I used to spend miles and miles of time on overagers, defined as players who had been eligible in previous drafts while still being available in the current one. In 2016 I listed 56 guys, and the Oilers didn’t pick one. The Leafs picked them, Arizona signed them, the Oilers kept bob-bob-bobbing along.
This year might be different. The uncertainty of the draft may mean teams play it safe and select players who have longer resumes. Let’s have a look at the overagers for 2021’s draft.
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!
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- DNB: Oilers mailbag, part 1
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- Lowetide: Oilers enter free agency as a major buyer. Is third time the charm?
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- Lowetide: It won’t be easy, but the Oilers need to re-sign Darnell Nurse soon
- DNB: Ideal Oilers free-agent targets
- New Lowetide: An early look at the Oilers’ options for the 2021 draft
- New DNB: The pressure is on Oilers GM Ken Holland
- New Lowetide: What now for Ryan Nugent-Hopkins?
- New DNB: Connor McDavid shows his frustration as another year of his prime is lost: ‘We’re a group that expects more’
- New Jonathan Willis: The NHL gifted the Oilers Connor McDavid; six years later, they have yet to adequately support him
THE 2021 OVERAGERS
- G Alekesi Kolosov, Minsk. KHL goalie, .911 SP and still a teenager.
- LD Janis Moser, EHC Biel-Bienne. Overager, fine skater and complete skill set.
- LC Florian Elias, Mannheim. Small skill center, he’s a determined player.
- G Brett Brochu, London Knights. Under the radar goalie who delivered a .919 SP as a rookie.
- LD Vasily Machulin, Moscow Dynamo. Good size, dynamic skater, impressive player.
- LW Owen Pederson, Winnipeg Ice. Big winger with goal-scoring ability.
- RW Zakhar Bardakov, Vityaz Podolsk. Big PF with some skill. He is 20.
- LC Theo Rochette, Quebec Remparts. Undersized two-way center, intriguing offense.
- LC Cameron Berg, Muskegon Lumberjacks. Good speed and skill.
- RC Ethan Cardwell, Surahammars. Two-way center with skill, effective forechecker.
- RD Ruben Rafkin, TPS. Puck mover has two-way skills.
- LW James Hardie, Mississauga Steelheads. Volume shooter, 34 goals in 2019-20.
- LD Maximilian Glötzl, Kolner. Two-way defender, very effective.
- RD Joel Nystrom, Farjestads. Two-way defender with good speed.
- RC Josh Pillar, Kamloops Blazers. Fast player, scored well and is draft re-entry.
- RW Oliver Suni, Lukko Rauma. Strong winger with range of skills.
- RW Simon Knak, Portland Winterhawks. Prolific junior scorer, January 2002.
- LW Carter Mazur, Tri-City Storm. Shoots right, big spike (47, 20-24-44), March 2002.
- G Tyler Gauthier, Prince George Cougars. He’s 20, over .915 last two seasons.
- RW Josh Doan, Chicago Steel. Shane’s boy, tall and thin, scored 70 pts in 53 games.
- LW Jaylen Luypen, Edmonton Oil Kings. Undersized skill winger, he is a June 2002.
- RW Ellis Rickwood, Victoria Grizzlies. Playmaking center-wing with skill, he’s a July 2002.
- LD Daniel Laatch, Sioux City Musketeers. Giant two-way defenseman.
- RD Miguël Tourigny, Blainville-Boisbriand. Undersized puck mover with chaos.
- LC Michal Gut, Sokolov. Skill center, average speed, August 2002.
I’m not sure any of these names will be chosen by Edmonton, they probably like Machulin and Bardakov. I’d have a lash at James Hardie, who has been one of the stars at the PBHH Invitational taking place in Erie, Pennsylvania.
OVERAGES DRAFTED IN THE LAST DECADE
Since 2011, the Oilers have spent some currency on draft re-entries. For the most part, these men are more sure things but lack the top-end possibilities of younger prospects. There are exceptions, David Perron is a player I always point to in this regard. Here are the Oilers overagers since 2011.
- G Frans Tuohimaa, seventh round in 2011. Finnish goalie played well in Mestis (Finland’s second pro league) and played in the top league (Liiga) pretty much right away after being drafted. He meandered, including some uneven work in North America, before settling in as a Liiga starter the last five seasons.
- LD Erik Gustafsson, fourth round in 2012. One of the true success stories for overagers over the last decade, Edmonton’s scouts had the foresight to recommend him, the organization drafted him and management let everyone down by not signing Gustafsson, signed by the Chicago Blackhawks in 2015, has now played in 250 NHL games, scoring 10-33-43 per 82 games.
- LD Joey Laleggia, fifth round in 2012. Undersized puck mover had NHL talent but never played in the big leagues. Edmonton moved him to forward at times during his AHL career, but he had the offensive chops to play at the highest levels. He was undersized (5.10, 194) but wasn’t small, and he was reasonable in coverage with good speed. Signed with the St. Louis Blues organization but didn’t get to the NHL with them. Now in Sweden, played for Rogle last year.
- RW John McCarron, sixth round in 2012. I remember some Oilers fans wondering why the club bothered to draft a 20-year-old college player, but I like that kind of bet. He had size, some speed and checking ability, and scored reasonably well for the defensive-minded Cornell Big Red. He did turn pro, found a home in the ECHL where he remains a dynamic scorer.
- RW Anton Slepyshev, third round in 2013. Pure scorer with good speed, he has to be regarded as a successful bet (102 NHL games) based on how his career rolled out. The Oilers made a decision on him (didn’t sign him) and Slepyshev returned to the KHL, where he has been a productive player for the last three seasons.
- LW Evan Campbell, fifth round in 2013. Another of the BCHL men who Edmonton drafted so often during the Stu MacGregor era, Campbell had reasonable size but was shy offensively. His playing career ended after his college time.
- G Zach Nagelvoort, fourth round in 2014. He posted a .929 SP at Michigan (NCAA) in his draft year, that’s worthy of attention. He didn’t grab the job with the Wolverines in the following years and did not have a pro career.
- LC Liam Coughlin, fifth round in 2014. Coughlin was a pretty famous forward along the eastern seaboard, and my friend Kirk Luedeke had a good idea about him on draft day. Clearly a long shot, there was some ability. He went to Vermont, but the Oilers had traded him by then.
- RW Tyler Vesel, sixth round in 2014. Vesel had some offensive potential based on his draft year (age 19) in the USHL. He moved on to college and then spent a mildly promising season in the AHL. He now plays in Sweden.
- G Miroslav Svoboda, seventh round in 2015. Gigantic goalie has posted strong numbers since his draft day, and has settled in a successful starter in the Czech league. The Nashville Predators signed him in 2018, the goalie factory seeing something they liked at that time.
- LD Ziyat Paigin, seventh round in 2015. Big defender with some offensive ability had a big season in his draft plus one season, inspiring the Oilers to sign him. Paigin didn’t get much done, playing only 12 AHL games, and returned to Russia where he is a KHL regular.
- RD Filip Berglund, third round in 2016. A fine two-way defenseman in Sweden, he has many years experience there and we should see him in Bakersfield this fall. Impossible to predict how well Berglund will play, but there’s no doubt he can play successfully in a very good (SHL) league.
- RD Vincent Desharnais, seventh round in 2016. Huge defender was marked during his season spent with the Chilliwack Chiefs (2014-15) and then drafted after his first season at Providence College. He has settled in as an AHL signing and enjoyed a good season there in 2020-21.
- G Ilya Konovalov, third round in 2019. Splendid if undersized goaltender who was posting quality numbers in the KHL before he was drafted and has continued to do so since then. Byron Bader likes him plenty, Oilers might have something here. He will play in North America 2021-22.
- LW Matej Blumel, fourth round in 2019. A speed demon with reasonable hands, Blumel posted strong numbers in his draft season but faded when going back to the Czech league. Blumel recovered with a strong year in the same league in 2020-21 and is on track for an entry deal.
- RC Tomas, Mazura, sixth round in 2019. Huge skill center, not much to tell so far.
- LC Maxim Denezhkin, seventh round in 2019. Russian two-way center is undersized and has enough talent to earn a NA contract. It’s 50-50 we’ll ever see him, but if he made the NHL someday I wouldn’t be shocked.
- RC Filip Engaras, sixth round in 2020. He has posted two solid years in the NCAA (UNH) and has a scoring resume going back to 2017.