The Edmonton Oilers recalled Darnell Nurse and Leon Draisaitl to the NHL during October, and now find themselves with a rather pedestrian prospect base among the ‘bubbling under’ set. No ‘certain success’ prospects in the AHL, no one in junior or in Europe who we can absolutely call a top-drawer prospect. That’s a problem, and Peter Chiarelli needs to address the lack of top-end prospects in the system.
THE 2015 DRAFT
Edmonton traded a LARGE number of picks during the 2015 draft, and it’s going to impact the organization moving forward. Let’s review the trades at this past year’s draft:
- Traded No. 16 (Mathew Barzal) and No. 33 overall (Mitchell Stephens) for Griffin Reinhart.
- Traded No. 57 (Jonas Siegenthaler), No. 79 (Sergey Zborovskiy), No. 184 overall (Adam Huska) for Cam Talbot and pick that turned into Ziyat Paigin (No. 209).
- Traded No. 86 (Mike Robinson) for Todd McLellan.
- Traded No. 107 (Christian Wolanin) and Travis Ewanyk for Eric Gryba. Selection was acquired for Martin Marincin.
Barzal is having a strong season and can reasonably regarded as a blue-chip prospect, and Stephens would have to rank as a reasonable bet. Jury’s out on the rest, and Edmonton did receive three players management deemed as being ready to help right away (Griffin Reinhart, Cam Talbot and Eric Gryba) and paid the troll toll on Todd McLellan’s hiring (the NHL’s well-timed rule may end up punishing very few teams, and Edmonton severely).
— New York Islanders (@NYIslanders) November 2, 2015
WHO NEEDS PROSPECTS?
One of the useful assets an NHL team can use in trade is prospects. The Oilers don’t have a bunch of desirable prospects in the AHL (I imagine men like Laurent Brossoit, Anton Slepyshev and Bo Yakimov have value, but all teams have promising minor league players who are developing but not yet NHL-ready). That kind of prospect is usually a ‘throw-in’ as part of a bigger deal, and I wouldn’t estimate any of them to have substantially more value than Martin Marincin had in June.
— ISS Hockey (@ISShockey) November 6, 2015
2016 DRAFT PICKS
Edmonton currently sits in No. 26 place (actually tied for No. 24) so let’s assume they’ll pick No. 5 in each round of the coming draft. Here are their selections:
- No. 5 overall
- No. 35 overall
- No. 65 overall
- No. 95 overall
- No. 125 overall
- No. 155 overall
- No. 185 overall
Edmonton did trade one selection from the 2016 draft, that one came over from Dallas in the Shawn Horcoff-Phil Larson trade. The club dealt that selection to Tampa Bay for No. 208 overall and picked up goalie Miroslav Svoboda at the 2015 edition.
The Oilers need to offload some of the veteran rentals at the deadline for draft picks and or prospects. Candidates include Teddy Purcell, Nikita Nikitin and Ben Scrivens, but you may also see a player like Mark Fayne sent away (he is not a UFA in summer 2016).
Edmonton could also trade a roster player (they have a lot of lefty defenders) for a pick and of course future selections are on the table as needed.
— Mark I Williams M.D. (@CameraGuyBakoCA) October 6, 2015
JUNIOR, COLLEGE AND EUROPE
Most of Edmonton’s prospects are playing pro, either in Bakersfield or in Europe. A few college men like Zach Nagelvoort and Tyler Vesel, USHL defender John Marino and junior players like Ethan Bear and Caleb Jones represent the best of the amateurs under the Oilers procurement umbrella.
One player they could add to their prospect list? Josh Winquist. The young man is enjoying a nice start to the season in Bakersfield and has yet to sign an NHL contract. Peter Chiarelli used the 2015 draft to address extreme need in goal and on defense, and now one of the challenges facing him will be re-stocking the prospect tree.
I’d expect we see some trades for picks, some more college or graduating junior signings, and at least one European player signed by the end of April 2016.