With two games left in the season, the Edmonton Oilers can finish no lower than seventh overall in the pre-lottery draft rankings, and could finish as high as the second overall pick if everything breaks right (wrong?).
Important games tonight include:
- Carolina vs. N.Y. Rangers
- Tampa Bay @ Boston
- Nashville @ Detroit
- Calgary @ St. Louis
Both the Lightning and the Predators can pass Edmonton with a win tonight. They’re only a combined 4-13-3 in their last 10 but both clubs are coming off wins. Tampa Bay is a long-shot, having played last night and facing Boston tonight, but Nashville is rested and facing a tired Detroit club. Calgary and Carolina, meanwhile, can add some space to their leads on Edmonton.
From NHL Numbers consensus draft rankings, here are the top-12 players available; the Oilers will almost certainly be selecting one of them.
The Oilers would need some Steve Tambellini lottery magic to grab Seth Jones – not only the best player available but also the best fit for need – but there are a lot of players to like here. I admit I’m partial to Aleksander Barkov, a guy who plays a complete game and has size, speed and skill, but that’s also because I’m more familiar with him than with the other prospects available here. The other big centre, Sean Monahan, likely also appeals to the Oilers, and of course the big defencemen group – Nurse, Ristolainen, Zadorov – all have a lot of appeal as prospects.
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