The Oilers and Overagers

by Lowetide
Brandon Davidson photo by Rob Ferguson

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!


  1. G Alekesi Kolosov, Minsk. KHL goalie, .911 SP and still a teenager.
  2. LD Janis Moser, EHC Biel-Bienne. Overager, fine skater and complete skill set.
  3. LC Florian Elias, Mannheim. Small skill center, he’s a determined player.
  4. G Brett Brochu, London Knights. Under the radar goalie who delivered a .919 SP as a rookie.
  5. LD Vasily Machulin, Moscow Dynamo. Good size, dynamic skater, impressive player.
  6. LW Owen Pederson, Winnipeg Ice. Big winger with goal-scoring ability.
  7. RW Zakhar Bardakov, Vityaz Podolsk. Big PF with some skill. He is 20.
  8. LC Theo Rochette, Quebec Remparts. Undersized two-way center, intriguing offense.
  9. LC Cameron Berg, Muskegon Lumberjacks. Good speed and skill.
  10. RC Ethan Cardwell, Surahammars. Two-way center with skill, effective forechecker.
  11. RD Ruben Rafkin, TPS. Puck mover has two-way skills.
  12. LW James Hardie, Mississauga Steelheads. Volume shooter, 34 goals in 2019-20.
  13. LD Maximilian Glötzl, Kolner. Two-way defender, very effective.
  14. RD Joel Nystrom, Farjestads. Two-way defender with good speed.
  15. RC Josh Pillar, Kamloops Blazers. Fast player, scored well and is draft re-entry.
  16. RW Oliver Suni, Lukko Rauma. Strong winger with range of skills.
  17. RW Simon Knak, Portland Winterhawks. Prolific junior scorer, January 2002.
  18. LW Carter Mazur, Tri-City Storm. Shoots right, big spike (47, 20-24-44), March 2002.
  19. G Tyler Gauthier, Prince George Cougars. He’s 20, over .915 last two seasons.
  20. RW Josh Doan, Chicago Steel. Shane’s boy, tall and thin, scored 70 pts in 53 games.
  21. LW Jaylen Luypen, Edmonton Oil Kings. Undersized skill winger, he is a June 2002.
  22. RW Ellis Rickwood, Victoria Grizzlies. Playmaking center-wing with skill, he’s a July 2002.
  23. LD Daniel Laatch, Sioux City Musketeers. Giant two-way defenseman.
  24. RD Miguël Tourigny, Blainville-Boisbriand. Undersized puck mover with chaos.
  25. 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.


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.

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Paddy Morans Jockstrap

Sounds like Philly is cleaning house and I would really like to replace RNH on LW with JVR. He’s big, still good and only 2 years left on his deal. Might even be able to toss the Koskinen in to balance money since Philly needs a vet to play with Hart. If they don’t want any contract back, then Jones should do it. Make it happen Holland.


JVR produced at over a 60 point pace this season – sure, maybe not worth $7MM but the negative value of Koskinen more than off-sets any positive value of Jones in a trade, which likely isn’t much to start with.


JVR . 32 yr old power forward


Paddy Morans Jockstrap

As Pouzar said, 60 point pace, and only two years left on his contract. Perfect for the playoffs and a bridge to Holloway.


JVR would be great and all, but $7M in 22-23 (without Koskinen offsetting any of it like next season) would be tough to swallow.


JVR is not a power forward. He is a SKILLED big guy who plays “small”.

I’d do the deal if Philly took Kassian for him, and I would try to sneak in Koskinen with 50% retained.

Paddy Morans Jockstrap

Then retain as much as necessary on Koskinen. Philly needs somebody to play with Carter and there is a greater than zero possibility that Kos rebounds and is decent for one year.


I just don’t see them (or really anyone) being interested in Koskinen, even at $2.25MM – they could just sign Bernier or similar.

Paddy Morans Jockstrap

Goalie voodoo, so who knows, but the problem is that Philly has an even worse black magic effect on goalies than us.

Harpers Hair

Leafs and Canucks working on an Alex Kerfoot trade.

Toronto would be likely to lose him in the expansion draft.

Vancouver gets its #3C.


As long as it gets Benning a lifetime extension as GM I approve of any trade


That would likely be it for Canucks off season moves too, considering Pettersson and Hughes new contracts.

Last edited 1 month ago by jp
Harpers Hair


Sutter and Virtanen coming off the cap is almost $7 million in cap space.

Kerfoot is only $3.5 million.


An important thing for Holland to do this season would be to extend Jesse Puljujarvi long term.

One of the best two-way players in the NHL at just 22, and had solid 5v5 numbers despite barely any puck luck at the beginning of the season. A 4.5M x 6 would be great in the short term, and a value deal in the long term.


I’m not sure why you got a minus but you’re right on the money. Many posters want the two year proof which then results in the higher cost. The reality is what you suggested assuming you want a value contract. If you can sign him for the max eight years at less you do it! The cap will half way into his contract start to escalate making his cap hit more valuable. At 30 years of age teams will be unwilling to overpay because of age. What you suggest is bang on if the team believes him to be a top six player through his prime.


I would absolutely not sign him to that contract this off-season.


A slam dunk top six winger for the term of that contract is worth that in a heartbeat. You are WAY too risk adverse.


This thinking is why we need the Brinks truck for the next Nurse contract. Penny wise and pound foolish. We just can’t stand another value contract like we had with Klefbom. A slight overpay long term will be a value contract as the cap begin to rise.


Nurse is already a $5.6MM cap hit. Yes, he’s going to “get paid” but its not like he’s coming off an ELC or anything – the raise is likely in the $2MM-$2.5MM range.


This is the reason I don’t see a deal get done this summer. Nurse is a good player but 8M is likely the max he ever get another league in a flat cap world. If the Oilers is willing to part with that kind of money they could be better off waiting until next year because the market price cap will be more or less the same for a good (but not elite) first pair D.

Nurse surely not one to take a home team discount having held out once after his ELC.

There are people who take pride in what they do, and feel being a professional means getting fair compensation. It has nothing to do with loyalty (see Smyth, Ryan) but they are tough negotiators (see Smyth, Ryan).

Last edited 1 month ago by kelvjn

Do you think it is going to be easier to make a deal with Nurse when he is an UFA? Do you want to open the option of choice for Nurse to choose his destination?

If the Oilers don’t sign Nurse this summer, I expect the Leafs let Rielly play out the last year of his contract to make room for Nurse next year. Dubas and Keefe would love the opportunity.


I also wouldn’t sign that deal at this stage.

Though a long term deal would be great if he’d sign for a lower AAV.

Last edited 1 month ago by jp

Christian Eriksen collapsed on the field requiring cpr and they made them finish the game
damn Uefa you guys are cold


From what I understand, they did not make them finish the game. The game was suspended initially and, after a delay, the two teams got together and made the mutual decision to finish the game. That could be wrong but that is what I ready a little earlier today.


They gave them the option of finishing the game then, or resuming it the next day.


The players still crying when play was resumed was a sign that the game should probably be postponed. Hard to believe that the game couldn’t be rescheduled given it’s the first day of tournament


Sounds like the players chose not to postpone it.


Hjulmand (Denmark’s coach) described how the players agreed to wait until they were sure Eriksen was OK, and then chose between the two options they were offered: either to carry on or to return on Sunday at 2pm. “There was no pressure from Uefa to play tonight,” he said. “We knew we had two options. The players couldn’t imagine not being able to sleep tonight and then having to get on the bus and come in again tomorrow. Honestly it was best to get it over with. Of course you can’t play a game with such feelings and what we tried to do was incredible.”


The Oiler brought in two “overage” pros to the NHL team two years ago.  Haas and Nygard have allowed Benson, McLeod and Marody to develop on the AHL.  I am seeing at least two of those players replace Haas and Nygard in 21/22.


Yup, seems logical.

Many were upset about the Shore re-signing partially on the premise that there need to be changes in the bottom six and the first move was bringing back an incumbent.

Of course, there needs to be some stability and Nygard and Haas are already gone, Chiasson is unlikely to be back, Neal is a question mark to be back at best, P. Russell is likely not coming back, etc.

Paddy Morans Jockstrap

Exactly – you can’t just turn over the entire bottom 6 every year without expecting chaos for the first 25 games as everyone settles in. We’ve seen this divergence in the splits for too many years. We also need to grow our own bottom 6.

I’ve got zero qualms with having JJ center Shore and Archie on L4 to start. All of them were better in the 2nd half and they should be able to start well next year.

The fixing can then concentrate on L3 and I’d start with Yamo and Benson as wingers with a center we bring in via UFA or trade. Haula is my pick for now but there are other known and unknown options.


Sounds alright to me with McLeod in the picture somewhere/somehow.

Of course, in conjunction with the 1st rounder, plus Samorukov plus Kassian with $750K retained for Reinhart (Sam)

Paddy Morans Jockstrap

McLeod can share time at LW with Shore and fill in at C when we have an injury. He needs a full year of very protected minutes before he’ll be ready for any sort of real responsibility.

Price too dear IMHO for another RW. We need lefties and the expansion draft offers better opportunities. Holland can pick up good LW or a LD at half price this summer since we have room to protect these guys. Multiple franchises have budget issues and Klefbom’s cap hit can help a team like ARZ. I can see us getting Kuemper for Kos (some salary retained) and Klef like this. A cheap dman like Jones could help a capped out team like Tampa fill a 3rd pair slot after the expansion draft.


Yes, we need LWs but, in your suggestion, Kailer is 3RW so there is also a hole at 2RW and, no, one good playoff game (after 2 terrible playoff games and 14 months of blah) isn’t enough for me to go in to the regular season with Kass getting the first chance.

Is is any more likely that Kass can be a legit 2RW for the season than Benson can be a legit 2LW?


On McLeod, of course, he’s not ready for legit tough shut down minutes but, more than anything, he needs to get stronger so he is more confident in his body and will be amenable to engaging physically. He won’t be anything more than a tweener if he continues to be adverse to contact and the tough areas – this has been an issue for him since junior.

Paddy Morans Jockstrap

Yeah I know but I think it’s prudent to give Kass another chance in a top 6 role in a normal year. If we trade him we are immediately looking for someone just like him, and we are already too small all through the lineup.

McLeod is what he is. Still waiting for RNH’s old man muscle to appear 🙂

Last edited 1 month ago by Paddy Morans Jockstrap

We wouldn’t be looking for anything close to what he’s been since 2019 though.


You need to rethink your post! McLeod is already a plus on the defensive side with a combination of his skating, puck pursuit and hockey defensive IQ. What he needs is the experience as a centre not play as a winger. Assuming the Oilers had a strong alternative as third line centre you would be correct. He cannot get more experience as a third line centre playing on the wing!


Flushing Samorukov as a throw in is bad resource management. His value after one more year will escalate substantially! This is a continuation of playing the minor league training team for the NHL!


Who is flushing Samorukov as a throw-in? We are talking about Sam Reinhart and a realistic acquisition cost.

I’ve been pumping Sammy’s tires since his days in Guelph.


When you start with first round draft choice and Samorukov and take on Reinhart’s contract it is in my opinion at the very least an overpay!


What do you mean to take on his contract? He’s an RFA.

He is a legit top 6 scoring winger with a good 2-way game that is about to enter his prime – the premise would be he signs a solid term extension.

I love me some Sammy but we are talking about a d-man that has yet to play an NHL game, is likely to play this year but will take a few years to reach his potential.

If this team is looking to “win now”, acquiring a legit top 6/1st line winger heading in to his prime is something they should do, no?

Harpers Hair

You just explained why Buffalo wouldn’t do that deal.


Wait, Buffalo is looking to win now?

1st rounder plus legit prospect who looks close to ready.

Harpers Hair

The west coast teams, where Reinhart says he wants to play, like LAK, ANA, SJS And VCR are all picking in the top 10 and have better prospects than Samorukov and none of them would be foisting a bad contract like Kassian on the Sabres.

In addition to this, Buffalo will already be drafting a 1st pairing LHD in Owen Power to play with Dahlin for the next decade so acquiring a middling prospect would hardly be at the top of their priority list.

Also bear in mind Buffalo already has 10 picks in the upcoming draft and will very likely get more when they trade Eichel and Reinhart so adding another pick in the 20 range doesn’t have much additional value to them.

If I had to guess, I would think LAK would be the front runner for Reinhart since they have a much higher pick and a raft of centre prospects, which Buffalo will need, to swing a trade and they don’t need to take on a bad contract to make it work.

Harpers Hair

Not sure why you are suddenly fixated on Sam Reinhart.

He has already said publicly that he wants to play on the West Coast and Edmonton ain’t that.

All of LAK, ANA and VCR have much higher 1st round picks and better prospects to use in trade.

Buffalo has already had the Kassian experience and I can’t imagine they would want to revisit it any price.


Buffalo has already had the Kassian experience and I can’t imagine they would want to revisit it any price.

FFS Buffalo traded Kassian for Cody Hodgson who was a #10 pick 3 years earlier and was in the midst of a fine rookie season (63-16-17-33 at the time of the trade). It’s not like the Sabres dumped him because they didn’t want him.

Last edited 1 month ago by jp
Harpers Hair

The Canucks dumped Hodgson because he was a prima Donna and the best they could do was Kassian.

They dumped Kassian pretty quickly too and the unfortunate Sabres spent years paying off Hodgson’s buy out.

FFS, no one wanted Kassian, then or now.

Harpers Hair

Correct that, the Sabres are still paying off Hodgson for another two seasons at a cap hit of $800K.


The prima donna Hodgson scored. He had 2 good seasons with Buffalo and was a top player for Team Canada before his career went in the shitter. The Sabres were so unimpressed they signed him to a 6 x $4.25M contract at age 23.

If 4 years is ‘quickly’, then I spose the Canucks dumped Kassian quickly. Weirdest thing, no one wanting Kassian, when he’s played 4 and 6 years on his last two teams (Montreal notwithstanding) and he’s been paid north of $1.5M ever since he came off his ELC.

John Chambers

Overager Janis Moser – who turned 21 last weekend – is listed on hockey db as 5’11”, one hundred and forty-three (143) pounds! How is that possible?

The kid must have wheels and sick mitts – 9-21-30 in 42 games in the Swiss League for a defenseman at age 20 is impressive, but I would imagine he looks like a rack of bones.

I get that defensemen like Quinn Hughes and Sam Girard are little magicians with the puck, but I foresee Pat Maroon going in hard on the forecheck and smashing him like a bug on a windshield.


that’s not accurate anymore… probably from last season… he plays for my home town team and is listed at 76 kgs on their home page and 79 kgs on wikipedia… he has good wheels indeed and is overall a very smart player… great talent and work ethic… i look at him as a Josi light 😉


When I look at your list of overagers the Oilers have drafted, my immediate thought is, what’s the point?
I think the Oilers would be better off swinging for the fences on the 1st time eligible.
I don’t see 1 guy on your list who couldn’t be acquired on a short term deal for under 1 million. If that’s the ceiling, why bother drafting that player type?


Because sometimes you get a Perron or Mangiapane, nevermind there is still the odd undrafted free agent who turn out to be Tyler Johnson.

Chances of getting a useful top 4 D top 6 F from a single 3rd round pick is about 7% and for 4th and beyond its less than 4%. It takes 10~16 picks to have 50% chance in finding one such useful player. At these odds it doesn’t really matter as long as the basics are there.


I agree with most that the Oilers are only a few pieces away from being real contenders. The thing I worry about most is that numerous coaches continue to default to putting Draisaitl and McDavid together when the chips are down. Are the players pushing for this?

Even if they can survive it in the regular season, playoff OT made it clear that playing 25 minutes during regulation leaves our best players gassed. Particularly if our fourth line are going to be penalty killers, why can’t RNH (or Danault?) be our full time third line center? It seems to me that reducing the minutes at the top of the roster needs to be the priority next season and this is the best way to do this.


Does paying a 3C $6M make sense and would a player good enough to make $6M be happy with the reduced minutes of a 3C?

Last edited 1 month ago by TheGreatBigMac

Most teams don’t run their top two centers 25 minutes per night, and I think it’s essential the Oilers stop doing this. I have no issue paying 6M for such an important position, but admit value contracts will need to be found on the wings to allow it. It should at least reduce how much the bottom six gets scored on.


It’s easier to fing a value deal for a 3C then a top 6 forward. Woodguy’s list from last year had several, I like Derek Ryan for example.

In terms of the bottom six getting out scorred, I think Kahun Ryan Yamamoto would do fine and Shore Khaira Archie have room for growth if they got a season together. If Benson or McLeod wins a job it only means improvement from here.

Last edited 1 month ago by TheGreatBigMac

I don’t think its out of the realm of reasonableness to suggest that McDavid really pressed to have either Drai or Nuge on his line.

I mean, up and till they put the Nuge/Drai/Yamamoto line together for a game very late in the season, McDavid had played every single game with one of those two on his wing.

This is just speculation but based speculation based on facts and the absolute refusal of the coaching staff to go back to that line for so long.

As far as Nuge as 3C, I’d be totally fine with that – of course, he’d be moved up for shifts and games and he also plays all games states, down a goal, up a goal, PP, PK, etc.

I don’t see it happening.


I would be fine with it too assuming our top 6 is producing which is a big if.


I totally agree with the proviso they find qualified left wingers for the top two lines. What I have difficulty with is the fact that Nuge was more effective with Draisaitl as his centre but was continually played with McDavid where he was not as effective!


It also makes sense to run the best player in the world with some other top talent, doesn’t it? I don’t think it’s McDavid “pressing” for it to occur. To me – it’s just common sense.


One thing I meant to note a few days ago, Samorukov is back skating and he’s actually in Edmonton getting some ice in (well, at least he was a few days ago).


That is excellent news.

I have expectations of seeing him in an Oilers uniform by Christmas – and, yes, I know that makes me sound overly optimistic but I really like this kid. He and Holloway are my two faves going into the season.

I wouldn’t be surprised if Kulikov is re-signed to start out of TC but depending on Klef’s health I think Sammy is in this year’s plans fairly early on.


I don’t think its unreasoanble to suggest that Samorukov impacts the lineup this season, even as early as Christmas.

No sure thing but he is real and he may be spectacular.


I was wondering about that below. Was he planning on staying in KHL for one more season given that hes unlikely to win a job in NHL this year, but if hes in Edmonton hes probably gonna stay this season, huh


No, no – the only reason he went to the KHL last season was due to Covid and, once he was placed there, that committed him for the entire KHL season.

I think he’s very much on board with AHL/NHL for his future. I mean, if he hasn’t “made it”, within a few years, maybe he’ll go back to Russia for the money but lets not forget, he’s been in North America for years – he played his amateur in the OHL for Guelph.

Paddy Morans Jockstrap

Why would he be “unlikely to win a job in the NHL”? There’s nobody blocking him at LD behind Nurse if Klef is not ready to go (as seems more and more likely). He’s a good skater and plays a tough, mean, very stable low risk game that will translate well to a 3rd pair role in the NHL with a smaller guy who has a bit more offense (like Bear eventually). The guy was a real contributor on a top team in the KHL last season (CSKA Moscow) playing almost 18 minutes a night going +24. Those are rare numbers in that league for a 21 year old dman.


This is my thinking as well. He is one of the few D playing junior in Canada that was given first pairing D for Russia in the World Juniors. He is in my opinion the real deal. He has proven after his success in the KHL last year ready for an NHL audition. He has the full tool kit for a two way NHL D.


Samorukov is under contract with the Oilers until the end of the 21/22 season. He only went to the KHL because the Oilers loaned him, it wasn’t solely his decision. If the Oilers say he plays in the AHL vs. the KHL next season (assuming he doesn’t make the NHL roster, that is the only place he gets to play professional hockey. The Oilers won’t lend him to the KHL next season since the would want him a) continuing to learn their system if he is in the AHL and b) available for call up.


It wasn’t totally Samorukov’s decision to go to the KHL but he definitely had the choice – he had to sign with CSKA Moscow which was approved by the Oilers.

The Oilers didn’t have the ability to loan/place/assign Sammy to the KHL without the agreement of the player and CSKA.

With that said, premise is the same though, as I indicated above and you have also advised, the CSKA contract was for one year, he is property of the Oilers and signed to the Oilers and will be in the AHL/NHL this coming season.


Thanks OP! I was not aware this was the case. What was the shoulder injury or is that unknown. I believe that healthy he is ready to be an everyday NHL D.


Pederson (from close to my neck of the woods) and Hardie were players I had circled as potential 5th round targets last season. Good goal scorers, I was very surprised that neither were picked. For me Pederson has this sort of Mark Stone kind of vibe about him, anyway I might be a bit biased, but I am confident that he would be a solid 6th or 7th round selection.

Cardwell and Pillar I also had in my top 300 last season, both RHC’s, intriguing depth prospects.


Doan! Doan! Doan! Doan! – If still around, be a good choice with one of the 6th rounders. He is a very late bloomer and only hit the 6′ mark this summer, but as a smaller player had a reputation as a good-skating, tenacious puck hound.

His skating must have been affected by his growth spurt, because it looks Chiassonesque, but he has time to improve. He only started to put up scoring numbers this year, but I foresee him to develop into exactly the player-type you win Stanley Cups with. He will probably need to play at least 3 yrs in the NCAA.

He is also a wildcard with his ties to Arizona and going there for university next season, but he has family in Western Canada, so there’s that…

buck yoakam

speaking of over agers I really hope that benson makes the cut and proves all the naysayers wrong…we are always talking about draft and develop…82 game season plenty of time to work him in wether it be on a mcleod line and progressing up the lines…paddy maroon was not a speedster …this homegrown kid deserves a chance to show what he’s worth to the club…he could be found money big time…


Now or never.


Not sure Benson is an “over-ager” but, yes, he should get every opportunity to compete for a LW spot this coming camp – Depending on free agent signings or trade acquisitions, he should be able to compete for 2LW/3LW – I can see his skill-set being useful in either position.

He should finally get a real shot at camp and line rushes and exhibition games with legit NHL players, skill players included.

Bag of Pucks

I was thinking last night that the New York Rangers should be Holland’s top trade target. He needs to win a blockbuster trade and the NYR have a ton of young emerging talent on good contracts. Add in an impatient owner and an inexperienced GM and they fit the profile of a team that can be fleeced.

You can waste a lot of life minutes crafting trade scenarios with the Rags that balance the roster.

Let’s hope Kenny is in a New York State of Mind this offseason.

Last edited 1 month ago by Bag of Pucks

Kassian is already searching for a place there.

Material Elvis

My friend, who is a Devils fan, brought up the idea of a Bear for Zacha trade. The Devils really need a RH defenseman and Zacha can play 3C or LW in the top 6 (his best stretch was playing LW with Bratt and Zajac). I thought that it was an interesting idea but might leave the Oilers pretty thin at RD. Could work if they re-sign Larsson and Barrie.



Zacha was my prime target for JP when he took his sabbatical.

What’s a fair deal look like? One for one?


That’s an awful idea. A top 4 right-handed defenseman for a 3C?


Bear is a right shot defenseman best suited for 3rd pairing. Can play up if needed.

Paddy Morans Jockstrap

Yup – a solid team would have Bear and KK on the 3rd pair to start the season. He can play up if needed for short periods but he’s not a proven top 4 dman in the league yet (or maybe ever?).


Second pairing right D who can play up if needed. Not sure why everything Oilers gets devalued. He is also on a value contract!


Ton of Devils I’d take over Zacha that could come way cheaper than Bear (who I wouldn’t move at all). Kuokkanen, Sharangovich, etc.


Ah, I got pretty excited seeing a reference to Nas, Illmatic on this site but I bet you were actually referring to the Billy Joel song

Bag of Pucks

I’m definitely not your guy for hip hop references. Unless the reference is “it should be abolished as a crime against melody.” lol


Fair enough, rap is definitely not for everyone. The one genre I personally stick away from is country


Still, I’ll defend it because I believe it is really good.
Written in 1993 by 18 year old Nas. Illmatic is argued to be the best rap albums of all time.
Nas details the difficulties of growing up in the ghetto side of new York. Dealing with crack, cocaine and gang violence from a young age.
It’s a very different perspective to songs like ‘Theme of New York’ by Frank Sinatra. Which is also a fantastic song but paints new York in a much prettier image.

What’s great about NY state of mind and Nas in general is his ability to tell detailed stories of his experiences while maintaining multiple levels of rhyme. Even to the point that a Harvard poetry professor had an interview with Nas about the album.

But, if anyone here is considering listening to it and doesn’t love rap, you’re probably not going to like it.


We all have music that speaks to us in a personal and private way and while I am personally not a fan anything written from the heart that appeals to a group of people or to an individual has value and should be respected!

Harpers Hair

Some smart GMs are mining undrafted NCAA players looking for hidden gems who benefit from the extensive training and practice time afforded by college hockey.
Here’s a rundown of some available and some who have already been signed including a couple of intriguing goaltenders.

Harpers Hair

The Oilers might be wise to take a look at goalie Adam Scheel out of North Dakota if they don’t draft a goaltender in the 1st round.


I’d have time for Scheel.

Harpers Hair

What’s not to like?

I’m surprised he hasn’t been signed…quite a resume..6’3”.

Harpers Hair

Further on this…

Listened to an interview with Kevin Woodley last week.

He says there is a growing consensus that the ideal height for a goaltender is 6’3”.

He said that shorter or taller goaltenders need to have the difference coached out of them because they’ve developed habits that are not conducive to optimal performance.

Made me think of the giant Koskinen looking so small in his net.

Fascinating stuff.


That makes Smith the ideal height. Hopefully he doesn’t start to shrink in his advanced years.

Bruce McCurdy

Smith is 6’5


Google says Smith is 1.91 m which = 6 feet 3.197 inches

But NHL says he is 6’5

Wikipedia says 6’6

I am inclined to believe Google since sports sites/leagues exaggerate height and weight of athletes.

Taylor Hall is not 6’1 and Jordan Eberle is not 5’11 (at least from my experience)

But I could be a cynic.

Unless this is your insider knowledge – then I concede.


Sometimes it seems they measure with the skates on!😉


So just for shits and giggles how do you coach a goalie out of tendencies if he is shorter than 6 ft 3 get him to eat a bigger breakfast to get him to grow!


You should be emailing Joe Sakic this.

Harpers Hair

Joe has people for this.

So I faxed it to Holland.


Have Joe or his people ever found a full time NHLer via the undrafted college route?

Holland has found a few in his time at least.


Pretty important unforced error by Sakic trading Ian Cole for Greg Paternyn – really could have used a big and experience, two-time cup winner, like Cole in the playoffs.


He needed the cap space, no? But yes, Cole likely would have been useful.


Move was in the name of cap space it turned out to be a significant mistake.

Harpers Hair

Alex Kerfoot was drafted by NJ but refused to sign with them.
Sakic plucked him after he graduated from Harvard.


So, not an undrafted college free agent.


OK, so not undrafted. But Kerfoot is a decent player.


You actually faxed it to them both hoping to impress!


His Joemance has subsided since his house money went down the drain!😉




You wonder about the late draft picks, your Palats and Ethan Bears, and compare that to overagers.

I assume people vastly more experienced than me can show that if you haven’t made it draft wise by age 18, you’re extremely unlikely to make it in the NHL.

Although I wonder how much of that is self-fulfilling prophecy.

These players are still growing, developing coordination, and adding muscle.

Surely only the very most talented players should really be judged by their draft seasons?

Maybe hockey is an outlier but even the NBA has fewer impact players at that age and certainly in soccer it’s a rarity.


And pretty much completely unheard of in baseball or football.

John Chambers

Florian Elias centered a line with Stutzle and Peterka that was pure fire at the WJC.

His numbers in the DEL aren’t nearly as impressive as Stutzle’s, even as a draft +1, so we clearly know who was driving that line, but Elias is a very late birthday and played competently against men this past season as an 18-yo.


What’s Samurokovs timeframe?

Harpers Hair

Two and a half Sakics.

buck yoakam

well he’s no bigbone raffareeno…but maybe sammy can win a norris?….anything is possible lad


Sammy will get to the 3rd round before GM Joe does now, book it. The curse is real and spectacular.


If Sammy didn’t hurt his shoulder and get shutdown, he likely would have finished up in the AHL after he was done with CSKA Moscow and I would have speculated that he would have a real shot at the lineup out of camp.

Without that opportunity in the AHL, i presume they are going to want to get him game in the AHL/North America but I do anticipate he impacts the NHL roster this coming season.


I have followed his career and I think he may have a chance out of camp however some games in the AHL are a possibility. He doesn’t have anything left to prove after his KHL season but may spend some time in the AHL until things get sorted at the NHL level depending on who Holland brings to camp.


I’d agree with you if it weren’t for the shoulder injury.

Recall how many established NHL players struggle for months coming off a major injury.

I’d expect him to start in the AHL almost for certain because of that. Hopefully he can play himself onto the big clubs roster before too long though.


Well, he hasn’t had consistent success at the AHL level yet and, while his great season in the KHL is fantastic and a great arrow, it doesn’t equate to success in the AHL, let alone the NHL.

I do think he’ll impact that NHL lineup this season but he has plenty to prove, in my opinion.


Do you use the old 2018 Perry NHLe’s for some of these leagues like the German U20 to track Florian Elias, or something else?


Have to wonder if the difference in what KHL and NHL coaches look for resulting in such disparate outcomes in individual cases might really create some chaos in these macro-level evaluations after all, even though that’s the sort of thing that would normally wash out with scale.

Last edited 1 month ago by Wilde

Jack Han made a point about a lack of any top-of-the-distribution all-situations Russian defensemen (also known as “””1D””” sometimes) that instinctively I recoiled from. After some time now, though, I think maybe it’s something where coaches are both actively biased, but correct conceptually.

As in they do correctly gauge player-identity, but not always the degree to which a player’s strengths can outrun their flaws, partially due to the risk involved affording only a certain amount of opportunities to find something out.

Again, always recoil at the idea that something involving playstyle can be so concrete and immovable by the time a player goes from Russia to NA (even if it’s a timeline like, say, Sergachev) but it seems like if a guy like Quenneville disagrees with someone else about a Gustafsson or a Montour it’s more about what a player can do rather than what they have.

Bruce McCurdy

Ivan Provorov has played >24 mins a game for 4 years running. No other Flyers D in that time has averaged as much as 22:00 in a season.