big with fantastic side to side / up and down movement, a good skater and technically sound. He’s determined, calm, with a glove hand and puck handling. Add a .908 against pros and he will not take long to be NHL-ready. I’d take either but Wallstadt would be my first pick since he’s cat quick and already done very well against men in a league that is near AHL quality.


Everywhere i look has LT coming in at over $3M for Smith and I don’t like it, not one bit.

Bump his base to $2M but one cannot expect a repeat performance that has him play 75% of the games and over an 82 game season. One must expect him to be used in more of a true split, no?


100% agree.

At his age a bonus laden contract with a low base salary is the way to go. On one year deals, obviously.


Well, that’s different LT. That’s a contract I’m on board for – a raise to $2MM base plus performance bonuses.

That only hits the cap at $2MM for this season though. If he hits full bonuses, they will count against the cap but at the end of the year and, if there isn’t cap room for them, they carry over.

For that contract, I count $2MM on the cap (because that’s all that needs to be allocated to it for the season).

Bonus overages from the past two seasons are applicable but those fit in to the same bucket as buyout hits and retained salary hits.


Picking a goalie in this year’s first round seems to be the consensus on the blog, and I tend to agree. Probably for the first time it’s kind of a no-brainer since 2015 when we could have nabbed Samsonov with little risk.

Having said that, if Wallstedt or Cossa are available, who’s the skater that would be a no-brainer to pick instead should he fall to us?


In a year with such variance in “consensus” it will be exciting to see who lands where. All it takes are a few teams going walkabout and the options can get exciting in a hurry.


That would be a walkabout so far off it would be Down Under. Thankfully, the organization seems to have purged the tendencies that begat the DoD+ in the first place. Skill and athleticism in the first round over all else is a solid set of fundamentals on which to base drafting strategy. And Wright seems to be somewhat consistent, predictable even, in that regard.

But with Cossa comfortably in the range I doubt there would be much disappointment if he is our selection.

Last edited 4 months ago by BornInAGretzkyJersey

Picking a goalie in this year’s first round seems to be the consensus on the blog, and I tend to agree. 

I find it so interesting and weird how anti-Askarov this blog was last draft (in comparison).

Even Godot’s on board. This time around. 🤷


Funny you mention him, I was going to point out the epic flop by Askarov at the WJC after being crowned the heir apparent to Vas/Price. There’s always risk even with the most highly touted of prospects. (Not sure how his progress has been faring since, to be fair.)

I was on board with the notion of drafting a goalie in 2015, and again with Knight and Askarov. At some point the club will have to grow the most important position organically. Like planting trees, the best time to begin was yesterday. If not then, today is second best. At least we’re doing better at drafting goalies under both Pete and Ken than any time before in club history, save the Duby/JDD era and all the way back to the epic Moog/Fuhr tandem.


Svechkov or Sillinger


100% of scouts have Wallstedt above Cossa, most well above.


Good indicator but how many have had the ability to see Cossa? Sorry about the spelling but I have memories of a certain D that our people ignored because he played in northern Alberta. Diamonds can be found in previously un-mined places! Majority is not always right. Brings to mind an old saying “ the masses are asses “. We should all question, but to automatically assume group think is correct makes the decision maker safe but not necessarily correct! It is prudent to question!


I’m drawing a blank here, which D are you referring to?


Parayko, probably.




Thanks! Had to be away for awhile working on the honey do list!😂


Trevor Kidd, Martin Brodeur.

Wallstedt has had much greater visibility and longer track record compared to Cossa. I expect him to go first because of that. If they are both available when the Oilers pick, this is when one’s goalie scouts and coaches earn their money.

Like with Holloway and Savoie, the OIlers have more information on Cossa than anyone else.

I think Holland and Wright will have a list of a couple of forwards, and if the forwards they like are gone, they will take one of the goaltenders.



Last edited 4 months ago by ArmchairGM

I would trade out 1st round this year for Reinhart. That’s the best we could hope our 20th overall draft pick would turn out in 3-5 years. Its a start of rebuilding our second line. Buffalo might take it if the go full-on rebuild, helps both sides

John Chambers

Man, we traded a 1st in 2015 for Reinhart and look how well that turned out!
But yeah I think Sam probably fits the core really well as a 2014, and he can be a long-term fit in the top-6 at C or RW on a number that shouldn’t break the bank.
Like a younger, right-handed Nuge.


Yeah I think this is the good one!


Not a bad idea, but does Reinhart play G? If Lowetide’s scenario above plays out there’s no way I’m trading a Vasilevskiy-level talent (Wallstedt) for Sam Reinhart. Broadly similar 2nd liners can be had in free agency for similar dollars without giving up anything at all. Goalies like that almost never come available in free agency.


If available when we make the call it makes sense! Trying to improve a team deficit is never a wrong move in my opinion.


And I’m not so sure Reinhart skates well enough does he ?


A first for Sam Reinhart make oodles of more sense than a 1st for Rackell – contract status alone (let alone age, ceiling, etc.).


Yup, Rakell isn’t worth a 1st to me either. Yaremchuk’s argument that they should do it in order to get more goal scoring belies the fact that Rakell has scored just 24 goals over the past 2 seasons combined, tied with James Neal (although Neal has played 33 fewer games). Nine goals this year and some want to spend a 1st to rent him?!


Why isn’t Silfverberg being discussed as a viable target more often?

More consistent than Rakell and more well rounded game too, if I recall correctly. Would be a better player in the playoffs, by style.


To me it’s more about the right player, the right fit, for the roster needs.

Also, a player who’s available is either damaged/flawed, or at full retail value. I’d like to pick another team’s pockets for once, and in my mind, ANA still owes us for being gifted CFP.


I’d rather have Miles Wood.


The Oilers don’t have the cap room or a roster spot for an expensive right wing.

If he was a left shot, or if the Oilers were not paying Kassian, then sure.

The better plan or RW for this year is to bet on growth for Puljujarvi and Yamamoto, and hope Lavoie pushes like hell.

The cap space HAS to be spent on left shot left wings.


They have the RW roster spot – ideal would be to have Yamamoto as 3RW and 2RW upside and fill-in.

Of course, the hole in top 6 LW is MUCH more glaring and there likely isn’t cap space for 3 top 6 wingers.

Lavoie may end up being a LW……

Randle McMurphy

Marc Bergevin has done a pretty nice job building a team with some balance. Good drafting and good UFA aquisition.

A few snipers, a few guys who get their noses dirty, a solid top 4 D, a solid checking line, an elite goalie tandum.

He’s got a contending roster, 4 or 5 pretty good prospects in the system and 11 draft picks in the upcoming draft.


Playoff results aside I actually think they’re pretty mediocre. I have a lot of time for Petry, Weber is no longer what he was 5 years ago and they don’t have any young dynamic D (Romanov is ok but not going to be in the league of even a Bouchard). Their F depth is good and relatively balanced but they don’t have any elite talent. They actually remind me a lot of the late 90s early 2000s Oilers. That’s ok but you’re not going far every year with that roster. I’d be surprised if they make the playoffs with the same lineup next year.


I agree. The Habs are the mushy middle IMO. They need centres. Not sure how you do it though.


Remind me of the cup run 06 Oilers and also the Canes of the same year. I could see the Habs beating the Avs. They have that run type of team.

Randle McMurphy

Picking in the 20 range the best we could hope for in normal year would be another Yamamoto type. (which could be had in free agency in most years)

I think this is the year to take one of the two goalies, Cossa or Wallstedt, and hope that they turn out to be somewhat Carey Price-ish. Playing in the NHL in D+2 with a .920 sv%


At #20 I’d run to the (virtual) podium if Wallstedt was on the board still. Cossa is among my top choices too.

The thing about this year is that due to both the lack of in person scouting and limited exposure for many prospects, there’s guaranteed to be many “off the board” selections in the 5-20 range, so it’s hard to pinpoint which prospect would be the best selection for the Oilers from here. L’Heureux, for instance, is #8 on Craig’s List and #25 on The Hockey Writer’s May list. That’s a massive gap. I’m kinda wishing Holland had a crack scouting team and three 2nd round picks about now – despite not being a heady crop, there could be a LOT of talent available in later rounds this year.


We should be grateful that Holland didn’t sacrifice our first round draft choice to take a run as was stated by HH many times when telling us how much smarter Dubas was than Holland!


Agreed, the deadline is the worst time to get good value for a draft pick. The team wasn’t going to be winning more than a round so it would bave been wasted assets.

Bag of Pucks

If you like talking about the draft, the Edmonton Oilers are the perfect team to root for.

Discussing recent playoff wins? Not so much.

We wait. Truer words were never spoken.


I am truly blessed and or spoiled because as an Oiler fan I got watch the greatest team ever and if weren’t for economics would have set records that no team would ever beat!

Bag of Pucks

Does that success (a long time ago for younger fans) create too much complacency?

The team with the top two scorers in the NHL was swept in the 1st round! That round is barely over and we’re talking draft. I would have expected the postmortem on the current roster and coaching staff to be a little more detailed and a lot more heated.

Look at the ages Crosby, Toews, and Gretzky won their first Cups. The Oilers are blowing a golden opportunity with generational talents. And the losses to Winnipeg and Chicago indicate that they’re not even close.

LT’s voice of reason kept us calm through the DoD, but it’s time for a sense of urgency AND accountability from this fanbase now.

The City has gotten too comfortable with losing.

Last edited 4 months ago by Bag of Pucks

Agreed. If not going all in this year then why not trade Nuge. Of course, need someone to trade with but probably could have gotten a first.


Because there is a large large large space between “going all in” and firing multiple silver bullets (reducing the amount of bullets for future years in the process) and selling off roster players.

The Jets went “less all in” than the Oilers (only Jordie Benn) – should they have sold Stastny and Fobort and Perrault and Poolman?

Bag of Pucks

Yup. I was calling for RNH to be traded last offseason. Maximize the value of the UFA. Given what he produced in the playoffs against the Jets, that was clearly the right call. Poor asset management by Ken.

This team needed a one shot sniper this year a helluva lot more than it needed another slick passing C.


Yes we were swept in the first round but that is an over simplification in my opinion. Assuming we add Samorukov and Bouchard to the D and Holloway to the forward group our internal growth continues with better size and skill at entry level cap. Add a free agent winger and the team should reasonably be expected to garner a playoff spot while still allowing for the resigning of Larsson and possibly Nuge. Incremental improvement! This also will allow cap for the new Nurse contract. There seems to be too many holes to fill this off season to risk an all in approach. Some of the names mentioned as possible fixes to the top six and or Nuge replacements seem over priced or lateral movements at best.

Bag of Pucks

Wait until next year is all well and good but eventually you’ve got show some progress as well.

The team has proven nothing in the playoffs. Smith actually made the sweep seem closer than it was. Tippett’s coaching was atrocious. And it ends with Connor showing a decided lack of leadership.

This isn’t progress. It’s regression.


May I ask how Smith made the sweep seem closer than it was?

In my opinion, if anything, goaltending was the main reason for the sweep – both by eye test and by advanced numbers. Smith’s GSAA was actually negative for the series and Connor H’s was over 6 I believe.

I don’t imagine the series winning goal goes in on Connor H., I imagine Connor H makes a save that Smith didn’t during the 3-goal barage, etc.


Nonsense. Smith was good but Hellibuck was better.

Bag of Pucks

Connor Helebuyck was very good against a 1 line hockey team.

Mike Smith was very good against a 4 line hockey team.


It’s so weird that the 1 line hockey team had essentially 60% of the shots, scoring chances, etc, but THEIR goalie was the one that made the series closer.

Also: “This isn’t progress. It’s regression.” Huh?

Bag of Pucks

Impressed by the Oilers perimeter game were you?

Regression has more than one meaning. Look it up.

Last edited 4 months ago by Bag of Pucks

One line team or 4 line team, the numbers meet the eye test, Connor Helebuyck face more shots and more scoring chances and performed much better. The Oilers “won” in all the fancy stat categories including expected goals. Where the Jets won was on tending – Mike Smith with a negative GSAA and Connor Helebuyck’s near 6 (positive).



If Montreal or Winnipeg win the series and play in the conference finals and lose do one of those teams pick #28?

Doug McLachlan

Yes, not clear which of the two will select after the Oilers but with Toronto’s elimination one of them will. Similarly if the Islanders beat Boston then their pick (owned by New Jersey) also moves to after the Oilers.

Bank Shot

I’m pretty okay with the Oilers dealing their 1st round picks for the next 4-5 seasons. They need to create a team that can compete for the the Stanley before the McDrai contracts run out, and they are still too far off. I don’t think 1sts past this season are likely to help them that much if keeping the pick.

Usually really good established players can be had with a first in the summer. I hope Holland can grab a few over the next 2-3 years.


You are a brave man to post this on a ‘draftcentric’ blog like this. 😉


I can see 1 or 2 of them being in play but the draft is the key to ongoing success.

While molding the existing roster, a GM must keep his eye 5 years out.

In the salary cap era, there really aren’t nearly as many opportunities/advantages to tanking given the reduced disparity.

More teams have a shot at succeeding in the playoffs so you need to keep the pipeline intact.

It is a fun game to watch from the sidelines!

Scungilli Slushy

Me too, not as many though

If the goalies are gone this draft I’d do it this year.

If they can sign a couple of helpful UFAs and flesh the roster out they wouldn’t really have to do it often.

The D is set for years. They need goalies and forwards. Three top 6 F spots are solid, Holloway isn’t far off. Make a trade or two, sign a UFA or two, and it’s set for years. Only tweaks and cap trades.


That’s how I see it but I fear we are in the minority. I take solace in the fact we all want another Stanley Cup for the Oilers!


The impatience of youth or, the I would like to see another Stanley Cup victory before I die of the more senior crowd! I am still in what is now the minority that wants sustainability. It may be a dream but like you we all want that championship!


This team is too top heavy for sustainability imo. They have to grab what they can in the next 4 years before we start to look like Pittsburgh does now.

Last edited 4 months ago by defmn

You may be correct but as I see it if our D play out as I see it we will be a team in contention for the next ten years. There will come a time in about four years when the team has to choose between Draisaitl and McDavid until then let’s have fun and rejoice in watching two of the greatest NHL talents since Gretzky.

Bank Shot

I don’t think Draisaitl and McDavid stay if the Oilers aren’t winning or making the finals in the next four seasons.

They are quite far away at the moment and need some big time talent injection. A first round pick at the draft can net you a significant player.

I’m not a fan of deadline deals dumping picks usually, but during the summer you can make very good use of picks.

The AA trade for example. The Oilers could have acquired more for less at the draft with those picks.

Last edited 4 months ago by Bank Shot

The Miller trade for Vancouver is the perfect template for the Oilers right now. Not sure the truth behind this, but heard today that both Hertl and Rakell may be available. I would trade a first for either of those guys. And try to dig Gibson out of Anaheim in the same deal.


Miller was signed for 4 more seasons. Rackell is one year from UFA status. That is a difference between those two trade types.

Holland is on record that he’s not going to spend material futures for a player with a one-year term – not in the off-season.

Gibson hasn’t been very good for a while now – probably somewhat team related but I’d stay clear of that contract and likely acquisition cost.


The Miller trade for Vancouver is the perfect template for the Oilers right now. 

1) Trade 1st, 3rd for solid player.
2) Have player take major step forward from anything he’s done before.

Voila. Easy peasy.


Some people identified Miller as THE nearly ideal target at the time.

I haven’t found a comparable one yet…certainly not any of the nearly 30-something guys.


Sam Reinhart (with a $5.75M X 5 year deal in place)?

Would probably take a second piece – maybe even a Samorukov.

Last edited 4 months ago by OriginalPouzar

You are giving up on Yamamoto, and permanently blocking one of your top forward assets in Lavoie.

I think one lets right wing play out. Make or break year for Yamamoto in the top 6. If Yamo fails, pick up a stop gap RW at the deadline for the playoffs.

I think the focus and the mental energy of the GM should be on the left wing position.


I’m not giving up on Yamamoto in the last – I am acknowledging his age (and that he is still developing) and the realisms we see on the ice. The game that we from Yama this past season was a high end 3RW game.

As I said, the ideal would be to have him as 3RW, not because he isn’t capable of being a 2RW but because he would be an elite 3RW and PK guy that could fill in on 2RW as needed (or simply win that job on merit with his play – See Jesse P.).

That is the type of depth that championship teams have.

He is still a young player, coming off his ELC. He will continue to develop and improve for some years.

As I also said, I agree, LW needs to be the focus but was simply stating that, if a RW for the top 6 was acquired, there is the roster spot – probably not the cap room though.

There is no blocking of Lavoie – I see him as an off-wing LW at the NHL level.


IIRC at the time folks were at least as excited about Jason Zucker. The two have gone very different directions since then obviously.

But agreed, Miller was a quality player even before going from 0.64 to 0.97 point/game. Yeah, maybe not any comparables available this season.

Harpers Hair

If only a team had an analytics team that could identify a player who is blocked and playing on a third line that would thrive in the right role.


Miller’s most common linemates his last year in TB: Stamkos, Cirelli, Killorn, Kucherov. He played some time on the 3rd line but more top 6.

And he sure as hell wasn’t a 3rd line player in NY.

But he averaged 51 points over the 4 years before the trade. Never hit 60.

Now he’s a basically a point per game player.

That’s called making a so-so bet, then winning the jackpot.


JT Miller was 25, and had scored twenty goal seasons for two different organizations in a middle six role. Miller was also cost controlled for four more years. One was buying the prime of his career.

Unlike the guys you mention who are on the other side of the hill, and need to be re-signed after next season.

Hertl and Rakell are banging on 30.

Hyman is banging on 30.

A first for Ehlers is one thing. A first for Hertl or Rakell is lunacy.


Exactly Godot – Rakell would be a nice addition but, if a 1st is being paid, it needs to be a player like S. Reinhart (with a reasonable extension in hand).


Hertl will be 27 when the season starts.


Hertl will be 28 in November in the last year of his contract. I think that qualifies as banging on 30. One is getting a declining player.

Miller was 25 with FOUR years left on his contract.

I wouldn’t mind Hertl. He is sort of like Kadri. One year left. I prefer Kadri. He can do more things that the Oilers need the forward they add to do.

I wouldn’t want to give a first round pick up for either. They are too old. Just wait till they are UFA’s in a year instead of giving up a #1, and sign a UFA stop gap this year.


What you say is true but Holland had no idea that Covid-19 would arrive when it did. His bets when he made them were reasonable. The fact that a shortened season did not allow for players acquired to get established is not on him. In hind sight he would do things differently. In his favour he did not throw good money after bad. Given his improvements in the organization and his steady hand on the tiller he should begetting accolades! Instead I see people on his case because he isn’t eloquent in his end of season report. In my opinion we need to backup and look at the value added since his hire and give the man a chance.


The Kassian deal marks the one major mistake/unforced error that Holland has made. It was deemed a mistake by many at the time and would still be even if Covid hadn’t changed things.

Other mistakes, such as Turris, have little material effect and are the negative implications are short term.


Both times, by Chiarelli and by Holland.


I didn’t like the 3 year deal to Kassian in 2017 by Chiarelli. I hated both of them. I wanted Pitlick.


I think he means the 3 x $1.95M deal before this one.


True it was!

Scungilli Slushy

There should be a balance. Our fear as Oiler fans is tarnished by incompetent people making awful deals.

The reality is the top teams don’t just do it through the draft. It would take forever, and a capped league takes a big chunk of that time away.

Draft and develop, successfully trade good excess pieces, and plug holes by trade or UFA.

The Oilers are in the window now. The core has gone through several playoffs, and have had the bitter taste of playing the wrong way and losing, full chugging gulps of it.

They are ready for the next step. Dues are paid in full. I am certain of of it. The generals need the troops now to win the battle.

What is missing is the surrounding pieces, the easier ones. The ones Sakic and savvy GMs acquire with relative ease.

Playoff style LW, with some hands, or two
Faceoff winning RC or two
Shutdown 3C (could be one of the above)
Klef cover
backup better than Koski if he can be dealt
Improve replacement level players with more size where needed, and skill, which isn’t expensive

The key is having good pro scouting. The Covid season and flat cap created stress, that also means things can shake loose that might not normally.

Holland now has the cap to pounce, if he has his org running well, and isn’t letting sentimentality or an overblown sense of appropriate loyalty get in the way. Winning is what counts, mostly.

It is totally, reasonably, doable, for true contention starting next puck drop. Like the good teams do. We’ve gone through the rebuild fully now.


Ken Stalland is not capable of what you describe here. His only great move is getting Jessi back. All other moves are average to poor.


Was wondering if you were going to give a hot take on the current team. Almost asked if you were going to the other day. 👍


I agree, the 1st should be in play. I don’t want Holland trading his 1st for each of the next 4 or 5 seasons, but they should at the least be in play.


I think this is the most prudent tactic.

They’re available, for a price. Has to be for a player who moves the needle. Prefer to not attach a first round pick to move bad contracts, unless that move then secures a difference maker with the available cap hit.

The window to move first round picks at the deadline/draft is for contenders who are looking for that playoff help that can turn the tide. Like grabbing Rolly at the deadline in 06. I think overall the success rate of spending 1st round picks for rental players by playoff teams is pretty low. Best to draft impact players who can contribute on their ELCs.


Prefer to not attach a first round pick to move bad contracts, unless that move then secures a difference maker with the available cap hit.

It never does, though. The Oilers could buyout Neal for a penalty of $1.9M x 4 – that’s not going to buy a difference maker on the UFA market. Same with Koskinen – $1.5M x 2 doesn’t buy you much.


What I said was with the available cap hit, not the penalty.

Your point still stands, we’re not (likely) getting a difference maker with the savings so it’s a moot point IMO.


Attaching a first round pick to a bad contract is a lot like a divorce settlement. If you have to but it is a no win solution. It is better to work a compromise. It is preferable to not getting in the situation to start with!


I wouldn’t know – I’ve never been divorced.


You can get a $3.8 mill player and the cap plus buyout is no more expensive than what Neal currently gets. Very good players are available at that price in a flat cap world.


Yes, exactly.


When building a winner no one player is more important than the team! Having said that changing chairs on the Titanic is not the answer. I believe that we are far closer to the top than the average fan! First thing to remember is no team is perfect! We will, within the next two years have a top six D that averages 6ft 2 plus and 210 lbs with a combination of skills both offensive and defensive with above average skating. Our top six will be the envy of the league anchored by McDavid and Draisaitl. There is work to be done with the bottom six and goal tending but the foundation is in place. Rather than looking at what we don’t have I choose to look at the up side and it’s impressive! Hopefully we can celebrate a couple of Cup wins in the next three to four years!


In a hard cap world, one cannot have a contending team without value contracts. 90% of the value contracts come from a teams own draftees.

The guaranteed way for the Oilers not to contend during the McDavid Draisaitl years is to trade away their 1st round draft picks.

How did losing Barzal and Carlo work out for the Oilers?

It has to be an exceptional deal to trade away a first round draft pick.

The McDavid years so far are conclusive proof that one cannot build a team with depth that can contend if one is only signing UFA’s and trading draft picks for veterans.


Who did the Oilers get in exchange for Barzal and Carlo?


I’m starting to get a little freaked out about the Hyman chatter. He’s way too famous. Stauffer was talking $6 x 6 the other day!! That’s more than most people want to pay Nuge. Although I don’t afford a lot of credibility to the Hockey News, they were criticizing Hyman on their podcast the other day, talking about his inability to cash numerous chances with the big boys. 

My fear must stem from my lack of confidence in Holland. Looks to me like Hyman will be the most overrated, over paid free agent this summer. I have a bad feeling Holland will be the last one standing in the bidding war. Ugh. 


I think that’s just the TO hype machine at work.

During his time in good ol ‘our town, New Holland has bowed out when the ask by outside UFAs was too much. See Coleman, Blake from two years ago, and Markström, Jacob last year. Even reports that the first offer to Kahun was rejected, only to go down when he circled back.

No way Hyman gets more than Nuge to play here.


During his time in good ol ‘our town, New Holland has bowed out when the ask by outside UFAs was too much. See Coleman, Blake from two years ago, and Markström, Jacob last year. Even reports that the first offer to Kahun was rejected, only to go down when he circled back.

100% I agree with this, Holland has done a great job of walking away from external negotiations when the contract terms didn’t work for him. I note Kassian but that was an internal negotiation/mistake.

With that said, the difference now is Holland has more leeway cap wise and more ability to pull a Chiarelli and “dig in for his guy”.

Here is hoping he maintains the discipline he’s generally shown – there is lots of cap room on the surface but there are lots of important roster spots to fill…… he can’t afford to over-spend because there is cap to spend – needs to stay dilligent.


 and Markström, Jacob last year

Holland didn’t walk from Markstrom though, did he?

Anyway, I do think you’re right he won’t pay Hyman more than Nuge.


No, he was outbid… thankfully. I’m equally as thankful he didn’t up the ante to get his guy at any cost.

I’m hoping we can get Schwartz on a reasonable deal. He’s one of those guys I always notice who seems to burn us when we play his team and being away from TOR should mean less hype/lower AAV.


Yeah, he was saved despite himself (though I expect Markstrom will rebound some and that deal won’t look as bad as it does today for the next few years at least).

Schwartz could be nice for sure. It does seem like he’s being underrated relative to the other available options. Price point is key for these guys, obviously.

Harpers Hair

It wasn’t so much he was outbid as Markstrom was just using the Oilers to drive up the price Calgary was willing to pay.

His intention was always to sign in Calgary.


Any source(s) to back this up, or is this merely speculation?


Ken Holland: just a pawn


How could you possibly know this?


he doesn’t, as usual lol… he’s just making assumptions and presents them as facts, same as it ever was


Toffoli is a good comparable for Hyman, similar production, size, age. Toffoli got $4.25 x 4 last year. Hyman wants to play in Toronto and we might have to pay a more to get him in Edmonton. Anything under $5M is probably reasonable, above that is overpay country.

I’m not convinced Kenny won’t overspend, the Markstrom contract offer was pretty scary. Maybe it’s a good thing that he has some money but not tons of money this year.


Yeah he’s definitely not worth more than Toffoli and certainly not in this cap environment.


It’s a form of PTSD and it can be treated!😉


If Aatu Räty is still there at 19, I’d be seeing what the cost of trading up is. But I think he’ll be gone earlier.


Whose the better goalie Cossa or  Wallstedt? If Oilers have a choice.

I think Sillinger and Pinelli, would be on the Oilers list if they think they can correct the skating style.


I think you’d be hard pressed to find a scout or pundit (outside this blog) that would put Cossa above Wallstedt. Personally I think it’s academic as I’m 99% certain Wallstedt won’t be available when the Oilers draft. Dobber’s mid-season ranking, for instance:

4 | Jesper Wallstedt | G | Luleå (SHL) | 6-3 | 214lbs
Danny Tiffany: The top goalie in this class has played right into the number one overall pick discussion. He’s performed exceptionally well in the SHL this season. His numbers have dropped a little bit since returning from the World Juniors, but do not let that fool you, he is as good as advertised. What makes him good? To start, Wallstedt uses his big frame to his advantage and blends that with really good positioning. However, it’s Wallstedts IQ and understanding of plays before they happen that make him the X-Factor every time he’s between the pipes. His use of the RVH and VH techniques is as good as it gets. Jesper Wallstedt has the potential to be one of the best goaltenders in the world.

36 | Sebastian Cossa | G | Edmonton (WHL) | 6-6 | 212lbs
Danny Tiffany: Despite not playing until February, Cossa holds still in this list. Since beginning his seasons, Cossa has done exactly what has been expected. However, it isn’t the first four games that make Cossa the second goaltender on this list. It’s Cossas raw potential that is so intriguing. At 6’6 Cossa displays really good tracking of the puck and reacts well to first shots. His hands are active and seemingly never drop when he drops, an impressive feat.

Craig Button’s list May 12 has Wallstedt at 9 and Cossa at 19. Forbes’ May top-128 (THW) has Wallstedt at 9 and Cossa at 30. And on it goes. There’s no race here, no controversy.

Having said that, I have no issue with the Oilers taking Cossa (in fact, he’s my #1 target), but not if Wallstedt falls all the way to #21.


Gonna be such an interesting year to follow – no doubt with the weird year you’re going to get some 2nd and 3rd home run picks just by pure luck



Reply to  Ryan

June 2, 2021 11:48 pm

I’ve said before that Joe likes his goalies young and cheap.

i’m curious to see how Joe handles Grubauer and Landeskog.

Is this why I’m not sure where you stand? Cause I’m still not sure.

Sakic is all in this year (letting these two get to UFA without liquidating).

Agreed it will be interesting to see where he goes (my guess is Landeskog stays, Grubauer walks).

Sakic abhors max term and dollar contracts on late 20’s players.

Friedman during the intermission expressed uncertainty if Sakic would sign Grubauer.

It seems like this is what Dawson really deserves credit for (or *most* deserves credit, since we have no clue exactly what his role or impact is). But Sakic signed Erik Johnson to the typical retirement deal in 2015. He’s 33 now, with 2 years to go. The Avs haven’t done it since.

I’ll be extremely impressed if both Landeskog and Grubauer walk, for better or worse (guess you can include Saad here as well).

Sakic was quite the trader Joe before Sprigings with 6-7 trades per year mostly flipping minor leaguers or picking up cap dump vets. The last trade he lost was the ROR trade which was before he hired Sprigings. He also hasn’t signed a Johnson-type contract since either.

Really, if I made you a GM of an NHL team, admittedly I am more than a few hundred million short, and I gave you two rules.

  1. Never sign a 28-year-old player (or older) to a retirement contract (unless they’re a generational talent/elite)
  2. Never trade for a 30-year-old player with term or contract like above

You would never be in cap hell.

It’s the mistake GMs keep making.

No, I think signing Grubauer to a Markstrom-type contract would be a mistake.

I don’t think the Avs will make that mistake.

Last edited 4 months ago by Ryan

But can you win without at least some strong players from that age group who simply won’t sign for less term?


Vegas has done well, so far, with the fairly traditional model of signing those players.

They have six more years of Mark Stone at $9.5m, 6 more years of Karlsson at $5.9m, and 6 more years of Pietrangelo at $8.8m.

They’ll have their fun then slide into cap hell soon.

I am not sure that you could create a winning team while completely avoiding those types of pitfalls, but I’m also not sure that you couldn’t.


The questions that we’ll never have an answer to would be

  1. What type of return could Holland have fetched for the last year of the Nuge and Larsson contracts?

Nuge despite is 5v5/60 is still a top-six player, but he’s certainly not elite or generational.

What would he have been worth on the trade market last year? We’ll never know.

Conversely, there’s going to be a fair amount of risk in his next contract.

Last edited 4 months ago by Ryan

Doing so would have set a dangerous precedent! I still think Holland’s idea of long term is the correct one! All in at the wrong time is a recipe for disaster. If your core players are aging out then the gamble is worthwhile otherwise a hard pass in my personal opinion!



 Reply to Ryan

 June 3, 2021 11:21 am

The questions that we’ll never have an answer to would be

What type of return could Holland have fetched for the last year of the Nuge and Larsson contracts?

Agree, we’ll never know the answer to those questions but, at the same time, except for the very odd exception, would any Oiler fan have been on board selling two core players for futures at the deadline this past season?

I know some were in favor of selling Barrie but part of that premise was believing that the team would be just as good (or better) if Bouchard was in for Barrie.


Well, right now either one could walk.

How are fans going to react if Nuge walks or we sign him to a Horcoff-type contract that he can’t score enough points to live up to?

I also meant last offseason, not the deadline.


I get that (he/they could walk) but would you have be on board with the Oilers, a clear playoff team, selling off important roster players, core players, for futures heading in the deadline? I think almost no Oiler fan would have been on board.

Playoff teams risk losing internal pending UFAs every season – the Avs are risking Landesgog and Grubauer. The Bruins are risking Krejci and both their goalies


Signing Grubauer to a Markstrom like contract is exactly what Sakic will do


During the intermission last night, Friedman was asked about whether or not Sakic would sign Grubauer.

While his response was noncommittal, he was quite hesitant about the possibility with all of the contracts Sakic has to deal with over the next few years.

Harpers Hair

I wouldn’t be surprised if Sakic used his 1st round pick to entice Seattle to take Erik Johnson off his hands freeing up $6M in cap space.

Johnson has been skating with the team lately.


Johnson would have to agree to that, of course.

Harpers Hair

Yep…speculation I’ve read suggests he might but it remains speculation until he actually does it.


I think it will depend on wether they win it all this year! If they do I can see Sakic doing his best to keep the gang together!


Yes, as I said I don’t think Sakic will sign Grubauer to that deal either. Landeskog, more likely I think.

And agreed, those guiding principles would keep a teams cap consistently reasonable. Big part of their success so far.

It’s a bit remarkable that that’s basically revolutionary in the league.

At the same time, Sakic has already deviated from the sell high/early model in walking Landeskog/Grubauer to UFA.

I guess the other necessary element in actually making those guiding principles work is winning most of your trades. That part isn’t quite as simple to pull off.

Getting to the top is hard, staying there is harder.


At some point, you have to put some chips on the table which is what happened with Landeskog.

One thing that I keep forgetting is that not only did Dawson play college hockey, but he was actually a goalie.

If you’re bored, he still has some articles over at hockey graphs.

Speaking of which, I would imagine he’s read this article:

Conclusion: I’m going to use the Linear aging curve going forward in my Hockey Marcels, but no matter which one you use a few points are still clear:

1. Goalies don’t improve as they get older

2. By age 30, goalie decline starts to get REALLY noticable

3. By mid-30s, even with the aging line, goalies rapidly start to fall apart.


Yeah I saw that when I googled him recently.

I’m not at all ‘bored’ these days so may no have a chance to read. His most obvious contribution to the Avs is definitely the aging curve stuff though.


“Wallstedt is rated as the top goalie across the lists I’ve seen…expect Wallstedt will be a home run.”

Why would the Oilers take a different goalie one pick sooner than the Wild’s?

Darth Tu

LT is reading the tea leaves.

What would make it more slamdunk that they’re going after Cossa rather than Wallstedt would be if there was some noise about the Oilers org talking to the Oil Kings/Cossa this season. In a normal year we’d probably have been able to judge that by scouts from the team being at Oil Kings games, it’s not a normal year though, so instead we’re left looking for articles on the old interwebs.

I like Cossa more than Wallstedt, but part of that is probably proximity. I think both goalies are likely NHL players though so we should be happy if the Oilers take either one.


“Wallstedt is rated as the top goalie across the lists I’ve seen”

Let’s hope the Oilers use proper criteria and not the old “he’s a good ole Edmonton boy.”

Last edited 4 months ago by Sierra

LT likes Cossa better, says his skillset is more likely to translate. Which may be true – but then why are many scouts saying that Wallstedt is the best goalie prospect in over a decade? He’s legit, according to everyone. (That said, I don’t think Wallstedt will be available when the Oilers pick, so I’d be chuffed with having Cossa in the Oilers prospect pool).

Following 2020 NHL Draft standout Yaroslav Askarov, Swedish goaltender Jesper Wallstedt will look to become the next big goaltending prospect to come out of the European circuit. He could actually become even bigger than Askarov when all is said and done. Yes, he’s that good. All the superlatives you can think of apply to Wallstedt. He’s quick laterally, strong on his skates, almost perfect technically, and finally, never gives up on a play. He’s also calm as a cucumber, possesses a lightning-quick glove hand, and can handle the puck efficiently outside of his crease. – Matthew Zator, The Hockey Writers

Wallstedt’s technique is incredibly advanced for a young goaltender. He uses his size effectively, coming out to cut down angles and gives shooters very little net to look at. His strong legs take away the bottom of the net. They also make him an effective skater. He is able to take away those angles but still gets a good backward push, which makes him hard to deke. Those strong legs also give him a strong push and good side-to-side movement. He tracks the puck extremely well on cross-ice passes and can get over to still make the save. – Benn Kerr, Last Word on Hockey

On top of his mental game and technical prowess, Wallstedt also has one of the best gloves you will see for a young goalie. Often, this aspect of a net-minders game can take the longest time to develop…with Wallstedt’s technically ability, alongside fantastic hand-eye coordination, he plucks the puck out of the air with ease, even on shots that are hard and accurate. His glove-work through traffic is also a joy to behold as he tracks the puck and shuts play down inside his Bauer trapper. – Alexander Appleyard, Smaht Scouting

Calm, cool and collected, Wallstedt is excellent positionally and highly poised in the net. As the puck approaches his net he comes out to the top of his crease and does well to stay with the play positionally. His awareness of the play is also something that stands out and is an elite part of his game. – Dylan Galloway, FC Hockey


Would like to have a grade A goaler prospect
I think Wild don’t pick another goalie though

Darth Tu

I’m a fan of that pick.

Question number one though, do we definitely pick at 21?

Darth Tu

What I’m actually wondering is that if we do bump up a bit (Jets and Habs performance dependent), would we trade back? Let’s say that we’re set on a goalie and both Cossa and Wallstedt are still on the board when we get there, would we not look at moving back a few spots if the teams behind us are after a forward or d?

More draft capital is always a good thing.


At least as high as #21 (20th player picked due to Arizona’s forfeit at #11). If the Islanders beat Boston and make it to the final four (their pick belongs to NJD, currently at #20), then the Oilers will move up one to pick #20 (and draft the 19th player in the draft).

Darth Tu

I am here for a Habs – Eberle Stanley Cup Final.


I have time for Cossa. He can be our “Vasilevsky”.

Saw him in Bantam, he was already 6’6″.


That only counts if he takes it to the basket!😉


LT I thought the Oil move up to 18 because WPG and MTL advanced and PHX forfeited their 1st rounder. No?

Darth Tu

Thank you! I was wondering as well. Once the Jets or Habs win the Cup we’ll move up 😉

Doug McLachlan

Tankathon has us at #21 but also includes Arizona’s pick (which will be forfit). They’ve presumed that Winnipeg moves on to the third round and have them drafting 29th while I think you have them picking 18th. Not an issue. We have time.


The last 4 picks in round one go to the conference finalists, but all other teams pick in reverse order of regular season standings. The winner of MTL/WIN will pick after the Oilers. Also, NYI finished behind EDM, their pick belongs to NJ – so if NYI beat BOS, that NJ first rounder wil be after the Oilers as well. Looks like the Oilers will pick 19th if NYI wins, or 20th if Boston wins.

This is my understanding, anyway.


Edmonton finished with the 21st worst record. But Vegas enters the draft so they were set to draft at #22 (which would have been the 21st player drafted as Arizona still holds #11 spot but does not pick a player). The only change in the playoffs comes from moving the final 4 playoff teams to the final 4 spots. So only teams drafting before Edmonton making it to the final 4 would affect their position. Those teams were NYI (NJD received this pick in a trade), NSH, WPG, STL, MTL. One of WPG or MTL are guaranteed to make the final 4, so that moves Edmonton up 1 spot to #21 (20th player picked). The only other team still in the hunt is NYI. If they beat Boston and make the final 4, then Edmonton will move up another spot to #20 (19th player picked). The Arizona forfeit has added confusion so picking at #20 or #21 and getting the 19th or 20th player off the board makes things harder to follow this year. Hope that clears things up.

Last edited 4 months ago by Jaxon

Interesting. I keep reading Wallstedt is going in the top 15 but yet no one seems to figure out who will take the risk.

I also find it interesting that you think Edmonton will take Cossa when Wallstedt is the higher rated goalie in most boards.


Could be the local factor. With the oddities added to scouting this past season, in person viewing >>>> remote scouting.

Litke 94

I would be more than fine with the team having a monster, 6’6″ goalie in the pipeline to get excited about.

Maybe him and Konovalov could one day form a 1A/1B duo – the league’s starkest contrast in size between their two netminders. It would be like Arnold Schwarzenegger and Danny DeVito in Twins. Wouldn’t that be a hell of a duo to watch alternate games. Sign me up.

Last edited 4 months ago by Litke 94

Would that really be any different than Bishop and Khudobin?


I’d be perfectly content with a homegrown version of Rinne and Saros of our own.


Perhaps the contrast would be larger with Rodrigue? While Rodrigue has two inches of height on Konovalov, he has 40 less pounds of “girth”…..