In our continuing look at the draft eligible prospect for 2015, Mitchell Marner is making things happen in a big way for the London Knights. As an Oilers fan you may see ‘5.11, 164 Right Winger’ and balk but there’s a compelling story here. If anyone can dislodge big defender Noah Hanifin from the No. 3 overall slot it might be the whiz kid from Thornhill, Ontario.

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The video above is compelling for sure but Oilers fans have seen prospects like Rob Schremp and Sam Gagner show their junior puck wizardry without being able to become complete NHLers. What makes Marner (possibly) different?

  • Brock Otten, OHL Prospects in ranking Marner No. 2 in the OHL for the 2015 draft: Really rising in my eyes. His play with London has been absolutely
    exceptional the last few months. Such a high energy player who can
    affect the game in a variety of ways. In puck pursuit, he’s quite
    relentless and he forces a lot of turnovers on the forecheck. But he’s
    got the vision and hockey sense to find teammates, while playing at a
    high tempo. He makes such quick decisions and rarely turns the puck over
    in the offensive end. His skill level is also incredibly high and I
    think he’s the perfect type of player for today’s run and gun NHL. With
    his tenacity, and as he continues to add strength, I don’t see his
    average size being an issue. Source


The Gabriel Desjardins projection model has proven valuable over the years, as it’s a very cool ‘line in the sand’ for projecting players. It is NOT a guarantee but I’ve found (since about 2007) the equivalency gives us a solid guideline. Here are the current NHLE’s for the top forwards on my list this season. Source

  1. Connor McDavid 82gp, 22-44-66
  2. Jack Eichel 82gp, 82gp, 19-39-58
  3. Mitchell Marner 82gp, 20-30-50

These are all terrific prospects (the number one NHLE delivered by an Oilers No. 1 overall pick? Taylor Hall 82gp, 19-27-46). 

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Marner is definitely third best in this group, but I think you’ll agree it’s a helluva group. I can see Oilers fans discounting this player—small skilled OHL forward whose resume sounds like Sam Gagner—but there are important differences in Marner as a player.

For one, foot speed.

  • Christopher Ralph, NHL Writers: He kind of reminds me of Kyle Turris of the Ottawa Senators in his  draft year – skinny as a beanpole but man can he play hockey. I
    think Mitch may have even more offensive upside than Turris. Size is not
    going to hold Mitch back due to his speed, vision, creativity,
    defensive ability and all-around offensive skills. He is simply an elite
    hockey player, something of a hybrid of Jonathan Drouin and Nikolaj Ehlers. Source 

That’s far more dynamic than Sam Gagner.


  • HardBoiledOil 1.0

    a team cannot ever have enough centre depth. those who say we have enough has not been paying attention. you really think this phantom depth u speak of exists? how many of them are actually going to be NHL centres? no one can tell. its ideal to draft centres because they are versatile and can be slotted in at wing…but yeah lets draft more wingers..cmon now! PAY ATTENTION!!

  • taz115

    This draft sounds very familiar. A deep draft with generational players. The Oilers might be in a position to draft an exceptionally skilled winger in Marner, but are thinking short term about centre and size depth and go with a large centre. Sound familiar? Taking Marc-Antoine Pouliot over Zach Parise in 2003. PLEASE DO NOT MAKE THIS MISTAKE AGAIN OILERS!!!

    • 2004Z06

      Everyone likes to reference Parise as the guy they missed. Getzlaf went two picks later than Parise and Kessler went right after Pouliot. We could have easily drafted size and skill that would become elite NHL players. The caveat is that we don’t draft soft guys.

  • taz115

    A 164 pound winger who can score, c’mon Lowetide!

    Maybe we can draft Tkachev with the Pens 1st round pick after that too. It’ll be great, we’ll be so fast, just like in the 80’s!