Nail Yakupov is the best NHL prospect on the planet. Corey Pronman has gained a lot of notice over the last 24 months for his insight into NHL prospects and his latest list has Edmonton’s #1 overall pick right at the top. And that’s not all!


Pronman’s list is here and is a fascinating look at the best ‘bubbling under’ kids who will eventually dominate the NHL. Lots of lottery picks in there, but also a few players who were drafted later and then emerged as quality talents:

  • #12 Justin Schultz: This was a grand item for the Oilers. Schultz hasn’t played in front of us but everything we read is golden. A complete skill set–coaching staffs rave about play with and without the puck–and a mature player too.
  • #78 Oscar Klefbom: Wonderful progress in the calendar year 2012 for this player. In the back half of 2011-12, Klefbom moved up the depth chart and became a go-to guy in the post-season. So far this season (3, 0-0-0 +2) Klefbom has been all over the place in terms of minutes played (12:48, 25:17, 15:40) but is averaging about 18 minutes a night.
  • just missed: Martin Marincin: This is an important player for the Oilers future. Marincin is a 2nd rd pick and he’s progressed nicely through junior. If he can adapt to the AHL game, we might see Marincin and Klefbom push for NHL employment as early as 2013-14.



Bob McKenzie has his "Pre-Season" draft ranking tonight at 5:30 on tsn. It gives Edmontonians a chance to get a first glance at the top level talent available this year, and then a chance to see one of the best (Curtis Lazar) in action for the Oil Kings at Rexall place.

UPDATE: McKenzie’s top 10 is here.



Hockey’s back! The big boys will get their act together soon, but in the meantime there are other things in life to enjoy. Like Bob McKenzie!

  • Oilers G- Nations Poet Laureate

    Oil Kings fist game

    I give up on NHL*

    Cheer on the Oil Kings

    *not really, I’ll be one of the sheep who flock back once they reach a deal**

    **not holding my breath

  • Max Powers - Team HME Evans


    Who’s a better prospect in your opinion,

    Schultz, or
    Ryan Murray

    Also, just cause you’re so in tune with the prospects, who would you consider to be the best prospect between the two as a general consensus? Eg. Who do you feel the scouts would choose if we had the opportunity?

  • Max Powers - Team HME Evans

    You can bet the KHL is going to be taking advantage of the lockout. I bet the league itself and individual teams will make a hard pitch at all the visiting NHLers. Even if they choose to play out their contracts, they may be tempted to sign when they’re free agents. Others will be FAs after this season.

    Imagine the hard sell they’d give a prospect like Yakupov – who never played in the NHL so he isn’t actually hooked on the lifestyle and has no reference point, who is from Russia himself, and who’s a highly-coveted #1 draft pick from the latest draft? A chance to play in front of home town fans? And for potentially more money in a year than he’d earn over his three-year ELC. I can see them tossing $5m or $6m, tax-free, at Nail.

    Even if Nail doesn’t dishonor his contract, he could well go back as a RFA.

  • Lowetide

    Max: I’d pick Schultz because he has a nice range of skills and there is more certainty. Murray could end up being a better man, but there’s more development time and chance for injuries.

    Schultz has already navigated those development waters, and as mentioned has more offense while also being able to play effectively without the puck.

  • DSF

    Pronman’s list is pretty much junk.

    He’s got Coyle at 48. LOL.

    He might win the Calder.

    Emerson Etem at 65. LOL.

    Chris Krieder at 32. LOLOL

    Guy doesn’t know hockey.

    At all.

      • RexLibris

        Coyle hasnt done enough offensively yet to crack the top four although he does shoot right,Granlund already has a concussion concern–I know he has produced since but thats not enough of a litmus test,and I know he was treated for almost three months.

        Huberdeau is a slightly taller Nugent like guy,Yak is a shorter more Crosby type player,both show elite level offensive numbers and dramatic flair,a saw-off.Just a matter of flavor.

        Krieder brings something extra to the table,huge size for his position.I dont give Krieder that much credit for his immediate sucess,I have seen it before and he is a big body who was thrown into a playoff atmosphere and environment,as long as he didnt draw penaltys and kept his nose clean he had a lot of extra things going for him{like Sayagain or whatever had when he stepped in}–things I wouldnt count on seeing over 82 games.
        Yakupov would be my number one.Yak and Huberdeau are a saw-off both are talented and offensive .Krieders ,NHL and growing, size bumps Huberdeau as a center.Because Krieder hasnt produced in the regular season in the NHL yet and I dont credit his dynamic performance as of yet– Yaks overall offensive production combined with his explosiveness makes him number one,its how they both produce points Krieder is so huge he is more limited in his approaches but more direct,less explosive more locomotive.In todays NHL with the evolving offense teams are employing quick and explosive is my pick. Points are where you find them at any level ,its how you get them that counts at the NHL level.

        -Yakupov–natural goal scorer
        -Krieder–power forward
        -Granlund–two way player good defensive awareness

        No other honorable mentions after these four.Funny thing is that if it werent for krieder throwing a wrench into the dynamic Huberdeau might have actually taken top spot and it would have been him and Yak one two because everyone needs a high scoring elite centerman–but no one in their right mind can overlook that size.6″3–230 lbs says he is a tank ,he will be a centerpiece for sure.
        Attitude and leadership ability could flip Yak and Huberdeau at any moment,Granlunds attitude didnt help him at all after the concussion he had two strikes right off the bat.Krieder has a lot more pressure on him than the others in my opinion–but that darn size down the middle makes him force you to give him a shot.I see Geurin written all over Krieder.He is of a different dimension than the other top four guys.He will definately be a power forward.

  • RexLibris

    Hey LT,

    I’m impressed with Yakupov making it that high on the list. I had a good close read (let’s see, CGY comes in at #s 20, 46 and 94…hmm, interesting) and I’m encouraged by seeing Yakupov higher than a lot of very good players. I’m still waiting to see him play to really get a read on his strengths, although I’m anticipating him being a stronger playmaker and potential penalty killer than we expect.

    I think our valuation of Klefbom isn’t necessarily in sync with Pronman, but not in the sense that he is underestimated so much as what he can potentially bring to this roster.

    As for Marincin, I think many of us are holding our breath waiting for the AHL season to get going so we can really see what we have.

    As for the MacKenzie comparisons, Lazar looks really good. I’ve watched him for two seasons and I’d love to have him as a 2nd line center. If the Oilers of 2015 had Lazar, Yakupov and Hartikainen on a line together that would be one heck of wrecking crew to watch. Throw in guys like Pitlick, Hamitlon, Moroz and Lander and you’d have a team worthy of some other fans’ hate.

  • Hair bag

    Hey on a side note, does anyone know what happens at next years draft if the NHL doesn’t have a season? I don’t recall what happened after the last lock out, did they draft in the same order as the year before or did they even have the draft???

    Well I see after doing a little research that the draft was definitely held but I am curious how the order was decided….

    • RexLibris

      from wiki

      As a lockout cancelled the games of the 2004–05 NHL season, the draft order was determined by lottery on July 22, 2005. Teams were assigned 1 to 3 balls based on their playoff appearances and first overall draft picks from the past three years. According to the draft order, the selection worked its way up to 30 as usual; then instead of repeating the order as in past years, the draft “snaked” back down to the team with the first pick. Therefore the team with the first pick overall would not pick again until the 60th pick. The team with the 30th pick would also get the 31st pick.