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.
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2011:

GP:
G
A
Pts
PIM
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.

2012:

GP:
G
A
Pts
PIM
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).
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2013:

GP
G
A
Pts
PIM
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.

2014:

GP
G
A
Pts
PIM
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.

2015:

GP
G
A
Pts
PIM
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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2016:

GP
G
A
Pts
PIM
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
Hits:
Misses:
Thoughts:

2017:

GP
G
A
Pts
PIM
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?

2018:

GP
G
A
Pts
PIM
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.

2019:

GP
G
A
Pts
PIM
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?
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2020:

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.

THE WRAP…

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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?