Is there anything more Oilers than getting dummied on home ice and having the ISS release their mid-season draft the very next day? I don’t think so.
I never thought I would have to do this in year four of Connor McDavid’s career, but given the way this season is going and the mess that Peter Chiarelli left in his wake, I figured that we may as well look at the ISS’ list of top prospects for the upcoming draft. Considering the way things are going right now, we should probably get to know some of these top prospects a little bit and start figuring out what this team needs. Chances are that the Oilers are going to end up with another quality prospect and while it’s certainly not the end of the season any of us would have hoped for, I can’t help but feel like my body preparing itself for a consolation prize.
Since there’s nothing that the Oilers love more than drafting in the top half at the NHL Draft, I figured I would post the ISS’ top 15 players and take a look a couple of the prospects listed in the general area that the Oilers will land in when June rolls around. (the full list is here)
|1||Hughes, Jack||USA U18||NTDP||C||L||5.10||168|
|2||Kakko, Kaapo||TPS Turku||FinE||RW||L||6.02||194|
|3||Podkolzin, Vasily||St. Petersburg SKA||KHL||LW||L||6.01||190|
|4||Byram, Bowen||Vancouver Giants||WHL||LD||L||6.00||194|
|5||Cozens, Dylan||Lethbridge Hurricanes||WHL||C||R||6.03||181|
|6||Dach, Kirby||Saskatoon Blades||WHL||C||R||6.03||199|
|7||Boldy, Matthew||USA U18||NTDP||LW||L||6.00||175|
|8||Zegras, Trevor||USA U18||NTDP||C||L||5.10||159|
|9||Broberg, Philip||AIK IF||SweAl||LD||L||6.02||199|
|10||Turcotte, Alex||USA U18||NTDP||C||L||5.11||189|
|11||Robertson, Matthew||Edmonton Oil Kings||WHL||LD||L||6.03||201|
|12||Soderstrom, Victor||Brynas IF Jr.||SweJE||LD||R||5.11||179|
|13||York, Cam||USA U18||NTDP||LD||L||5.10||163|
|14||Harley, Thomas||Mississauga Steelheads||OHL||LD||L||6.03||188|
|15||Lavoie, Raphael||Halifax Mooseheads||QMJHL||C||R||6.03||191|
What’s interesting about this list is how many left-handed defencemen and centremen there are at the top of this draft. Obviously, it would be nice if the Oilers could add something to the right side of their depth chart to help with an organizational need, but the most important thing is that they add skill. I know that they love blowing the character horn all the time, but I was at the game last night and I would argue that there is a serious lack of skill on this hockey team and using character as an excuse for why things are going poorly is a lazy storyline. To me, it’s blatantly obvious that the Oilers need more talent and I highly doubt we’ll ever be hearing about character ever again.
Back to the list… If the NHL season ended today and the draft order went the way of the standings, the Oilers would be picking eighth overall, putting players like Kirby Dach, Matthew Boldy, Trevor Zegras, Philip Broberg, and Alex Turcotte as potential options for their draft board. At this point, I don’t know much of anything about these players, but I’m sure that will change as the weeks go on and the losses pile up. As I said above, I didn’t think we would ever be in a spot where we would have to write about draft prospects after McDavid landed in town, but here we are and I’ll be the first to admit that I’m pretty bummed out about it.
What do you guys think? Any early horses you’re interested in? Let me know in the comments.