TSP: Edmonton Oilers Prospects

NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 13: Edmonton Oilers Defenceman Evan Bouchard (75) is pictured prior to the National Hockey League preseason game between the Edmonton Oilers and the New York Rangers on October 13, 2018 at Madison Square Garden in New York, NY. (Photo by Joshua Sarner/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Welcome to the 2019 Top Shelf Prospects series. As we go through the Summer of 2019 LWOH will be featuring a team-by-team look at the top prospects in the NHL. We will be following the order of the first round of the NHL draft (as if there were no traded draft picks) and you can find all the articles here.  Since we had an extensive NHL Draft preview, we will not be reviewing the players who were drafted in the 2019 draft, as there have been no games since then, and our reports on them will not have changed. Today we look at the Edmonton Oilers Prospects.

What we will be doing is linking you to those articles, as well as taking a look at prospects that were acquired before this year’s draft; their progress, and their chances of making the 2019-20 roster of the NHL team in question. We will also bring you one sleeper pick – a player who was either drafted in the 4th-round or later, or was an undrafted free agent signing who we pick as our dark horse to make the NHL. For those wondering, the cut-off for what is or isn’t a prospect is typically about 50 NHL games played (including playoff games) or is 25 years old. These are not hard or fast rules though, and we may make some exceptions depending on the circumstances.

Edmonton Oilers Prospects

It was another disappointing season for the Edmonton Oilers. A top-heavy team, Connor McDavid, Leon Draisaitl, and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins did everything they could to help the Oilers win games. However, lack of depth on the wings. Some disappointing play from the goaltenders and lack of depth on defence sunk another Oilers season. The poor year cost coaches Todd McLellan and Ken Hitchcock their jobs and Dave Tippett takes over. Meanwhile, general manager Peter Chiarelli was also let go, replaced by Ken Holland.

This all led to more off-season changes. Defenceman Andrej Sekera was bought out. Goaltender Mike Smith along with wingers Markus Granlund, Josh Archibald, and Tomas Jurco were added in free agency. This was all topped off by Holland trading Milan Lucic for James Neal. The Oilers now look to graduate some talent from their system to help the team get back into the playoffs in 2020.

2019 Draft Picks (Grade B): Philip BrobergRaphael LavoieIlya KonovalovMatej BlumelTomas MazuraMaxim Denezhkin
2018-19 Graduations: Colby Cave

 

Top Prospect: Evan Bouchard

Defence — shoots Right
Born October 20th, 1999 — Oakville, Ontario
Height 6’3″ — Weight 194 lbs [191 cm / 88 kg]
Drafted by the Edmonton Oilers in the 1st Round, #10 Overall in the 2018 NHL Draft

Bouchard made the Oilers out of training camp, playing in seven games and scoring his first NHL goal. He was then sent back to London and won the OHL Defenceman of The Year. Bouchard scored 16 goals and 53 points in 45 games. He also added 21 points in 11 playoff games. After the Knights lost in the second round, he joined Bakersfield and put up three goals and eight points in eight games.

Skating

Bouchard has decent speed when he gets going, but needs to work on his first step and acceleration. He has to work on his agility and footwork. It is pretty good going forward, and he can walk the line to open up passing and shooting lanes in the offensive zone. However, it can be an issue in his own end. Bouchard has good balance helped by his excellent core strength. He is strong on the puck and wins battles on the boards.

Offensive Game

Bouchard has an absolute bomb of a slap shot. His slap shot and one-timer are already NHL calibre. He also has an outstanding wrist and snapshot. Bouchard has a real knack for getting his shot on the net, despite heavy traffic. He is poised with the puck on his stick and makes subtle moves to open up passing and shooting games. Quick stickhandling moves change angles and open things up for him. Bouchard also understands to keep the puck low, allowing teammates to get deflections, tip-ins, and rebounds.

He has also really improved his passing over the last two years. Bouchard is far more accurate and consistent than he was early in his OHL career. He can quarterback the power play from the point, and can also lead the rush. He has very good vision and anticipates the developing play. Bouchard finds open teammates and makes smart plays with the puck, especially in transition.

Defensive Game

Bouchard is willing to play a physical game on the defensive end of the ice. He uses his size and his reach to keep attackers to the outside and away from the danger areas of the ice. He needs to work on his defensive instincts and positioning though. He can have a tendency to chase the puck and get himself out of position. Bouchard also needs to continue to work on his footwork. He can sometimes get beat by quick and agile forwards in one-on-one situations.

Outlook

Bouchard should make the Oilers this year. He is ready to take on a big offensive role. While there are some defensive issues that need to be worked on, that is true of many young defencemen. He can improve those areas of his game and become a franchise defender in the next few years.

 

#2 Prospect: Philip Broberg

The Oilers drafted Broberg with the 7th overall pick in this year’s NHL draft. Prior to the draft, we did an in-depth scouting report on Broberg. As no games have been played since that report; we will not repeat it. You can check out the report here.

 

#3 Prospect: Dimitri Samorukov

Defence — shoots Left
Born June 16th, 1999 — Volgograd, Russia
Height 6’2″ — Weight 180 lbs [188 cm / 82 kg]
Drafted by the Edmonton Oilers in the 3rd round, #84 overall, at the 2017 NHL Draft

Samorukov took his game to another level with the Guelph Storm this season, becoming one of the best defencemen in the OHL. He scored 10 goals and 45 points in 59 games. In the playoffs, he was even better putting up 10 goals and 28 points in 24 games in helping Guelph to the OHL title. He was also named to the OHL third All-Star Team. Samorukov played for Russia at the World Juniors, picking up four points in the seven-game tournament and winning a bronze medal.

Skating

Samorukov improved his skating in order to take his game to the next level. While he will never be called a great skater, these improvements help him to be above average. His speed is decent and the acceleration is above average in both directions. His pivots and edgework really improved. He does well in transitioning from offence to defence and vice versa. He also improved his lateral agility, helping him to walk the line in the offensive end and open up shooting and passing lanes. Samorukov also uses this to keep attackers in front of him. One area where he excels is in his lower body strength. He is strong on the puck and has very good balance. This is useful in winning battles in corners and clearing the crease.

Offensive Game

Samorukov has a rocket of a slap shot. However, he must work on being more accurate, as he has some issues with getting it on the net. His vision and passing skills are also good. Improvements in his lateral agility give him the ability to open up passing and shooting lanes in the offensive zone, and in skating the puck out of his own end. He makes crisp passes coming out of his zone and gets the transition game started quickly and effectively.

Samorukov loves to join the rush as a trailer and can unleash a good wrist shot when doing so. He also sneaks in from the point letting go that wrist shot from the top of the circles. He likes to pinch in from the line to try and keep the play alive. If Samorukov sees an opportunity, he is willing to cut to the front of the net looking for a pass from a teammate. He really improved in moving the puck through the neutral zone this past season, taking the opportunity to carry the puck and create effective offensive zone entries.

Defensive Game

Samorukov’s defensive game continues to improve. He is better at picking his spots and avoiding being caught trying to generate offence. His positioning in his own zone also improved as he continues his adjustment to the size of North American ice. He seems to have his angles and gap control down now. Samorukov loves to play physical and will look for the big hit in open ice. He battles hard in front of the net and in the corners. Samorukov can struggle with quick, shifty forwards though. Overall his defensive game is good for the junior level, but he can still improve.

Outlook

Samorukov’s emergency was welcome news for the Oilers. However, there are still a few little refinements that he can make before moving up to the NHL. While he will fight for a spot in camp, the Oilers have a number of good young defenders, many with more pro experience than Samorukov. Samorukov may have a higher upside than some of these other defenders but also needs some refinement in the AHL in order to reach that upside.

 

#4 Prospect: Tyler Benson

Left Wing — shoots Left
Born March 15th, 1998 — Edmonton, Alberta
Height 6’0″ — Weight 203 lbs [183 cm / 92 kg]
Drafted by the Edmonton Oilers in the 2nd round, #32 overall, at the 2016 NHL Draft

In his first full pro season, Benson dominated. He scored 15 goals and 51 assists for 66 points in 68 games for Bakersfield, helping them to be one of the AHL’s best teams. He also added seven points in 10 playoff games. Benson led all AHL rookies in assists. He made the AHL’s All-Rookie Team and 2nd All-Star Team.

Skating

Benson is a strong skater and plays a very gritty and physical game. He has very good speed and quick acceleration. He has a great first step, which helps him to get to loose pucks, or to transition quickly when a teammate creates a turnover in his own zone, creating breakaways and odd-man rushes. Benson has a powerful stride which allows him to fight through checks and get to the front of the net.  His agility and edgework are also good, with the ability to manoeuvre through traffic.

Offensive Game

Benson does well in protecting the puck in the cycle game. His excellent lower body strength gives him good balance, and he has the frame to protect the puck in battles. He has the stickhandling ability to take the puck off the wall, and get around a defender to create a play, but is not one to make a huge number of fancy moves in transition. Benson obviously has the ability to be a playmaker. He has excellent vision and can pass the puck through tight areas. Combined with his hard work and puck possession game Benson drove offence for his line this season.

Benson can hurt the opposition in a variety of ways.  He has an accurate wrist shot with a very good release. Benson also has a very good one-timer. He is willing to stand in front of the net and take punishment to get tip-ins and rebounds. Benson could work on adding more power to his shots. He could also stand to shoot more, as he became very much a pass-first player in his first pro season, even though he had been a good goal scorer in junior.  This would add another dimension to his game.

Benson gets in quickly on the forecheck and forces defenders to make plays quickly or be plastered into the boards. When the puck does get turned over, he gets himself into good positions to let go his strong wrist shot or a blistering one-timer.

Defensive Game

Benson’s defensive game is also ahead of the curve. He helps on the backcheck, applying back pressure to support his teammates in defending against the rush. He is willing to work down low and help in containment against the cycle game and uses his grit and tenaciousness to fight for loose pucks. Benson plays a physical game and can throw big hits in all three zones. He is also not afraid to drop the gloves to protect himself or a teammate. He sometimes needs to keep his temper in check though, as he can take some bad penalties.

Outlook

The Oilers desperately need talent on the wings. Benson could be a real spark in their top six. A strong camp would earn Benson a spot with one of the Oilers top centres. Nothing is guaranteed and he will have to fight for that spot but its there for the taking. Benson has the skill to take advantage of playing beside one of the Oilers top centres, now he has to take the next step and grab that spot.

 

#5 Prospect: Raphael Lavoie

The Oilers drafted Lavoie with the 38th overall pick in this year’s NHL draft. Prior to the draft, we did an in-depth scouting report on Lavoie. As no games have been played since that report; we will not repeat it. You can check out the report here.

 

#6 Prospect: Caleb Jones

Defence — shoots Left
Born June 6th, 1997 — Frisco, Texas
Height 6’1″ — Weight 205 lbs [185 cm / 93 kg]
Drafted by the Edmonton Oilers in the 4th round, #117 overall,  2015 NHL Entry Draft

Jones pounced between Edmonton and Bakersfield last season. He scored his first NHL goal and put up six points in 17 games played. In the AHL, he put up six goals and 20 points in 50 games. Jones added three points in 10 playoff games.

Skating

Jones is an outstanding skater. He has very good speed and acceleration in both directions. He also has strong edge work, pivots, and agility. Jones transitions quickly from offence to defence and vice-versa. His mobility is a key factor in his ability to play a two-way game. He also has good lower body strength, allowing him to win board battles.

Offensive Game

Jones shows good vision and strong passing skills. He starts the transition with accurate passes out of the zone, and can also make the long breakaway passes. Last season, Jones struggled with adjusting to the quicker speed of opposing players in the AHL. He thought he had more time than he did, leading to some giveaways. This really improved this season.

He has good stickhandling ability and avoids forecheckers well. Jones can quarterback the power play, setting up teammates, and using his vision and hockey sense from the point. Jones has the poise to make a quick move at the line, opening up a passing or shooting lane. He has a good shot. He understands that if he keeps it low and on the net, he sets up opportunities for teammates to get rebounds, and tip-ins.

Defensive Game

Jones plays an aggressive and physical defensive game. He throws big hits if an attacker comes down his side of the ice with his head down. This aggressiveness sometimes gets him into trouble if he misjudges the speed and the quickness of the opponent and got himself in trouble looking for that big hit. This improved at the AHL level but he can still continue to adjust to the speed of NHL attackers. He also battles hard in the boards and clears the front of the net. When he is a bit more patient, Jones shows good positioning using his long stick to cut down passing and shooting lanes.

Outlook

Jones will head to camp looking to make the Oilers. Currently, the team has Oscar Klefbom, and Darnell Nurse locking down the left defence spot on the top-two pairs. However, the third pairing is wide open and Jones will compete for that spot. Samorukov, Brandon Manning, and William Lagesson are his main competition for the role. Jones looks like the most NHL ready of the bunch.

 

#7 Prospect: Kailer Yamamoto

Right Wing — shoots Right
Born September 29th, 1998 — Spokane, Washington
Height 5’8″ — Weight 154 lbs [173 cm / 70 kg]
Drafted by the Edmonton Oilers in the 1st round, #22 overall, at the 2017 NHL Draft

Yamamoto split time between Edmonton and Bakersfield last season. He struggled with the speed and strength of NHL defenders, and only put up one goal and one assist in 17 games. Things were a little better at the AHL level, where Yamamoto put up 10 goals and eight assists for 18 points.

Skating

While he is undersized, Yamamoto makes up for it with tremendous skating. His top-end speed is excellent. Yamamoto creates odd-man rushes with his speed and can beat defenders to the outside and cut to the net. He also is very quick to get to loose pucks with great acceleration and a really quick first step. His ability to change speeds is a weapon, that can be used to fool defenders on the rush and in the cycle game. Excellent edgework and great agility also allow him to be extremely elusive in one-on-one situations. Yamamoto has a low centre of gravity, which helps him maintain his balance. However, he still needs to get stronger so that he is not pushed around along the boards.

Offensive Game

Yamamoto has tremendous hands. He is a great stick-handler and can bury goals in tight to the net. He can make quick dekes in very tight spaces, helping him to beat defenders as well as goaltenders. Excellent hand-eye coordination allows Yamamoto to tip pucks on net. He has developed a harder shot, but it could still use a bit more power. Added muscle in his upper body, could help this happen. The release on his wrist shot and snapshot is very quick, and this helps him to fool goaltenders. He can release the puck without much of a wind-up.

Yamamoto is more of a playmaker than a goal scorer. He uses his quickness and stickhandling to open up passing lanes. He has tremendous vision, and once an opening presents itself, he has the skill necessary feather a tape-to-tape pass to a teammate. Yamamoto has very good hockey IQ. He sees plays developing and takes advantage of those openings as they present themselves. His ability to extend plays in the offensive zone allows his teammates to get open.

Defensive Game

Yamamoto’s defensive game is a bit of a work in progress. His smaller size can be a bit of a liability as he can be pushed around by bigger, stronger players. This will likely always be an issue but can be improved with some added strength. That said he is not afraid to battle for loose pucks as well as become involved along the boards. He is an extremely hard worker who is involved in his own zone. Once he does get the puck, he can transition quickly to offence.

Outlook

Yamamoto will look to make the Oilers in training camp. The Oilers really lacked speed last season, and that is an element that Yamamoto can provide. He is also a talented winger, another area that was a weakness. There is a ton of potential here but Yamamoto needs to be able to handle stronger defenders before he can make an impact. Expect to see him start the season in Bakersfield. He will turn 21 just before the season begins so there is still time for him to develop and reach his potential.

 

#8 Prospect: Ethan Bear

Defence — shoots Right
Born June 26th, 1997 — Ochapowace, Saskatchewan
Height 5’11” — Weight 196 lbs [180 cm / 89 kg]
Drafted by the Edmonton Oilers in the 5th round, #124 overall at the 2015 NHL Draft

Bear spent his second pro season in Bakersfield. He scored six goals and 25 points for 31 points 52 games. He also added two goals and two assists for four points in eight playoff games.

Skating

Bear is a great skater, with outstanding speed in both directions, great edgework, quick, crisp pivots, excellent agility, and very good balance. He can lead the rush, or make a pinch at the line and still get back defensively. He uses his lateral agility to walk the line and create passing and shooting lanes. It also helps him maintain gap control. Bear’s balance helps him to win battles on the boards. While he lacks height, he has plenty of muscle on his frame and competes hard with bigger forwards.

Offensive Game

Bear’s offensive game is very straightforward. He has an absolute cannon of a shot and is not afraid to let it go from the blueline. He has a knack for getting it through traffic and on the net. Bear uses his excellent agility, and the ability to walk the line in order to open up passing and shooting lanes. He improved his puck handling skills and poise over his junior career and this has paid dividends at the AHL level.

Bear is also a very efficient playmaker. With the puck on his stick, he is looking to make a quick pass up to the forwards, and then join the rush as a trailer. His passing skills are sublime, as he makes a great first pass out of his own zone, and he can quarterback things on the power play. While he can skate the puck out of danger in his own end, and get the rush started, he does not seem to be the type of defender who will take the puck end-to-end often. Instead, Bear is more likely to wait to move the puck and then be the trailer. He will wait for a drop pass to get a shot off, or make another pass to a teammate.

Defensive Game

He may not be the biggest defender out there but that does not stop Bear from playing a very physical game, as he loves to hit, and is very good along the boards and in clearing the front of the net. He can sometimes get himself out of position looking for those big hits. Going forward, it will be important for Bear to learn when to pick his spots in looking to play the physical game.

Bear is a fearless defender who is not afraid to take a hit to make a play, or to block shots in the defensive zone. He also understands positioning and has a good knack for keeping himself between his opponent and the front of the net, when he isn’t looking to throw that huge hit.

Outlook

Bear will fight for a spot on the Oilers blueline. However, the competition will be fierce. Adam Larsson and Kris Russell should be part of the team. The final spot on right defence will be between Bear and Bouchard, and Bear is the clear underdog here. Expect to see him start in Bakersfield but to be one of the first call-ups when injuries hit. He could be an NHL regular in 2020.

 

#9 Prospect: Cooper Marody

Centre — shoots Right
Born December 20th, 1996 — Brighton, Michigan
Height 6’0″ — Weight 190 lbs [183 cm / 86 kg]
Drafted by the Philadelphia Flyers in the 6th round, #158 overall, at the 2015 NHL Draft
Traded to the Edmonton Oilers, March 2018

Marody was terrific in his first pro season with 19 goals and 64 points in 58 games for Bakersfield. Playing in six games with the Oilers, he was unable to score his first NHL point. He also went scoreless in four AHL playoff games. It was a disappointing end to what was a great regular season.

Skating

Marody is a very good skater. He has a quick first step and good acceleration. His top speed is also well above average. This is combined with good agility and edgework. Marody is a very shifty player. He is able to change directions quickly, fooling defenders and creating space in the offensive zone. Marody added muscle last summer and got stronger in battles on the boards and in front of the net. If he can get even stronger this summer, it will help his chances to make the Oilers roster.

Offensive Game

Marody is a skilled playmaker. He sees the ice very well and anticipates the movements of teammates. Marody can make a pass through tight spaces, and can also land a saucer pass on a teammates’ stick. He is a smart player who makes the right play on most occasions. He is at his most dangerous in transition when he can use his skating and stickhandling to create openings. Marody has soft hands and can make a quick move to open a passing lane.

Marody has an accurate shot, and his release is decent but his wrist shots lack power. He also has trouble on the boards and in the dirty areas of the ice. One criticism is that Marody plays a bit of a perimeter game. He is most effective in transition and on the power play, but struggles to maintain possession down low in the offensive end.

Defensive Game

Marody works hard in the defensive end, providing support to the defence and maintaining good positioning. However, his lack of size can be an issue as he is overpowered by stronger forwards. He is good at cutting down passing lanes and creates turnovers. Once he gets the puck, Marody is good at transitioning from defence to offence.

Outlook

A strong pre-season and training camp could see Marody start the season with the Oilers. If he can prove capable of taking the third line centre spot, this will allow the Oilers to pair Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl without having to worry about how that affects the bottom two lines. Given what Marody has already proven at the AHL level, he could be ready to make that jump. Even if he doesn’t he could come up at some point during the season.

 

#10 Prospect: Ryan MacLeod

Center — shoots Left
Born September 21st, 1999 — Mississauga, Ontario
Height 6’2″ — Weight 207 lbs [188 cm / 94 kg]
Drafted by the Edmonton Oilers in the 2nd Round, 40th Overall at the 2018 NHL Draft

After starting the season with the Mississauga Steelheads, McLeod was traded to the Saginaw Spirit at the OHL trade deadline. Overall he scored 19 goals and 62 points in 63 OHL games last season. He also added five goals and 12 points in 17 OHL playoff games. After the Spirit were eliminated, McLeod joined Bakersfield where he put up three assists in five playoff games.

Skating

McLeod is an outstanding skater and this helps him to be a very good two-way player. He is one of the fastest players in the OHL. He has a long and powerful stride and gets up to top speed with excellent acceleration. McLeod has outstanding edgework and agility. He can change directions on a dime. This ability to make quick cuts can drive defenders nuts. His speed and ability to close space quickly also helps him defensively. McLeod has the power to fight through checks and still get to the front of the net. He has excellent balance, and wins battles along the boards and establishing his position in front of the net.

Offensive Game

McLeod also has very good vision and passing skills. He can create off the rush, using his speed and stickhandling ability to get past defenders. He can make quick cuts to beat them or take them wide off the rush. McLeod uses his ability to change the pace as a weapon, beating defenders by quickly accelerating or creating lanes by slowing down. This skating helps him to make plays as a quick move creates space to get a pass through. Working down low, he can also control the puck, slow down the play and set-up plays when his teammates get open.

McLeod is much more of a playmaker than a scorer. While he has improved this season and begun to take more shots, he is very much a pass-first player. McLeod has a decent wrist shot but it is not overpowering. However, it is very accurate and features a quick release. His slap shot needs some work. McLeod has a decent snapshot as well.

Defensive Game

At the junior level, McLeod has been a key man on the penalty kill. His line is also matched up against the other team’s top line on a regular basis. McLeod’s skating helps him to get to loose pucks, to cut down an opponent’s space, or to anticipate passes and create turnovers. Once a turnover is created, he is able to quickly transition to offence. McLeod reads the play well. He cuts down passing lanes with an active stick and is not afraid to block shots. Overall this is very advanced for his age.

Outlook

McLeod moves up to the pro game this year. There will be some development needed so expect to see him in Bakersfield. He has been good defensively in juniors and will need to show he can play the same effective two-way game at the pro level. Expect him to challenge for a roster spot in Edmonton in the next year or two.

 

Sleeper Prospect: William Lagesson

Defence — shoots Left
Born February 22nd, 1996 — Goteborg, Sweden
Height 6’2″ — Weight 207 lbs [188 cm / 94 kg]
Drafted by the Edmonton Oilers in the 4th round, #91 overall at the 2014 NHL Draft

Lagesson was solid in his first AHL season. He scored eight goals and 19 assists for 27 points in 67 games. He also added two goals and four points in 10 playoff games. The adjustment was easier as he had three years of experience on North American ice in the USHL and NCAA before returning to Sweden for the 2017-18 season. He also worked well with the speed and strength of professional opponents.

Skating

Lagesson’s skating is a bit of a work in progress. He has average speed both going forwards and backwards but could stand to work on both his first few steps and acceleration. Lagesson’s footwork and agility can also improve. He needs a bit of work on his lateral movement. He has a strong core though, and good balance on his skates. This helps Lagesson to be strong on the puck and to win battles on the boards and in front of the net.

Offensive Game

Lagesson is a smart player. He makes a good breakout pass out of his zone, finding the open man. He can even make the long breakaway pass. His vision and passing skills also translate to the offensive zone where he can make good passes at the blueline. Its not clear how much this will translate in the NHL though, as Lagesson’s lateral movement could limit him from opening up passing and shooting lanes at the next level. Still, he makes smart plays with the puck, not forcing things when they aren’t there.

Lagesson has a good slap shot and one-timer. He does a good job of getting it on net. He moves around enough to avoid defenders when he does not have the puck and get himself open to take a pass. Still, Lagesson is mainly a defence first player. He does not take a lot of chances joining the rush or pinching deep into the offensive zone.

Defensive Game

Lagesson plays a strong positional game. He protects the middle of the ice and forces his opponents to the outside and to poor shooting areas. From there he uses an active stick to cut down passing lanes. While he is not a huge hitter, he is willing to play physical along the boards and in front of the net. He uses his body to take away an opponent’s time and space while still playing disciplined and not getting out of position looking for hits. Exceptionally quick and shifty forwards can give him some issues on the rush though.

Outlook

Lagesson will also head to camp looking to compete for an open spot on the left side of the Oilers defence. With two pro seasons playing against men under his belt, he brings some experience to the table which will be helpful in making the jump to the NHL. Given the Oilers roster though, he might need a bit more time in the AHL. Expect to see him spend time in both Bakersfield and Edmonton next year.

 

System Outlook

Being outside the playoffs in all but one year in the last decade has led to the Oilers having a lot of draft picks and picking high in each round. While they didn’t always use these picks effectively early in this run, there remains hope for a number of the more recent picks and good depth in the system. In goal, Olivier Rodrigue, Stuart Skinner, and Dylan Wells lead the way. Hayden Hawkey, a prospect traded for last year, needs to be signed by August 15th or will become a free agent. On defence, the Oilers also have Joel PerssonPhilip Berglund, Logan Day, Matthew Cairns, and Philip Kemp as prospects worth keeping an eye on. Upfront, Kirill Maksimov had an excellent junior career with Niagara. He joins Joseph Gambardella, Ostap Safin, and Aapeli Rasanen as forward prospects to watch.

 

Edmonton Oilers Prospects Main Photo:

NEW YORK, NY – OCTOBER 13: Edmonton Oilers Defenceman Evan Bouchard (75) is pictured prior to the National Hockey League preseason game between the Edmonton Oilers and the New York Rangers on October 13, 2018 at Madison Square Garden in New York, NY. (Photo by Joshua Sarner/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

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