A lot of the Edmonton Oilers collective future is in the three junior leagues that make up the CHL. This year’s group is having a solid year, almost across the board. With the season winding down, let’s have a look at the movers among them.

As the season winds down, here’s the boxcar numbers for Edmonton’s CHL kids this season. The +1 and +2 indicate seasons after they were drafted.

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  1. +1 Greg Chase 66GP, 32-45-77 1.17
  2. +2 Mitch Moroz 67GP, 34-28-62 .925
  3. +1 Jackson Houck 64GP, 30-25-56 .875
  4. +1 Marco Roy 35GP, 11-19-30 .857
  5. +1 Darnell Nurse 62GP, 12-36-48 .774
  6. +2 Jujhar Khaira 54GP, 16-23-39 .722
  7. +1 Kyle Platzer 62GP, 22-14-36 .581
  8. +1 Ben Betker 63GP, 6-11-17 .270

Three 30-goal scorers and Nurse enjoying a strong offensive season. Marco Roy’s numbers are good, but it’s been a disappointing year after a tremendous start. Injuries have impacted Roy’s season in a big way.


Edmonton’s recent past includes three #1 overalls, so their numbers can’t be included in this look. Why? Well, none of these players returned to junior after their draft. Here’s a look at the boxcars anyway:

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  1. Taylor Hall 57GP, 40-66-106 1.86
  2. Nail Yakupov 42GP, 31-38-69 1.64
  3. Ryan Nugent-Hopkins 69GP, 31-75-106 1.54

These players scored at a crazy clip in the year BEFORE their draft day. There’s no way to compare those players to a recent draft pick not taken number one overall. Now, players not taken first overall.

  1. +2 Jordan Eberle 57GP, 50-56-106 1.86
  2. +1 Tobias Rieder 60GP, 42-42-84 1.40
  3. +1 Curtis Hamilton 62GP, 26-56-82 1.32
  4. +1 Ryan Martindale 65GP, 34-49-83 1.28
  5. +1 Jordan Eberle 61GP, 35-39-74 1.21
  6. +2 Tobias Rieder 52GP, 27-29-56 1.08
  7. +1 Tyler Pitlick 56GP, 27-35-62 1.11
  8. +1 Jeremie Blain 40GP, 2-35-37 .925
  9. +1 Martin Gernat 60GP, 9-46-55 .917
  10. +1 Martin Marincin 67GP, 14-42-56 .836
  11. +2 Martin Marincin 58GP, 11-29-40 .690
  12. +2 David Musil 62GP, 9-22-31 .500
  13. +2 Travis Ewanyk 58GP, 8-15-23 .397

Interesting. Eberle took a real step forward in year two, Rieder went back a ways. Now, Rieder still looks like a very good prospect (thanks,Tambi!) but maybe there’s something to be said for taking one giant leap at 19. Marincin also went backwards in his second year, but it’s interesting to note that (at least offensively) he showed better in draft +1 than Darnell Nurse has this season.



The impressive seasons for guys like Chase, Houck and Nurse this year aren’t historically significant. Chase’s year one number fades compared to Tobias Rieder, Curtis Hamilton and Ryan Martindale. He is “in the range” of Jordan Eberle at the same age, but Ebs took a major step forward in year two.

Greg Chase is the best offensive forward among Oiler picks currently playing in the CHL. His number is impressive considering his draft number, but he’ll need to build on it in year two. Based on this brief look at the Oilers recent past, that’s easier said than done.

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  • horndog77

    Just wondering lowetide, with the oilers playing well lately it looks like they are not a lock for a top three pick. What are your thoughts on who they should draft?

    • Lowetide

      I think the Oilers list probably goes:

      1. Ekblad
      2-3. Bennett or Reinhart
      4. Draisaitl

      That’s jmo, I can’t really decide on who is #2. Draisaitl is a guy to watch if they draft number four, he very much fits the MacT template.

      By that I mean the very first pick under his watch has size, a mean streak and loves to battle (Nurse). I think the Oilers are going to draft big men in the first round for the next several years.

        • Randaman

          Bennett is a center and is being mentored by Doug Gilmour. Plays gritty and sneaky dirty. He knows how to play down low and wins more puck battles than he loses. Doug Gilmour has said that Bennett reminds him a lot of himself.
          That’s good enough of me but I still think Dal Cole or Draisaiti are the best options with size.

      • HardBoiledOil 1.0

        LT, what do you like about Ekblad’s game?

        When I saw him play at the WJC, short sample size I know, I questioned some of his decision making. I understand he was 2 years younger than most but I saw a lot of him jumping up in the play like a J. Schultz. He did recover well, but would that work at the NHL? It sure didn’t for Schultz last year, albeit, Schultz is getting better.

        I like Draisaitl as our pick and I’m hoping we move down. We DESPERATELY need a centre prospect. DESPERATELY. Especially one with size in the top 6.

    • Littleconer

      I would definitely NOT say the Oilers have been “playing well lately.” Sure, goaltending has improved, but that’s about it. Their PP and defensive “systems” are broken, they are slow to adapt their offensive tactics to match their opposition, and on most nights, the Three Golden Boys (Hall, RNH & Eberle) seem to be disengaged. Tomorrow’s game against the Kings will be an interesting test.

  • Lowetide

    So out of this group, is there anyone we can rebuild the rebuild around? I think this time when we rebuild we should come up with a plan on what type of team we want.

  • Lowetide

    The Oilers are playing well and so are Calgary and Florida. Lou just set up shop in FLA and that should increase their chances of finishing ahead of the Oilers. The Oilers lets not forget get the pleasure of SJ,ANA and LA.

    Calgary played another solid game last night. Took out Ottawa and the Isles this week.

    For my money the Isles are in deep cow droppings. They will finish 29th. They’ll take their pick and forfeit to Buffalo their lottery pick next year in the McDavid draft. I do not see the Isles improving so much that they make the playoffs next seasons. Garth Snow is in so much trouble its sad.

    Lowetide I like to see the Oilers finish strong.I think we’ll finish 27th. With the 4th pick I would like to see us draft Dal Colle or LD. Dal Colle for me is the power winger we need.

    Would you trade a Gagner for a shot at Bennet or Rheinhart? Or for that matter Gagner and a prospect like Klefbom?

    The Isles need a second line center with experience. They have just pissed away Moulson and Vanek. McDonald is gone. Garth Snow I think will be open to offers.

    Oilers lose tomorrow 3-1

  • Lowetide

    I got to say that my choices are between Bennett and Draisaitl. It is hard to turn down Draisaitl’s size at 6’1 210lbs. Bennett does play gritty though and could grow a bit more. For now, I hope we take Draisaitl. Gut feeling.

    • HardBoiledOil 1.0

      it will be interesting, if the Oilers make their pick this year, to see if they actually follow through with all this talk about drafting for size. statistically, Draisaitl matches pretty well with every other top forward, but has the size we need up front.

      • Littleconer

        Agreed. I know numbers aren’t everything and he is a bit older in the draft class but we need some size in the West that can also put up numbers.

        Not to mention, Ekblad was projected as a second pairing defenseman at the start of the year. I’m sure that has changed in the minds of scouts, but this guy wouldn’t have been picked before Jones last year or maybe not even Nurse.

        That being said, would not be upset with Ekblad, although I am a bit more critical.

        • Kodiak

          Not sure where you got your info but there is no way Nurse would have been drafted ahead of Ekblad. Most are saying Ekblad plays in the NHL next season and Nurse doesn’t. He’s the real deal.

          • Kodiak

            Ekblad has been highly touted for along time, he has played an extra full season at his age due to being granted “exceptional status” (like Tavares, & McDavid)

            This is important to note because with D it is about at bats. Ekblad is essentially on the same time frame as Nurse but at a younger age, which could mean his ceiling is higher or likely to be a decent defenceman earlier.

            It is tough to compare players in different years but it is likely that ekblad would have been the 5th player taken last year, right behind Jones. As we all know jones’ skills are a little more “wowing” to the eye. Ekblad being more suttle.

            Arrival times to the NHL are a bit ridiculous for an expectation,

            Would you rather have Petriangelo or Bogosian? One arrived way earlier but doesn’t mean they are the better pick.

            Adam Larson where should he have developed? Victor Hedman?

            Hedman is finally rounding into form but it takes much longer for D, and a strong argument that the bigger the build the longer it takes.

            For me if the Oilers draft ekblad, I really hope that we are tuning into TSN to watch a first pair of Him and Nurse In the world juniors.

          • Randaman

            Also want to add that being NHL ready a year after your draft year does not mean you are the better prospect.

            Sam Gagner was in the NHL after his draft where as Couture was not. Pretty easy pick between the two.

          • Kodiak

            There is also a difference between being ready to play in the NHL, which is what is being said about Ekblad, and playing in the NHL. Just because Gagner was playing in the NHL doesn’t mean anyone was saying he was actually ready to. Personally I still don’t think he’s ready.

          • Kodiak

            I just asked Corey Pronman from Hockey Prospectus where he would have ranked Ekblad if he was in last years draft and he said probably #5 behind Drouin, McKinnon, Jones and Nichushkin. He had Nurse ranked #11 last year.

  • Lowetide

    The thing we need to remember is that we aren’t expecting scorers to come from outside the first round. There is the occasional one but …

    We know that top 6 players almost always are 1st round picks. So from this list we are looking for 3 rd and 4 th liners and D.

    The question we should ask is do we see future nhl players that are good 3rd and 4 th liners? Where are the Gordon line mates? Where are the Brodziak types? Who from this list can replace what a 38 year old Smyth brings?

  • OilersDynasty

    I still can’t believe that we got Chase in the seventh round? There must be some thing in his resume that 30 other teams did not like?

    I still hold out hope for Jujar Kharia ………I know that he is not posting big numbers and injuries have hampered him all season.

    I watched the Flames games ( they had 8 guys from the AHL) and they all played like they belonged in the NHL. Many think that their re-build will take years and after watching them last night, I’m not so sure.

    I say we start playing our prospects ………the only thing that worries me is Eakins rubbing off on these guys and turning them into losers.

  • Oilers Coffey

    I forgot the whole article once I got to the bottom, amazing GIF!
    I had to re-read it again Lowetide. Great read!!! I’m super excited for Chase and Nurse, they are missing pieces the Oilers need right now.