OILERS’ FAN GUIDE TO THE WORLD JUNIORS

nurse world juniors

Darnell Nurse will be front and center for Edmonton Oilers fans at this year’s World Junior Championships. He’s one of (at least) three Oilers prospects who will be on display at this year’s Christmas party.

FUTURE OILERS

I promised you (at least) three Oilers prospects but there are only two in-house at this time.

  1. Darnell Nurse, D, Canada: Left off last year’s team, the big defender with a mean streak will be a top option for favored Team Canada at the tournament. Nurse will get heavy minutes in all three disciplines and could end up going home with the Gold Medal.
  2. William Lagesson, D, Sweden: This is a bit of a surprise, as Lagesson was a fourth-round pick in the most recent draft and the Swedes traditionally have too much talent on blue for a player with a lack of pedigree. That said, Lagesson is a tough, physical defender who should play a lot during the tournament. He has an unusual skating style but should be an Oilers’ fan favorite in the future.

Edmonton could/should have sent Leon Draisaitl but he remains back in Edmonton (for now). Rumblings from Matty at the EJ suggest he’ll be playing hockey interior BC at some point early in the new year, we’ll have to wait and see on the intel.

Greg Chase was at the summer camp but a bizarre fall with the Calgary Hitmen saw him sent home and then traded. Whatever the problem, it robbed the young man of a world junior experience.

BAKER’S DOZEN

There are a lot of draft eligible kids at this year’s world juniors, and with Edmonton (currently) holding the No. 1 and No. 31 spots in the 2015 draft there are some important players to watch at this year’s tournament. Here are 13 I’ll be watching:

  1. Connor McDavid (CAN) is the most famous name and very likely the No. 1 overall pick in the coming draft. He’s a once-in-a-decade-or-more talent so Oilers fans will be dreaming of McDavid in Oilers colors for the next several months. 
  2. Jack Eichel (USA) is gaining steam as a co-leader of this year’s draft talent (Craig Button has both McDavid and the American at No. 1 in his December update). He has been described as a skill power forward.
  3. Noah Hanifin (USA) is generally regarded as the top defenseman in the 2015 draft. He has size, speed and a physical edge, might be lacking in the shot-from-the-point department and overall offense.
  4. Pavel Zacha (CZE) He’s got high-end skill and is an excellent competitor; he plays an excellent two-way game. If the Oilers pick below No. 3, he might be their man. 
  5. Zach Werenski (USA) College defender who is really spiking up the draft lists due to an impressive college season. Nice range of skills, he’s not as famous as Hanifin but is a true talent.
  6. Lawson Crouse (CAN) is a big winger who plays a power game. He’s projected to go in the first round of the 2015 draft and would certainly be an attractive option for Edmonton.
  7. Ivan Provorov (RUS) Outstanding puck moving defender who can impact the game and is taking a major step forward this year.
  8. Mikko Rantanen (FIN) Very skilled Finnish winger who appears to be a lock for the first round.
  9. Sebastian Aho (FIN) Skill winger on a solid Finland team. 
  10. Jens Looke (SWE) Smaller skill winger who is playing in the Swedish Elite League.
  11. Sebastian Aho (SWE) Undersized, puck moving defenseman. Fascinating prospect. I know it’s confusing, he is the less talented Sebastian Aho from what I’m reading. 
  12. David Kase (CZE) Small and very skilled winger impressed at the U18 WJ’s a year ago.
  13. Alexander Sharov (RUS): Impressive scorer is 6.01, 180.

WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN?

SANTA

Merry Christmas! I’ll be updating throughout the holidays on the World
Juniors and following the progress of Nurse and Lagesson—as well as the top prospects for 2015.

Merry Christmas!

    • dubbs88

      If Alex Ovechkin had been drafted by the Oilers,what would have happened to his career?would he have still lit it up,or would the brain trust of Katz and Co. Have destroyed him too,for not playing two way hockey,like Mac T’s man crush Shawn Horcoff?not saying Nail Yakupov is AV,just to be clear.i just really like Yak.he moved his family from Russia to Edmonton,which shows he has a tight family,which may or may not produce a good teammate,but I’m thinking it probably would?he stayed in Edmonton to train in the summer, (after a holiday to Russia) which is what the management requested he do,and he did.even after being treated like dirt from Eakins and that same management group.would AV do this?or how about Kovalchuk? HA!!

      I guess what I’m getting at,is this kid is trying,and trying on a level not shown by many or any of his other teammates.he plays a way harder game than Eberle,and at least has a few highlights of big hits,and getting in peoples faces.if you watch Oil change closely,Eberle and the “core” treat Yakupov like a fob,and not like a young man,new to Canada and Alberta (Sarnia and Edmonton are very different and far apart) This kid right away was cast out on an island by the “core” and MacTavish,but still expected to score at least 20 goals,with limited PP time,and even less top six minutes,all the while playing on the left side,when most of his success has come on the right,creates some pretty tough goals for a 20yr old to reach?

      At the 41 game mark,I would like to see Yakupov and Eberle switch roles.let Eberle play 3rd line LW, and limited PP time,and put Yak with Hall and Nuge,with the same leash Eberle has,and give him 1st unit PP time etc.im really curious to what the numbers would look like,and how fans would feel about these two players at the end of it.Sadly Katz and Co will never give this kid a fair chance

    • Grant

      So let me see if I’ve got this right?

      You are saying this 4TH ROUND PICK..with an UNUSUAL skating style DEFENSEMAN is going to be a Oilers FAN FAVORITE in the future?? LMAO Wow you guys are sure grasping at straws these days up there aren’t you?

      When is the last time the Oil have hit on a 4th round draft pick anyways?? You guys can’t hit on anything unless its the top pick and even then your selections seem to be wrong now with a few years hindsight Haha..keep on keeping on Oil fans..

      Go Flames Go

      PS – Johnny Hockey was a 4th rounder 😀

    • Aussie Oiler

      I read an article the other day saying that draisaitl didn’t want to go to world juniors . It was pretty thin on supporting evidence though. Anyone heard anything like that?