The Edmonton Oilers vaulted to the top of the prospects charts based on the evaluation of Corey Pronman. Pronman’s “Ranking every NHL team by prospect strength” is nothing but good news for Oilers fans.
A year ago, Corey Pronman of ESPN ranked Edmonton middle-of-the-pack (No. 13) among the NHL’s 30 teams when it came to strength of prospect stable. The Oilers top players—Leon Draisaitl, Darnell Nurse—were quality but the depth of Edmonton’s prospect list simply couldn’t compare to other teams. That’s still a bit of an issue now—there’s a lack of depth—but the quality at the top trumps all.
Pronman: The Oilers have two great defensive prospects in Darnell Nurse and Griffin Reinhart, but the reason for their No. 1 rank is Connor McDavid.
Frankly, remove him, and the system is average, as it’s quite thin
after the few top names. A few lottery balls have changed the direction
of this franchise; the Oilers have a golden ticket to the chocolate factory.” Source
A couple of quick items before we move along. Quoting Corey: “My definition for an NHL prospect for the purposes of this ranking is
one with 25 or fewer NHL games played this regular season, or 50 total
career games.” So men like Leon Draisaitl and Oscar Klefbom aren’t part of the evaluation.
WHAT DOES IT MEAN?
For one thing, it shows the immense value Connor McDavid has in relation to the rest of the prospects on all lists. Winning that lottery was a monster. I think Pronman’s identifying Griffin Reinhart is also interesting. This is a player who can help immediately (or soon after) and the acquisition of McDavid allowed Peter Chiarelli the luxury of dealing off distant (but valuable) bells for help right away.
WHO ARE THE OTHER PROSPECTS?
Edmonton’s list is fabulous at the top, but fades into a ‘he could make it with some luck’ sameness and stays that way for miles. Here’s my list of Edmonton’s top 20 prospects at this time:
- Connor McDavid.
- C Leon Draisaitl.
- D Darnell Nurse.
- D Griffin Reinhart.
- C Bogdan Yakimov.
- W Iiro Pakarinen.
- C Kyle Platzer.
- C-R Greg Chase.
- L Anton Slepyshev.
- D Ethan Bear.
- G Laurent Brossoit.
- D Joey Laleggia.
- D Dillon Simpson.
- G Eetu Laurikainen.
- R Andrew Miller.
- D Jordan Oesterle.
- D Caleb Jones.
- C Jujhar Khaira.
- R Tyler Pitlick.
- D William Lagesson.