On June 29, 2013, in the swamps of New Jersey, Edmonton will finally get back a player in the Andrew Cogliano trade. The 2013 entry draft could include a lottery selection, depending on if/when the season is played and the Oilers final position. Are there some worthwhile names to add to the cluster of selections that began in 2010 with Taylor Hall? Damn straight. 


I always do a final top 30 and now is about the time I get out the slide rule and begin ciphering. My list owes much to Gabriel Desjardins’ NHLE and always pushes those who possess a wide range of skills above one dimensional types. I usually have one or two players at the end of the season who are considered ‘wonky’ or ‘strange’ picks so would encourage you to pursue the Redline, ISS, Corey Pronman and Bob McKenzie lists for a more realistic view about how its all going to break down.

  1. D Seth Jones, Portland (WHL). 28, 7-17-24 +25 21pims. Crazy size for a teenager (6.04, 206) and he’s an outstanding defensive player at the junior level. The total package, size, can skate, exceptional defender with a wingspan that Boeing would envy.  A little light on the offense early (NHLE: 82, 6-15-21) but his PP numbers (1-6-7) suggest the Winterhawks feel he has some ability there (Derrick Pouliot is the club’s top powerplay option on defense). He appears to be paired with Tyler Wotherspoon most often.
  2. C Nathan MacKinnon, Halifax (QMJHL). 28, 22-26-48 +27 33pims. The most famous prospect in this year’s draft, MacKinnon combines speed and skill along with what scouts have termed tremendous determination. His size (5.11, 179) is a little bit of a concern based on his style of play, and his NHLE (82, 18-21-39) is not the strongest number in the draft. Still, he’s clearly a 5-tool center with all kinds of good arrows based on scouting reports and could very well be a franchise player.
  3. C Sean Monahan, Ottawa (OHL). 24, 12-24-36 -3 8. I really like this player’s scouting report. Quoting the pre-season Button prose: Sean is a very well rounded player who has versatility in his game and can play multiple positions and situations and do it extremely well. His skills may not be flashy but they are very good with a mind that is exceptional. His skating is very good but what he does so well is change speeds and keep opponents off balance. He is quick and very difficult to knock away. He recognizes opportunities very quickly and is able to take full advantage of them. Call him ‘opportunistic’ if you will, but he finds a way to be productive. He has a very good touch around the net, his shot is accurate and he is deceptive in his approach. He can play on the wing and he can play a defensive role, but the beauty of Sean is that he understands what is required of the various positions and roles and doesn’t necessarily need to score to contribute to winning. A very balanced player who performs when it counts. That’s always going to be my favorite player, a guy with a range of skills. His size (6.02, 193) and NHLE (82, 12-25-37) make him an intriguing player when mulling MacKinnon. 
  4. C Sasha Barkov, Tappara (SM-Liiga). 30, 14-14-28 +8 4. 6.02, 205 and a tremendous offensive talent (his NHLE: 20-21-41). Barkov is an interesting player for the Oilers–he has size, is a good skater and is very skilled–McKenzie compared him in style to Dale Hawerchuk. He looks like he has some power to his game, too.
  5. C Elias Lindholm, Brynas (SEL). 30, 5-13-18 -3 2. Center plays in a pro league and has a reputation for having a complete player’s skills. Craig Button: His game is founded on an intelligence and understanding that is exceptional. He’s capable of adapting to any situation with the ability to make the right play regardless of the challenge. They call these types of players ‘a coach’s dream.’ He is a very good skater who is quick and agile and combined with his IQ, it makes him a very difficult player to play against and try to get an advantage on.His NHLE (82, 11-27-38) is outstanding.
  6. L Jonathan Drouin, Halifax (QMJHL). 22, 15-28-43 +20 14pims. Drouin is ripping up the draft lists, to the point were Redline Report has him #2 (and ahead of MacKinnon). His NHLE is the best of the top end skill guys (82, 16-29-45) and Redline gushed about him in November: has every conceivable elite offensive tool, has grown to an adequate 5-11, 182 pounds, and can elevate the play of those around him better than anyone else in this year’s class. Combine that with his advanced positional game, unreal hands and big-game mentality, and you have a pretty impressive package.
  7. L Hunter Shinkaruk, Medicine Hat (WHL). 28, 19-24-43 +3 12pims. A very slow start (12, 6-6-12) has given way to a strong performance in the last several weeks (16, 13-18-31) and his PP numbers (28, 6-10-16) tell us he’s doing very well at even strength. NHLE: 82, 17-21-38. The Scouting Report says "has the best set of hands in tight since Jordan Eberle roamed these parts" and Oiler fans know that’s high praise.
  8. D Ryan Pulock, Brandon (WHL). 25, 9-17-26 +13 12pims. Right handed defender with nice size (6.01, 211), Pulock has been turning heads for awhile now. His NHLE (82, 9-17-26) suggests his drafting team is going to get a solid powerplay performer (25, 4-9-13) with a booming shot from the point. The Scouting Report: Pulock is a reliable defender who is good in all 3 zones and a positionally sound player who seems to be continually refining his defensive tendencies to adjust to the game. His skills with the puck are solid and his NHL caliber slap shot is obviously a huge asset for him on the powerplay. While Pulock is not overly physical, he anticipates the play well and uses his body to separate the man from the puck at the right opportunities. As a solid defender with the offensive skills he possesses, Pulock has the type of top pairing potential NHL teams are looking for.
  9. R Anthony Mantha, Val D’or (QMJHL). 30, 25-20-45 +12 37 Big winger with terrific skill is trending. Redline: The big winger is just busting out all over the place. With good skating ability, plus great size and scoring touch, he’s one of our fastest risers. NHLE is 82, 19-15-34 and at 6.03, 200 in his last 20 games, he is 18-10-28. 
  10. D Josh Morrissey, Prince Albert (WHL). 31, 8-16-24 +12 37. At 6.0, 185, Morrissey is just average in size but gets a lot of attention because he’s such an outstanding skater. Expert puck mover, quality passer, he’ll need to work on playing a more aggressive defensive style but the tools are there. Plays in all three disciplines, scored 4 goals at evens, 3 on the powerplay and 1 shorthanded so far this season. His PP totals (31, 3-10-13) should be ridiculous by season’s end.

A reminder, that’s my list and it favors more complete player types and forwards usually do better on my list than others. Its early, though, plenty of time for change.


Seth Jones! I can only imagine what the Oilers would look like 5 years from now if the club added a stud like Jones, but the chances of Edmonton finishing 29th or 30th are not good (stop laughing. Stop it!).

I really like Monahan, Barkov and Pulock on this list, and it appears to me this is tracking as a deeper draft than a year ago. Curtis Lazar remains a player of interest and appear to be finding the range recently.

Miles to go.


It’s early, but with the world juniors around the corner this is a good time to get familiar with these names. From here through spring, we’ll spend some time each week getting to know these talented young men. No matter the lockout, the business of hockey’s renewal continues with these 17-year olds working to become this year’s elite.

  • DSF

    Does anyone else think NHLE is ridiculous? MacKinnon will destroy 39 points. Take it to the bank. I think Seth Jones looks fantastic but then again so did Eric Johnson. Defensemen scare me. I think Monahan would probably be the best fit for the Oilers. If the Oil are picking mid draft I would love for them to take Kerby Rychel. He would be most welcome in hour top 6 in a few short years.

      • John Chambers

        My hunch on the “big trade” the Oil could make upon seasons resumption is Ryan Getzlaf. If that were the case I would opt for one of these talented defenders.

          • John Chambers

            Okay it’ll play. Why not.

            If you accept that the Ducks will field trade offers for Getzlaf or Perry if either (or both) aren’t eager to re-sign, I contend that the Oilers can offer a better package of players than most teams.

            If I’m Tambi-cakes, I think I offer a package of Gagner, Klefbom, and Anaheim’s 2nd, on the agreement that Getzlaf will sign, or do a sign and trade. Perhaps Paajarvi would be added in or substituted for the pick, but that’s where I stop. For the Ducks they get a point-producing C, a good D prospect to make up for those they’ve lost :), and a nugget or two to balance the scales. Only a fool would trade one of our core-4 for a player on a downward arc.

            Perhaps in all your wisdom you could dream up a better offer that another one of the 29 clubs could muster up for sir Getzlaf, but until you convince me I say my proposed deal passes the sniff test.

          • DSF

            Gagner has no value to the Ducks….at all.

            The Ducks already have a better player in Peter Holland on the way.

            Perhaps Klefbom might be of interest but he’s is out for the season for surgery.

            Paajarvi is nothing more than a throw in.

            There are many, many teams that could beat that offer.

          • John Chambers

            Well needless to say there are 29 other teams who ‘could’ make a better offer, but are there any teams who ‘will’?

            Regardless of whether the Islanders would trade Neato Nightrider or Ryan Strome, or Columbus would trade Ryan Muray, Getzlaf won’t re-sign there. Many team’s will lack cap space. Calgary won’t trade Baertschi.

            Again, the goal isnt to construct equal value for Getzlaf, but to come up with the BEST bid given Anaheim’s weak negotiating position.

            You’re more than welcome to suggest an alternate proposal that would be more attractive to Bob Murray, however I do recognize that you may be adverse to putting out an idea that would be subject to debate / criticism. I’ll be gentle.

          • John Chambers

            Paajarvi and Gagner are AHL-level players, and Peter Holland is, in your opinion, a sure-fire top-6?

            I’m not sure I trust your ability to read the market.

          • DSF

            Paajarvi is barely an AHL player at this point.

            Despite a 2 point night tonight, he is on pace for a 12 goal season.

            Gagner can be replaced for half the cost by a player like Kyle Wellwood.

            There is NO value there.

          • He’d be Kyle Wellood if he were seven years older. Gagner played properly with complimentary linemates (i.e. guys who can take a pass and finish) gets you 25 goals and 60 points. That’s easily worth the salary he’s getting.

          • longbottom/P.Biglow

            Please stick to something you might have a clue in.
            Every step of the way??
            Wellwood: 450gp 86g 134a 220p 34pm

            Gagner: 366gp 77g 143a 220p 180pms

            I am sorry numbers alone make Gagner a better player let alone heart.

            Lets try something a little closer to reality like
            H. Sedin after 5 years in his career.

            H Sedin after 5 years with the Canucks same amount of time Gagner has played in the NHL.
            H Sedin 400gp 62g 159A 221p 200pms

            If my Numbers are correct on a vastly superier team and linemates H. Sedin scored what 1 single more point than Sam Gagner in 34 more games.

            Now please if you are going to cherry pick players from the Canuck or former Canucks to compare Gagner too it goes both ways.
            Meaning niether you nor me knows what Sam Gagners ceiling is.

          • RexLibris

            I’m just guessing here, but based on what I’ve seen from Oil Change and other documentaries, I’d say Gagner’s ceiling is probably around the average, 8ft. Unless he’s making serious money in Austria and went to 12ft ceilings, but that’s just ostentatious.


            Sorry, couldn’t resist. But I agree with your point, we don’t know what his potential is and writing him off as either this or that now is preposterous.

          • The Oilers Shot Clock

            If he can put up 45-55 points a year, win face offs, and play tougher minutes he’s a winner. He’s still young, and in the end he might be Horcoffs replacement. The points are already there. He just needs time. A top 6 role might not be in his future. He doesn’t need to be a Gilmour. I’d settle for a MacT.

          • DSF



            2011/12 – 34GP 7G 18A 25P .74PPG

            2012/13 21GP 3G 12A 17P .80PPG


            2011/12 – 71GP 23G 23A 60P .85PPG

            2012/13 – 22GP 10G 13A 23P 1.05PPG

            An interesting comparison between these two players since they are the same age and taken in the same draft.

            While there are no guarantees Holland’s scoring will translate in the NHL, if I were betting on one of these players to be an impact player in the NHL I know which one I’d put my money on.

            Do you think the Ducks would move heaven and earth to get Gagner when they have a player on pace for 39 goals and 85 points in the AHL on the way?

            I don’t.

          • 24% body fat

            Did I miss something,

            a player who at any age has never accomplished what gagner has is better than him?

            also why the hell would we trade for getzlafs rights. just stupid. He has won olympic gold and a stanley cup. He is going where he wants to. if edmonton appeals to him, he will go there if not than no need to trade for him.

            Dont know the last time wellwood had an eight point night, or the last time gagner was placed on waivers.

            DSF some times you are just plain stupid.

            Last year when teams were talking to the oilers they wanted gagner. Ya he has no value.

          • The Oilers Shot Clock

            I can agree with you that a trade made would need to be based in EDM offering a defenseman and a good draft pick as the nucleus to make it worth it. But if the filler is ganger and or MPS then I’m not so sure it gets done. I don’t know if Anaheim would be too keen to reunite the magic that was ganger and cogliano. As far as Paajarvi goes, I would suspect Harti has more trade value at this point.

          • John Chambers

            The guy has just over 6 months left on his contract. The Ducks are re-building. Do you remember the return Atl got for Kovalchuk? Gagner and Klefbom are a heckuva lot better pedigreed than Nic Bergfors and Cormier.

            Again, you’re welcome to construct a better deal.

        • 24% body fat

          I put this same idea out a week ago and couldn’t agree more with acquiring Ryan Geztlaf. Would Bruce Boudreau be able to fix whats going on in Anaheim? Corey Perry and Getzlaf are both Free Agents on July 1st. Is the price that we will pay in assets worth trading for Getzlaf if there is a 56 game season? Or do we wait and see what shakes out of the tree in the next few weeks with the NHLPA and the owners.

          My one concern with making an offer to Anaheim is the repercussion of the JS signing this past summer. There might be still a bad taste in the mouths of the management in Anaheim.

          I have not seen Barkov play and am looking forward to the WJHC’s this Christmas. The quality of the competition is going to be to the nth degree. I look forward to seeing RNH playing against his peers. Yakupov continues to shine in the KHL.

          I guess that is another reason I am tentative about a Getzlaf trade.Will he compliment Yakupov and Hemsky? Or would a trade for someone with more European flare be more appropriate?

          MP is in my opinon on the road to be an NHL player. Not all European draft picks adjust to the NA game right away. I have no issue with Lander and MP playing in OKC for another season or two. Detriot has developed many of their current stars in the same manner.Patience.

    • Prop this.

      100% correct!

      Draft the center, don’t trade for the center.

      Don’t draft a defensemen, trade for a defensemen.

      The Oilers need Size and skill in the middle, it has to happen.

      The Oiler won’t be out of the lottery position and Barkov will be the best center in this year’s draft and could fall to the Oilers.
      The kid is NHL ready and playing against men and dominating.

      As for trading for Getzlaf, why? Pass.

  • John Chambers

    LT – in most drafts there is usually one player or perhaps a couple with 1st selection potential, and only 5 or 6 who could go top-3.

    Would you suggest that there are 4 or 5 top pick candidates at this point, and 7 or 8 who could be runners up or top-3?

    From my armchair estimation it appears to be a deep draft.

  • The Oilers Shot Clock

    Who isn’t on board with a center? With a few good ones in the top ten I’m sure there will be an opportunity to draft BPA and draft for need in round one. Not too worried. It’s round two and three that scares me and who doesn’t think there might be another hailmary thrown in possibly both these rounds for another over hyped fighter.As far as the draft goes, in the last 3-4 years, Lucic was the worst thing that ever happened. Everyone thinks they are getting one. A true fighter that can score 30+ is as rare as the “generational talents”. I can live with taking the BPA left of the position the team needs. Moroz was neither. That can’t happen again.

  • RexLibris

    Instead of trying to trade for Getzlaf why not trade some spare prospects to whatever team gets that #6 to #8 pick in the total entry draft (due to the season being cancelled) and is in need of a more wholesale system restock to try and draft the next Getxlaf?

    The Oilers need Getzlaf ’06, not Getzlaf ’12. We’ve been down that road of coveting other teams’ stars and then getting them when the treads are bare. Now we’ve started building our own, so why not keep on with it?

    The Oilers could go to a team drafting high but willing to take a number of prospects and our 1st and 2nd round picks for their 4th overall because they need depth more than a single potential player.

    Then that player could be left to develop for two more years until ready at which time the Oilers could decide on Sam Gagner as a more developed player. If a trade is necessary his value by then is likely to be at the very least equal to what it is today, perhaps higher, and who can then be moved for picks and prospects to replace what was lost.

    The players I’d covet for the Oilers in this draft are Monahan, Drouin, Barkov and Shinkaruk. I’m assuming that Jones and MacKinnon are off the table when it comes time to go to the podium, and that is after the required trade up the draft standings.

    BTW, Kent found a good draft lottery predictor the other day. Try it out and see where we can expect the Oilers to pick. It isn’t favourable. http://timgur.com/nhl/draft/index.php

    I ran it ten times and the Oilers ended up with the 1st and 3rd once each. The other eight times they were below 17th overall.

  • RexLibris

    Shouldn’t we be steering this conversation in a more realistic direction like: what assets will Feaster gain by trading down with Buffalo from 1st overall to 20th?

    Leino, Vanek and a signed Lindy Ruff moustache comb?

  • RexLibris

    Seriously what is with the Gagner hate? If he was the exact same in every way but 6’2 no everyone would love him. And he doesn’t even play small. Gagner is 23 years old! He has some pretty good arrows. I don’t think he’s hit his ceiling yet and we don’t need him to be a number one center. If we trash on everyone who won’t be as good as Doug Gilmore we’d hate almost every player!

    • The Oilers Shot Clock

      We sort of do. Everyone who isn’t a first overall or named Eberle or Shultz take a beating with our fan base, yet we over value them when we defend them to other fan bases. The happy medium between passion and logic doesn’t exist. It’s not supposed to.

  • RexLibris

    The oilers have a lot of interest in Lindholm as MacT has been in Sweden to watch him.
    I don’t think we should kid ourselves we will be in lottery and Lindholm will be in the area were we pick.

  • DSF

    Wow, heated today.

    I agree we should take Jones if the hockey gods are fit to pay us back again this year. If not I like the idea of trading some prospects to get higher up in the draft (assuming we aren’t already there). If we can’t get Jones, then I think we should take a Barkov like guy, bug skilled center. From there we can use what we have to trade for another D man, and all looks right with the world.

    As for the two other items of note, I would trade for Getzlaf if I knew he wanted to stick around in a second. The Oilers need some veteran leadership, and he is still one of the best centers in the game.

    As for Gagner, he is underrated for sure, and I’m not sure if that ever changes. The comparison to Sedin was good, however, I think we have a much better undersized center in Nuge, and that’s why Gagner gets traded or upgraded for someone with size. Throw in either Magnus, or Harti (whomever develops into that LW with size) and you now have to lines with a mix of size, skill and speed, that is nearly unrivaled in the NHL in terms of balance and potential.

  • DSF

    Gagner may be small but his heart and desire make up for any deficiencies that he has.

    Playing along with Yakapov and Hemsky he maybe able to overcome his lack of speed. This will be an interesting trio to watch and may surprise some people, myself included.

  • Chris.

    This draft is perfect for the Oilers to finish off the rebuild, defense and centres.

    I say, I suppose like every draft!, that they should try to acquire another high pick.

    Pick up two quality prospects to shore up the long term depth issues by cashing in a few players that aren’t going to be given a snowball’s chance anyway (for prospects before they are worthless – Pajaarvi, Omark, any and all of the sideburns crew), find a properly chosen vet or two, and get this party going.

    • DSF

      Can’t say I love or hate either one of them.

      What I can say is that, if I was a GM trying to build a winner, neither player would be on my wish list for second line centre.

        • DSF

          Comparing the two would hardly qualify as pro or anti.

          As I’ve always maintained, they are very similar players small, slow, easy to knock off the puck but with good hands.

          Wellwood was close to a PPG one season with the Leafs and then had his career go off the tracks mainly due to injury.

          Gagner may avoid that fate.

          • cableguy - 2nd Tier Fan

            because it is easier to spin a web full of random facts and cherry picked stats rather than actually have to address someone who throws a kink in his panty party.

            The DSF playbook is basically:

            insert one of:

            – Horcoff sucks

            – snowpants wellwood

            – durrr JEFF SKINNER

            – Schultz will never sign in edmonton

            sit back, relax, and enjoy the show.