The Edmonton Oilers released the rookie camp roster yesterday, and it’s a list with some fine things for the future. It’s also a group one would expect to see from a club without many high draft picks in recent years. Edmonton has made the postseason two years in a row, and it’s likely the first-round pick in 2022 is long gone by draft day.
What does that mean? Rookie camp Oilers 2021 fall could house be a big part of Edmonton’s 2025 opening night lineup. What do we know for sure?
- New Lowetide: Dylan Holloway’s season and why patience is vital for Oilers’ prospect
- Lowetide: Oilers reasonable expectations for 2021-22: Goal differential
- Lowetide: Oilers’ reasonable expectations for 2021-22: Goal scoring
- New DNB: Mailbag.
- Lowetide: Oilers’ potential Olympians are a small group with maximum possible impact
- Lowetide: What should the Oilers expect from Cody Ceci in his first season?
- Lowetide: Why Oilers can expect an offensive rebound from Ryan Nugent-Hopkins
- Lowetide: Projecting the 2021-22 Edmonton Oilers opening night lineup
- Lowetide: Why Oilers fans should be excited about the progress of Maxim Berezkin
- Lowetide: What should Oilers expect from Duncan Keith in his first season?
- Lowetide: Did the Oilers find the new Fernando Pisani when signing Derek Ryan?
- Jonathan Willis: Tyler Benson, Devin Shore and the 4-year difference between a prospect and a has-been
- Lowetide: What should Oilers fans expect from Zach Hyman in his first season?
- Lowetide: Dylan Holloway headlines new arrivals for Bakersfield Condors in 2021-22
- Lowetide: Why Oilers fans should expect more trades and a deep playoff run this season
- Lowetide: How much playing time will Evan Bouchard get with the Oilers this coming season?
- Jonathan Willis: A resurgent Zack Kassian could be an important part of the Oilers’ scoring
- Lowetide: How many goals will Jesse Puljujarvi score for the Oilers next season?
- Jonathan Willis: Oilers 2021-22 depth chart
- Lowetide: Oilers top 20 prospects, summer 2021
OILERS ROOKIE ROSTER 2021
- G Ilya Konovalov. At 23, he’s easily the most experienced goalie in rookie camp and should be the class of the group. Listed at 5.11, 196 and it’s possible he sees NHL action this season.
- G Olivier Rodrigue. He’s two years younger even though Edmonton drafted him a year before Konovalov. He’s still thin (6.02, 170) but is up a few pounds from the last listing. Highly thought of in his draft year, ended his junior career with flourish, got lost a little last season.
- G Ethan Kruger. Local goalie from Sherwood Park, he had a dandy season for the Brandon Wheat Kings (16, 2.30 .915) in 2020-21. He turns 20 later in September and is a solid prospect.
- LD Philip Broberg. He’s 6.03, 203 and 20, I’ve placed him at the top of the defensive group because that’s where I believe the organization has him. He’s fast, big and has skill, plus his North American performances suggest the SHL was holding him down. I believe (actually, I’ve been told) he needs another year outside the NHL, but if he shows well in camp, just as he has every time he sees Rogers ice, I’m not betting against him getting a call to Edmonton some time in 2021-22.
- LD Dmitri Samorukov. He’s 22 and 6.03, 198, with two seasons of pro experience. He could be a big mover this season in the organization, but a full year bringing his KHL game to the AHL would set up an easier adjustment to the NHL in 2022-23. His season ended in injury so he’ll need to be cleared by the doctors.
- LD Markus Niemelainen. Giant defender (6.05, 203) is 23 and posted an impressive season with the Condors after what seemed like a decade of pedestrian performances in Finland. He has a chance.
- RD Filip Berglund. He’s 24, 6.03, 209 and has two-way skills. I might be underestimating him here, but Niemelainen has played in the AHL so we’ll give him a slight edge on this depth chart. I liked his game in Berglund’s draft year, but that was five years ago and he’s never been to North America. Anticipation gave way to indifference long ago.
- RD Phil Kemp. He is 22 and has one year’s pro experience (Allsvenskan, AHL) and seemed quite comfortable in his boots during the games I saw in Bakersfield. Calm feet, good reads, I don’t think he’ll be a game changer on offense but he isn’t Gary Doak 1974-75 either. He’s 6.03, 203.
- RD Mike Kesselring. He’s 21, 6.05 and 205, on this list that’s about average but he’s a load. Kesselring doesn’t have Kemp’s smooth assuredness but he does have a more dynamic skill set. We may never see him in Edmonton, but if he makes it we’ll be talking about his range of skills and ability to insert himself into the offense.
- LD Yanni Kaldis. Oldest player on the roster (25) and without an NHL contract, but he is creative with the puck and has no fear. He’s a player Jay Woodcroft likes, I’d bet.
- RD Simon Kubicek. Big Czech blue (6.02, 205) who played at the World Juniors and Elite Prospects has him playing for the Edmonton Oil Kings this season. He turns 20 in December and had a couple of good seasons with the Seattle Thunderbirds (WHL) before last season.
- RD Max Wanner. He’s 18, 6.03, 185 and apparently passes the puck extremely well and can skate. This is the reason these are important. Like Kesselring when he arrived after his draft (for summer orientation) we need to get a glimpse of him. We don’t know what we don’t know.
- LC Dylan Holloway. He’s 6.01, 203 and turns 20 on September 23 and posted an NHLE of 41.6 in the Big-10 last year. What does that mean? Holloway will be one of the feature players against the Calgary Flames rookies and is my highest ranked Oilers prospect at rookie camp. He could play in the NHL this season, his thumb injury in the spring means special attention will be paid to the results of his physical at camp.
- RC Xavier Bourgault. The newest first-round draft pick, I’m pleased with his resume. He’s a scorer, likely to land on the wing, and a marksman as opposed to a volume shooter. Money in the offensive zone, he’s 6.02, 172 and turns 19 in late October. He should catch your eye.
- RC Jake Chiasson. Conflicting reports on Chiasson’s skating, Red Line is a big fan and believes the Oilers got a steal. One of the good things about rookie camps is we can find out what he can do in this area. Chiasson is 18, 6.01 and 165, and scored 9-11-20 last season for the Brandon Wheat Kings in 23 games.
- LC Brady Burns. He’s small (5.10, 159) and an overager (19), he’s very skilled and should be noticeable when he has the puck. Burns posted 18-20-38 in 32 games with the Saint John Sea Dogs (QMJHL) last year. He is from Port Williams, Nova Scotia, the home of explorer Drake Batherson.
- RC Henry Rybinski. He’s a C-RW who played for the Medicine Hat Tigers and Seattle Thunderbirds in junior. He is 20, 6.01, 185 and played multiple roles. Over a point per game last season, he arrives without a contract but would be a strong candidate for an AHL deal based on Holland’s past offseasons.
- RC Drew Englot. He’s 18, and a big forward (6.03, 190) who plays a gritty style and disrupts opponents. He scored 12 goals in the dub two years ago but was unable build on it last season with the Regina Pats. An intriguing player, you’ll notice him when he irritates the Flames.
- R Raphael Lavoie. He is 6.05, 197 and turns 21 on September 25. This blog has discussed him at length since he was drafted and it’s clear he does have significant scoring prowess. For an NHL prospect, that means he’s going to get lots of opportunities to show he can deliver at the highest level. He should have a great rookie camp.
- L James Hamblin. He is 22, 5.09, 176 and played multiple roles for the Bakersfield Condors (7-8-15 in 38 games). Hamblin was on the radar of this blog back in 2017 In four WHL seasons he scored 113 goals. He’s an intriguing player on AHL deal.
- L Tim Soderlond. He’s 5.09, 162 and 23. Swedish Poster: He’s a small, speedy forward with good not great hands who’s offense has never really translated to the pro ranks.
- L Devin Brosseau. He’s 24, and 6.01, 203. A skilled college man, he posted decent numbers in four seasons of ECAC hockey at Clarkson University. In 2020-21, he posted 7-14-21 in 34 games in the Austrian league, and then returned to North America to go 4-1-5 in 27 AHL games. Nothing about his resume suggests he will be an AHL 20+ goal scorer. Has AHL deal.
- L Matvei Petrov. He’s 6.02, 181 and 18. Pure scorer whose main interest is being a pure scorer, he went 22-20-42 in the MHL (58 games). He’s a long shot for the NHL but I’ll credit Edmonton: They need scorers and by God they’re drafting them like madmen. He was slated to play in Russia but will instead spend the winter with the North Bay Battalion of the OHL.
- R Kirill Maksimov. He’s 22, 6.04 and 207, and possibly the most intriguing prospect at this camp. His skill set has significant range and he can score goals. Maksimov should be farther along in his career but hasn’t been able to make the grade. Last year in the KHL, he scored 2-1-3 in 16 games, while producing in Russia’s second pro league (the VHL) to the tune of 12-15-27 in in 25 games. He has ability, it’s time to stand and deliver.
- L Ostap Safin. He’s 22, and 6.05, 204. I was impressed with him during his time with the Bakersfield Condors (4-2-6 in 22 games). When he was on, Safin was a bull in a china shop. He just wasn’t on enough. Still, you’d like to see a full season from the young man at this level. He’s a fairly unique prospect on this list.
- R Tyler Tullio. He’s 19, 5.11 and 181, a player Red Line compared to Paul Byron. He has several elements that could get him to the NHL and should be considered one of the best prospects in this camp. Scored 4-9-13 in 19 games in the Slovak league last season.
- R Josh Brokop. He’s 21 and smaller (5.11, 190) than most of the forwards at this camp. He is headed for the University of Alberta this fall. He went 25-35-60 in 78 games for the Calgary Hitmen over the last two seasons.
- R Dino Kambeitz. He’s 21, and a load (6.02, 212) with some goal-scoring acumen. He has scored 22 goals in 73 games as a member of the Lethbridge Hurricanes over the last two seasons. He has an AHL contract for the coming season.
Roster is here. Several of my top 20 prospects made the rookie camp, including Holloway, Broberg, Bourgault, Lavoie, Samorukov, Konovalov, Tullio, Petrov,, Rodrigue, Chiasson and Niemelainen.
LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE
It’s Friday! Tune in at 10, TSN1260, as we say goodbye to a friend. Tyler Yaremchuk is moving on to a great opportunity and we’ll miss him. So, in true radio fashion we’ll bring up all the embarrassing moments we can find from five years of radio. Yes, we’ll play the Jim Brown audio, and we’ll also find out his best and toughest days working on the Lowdown. 10-1260 text, @Lowetide on twitter, we’ll also tee up a wild weekend in sports.