The Oilers don’t have any noteworthy prospects. Well, according to Craig Button, at least. TSN released Button’s Top-50 prospect rankings on Tuesday and no Oiler made the list.
GLIMPSE OF THE FUTURE: There's a definite Russian flavour atop #TSNHockey's Top 50 #NHL affiliated prospects list by @CraigJButton, while the #Habs and #Canucks lead all Canadian teams in this year's ranking.
— TSN Hockey (@TSNHockey) January 15, 2019
At the top of the list is Vitalii Kravstov, who was selected ninth overall by the New York Rangers in 2018. Right after him is Grigori Denisenko, the 15th overall pick by the Florida Panthers from 2018. Evan Bouchard, Edmonton’s 10th overall pick from that same draft, didn’t make the list.
I mean, we’re looking at a list put together by the guy who was axed by the Flames because he let players like Martin St. Louis and Jean-Sebastien Giguere go for nothing. But still, Button does have an extensive scouting background in the NHL and his rankings are generally worth paying attention to.
Still, it’s incredibly odd not to see Bouchard, who looked good in his cup of coffee at the NHL level and has dominated the OHL since returning, crack this list. Noah Dobson and Ty Smith, two somewhat similar offensive-minded defencemen who played with Bouchard at the World Juniors, both made the list, ranking No. 18 and No. 35 respectively.
What say you, Nation? Are rankings like these anything to worry about? Or is leaving Bouchard off the Top-50 list simply an action to stir controversy?