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Who on earth is Cole Guttman?

The first thing we’ll notice about the Oilers at this year’s draft? The club isn’t sitting in the front row for the first time in forever. In fact, you’ll be two or three beers in to the festivities, or, and this is incredible, may just check in on your phone later in the evening!

Yes friends, times are changing in good old our town. Here’s another hot item: The Edmonton Oilers have drafted and signed enough defensemen to consider the possibility of going heavy on forwards this year. Seriously. The young men in the NHL (Oscar Klefbom, Adam Larsson, Darnell Nurse, Matt Benning) have enough support (Griffin Reinhart, Ethan Bear, Caleb Jones, Ziyat Paigin) to consider taking a small break from the constant drafting. Note: For those who don’t know, Peter Chiarelli’s two Edmonton drafts have been heavy on blue (eight of 15 picks have been defenders).

I think we’ll see two things from the Oilers this year: A forward chosen with their first selection, and extra attention paid to the USHL. America’s supreme junior league is producing top flight talent with impressive consistency and Edmonton has been drafting from the USHL more often recently. Caleb Jones, Graham McPhee and Tyler Vesel are recent examples.

PROSPECT-STATS

If we’re looking for forwards that may be of interest to Edmonton, that makes the search easier. Forwards drive scoring results (some do more than that) and history suggests junior offense does result in NHL success (barring injury and slow boots). A site called Prospect-Stats can help us suss out possible Oiler picks at 22 (and later) by telling us the most gifted players in this year’s draft. The top of the list will be gone by 22 but there is lots of quality that will still be available. Here’s the top five in each league (WHL, OHL, QMJHL, USHL) this season.

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WHL (5×5 estimated points-per-60)

  1. Cody Glass, Portland 3.33
  2. Mason Shaw, Medicine Hat 3.32
  3. Kole Lind, Kelowna 3.11
  4. Kailer Yamamoto, Spokane 3.06
  5. Nick Henry, Regina 2.82
  6. Source

Glass will go early, probably in the top 10 overall. Shaw will probably slide a little (1998 and not quite as dynamic as the players just below him). Lind and Yamamoto should be considered ideal and both may be available when Edmonton picks.

OHL (5×5 estimated points-per-60)

  1. Nick Suzuki, Owen Sound 3.10
  2. Jonah Gadjovich, Owen Sound 3.10
  3. Robert Thomas, London 2.95
  4. Ivan Lodnia, Erie 2.89
  5. Owen Tippett, Mississauga 2.88
  6. Source

The OHL kills it every year, and this one is no exception. Suzuki and Tippett are likely to be long time by No. 22, but the other three men (Gadjovich, Thomas and Lodnia) should be available. Thomas and Lodnia are RH centers, so Edmonton might have a preference there. Gadjovich is a quality offensive player but might last into the second round (seems to be some question about skating).

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QMJHL (5×5 estimated points-per-60)

  1. Nico Hischier, Halifax 3.13
  2. Antoine Morand, Acadie-Bathurst 2.69
  3. Source

The Q doesn’t have five players we can discuss this year (who score at rates that could be included in this group) but I think Nico Hischier is probably the most talented offensive player in the draft. He will go in the top two picks, and Morand will go outside the first round (I think).

USHL (5×5 estimated points-per-60)

  1. Josh Norris, USNDTP 3.30
  2. Evan Barratt, USNDTP 2.95
  3. Grant Mismash, USNDTP 2.91
  4. Cole Guttman, Dubuque 2.88
  5. Eeli Tolvanen, Sioux City 2.67
  6. Source

I think the USHL is going to own a lot of the top 90 this year, as both forwards and defensemen are extremely strong (while the CHL is a little weak). All of these players are clearly quality prospects, but it’s interesting that Eeli Tolvanen is a pretty famous prospect (may go top 10 overall) and Cole Guttman isn’t known well at all (despite having a cool name). I do think Josh Norris might be in the Oilers sights based on their own past, we’ll see.

PUTTING IT ALL TOGETHER

The numbers above are estimates and of course some of these guys could have actual hockey issues (slow feet, injury prone, etc) but all 31 teams have scouts and can suss those things out. The NHL combine is coming up and teams get a chance to interview players of interest, and can find out medical issues, et cetera.

I think the names above are all of interest, and the scouting services agree, except for Cole Guttman. ISS is a respected resource for the draft, and here are their most recent rankings for players listed above:

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  • No. 2: Nico Hischier
  • No. 4: Owen Tippett
  • No. 6: Cody Glass
  • No. 11: Nick Suzuki
  • No. 17: Eeli Tolvanen
  • No. 21: Robert Thomas
  • No. 23: Joshua Norris
  • No. 24: Kole Lind
  • No. 26: Kailer Yamomoto

We can’t expect all of this to go the same way ISS is projecting it, but for a team like Edmonton, who need some offense, this draft sets up fairly well. Yamamoto should probably go inside the top 10 overall and yet most of the services have him later in Round One. Lind is probably my favorite prospect for that spot, although Robert Thomas is a good choice as well and if Tolvanen falls get out of town.

Question: What about those names above not mentioned by ISS? Shaw, Henry, Gadjovich, Lodnia, Moran, Barratt, Mismash, what of these men? And what about Guttman, dammit?

I think the Oilers, if the scouts inform them all of these names have good foot speed and skill and are kind to their Moms, might want to trade down from No. 22 and grab two picks in the second round. Maybe trade out and get two forwards in the second round who might end up being as good or better than what is available?

In the meantime, I’ll bring you what I can on this Guttman fella in the coming days. Damned mystery, I tell you.


  • Strottie

    Lowetide, I’ve noticed a lot of mock drafts and scouting bureaus still have Maxime Comtois in their top 30 despite how poorly he missed his expectations for this year. ISS has him at 25, whereas Central Scouting has him at 30. It looks like there’s a legitimate chance he falls out of the first round if teams like Pittsburgh or Chicago don’t kick the tires on him.

    He played for a seemingly average Victoriaville this year in a generally weak QMJHL and his past numbers suggest there’s more to him than he produced this year. If Edmonton were to trade their first down for a couple of seconds and Comtois drops into the 2nd round / is available, is Comtois the kind of name that jumps at you for the Oilers to pick? I think nabbing both Comtois and Guttman in the second round could be a hell of a steal for the Oilers.

  • who own da chiefs?

    Guttman would be a late round STEAL. He is at or above all the top prospects from the USHL and no one is talking about him, probably needs work in his own zone but the kid can light the lamp. Interestingly he and Yamamoto are both products of LA Jr Kings AAA program and Lodnia is a California kid as well.