Kevin Prendergast said a couple of decades ago that the scouts needed to score in the first round without fail, and needed to find at least one more NHL player in the other rounds. His nine first-round picks brought five successes (Ales Hemsky, Devan Dubnyk, Andrew Cogliano, Sam Gagner, Riley Nash), a little better than 50 percent success rate.
In his seven seasons as scouting director, Edmonton added Jarret Stoll, Matt Greene, Kyle Brodziak, Jeff Petry from outside the first round, along with Chris VandeVelde who had a fairly long run (278 games) as a depth player. Is the two players per draft rule a good one? It depends in part on how many draft picks are available in a 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!
- New Lowetide: Why Dominik Kahun is the best Oilers expansion option for the Kraken
- Lowetide: 5 players outside the NHL who could help the Oilers
- New DNB: Adam Larsson and free agency? Who’s on the expansion list?
- New DNB: Oilers talking to Zach Hyman’s camp
- Lowetide: Lessons learned from Oilers’ previous drafts
- Lowetide: What did the Oilers sacrifice in sending Caleb Jones to Chicago in the Duncan Keith trade?
- Jonathan Willis: Duncan Keith, by the numbers
- DNB: How Ken Holland’s overpay for Duncan Keith limits the Oilers’ offseason options
- Lowetide: 10 free agents for the Oilers to target this offseason
- Jonathan Willis: Yes or no? Have your say on 10 hypothetical Oilers trades
- Lowetide: Is this the year the Oilers find a world-class agitator in the draft?
- Lowetide: Which draft prospects will be available when the Oilers pick at No. 19?
- Lowetide: Oilers 2021-22 roster projection, including trade and free agent targets
- DNB: How do Oilers fans feel about their team’s 2020-21 season?
- Lowetide: What is a reasonable trade price for Oilers to pay for Duncan Keith?
- Lowetide: Will the Oilers draft from the OHL after a season that never happened?
- Lowetide: Finding the ideal No. 3 centre for the Edmonton Oilers
- New DNB: What I’m hearing about the Oilers offseason
- Lowetide: Ryan Nugent-Hopkins’ future value to the Oilers will be defined by his adaptability
- DNB: How re-signing Ryan Nugent-Hopkins for eight years could help and hurt the Oilers
- DNB: Five offseason scenarios that could upend the Oilers’ best-laid plans
- Lowetide: Why Oilers defenceman Evan Bouchard is poised to exceed expectations
- Jonathan Willis: How the Oilers could make a Jack Eichel-level trade happen this offseason
- Lowetide: The 7 Oilers roster spots GM Ken Holland must improve this offseason
- DNB: Ten teams the Oilers should be targeting for trades ahead of the Kraken expansion draft
- Lowetide: Why huge Oil Kings goalie Sebastian Cossa could be the perfect first-round fit for the Oilers
LOWETIDE VERSUS BOB MCKENZIE 2021
McKenzie’s list, which is compiled after input from real live NHL scouts (they wander in the wild, but McKenzie takes treats and they know him), brings about the same list as Craig Button (who we looked at some time ago).
Where does that leave my list? Off off Broadway, as you can see. Things go in wildly different directions after the top-10 overall and I expect we’ll see some off-roading at the actual NHL draft on Friday night. Here’s a mock based on players who remain available on McKenzie’s list at the time of Edmonton’s selection (using the Lowetide list as the Oilers draft ranking). My list is here.
LOWETIDE MOCK (MCKENZIE LIST)
- No. 19 overall: LC Nikita Chibrikov, St. Petersburg. Smaller forward with high-end skill (Red Line has him No. 22), RLR says he has “a combination of great stick skills, imagination, vision, speed and offensive instincts.” He’s a one-dimensional player but will be the best offensive prospect on the board if still available at No. 19 overall. I had him at No. 7.
- No. 116 overall: LW Eric Alarie, Moose Jaw Warriors 6.01, 196. I have him No. 24 (RLR has him early third round) and Mr. McKenzie doesn’t list him. I’ve checked, speed is good and he has all the PF tools including skill. I don’t know where he’ll go in the draft, but Alarie is a good prospect.
- No. 180 overall: LC Joshua Roy, Sherbrooke Phoenix 6.01, 191. I have him No. 36 overall, RLR has him late third round. An August 2003, he barely qualifies for the draft. Lethal shooter, average foot speed, he landed just outside my first round due to 22 goals in 35 QMJHL games.
- No. 186 overall: RC Connor Lockhart, Erie Otters. I have him at No. 41, RLR ranks him late third round. Fine playmaker, he is undersized and will need to improve strength. Has a great release on his shot.
- No. 212 overall: LC Lorenzo Canonica, Shawinigan Cataractes. I had him No. 51, meaning all five of my picks are done with players I ranked in the first through middle second round. What a crazy year. I was finished my Button draft by selection No. 32 of my list, so things are looking up! A September 2003, great skill. RLR has him fifth round.
LOWETIDE VS CRAIG BUTTON
- No. 19 overall: LC Nikita Chibrikov, St. Petersburg.
- No. 116 overall: RW Olivier Nadeau, Shawinigan Cataractes
- No. 180 overall: LW Eric Alarie, Moose Jaw Warriors 6.01, 196. B
- No. 186 overall: RC Ryder Korczak, Moose Jaw Warriors
- No. 212 overall: LW Conner Roulette, Seattle Thunderbirds
I swear my list had defensemen and goalies. I fully expect Edmonton to draft at least one defenseman, but if Cossa isn’t there Edmonton may not add a guardian this summer.
50-MAN FINAL RIDE (40)
There are 40 names here, but seven are restricted free agents (not all will be signed) and there are rumours surrounding several players (Koskinen, Neal, Kassian) possibly heading out of town. Plus someone will be lost to expansion. I see a need for a McDavid LW, a No. 3 center, Adam Larsson and one, possible two goalies. Does Ken Holland have enough money to get quality in all spots? Can he find a home for Koskinen? Neal? We wait.
POSSIBLE OILERS ROSTER
I’m not going to publish one today, would like to talk about expectations. Currently, Edmonton has $11 million in cap space, and that will grow to almost $24 million with a James Neal buyout, a Mikko Koskinen trade ($2 million retained), Kyle Turris in Bakersfield and Oscar Klefbom on LTIR.
The last few rosters I’ve published have been met with something that borders on rage. I mentioned some time ago that Seattle was dropping $80 million into the free-agent pool. In real terms, that could take Adam Larsson from $4 million times four years for $4.5 million times five years. As much as I am a fan of this player, there has to be an outer marker where the risk becomes too great. I hope he signs in Edmonton, but it sounds like he’ll take a bigger piece of the pie if he does return. That impacts the rest of the roster.
The size of the Goodrow contract is an early distant warning signal. Holland’s $24 million isn’t going to get him all the way to balance. That’s good news for Dylan Holloway, Philip Broberg, Dmitri Samorukov and Ilya Konovalov.
LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE
At 10 this morning, TSN1260, we have great guests and fun times. Paul Sir from The Basketball Show joins us at 10:20 to talk NBA finals, and why the league’s schedule for the final is so inconsistent. At 11:20, Jared Brown, Draft Pro Hockey’s head scout will talk to us about the 2021 NHL draft and players who might make sense for the Oilers. 10-1260 text, @Lowetide on twitter.