Oilers to select 8th overall at the upcoming NHL Draft

With the three draft lotteries in the books, we now know that the Edmonton Oilers will be selecting 8th overall at the upcoming NHL Entry Draft.

I don’t know if you guys were following along all day, but we got the hashtag #MakeItFive trending Canada wide on Twitter and it was really pissing some other fanbases off. Rather than joining in on our excitement, instead, they fed us with a steady stream of all the reasons we shouldn’t be allowed to win, but we weren’t about to let that ruin our fun. Sure, you might say that picking first overall four times in a span of nine years is unfair, and there’s something to be said about that, but all is fair in love and war and these here draft picks are our battlefield.

Unfortunately, our dreams of picking first and watching the world burn to the ground were not meant to be on this night.

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Now that we know the Oilers will be picking in the number 8 slot, it’s time to look at some of the prospects that could slide into that spot and where they might help on the depth chart. While we don’t know who will get the call at #8 we do know that the Oilers will add a decent prospect to their stable, and one that will likely help for years to come. This morning, Dusty Nielson wrote an article about the players in the top third of the first round after speaking to a few different scouts about how the top 10 could shake out. For the purposes of this article, I’ll include the guys in and around the Oilers pick. Let’s have a look:

The Call

5. Dylan Cozens – Center – Lethbridge, WHL

Cozens and Dach have been linked together for a couple of years now and there won’t be much separating them on draft day in Vancouver. Cozens is a big center who moves extremely well. He will likely need another year in junior, which will end up being a dominant season for the Lethbridge Hurricanes. I’d be shocked if he’s still on the board at seven if the Oilers hold serve in that slot.

6. Kirby Dach – Center/Right Wing – Saskatoon, WHL

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Dach ended up at the bottom of my second tier because one of my scouting contacts had him 9 to 11 range. He shows flashes of brilliance and does not wait for the game to come to him. I’m not sure it will happen but Dach is the most likely name to slide out of the top six which means the Oilers may very well have the option to take him.

7. Trevor Zegras – Center/Wing – USA NTDP

The best thing about Zegras is that he can be whatever you need him to be. He dominates inside the blueline offensively; he already has a pro-awareness defensively and is willing to agitate as well. I think he’s a guy that Oilers fans will be in favour of should the team remain in the seven hole.

8. Alex Turcotte – Center – USA NTDP

He’s the second of three American talents to round out my top ten. The Wisconsin recruit has an offensive game that may fly under the radar the bit because he plays a hard, responsible game at both ends of the ice. There isn’t anything sexy about his game but he doesn’t have any glaring weaknesses either.

Edmonton Oil Kings draft Janis Svanenbergs in CHL import draft

9. Matthew Boldy – Left Wing– USA NTDP

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He’s the biggest of these three American kids and he’s also the purest goal scorer of the trio. He has size, a great shot and soft hands. The thing that really brings it all together though is excellent hockey sense. If the Oilers are willing to draft by positional need this summer he may very well fit the bill.

10. Arthur Kaliyev – Right Wing – Hamilton, OHL

If you need goals, he’s your guy. Kaliyev scored 31 goals as a 16-year old in the OHL last season and followed that up with 51 goals this year. He’s not as complete as the three players from the United States above him in Tier 3 but he can one-time the puck and has shown the ability to find a lot of open ice. If the Oilers really like Kaliyev he could be a target to trade down for.

With the draft order set and the Oilers picking 8th overall, we now have the next three(ish) months to argue about how they should use this pick. Looking at the list above, do any of these guys tickle your fancy? Should they look at trading it for some immediate help? What say you, Nation?

    • Gaz

      Actually, Winnipeg, Calgary, Vancouver and Ottawa would’ve been worse (of the Canadian teams). They all have fewer fans than the Oilers, who carry most of Northern Canada as well as through the maritimes. Glory years help prop up a continent-wide fan base.

      • supra steve

        Sure buddy, whatever you think. Vancouver’s 2.4 million people in the metro area (and 5 million in the province) would have been a worse place for McJesus than Edmonton and their fans in the Territories. Last time I was in the Maritimes it was Pitt and Montreal, not Oil blue. Are your supporting stats from 1985?
        Edmonton is a great city, I lived there for 5 years, but you’re just making $hit up here.

        • Boba The Fett

          Actually Edmonton is consistently in the top half of NHL popularity and merchandise sales whereas Vancouver/Ottawa are consistently at the bottom. Population doesnt mean anything.

          • Serious Gord

            Lots of jerseys are purchased for the name on the back not the crest on the front. The oil have gotten 4 number ones in the past nine years – including the biggest name since Crosby.

        • Glencontrolurstik

          Yeah, maybe… but 2.3 million Vancouverites think that hockey is a brutal, primitive sport and could actually care less about hockey. Their sports media will not say much, if anything about the playoffs now that their team is out… If the team starts winning again on a regular basis then the fans will come out of the woodwork… But until then,… they need gimmicks to retain a fanbase. Moving the Canucks to Saskatoon would make the team much more in the way of profits, as they would have an engaged fanbase, at a fraction of the population. Every game would be sold out & it wouldn’t be such a “trending” pastime… That is Vancouver in a nutshell. They could care less about hockey as a city, it’s not a part of their fabric, no matter what the Canuck TV Commercials tell you…

      • Serious Gord

        I think the Canucks rival the size of the oilers fan base. And the maritimes and NL largely support one of three teams – the Habs, the leafs and the bruins.

  • Dallas Eakins Hair

    Well at least Hughes never had the nightmare scenario of playting for the Flamers, nothing like being on a first round playoff exit team every few years when they manage to squeak in….

    • T&A4Flames

      At least they squeeze in.
      and we didn’t have to watch the disappointed look on Hughes face like Connors when it was his turn and the tear drop was revealed.

      • Boba The Fett

        Yup he was so dissapointed he decided to sign an 8 year deal for less than he could have as well as build a massive home in Edmonton. But keep thinking you can infer a kids thoughts from his facial expressions on TV

        • Glencontrolurstik

          You must have small feet, or a really big pie-hole?
          How can you possibly make that prediction as Calgary walks away with first in the west & home ice advantage… I’d be willing to wager that they beat the one-line Avalanche? You?
          Actually, the mood in Alberta has changed I’ve noticed since the 80’s and the Battle of Alberta heyday…
          Back then, as much as we hated the Flames & Calgary, if the Oilers or Eskimos were out of the playoffs most of us would jump on the “bandwagon” for the other team. That went both ways, as it was a hope that ALBERTA would be proudly represented. That seems to have changed, as both teams have slowly moved their things to Suckville… I hope that Calgary makes Alberta proud, but it honestly won’t hurt my feelings if they don’t…
          The whole flavour of Alberta has changed in the last 20 years & I’m not sure it’s a great as it once was?

  • toprightcorner

    Hall is on a team that wins the lottery again to add an elite center to play with. What are the odds that Hall gets traded a year later, especially being a UFA??

        • OilerForLife

          I’m not crying for them either. I just don’t like the system. I think only the bottom 10 teams should have a crack at the top three. Before long a number of franchises won’t have a top three pick for 10 years or more. Colorado’s bad luck bailed out Ottawa.

        • Glencontrolurstik

          Retirement destination,… That said, I’d bet a great GM could pluck Doughty away from them as he seems to be getting tired of this and wants a Canadian or at the very least, a hockey market to play in… Him being a Leaf would just suck though….

  • FISTO Siltanen


    The Panthers have won the lotto in 1998 (traded away pick before draft), 2002, 2003 and 2014.

    Devils have won in 2011, 2017 and now 2019.

    Hawks have won in 1999, 2007 and now 2019.

    Oilers have lost a grand total of 4 spots in the draft but have won 3x for a grand total of 3 spots.

    Can we FINALLY put to rest this notion of the Oilers ALWAYS winning the lotto and we need to change the system? Can the hacks at SN and TSN come up with some fresh content now?

      • Glencontrolurstik

        Does that indirectly tell you what kind of a player he is? Does “boy, does our team suck” follow Taylor around from team to team? Analytics says it does… “Hallsey” brings every team he’s on to high draft picks… Analytics prove then that most of the last bad Oiler years was his fault, now he’s effecting New Jersey…

  • Rick Stroppel

    I just went to Cap Friendly and found that New Jersey has 32 million in projected cap space next season. I guess good things happen when the people managing the team know what they are doing.

    • Boba The Fett

      Yes they have 32M to sign 10 more players.
      They are also aided by the fact their three highest paid players are 6M, 6M and 5.75M.
      Their 1st $6M player is a goalie that has had a sub .910 save % and higher than 2.8 GAA for 3 straight seasons and is signed for 2 more seasons past next year. Their 2nd 6M player is habitually injured and their 5.75M player has not eclipsed 19 goals or 48 pts since 09-10.
      After next season they will need to resign/replace all of Hall, Hischier and Vatanen. If their top 2 guys were to make the same as 97/29 they would have 23M in cap space for 10 players and they still would have a 37yr old #1 defenseman and a remaining defense that I dont think is as good as the Oil D.

      So yes Oil were managed horribly but I would not say NJ is something we should strive to be.

    • FISTO Siltanen

      The Devils are so well managed they’ve won 2 out the last 3 NHL lotteries. And probably still won’t get anywhere near the derision the Oilers and their fans deal with.

      They are so well managed that in the 3 years that they got Taylor Hall they have finished with less points than they had in the season before they got him twice. What a flagship franchise.

  • Justino

    Does it bother anyone else that if we lost just one more game we would be picking second which most likely will be Kakko? That could’ve gone a long way in our depth scoring next season.
    But oh wells, my vote is Zegras or Boldy. We need a top six with some scoring touch and agitation factor.

    • Ratt McNuge

      Nope. Can’t change the past. Can’t live in the past. Can’t tell the players to lose a game for better draft lottery odds. 8th pick SHOULD be a good prospect.

    • FISTO Siltanen


      I’m glad we aren’t picking at the top end where some 18 year old ready for the grind of the NHL is waiting to be picked.

      I want the Oilers to solve their problems outside of the first round of the draft. Add a prospect now who turns into a player later.

      Crazy idea, I know.

  • Die Hard Oiler Fan

    Glad we only fell one spot (7th to 8th). Based on the odds this was a very likely outcome. The 8th pick will guarantee the Oilers a very talented (and cheap….at least for the entry level contract) prospect……..exactly what we need.

    I’m very happy with our position heading into the draft, but wonderi g if anyone else noticed that the NYR were one of the lottery winners. On the last day of the season the Rangers beat PIT to move one point ahead of the Oilers in the overall standings (i.e. the Oilers moved to 6th last heading into the lottery). Later, in what some would call a meaningless game, the Oil beat the Flames to move back ahead of the Rangers into 7th last. All things being equal, had we lost to Calgary, and finished 6th last, we might now be drafting 2nd (probably Kakko).
    Oh well, per my initial comment, we’re going to get a very good young player…….now for the long wait until the draft.

  • lee

    All this talk about trading the pick is just plain silly.
    They would be trading a player that when he makes the team would be cheap for 3 years. If you trade the pick for a player, that player will be making at least 6-7 million, How would that work, also in 2 years could you even protect that player you just traded a high first round pick for.
    The team needs someone with a plan, trying to trade your way to success is a fools game.
    You needs lots of depth before you can trade a big chip, the team traded Hall and Eberle and never recovered those lost goals. This team has very little depth, lets build that before we run out and start trading what few accets we have.

  • FlamesFanOtherCity

    Well, game 82 kind of was bad karma wasn’t it.
    McDavid injury scare.
    Win the game and NY gets the 2nd overall pick.

    Should never have traded that Taylor Hall lucky charm.
    At least the top 2 picks stay east and we don;t have to listen play them as often.

    • Gaz

      Without knowing exactly how the unique numbers are proportionally allocated per team, your NYR-EDM pick logic cannot be proven or disproven.

      Probability theory is a tricky concept, and I sense it wasn’t your major in college.

      • Spydyr

        The numbers assigned to the 7th place won the second spot in the lottery. It does not matter what team was in the 7th spot. Changing the team’s name has no bearing on anything. The numbers for each team’s placing were predetermined.

        • Gaz

          I don’t know if each team’s 4-digit number(s) are (i) assigned in numerical order, or (ii) chosen randomly themselves (e.g. were the Oilers numbers 1234, 1235, 1236, or 1345, 1267, 1211). Do you?

          Regardless, next, you have to consider that replicating the exact outcome of a random trial with a subsequent random trial is extremely unlikely (I’ll spare you the actual formula, but it is a multiplicative calculation rather than additive). It is made even more unlikely under the second team number assignment methodology noted above.

          We all like simple solutions for their elegance, but in probability theory it’s always more complex than you hope. Sorry.

          • Spydyr

            This is how it works:

            “Each team is assigned a sequence of four numbers and those with better odds have more of these sequences. Fourteen numbered balls are put into the machine and four are pulled out. That sequence is then cross-referenced with a chart that shows all possible outcomes and which team is assigned to each series of numbers. At this moment, you know who won the right to choose first overall.

            When the first series of numbers is determined, all the balls are re-entered into the machine and the process is repeated twice more to find out who picks second and third.”

            The seventh place team regardless of the team’s name is assigned the same numbers.

        • rnj


          Say NYR has 100 combos. Edmonton has 110 combos before winning the 82nd game.

          After winning, NYR ends up with 110 combos and Edmonton with 100.

          What Gaz is saying is there’s no way to know if the extra combos obtained from Edmonton winning were the combos NYR won with. Could be, but NYR could’ve had one of their “original” combos pulled

    • FISTO Siltanen

      Guess the Oilers didn’t get much for Taylor Hall. Oh well.

      It’s more than the Flames got for Brett Hull, Doug Gilmour, Jarome Iginla, Marc Savard and Martin St Louis COMBINED.

    • Rink Rat

      Yes! Give me the playoffs, no more moaning, groaning and snivelling over the past and what could have been. Let’s move to the future and much better times to come!