Draft Priorities For The Edmonton Oilers
8 months ago
The Edmonton Oilers are heading into the 2022 NHL Draft in Montreal with very few picks in their arsenal. The first round pick is still there, but after acquiring Brett Kulak, Duncan Keith, and Dmitry Kulikov, Holland will be without his second, third and fourth round picks.
Holland trusts his scouting staff enough to move those picks, and rightfully so. They have earned a reputation over the last three years for drafting well in the later rounds. Carter Savoie, Tyler Tullio, and Matvey Petrov all went in the fourth round or later, and the three of them look like they may contribute to the team one day after successful seasons on their respective teams.
A couple of prospects that perhaps go underappreciated are playing in the WHL in Jake Chiasson and Max Wanner. Chiasson was a fourth-round pick last season and missed most of the season after surgery. Upon return, he became a point-per-game player for the Brandon Wheat Kings. Then you have Wanner from the Moose Jaw Warriors, another late pick who went from 4 points in 17 games in 2020 to 23 in 55 then 7 in 9 games in the playoffs.
These five players are the never wave of talent coming through Bakersfield and hopefully into the Edmonton lineup. Much like Ryan McLeod, Kailer Yamamoto, and a few others before them.
Today, we will look at what the Oilers should do with those four draft picks. This article won’t go into specific detail on players but instead, look at what positions the organization needs to improve on.
Starting as the priority position to provide depth too is the goaltending. With Ilya Konovalov and Mikko Koskinen gone, and possibly Mike Smith too, the Oilers are down to three goaltenders in the organization. I hate to be Captain Obvious, but that is not enough.
Chris Peters from Daily Faceoff did his final 2022 Mock Draft. The first goaltending did not get selected until the 61st pick when he had the Seattle Kraken taking Tyler Brennan, the one ranked goaltender in North America according to NHL Central Scouting.
The Oilers do not have a second round pick, so if they want Brennan, they will need to take him in the first round. I do not see that happening.
Scott Wheeler from The Athletic had them taking Tyler Muszelik with their fifth round pick. That is what seems more likely to me.
The second position to prioritize is a right-shot defenceman.
The organization has good defensive depth, with Philip Broberg, Markus Neimlainen, and Dmitri Samourkov all capable of contributing to the NHL lineup. However, Evan Bouchard and Max Wanner are the only right shots within the organization under 23 years old. They have Vincent Desharnais who is 26 but hasn’t played a game in the NHL, yet.
There might be a case for this to be the number one priority too.
While having good goaltending prospects is important, when would this possible goaltender help the team win? If the Oilers took a high-end right-handed defenceman in the first round, he could help the team within the next two to three years.
And that’s it. The list is short, but the Oilers must get it done in this year’s draft. They have passed over many goaltenders in Holland’s previous three drafts, including Jesper Wallstedt, who fans wanted in the first round last season.
The organization is deep at forward, having taken 14 of them since Holland took over as GM, but now it is time to improve the depth and competition on the blueline and in the crease as well.
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