We’re approaching the midway point of the season, and there are some risers and fallers on the Edmonton Oilers prospect board. Let’s have a look at the offense via NHL equivalencies.

CHL NHLE (per 82 games)

The Oilers have some real quality coming up through the system in Canadian junior hockey, and Darnell Nurse is leading the way for the defensemen while two WHL forwards have shown very well so far this season.

  1. C Greg Chase 14-14-28
  2. L Marco Roy 6-22-28
  3. L Mitchell Moroz 15-10-25
  4. D Darnell Nurse 6-18-24
  5. R Jackson Houck 12-8-20
  6. C Jujhar Khaira 7-10-17
  7. C Kyle Platzer 6-5-11
  8. D Ben Betker 3-5-8

There are some wonderful stories here, led by 188th overall selection Greg Chase. This is an outstanding number for the young agitating center, and I’m still not convinced they are using him enough on the PP in Calgary. Of his 42 WHL career goalsm, only 10 have come with the man advantage. Marco Roy has fought injuries all fall (he’s out with a concussion now) but has been effective when healthy. Mitchell Moroz is finally having that breakout season, and full measure for an impressive year from the big man. Moroz has proven this season he can play with skill and contribute, which means there’s a future here.

Darnell Nurse’s numbers are the most impressive on the list. Don’t be fooled by reports out of Sault Ste. Marie, the word on Nurse is he’s doing just fine (although he has had uneven performances during the year). Houck, Platzer have been up and down, and Betker is having a fine season (NHLE is never going to be a good way to measure defensemen and their overall ability).

NCAA AND USHL (per 82 games)

Edmonton has an interesting group in America this season, I’m not sure any of them end up in the NHL but it’s a fascinating bundle.

  1. F Kellen Jones 10-15-25
  2. D Joey Laleggia 11-13-24
  3. R John McCarron 5-19-24
  4. D Dillon Simpson 6-13-19
  5. L Aidan Muir 6-11-17
  6. L Evan Campbell 0-0-0

The big star here is Dillon Simpson, he’s in the range of a complete defenseman now. I doubt he spends much time on the PP, but is playing that role and all others for UND. What an exceptional player for where they picked him. Laleggia’s offense is very good, I don’t know where they put him but if Dallas Eakins likes Phil Larsen he’s probably going to love Laleggia.

Among forwards, I think McCarron and Muir are the ones to follow.

KHL and Sweden (per 82 games)

We should call the Oilers in the KHL the "Yakupov" division, I don’t think there would be this many Russians on the prospect list without Yak City. Hopefully the trend continues.

  1. C Bogdan Yakimov 10-11-21
  2. D Erik Gustafsson 0-19-19
  3. L Anton Slepyshev 7-8-15
  4. L Daniil Zharkov 3-2-5

Some nice things here, Yakimov is a big center with skill and the Swedish defenseman is showing well. After a slow start the Russian Slepyshev is showing a pulse.


CHL: Chase, Roy, Moroz, Nurse

AMERICA: Simpson

KHL: Yakimov

SWEDEN: Gustafsson


We’re halfway home. Up next: the AHL NHLE.

  • Lowetide

    I love reading these articles on our prospects!!

    The horror show only begins when these prospects enter the Oilers organization……keep them away for as long as possible, if we really want them to succeed?

    I prefer we teach any prospect defence in OKC where we have a real coach.

  • camdog

    Hockey Futures has the Oilers ranked 2Oth in the league in respect to our prospect pool. Of course this is dated, as this ranking was developed months ago. The challenges for the Oilers are extreme, they need to catch teams whom have better players with better prospects than we do and are better at developing their prospects. Of course the “hope” is that the young elite talent on the team will develop into better players and lead this team.

    • Old Retired Guy (A.K.A. Die-Nasty)

      Wow…that’s shocking to me…..last time I checked…about six months ago, they had the Oilers at 3rd or 4th best prospect pool……that turned fast…WTF?!

        • camdog

          What I deduct from this list and the team deficiencies is that we can’t make another Perron like trade, because we simply don’t have enough good solid prospects in the system, not now, maybe in 2-3 years…

      • Old Retired Guy (A.K.A. Die-Nasty)

        I think timing will be important. The Oilers will probably need to demonstrate that they are in position to build a cup contender by the time Simpson makes his decision. I think, that if you were a bookmaker you’d lay the odds today at 55 – 45 against him choosing the Oilers.

  • Old Retired Guy (A.K.A. Die-Nasty)

    Good article …thanks for the update LT.

    I find it amazing to look at all the talent listed here…and they are all extremely talented….that given the Oilers track record, only two of these kids will ever be NHL regulars…and the chances that ANY of them will ever be All Star calibre NHL players is remote.

    Seems strange given the talent that is there. Just goes to show how elite NHL players really are.

  • Old Retired Guy (A.K.A. Die-Nasty)

    LT…..I just watched some CLASSIC. World Juniors from 77-78 season. Fun to watch 16 year old Gretz score the hat trick with 5 or 6 points against the Chech’s…but also interesting to see just how good Steve Tambellini was…2 goals and an assist.

  • Retsinnab5


    I would be interested in an article that contrasts the Oiler player development system vs. what other teams are doing.

    It appears we draft poorly OR we groom amateurs poorly.

    Do the best teams only have one or two players on their NHL team thst are drafted after the first round?

  • Retsinnab5


    I would be interested in an article that contrasts the Oiler player development system vs. what other teams are doing.

    It appears we draft poorly OR we groom amateurs poorly.

    Do the best teams only have one or two players on their NHL team thst are drafted after the first round?

  • reaperfunkss

    Fans & media alike have been too hard on Moroz! This kid has played every role he’s been asked to play for the Oil Kings to a tee! He’ll be just fine as a pro & will probably look something like King & Nolan of LA once he gets to the bigs as a 21 or 22 yr old! Khaira will also look the same but down the middle! He’s a big, tough kid who is progressing under a defense first coach in Everett!

    I love Nurse’s game as an 18 yr old & captain of the SSM Greyhounds! He will be just fine once he turns pro! A more offensive version of Gubranson in Florida!

    One other guy for the 4th or 3rd line to keep an eye on when he’s 22 or 23 is Kale Kessy in OKC! Lot’s of enthusiasm & toughness but still learning the pro game but he definitely knows his role!

    • Joe Mamma

      Hey bud! Just a friendly tip! You don’t have to put an exclamation mark at the end of every sentence! It doesn’t help make your point, and I can’t help but read your posts in the voice of the robot from Lost in Space! Danger Will Robinson! Danger!

  • reaperfunkss

    Would matt greene,and smid look ok in the orange @ blue? Player devolpment and accquisition is abysmall with this organization. K-lowe was a good player, but it is time for a change.

  • camdog

    I think Simpson’s decision is going to be greatly affected by whether or not MacTavish decides to start moving some of these promising young defensive prospects (with other assets) to acquire proven, veteran NHL help now and make room for him. Right now, it’s a packed prospect lineup – Klefbom, Marincin, Davidson, Fedun, Nurse, Gernat, Musil, etc, etc. Too many good potential prospects that require good playing time to get better and it’s better for his career if he goes somewhere else if some of these pieces don’t get moved.

    It’s a nice problem to have, in a way, so MacTavish needs to grow some balls and start using these already signed pieces to start filling some holes even if it’s for depth or other prospects to make room for some of these unsigned pieces that look to be ready to step in and replace.

    • 719

      Craig Simpson was on the radio a couple of weeks ago now saying the Oilers’ were no place for a young dman. When I heard that it sealed it for me that Dillon will never sign here.

      • R U Kidding Me!

        I agree, but I am unconcerned.

        It isn’t of significant consequence, whether or not he signs with the Oilers. He isn’t a superior prospect to Nurse, Klefbom or Marincin. The best-case scenario would be that we package him in a trade. His return would be minimal.

        I do hope he finds success somewhere.