The Edmonton Oilers spent a metric tonne worth of draft picks last decade on big wingers they hoped would turn into skilled men with size. Almost to a man, these kids were shy on offense, from Brad Winchester in 2000 through Cameron Abney in 2009. Now, with a new management group in place, will the Oilers ‘fish where the fish are’ and draft big forwards who are also skilled? Here’s a look at some candidates.


  1. L Lawson Crouse, Kingston Frontenacs (OHL). Big, strong winger with abundant speed and he’s got a mean streak too. Lack of offense has been mentioned a lot but he scored 29 goals and if Crouse falls the Oilers could trade up and step in to grab him.
  2. C Pavel Zacha, Sarnia Sting (OHL). Big center is trouble for the defense. Like Crouse, plenty of discussion about him not being worth a top 7 selection and if he falls don’t be surprised to see Edmonton trade up for him.
  3. L Evgeny Svechnikov, Cape Breton Screaming Eagles (QMJHL). A load on skates, he has good speed and will use his body to get the puck from opponent. Fantastic player, he might be available at No. 16 overall.
  4. R Timo Meier, Halifax Mooseheads (QMJHL). He’s a thick, skill winger who shoots the puck about every 11 seconds. Drives hard to the net and has soft hands. A wonderful prospect.
  5. C Joel Erksson Ek, Farjestad (Swe Jr). Rugged Swedish center trending late (Euro’s always do) and may find himself inside the top 15 overall on draft day. Described as tough to play against and extremely aggressive.
  6. C Alexander Dergachev, St. Petersberg (MHL). A big, big man with the ability to hold on to the puck for long stretches. Great balance and passing appear to be his calling cards and despite playing in Russian juniors there’s a lot of buzz about him.
  7. C Filip Chlapik, Charlottetown Islanders (QMJHL). Skill center who plays a physical style and upsets defensemen with his forechecking. Shields the puck well, only question is speed.
  8. L Erik Foley Cedar Rapids Roughriders (USHL). I spoke to Kirk Luedeke of Red Line Report today and he described a quality prospect with PF skills (although he is not a big player). He could fall into the third round and turn out to be a draft bargain for the Oil. 
  9. C Nicolas Roy, Chicoutimi (QMJHL). Big center with skill, he creates offense with his great strength, long reach and passing skills. Could be a real find.
  10. L Jordan Greenway, USNDTP (USHL): Huge winger with raw skills and the ability to win battles and hold on to real estate. Scored well in junior, offensive ability is a question mark.
    • HardBoiledOil 1.0

      ^not every who’s big is a coke machine! it’s now up to the Oilers that they don’t draft ‘coke machines’, that they take some guys that are big that can actually play….we’ll see.

  • HardBoiledOil 1.0

    Sorry off topic, but did anybody else notice that Ference has been replace by Eberle at the draft party?

    I think it was yesterday they announced Ference would be going, maybe he volunteered? Now all of a sudden Ebs is going. This may just be an upgrade. But i cant imagine it would hurt to have 3 Oilers there.

    My immediate thought was oh, he is getting traded.

    I might be crazy, I might be getting heat stroke. This tinfoil hat is getting pretty hot in this weather.

  • Quicksilver ballet

    The eyes are the window to the soul.

    Those are the eyes of a killer. A guy who only cares for himself and his teammates. The Oil can thank their lucky stars if that one man gang falls to 16. He looks like he’d rather shove his fist down your throat than say hello.

    No way the Flames (15th pick) pass on him. Burke maybe even trades up to get a better shot at him. What a wrecking ball he’d be if he ends up along side Bennett in Calgary.

  • I’d like to add another to that list – Denis Gurianov , a 6ft.3in. power RW . Rated as high as #12 overall by . Here is some of the article at that site on Gurianov , as he appears to have all the things/requirements Chiarelli is looking for .

    Powerful legs and a terrific heavy shot with quick release . Strong board play and on cycle . Powerful stride and likes to go to net. Plays 200 foot game well with strong commitment to defensive game . Owns the wall and can play well at full speed . Strong 3 way player and is responsible on back check . Skill, hockey sense , hand and power . Potential top end pro style winger .

    Seems like a prime target for someone , and maybe ourselves .

  • I wanna draft an ahole! one of those guys you would never let your daughter date! im talking about the guy who grips down on his stick when he goes into the corner just so he can jab the butt end of his stick into your face!! the guy that yaps at you all game long but wont ever drop his gloves! I want a marchand

  • “C Filip Chlapik, Charlottetown Islanders (QMJHL). Shields the puck well, only question is speed.”

    …But he does take the shortest route to the puck and when he arrives, is often in ill humor.

  • nuge2drai

    Oiler Domination To Follow

    I don’t think targeting rugged players has worked out in the Oilers favour.

    It’s not known how strongly Edmonton’s pro scouts recommended the various players acquired by GMs Steve Tambellini and Craig MacTavish, but there’s a lengthy list of recent acquisitons who struggled here:

    2008: Gilbert Brule.

    2009: Patrick O’Sullivan, Ales Kotalik, Nikolai Khabibulin.

    2010: Jim Vandermeer, Kurtis Foster,

    2011: Colten Teubert, Eric Belanger, Ben Eager, Darcy Hordichuk, Cam Barker.

    2012: Nick Schultz, Lennart Petrell, Mark Fistric, Jerred Smithson, Mike Brown

    2013: Mark Fraser, Will Acton, Anton Belov, Philip Larsen, Jason LaBarbera,

    2014: Nikita Nikitin, Keith Aulie, Matt Fraser.

    On such recommendations was the worst team in the NHL built.

  • paul wodehouse

    …ok it’s not about rugged forwards in this draft on Friday but I just read that the Ducks Matt Beleskey flatly refused Ducks offer and GM Bob Murray says he’s probably not going to be able to sign him …6ft 200+lbs 27 years old …can score and plays heavy…jus sayin’

  • Chet.

    What is the benefit of trading up from 16? The smartest thing is to see what is available at 16. That selection should be used as trade bait, not packaged to get another selection.

  • “C Pavel Zacha, Sarnia Sting (OHL). Big center is trouble for the defense. Like Crouse, plenty of discussion about him not being worth a top 7 selection and if he falls don’t be surprised to see Edmonton trade up for him.”

    Why would the Oilers trade up and waste assets for a big C, with already having McD, Drai, Nuge? Unless maybe LT actually got this assessment from MacT….

  • toprightcorner

    If any scouting report contains the phrase “speed may be a concern” or “needs to improve his skating” it should be an automatic pass. If you can skate at the NHL level, you are useless.

  • toprightcorner

    I really like the idea of Svechnikov except for the fact he is a LW. Currently the team has Hall and Pouliot, with an opening on the 3rd line which will likely be filled by either Draisaitl, Lander, Sodoburg, or Shlepyshev. So adding another potential LW who could break into the NHL in a year or two might not be the best idea. These guys who don’t play a D minded game also seem to need better minutes to make up for it. Nail is a good example of trying to mash a square peg into a round hole.

    I think it would be far better to find someone who can play on the right side, as Eberle, Yak, and certainly Purcell might not be around in a few years given either performance, return, or a cap crunch situation.