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Edmonton Oilers Prospect Countdown #8: Maximus Wanner

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Bruce Curlock
9 months ago
The most intriguing prospect in the Oilers system for me, Maximus Wanner, checks in at #8 on the Edmonton Oilers Prospect Countdown.
Position: Defense
Shoots: Right
Nationality: Canada
Date of Birth: March 12, 2003
Drafted: 7th Round Pick, 2021 
Height: 6’3″ / 191 cm
Weight: 185 lbs / 84 kg
Ranking last year: Not ranked
Maximus Wanner absolutely announced his presence with authority last season. In fact, it started before the season at the Young Stars Classic in Penticton last September. Wanner was so impressive in the four-team tourney against prospects from Calgary, Vancouver and Winnipeg that he would have been the star of the tourney for the Oilers except for the ridiculous performance of Dylan Holloway. Wanner carried that momentum into the season and had a banner year for the Moose Jaw Warriors.
Why is Wanner the most intriguing prospect in the Oilers system for me?
  1. He’s a 6’3″ right shot defenseman;
  2. He’s mean and tough;
  3. He’s mobile;
  4. He found offence in his game that wasn’t really present before;
  5. He will play almost all of his first professional season as a 20 year-old; and
  6. He’s a 7th-round pick.
Let’s start with what we do know about Wanner. He was always known as a strong defender who could use his size and range to defend attacks.

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When he gets a chance, he likes to remind opposition players that he doesn’t like them very much.

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So when the Oilers drafted him, it seemed like a good selection late in the draft as a player who could have an impact at the professional level. Then a funny thing happened on the way to being a career minor leaguer, Maximus Wanner developed a highly mobile, offensive game. The part of his game that jumped off the page early in last season was his evasive maneuvering. Plays like this were commonplace in his game.

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A lot of his improvement came from drastically improved footwork from the prior season. His edges and his hip mobility are so much more impressive and it really has helped his game.

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From there his game just continued to develop on the offensive side. This is one of my favourite clips of his passing skills. He delivered three great passes that teammates failed to manage and clear the puck. When Wanner plays with better-skilled professionals, there will be more success.

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By season’s end, Wanner was playing first pairing with Denton Mateychuk, first-team penalty kill and second-team powerplay. If there is one clip that illustrates all of what Wanner can bring and why I think he’s the most intriguing prospect the Oilers have, it is this one play here. His defensive reads, footwork, stick and body defending as well as the transition attack should have Oiler fans excited.

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With Wanner moving to the AHL this season, he will be challenged by the size and speed of professional players. This will be the next challenge for Wanner. Can his improved footwork and offensive skills continue to progress to manage this new, tougher level? If that happens, Maximus Wanner is going to be top of mind for Oiler fans very early in his professional career.

Previously in the countdown

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