A decade’s worth of NHL Draft picks selected between 18-22nd overall

With the NHL Draft coming up tomorrow, I thought it would be fun to take a look at the last decade’s worth of picks that have gone in the #19 slot to see if there’s anything we can learn. Did it work? I invited you to find out with me.

Heading into the NHL Entry Draft, this is probably the least amount of attention I’ve put into reading about prospects than I have since Nuge was drafted. Seeing as the Oilers have the 20th overall pick — it’s actually the 19th overall pick because the Coyotes cheated — I want to see what kind of player has gone around this slot over the past decade. As far as I see it, there are holes in the roster that need filling now, and moving the pick could help remedy that, but, on the other hand, our prospect pool is still shallow around here, and moving a 19th overall pick does nothing in term of stocking the shelves with cheap skill down the line. Is there a right or wrong answer? I don’t know but I was hoping that history could be our guide.


18 Chicago Mark McNeill C Prince Albert Raiders [WHL] 2 0 0 0 0
19 Edmonton Oscar Klefbom D Farjestads BK Karlstad [SEL] 378 34 122 156 74
20 Phoenix Connor Murphy D U.S. National Development Team [USHL] 494 28 82 110 281
21 Ottawa Stefan Noesen R Plymouth Whalers [OHL] 205 31 23 54 122
22 Toronto Tyler Biggs R U.S. National Development Team [USHL]

Hits: Klefbom! If the Oilers can grab a contributor like Klefbom again in that spot then I think we’ll be in good shape. The problem, however, is that it takes some time for these kinds of guys to be NHL-ready.
Misses: Tyler Biggs, where are you?
Thoughts: This grouping shows that you need your scouts to be prepared and some luck on your side because the picks at #18 and #22 have obviously not played out.

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18 Chicago Teuvo Teravainen L Jokerit Helsinki [SM-liiga] 449 96 208 304 76
19 Tampa Bay Andrei Vasilevskiy G Ufa Tolpar (Russia) 302 0 15 15 26
20 Philadelphia Scott Laughton C Oshawa Generals [OHL] 374 53 73 126 211
21 Calgary Mark Jankowski C Stanstead College (Quebec) 253 40 35 75 65
22 Pittsburgh Olli Maatta D London Knights [OHL] 468 29 99 128 124

Hits: How can you not give this one to Vasilevskiy? The guy just won back-to-back Stanley Cups and looks like he’ll be one of the league’s premier keepers for the foreseeable future.
Misses: None really, though, I’ll admit that I expected Olli Maatta to be better.
Thoughts: A lot of GP amongst this group of five with three of them playing more than the former first overall pick, Nail Yakupov (350GP).


18 San Jose Mirco Mueller D Everett Silvertips [WHL] 185 5 23 28 61
19 Columbus Kerby Rychel L Windsor Spitfires [OHL] 43 3 11 14 19
20 Detroit Anthony Mantha R Val d’Or Foreurs [QMJHL] 316 99 103 202 196
21 Toronto Frederik Gauthier C Rimouski Oceanic [QMJHL] 170 13 18 31 47
22 Calgary Emile Poirier L Gatineau Olympiques [QMJHL] 8 0 1 1 2

Hits: Anthony Mantha gets the nod from 2013.
Misses: Suck it, Calgary.
Thoughts: The 2013 group shows just how much of a coin flip the draft can be as you go along and it makes me wonder how much discussion the Oilers will be having in regards to actually moving the pick for more immediate help.


18 Minnesota Alex Tuch R U.S. National Under-18 Team [USHL] 255 61 78 139 71
19 Tampa Bay Tony DeAngelo D Sarnia Sting [OHL] 206 24 82 106 176
20 Chicago Nick Schmaltz C Green Bay Gamblers [USHL] 301 55 127 182 68
21 St. Louis Robby Fabbri C Guelph Storm [OHL] 246 56 66 122 94
22 Pittsburgh Kasperi Kapanen R KalPa Kuopio [SM-liiga] 242 52 68 120 62

Hits: Honestly, there’s a lot to like in this group and I could see any of these players being value pieces to an Oilers depth chart.
Misses: Tony DeAngelo will now be considered a miss but that’s only because of his alleged shitbag personality.
Thoughts: If the Oilers can grab a guy that can contribute 200+ games on their roster in their draft+7 season then this would probably be considered a success. Here’s hoping.


18 Ottawa Thomas Chabot D Saint John Sea Dogs [QMJHL] 254 35 115 150 124
19 Detroit Evgeny Svechnikov R Cape Breton Screaming Eagles [QMJHL] 41 5 7 12 20
20 Minnesota Joel Eriksson Ek C Farjestads BK Karlstad [SweHL] 266 43 53 96 88
21 Ottawa Colin White C U.S. National Development Team [USHL] 200 33 55 88 87
22 Washington Ilya Samsonov G Magnitogorsk-2 (Russia Jrs.) 45 0 1 1 2

Hits: Thomas Chabot is going to be a mainstay on the Senators blueline for a very long time, or until Eugene Melnyk decides he doesn’t want to pay him anymore.
Misses: I’ll say Svechnikov just because I need an answer, though, he did play a career-high in GP for the Red Wings this past season with 21 games.
Thoughts: Another mixed bag, people.

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18 Winnipeg Logan Stanley D Windsor Spitfires [OHL] 37 1 3 4 26
19 NY Islanders Kieffer Bellows L U.S. National Development Team [USHL] 22 5 1 6 6
20 Detroit Dennis Cholowski D Chilliwack Chiefs [BCHL] 104 10 17 27 26
21 Carolina Julien Gauthier R Val d’Or Foreurs [QMJHL] 47 2 9 11 22
22 Philadelphia German Rubtsov C Russia U-18 team 4 0 0 0 0



18 Boston Urho Vaakanainen D JyP HT Jyvaskyla [SM-liiga] 16 0 2 2 2
19 San Jose Josh Norris C U.S. National Development Team [USHL] 59 17 18 35 13
20 St. Louis Robert Thomas C London Knights [OHL] 169 22 65 87 42
21 NY Rangers Filip Chytil C Zlin ZPS HC [Czech] 186 34 37 71 32
22 Edmonton Kailer Yamamoto R Spokane Chiefs [WHL] 105 20 32 52 42

Hits: YAMOOOOOO! Hopefully…
Misses: Too early to call someone a bust at this point tbh.
Thoughts: At four years post-draft, we’re starting to see how much time it takes some of these guys to land in the NHL and it’s something to considering when planning out what the Oilers do with their own pick. Would they be happy to wait for three or four years for a player to start contributing, or would it make more sense to make a trade for someone that can help now?


18 Columbus Liam Foudy C London Knights [OHL] 26 0 5 5 6
19 Philadelphia Jay O’Brien C Thayer Academy (US H.S.)
20 Los Angeles Rasmus Kupari C Karpat [SM-liiga] 7 1 0 1 2
21 San Jose Ryan Merkley D Guelph Storm [OHL]
22 NY Rangers K’Andre Miller D U.S. National Under-18 Team [USHL] 53 5 7 12 20

Hits: N/A
Misses: N/A
Thoughts: At 53 GP with the Rangers, K’Andre Miller leads the pack from the 2018 crew, but it’s still way too early to make a call on any of these kids.


18 Dallas Thomas Harley D Mississauga Steelheads [OHL] 0 0 0 0 0
19 Ottawa Lassi Thomson D Kelowna Rockets [WHL]
20 Winnipeg Ville Heinola D Lukko Rauma [SM-liiga] 13 1 4 5 6
21 Pittsburgh Samuel Poulin R Sherbrooke Phoenix [QMJHL]
22 Los Angeles Tobias Bjornfot D Djurgarden (Sweden Jrs.) 36 1 5 6 14

Hits: N/A
Misses: N/A
Thoughts: Tobias Bjornfot with the early lead in GP here. Will he be the Google of this crew or the Ask Jeeves?


18 New Jersey Dawson Mercer C Chicoutimi Sagueneens [QMJHL]
19 NY Rangers Braden Schneider D Brandon Wheat Kings [WHL]
20 New Jersey Shakir Mukhamadullin D Ufa Salavat Yulayev [KHL]
21 Columbus Yegor Chinakhov R Omsk Jrs. (Russia)
22 Washington Hendrix Lapierre C Chicoutimi Sagueneens [QMJHL]

Hits: N/A
Misses: N/A
Thoughts: Way too early to get a read on any of these kids.


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As I was putting this list together, all I could think about is how the NHL Draft has and always will be a mix of pure luck and educated guesswork, and as you go further along in the first round, the gap between a ‘sure thing’ and a ‘who knows’ can be pretty wide. The point is that you never really know what you’re going to get. And as you can see, over the past 10 years, there has been a blend of forwards and defencemen selected with the 18-22 range and the results have been a mixed bag. Obviously, some of these picks are still way too early in their careers to make the call one way or the other, but putting this together does show that there’s no such thing as a sure thing. What does all of this mean? I have no idea. All we can really do is hope and trust that the Oilers’ amateur scouts will get this right and that Holland’s decision will be what’s best for the organization now and in the future. Personally, I doubt that Holland will move the first rounder considering he has no picks until the 4th round, but I do kinda wish he would trade it as part of a package for someone that can help right now. Will it happen? We shall see.

What do you guys think? Does seeing this list affect your thinking about what to do with the 20th 19th overall pick?