The latest the Oilers have selected in the first round was the 25th pick. They took Rob Schremp in 2004 and then Andrew Cogliano in 2005. Schremp didn’t pan out, but 17 years, 1140 regular season games and 116 playoff games later, Cogliano is a Stanley Cup champion. Cogliano has played the third-most games from his draft class and has the 10th most points. The scouts got it right when they selected him and since taking Cogliano in 2005 the Oilers have had good success with draft picks in the 20s.
They’ve used the 22nd pick on Jordan Eberle (2008), Kailer Yamamoto (2017), and Xavier Bourgault (2021). Eberle is 2nd in goals and 3rd in points from the 2008 class. Yamamoto is currently 10th in goals and points from his class. It is too early to say how Bourgault will do, but he scored 50 goals and 104 points in 63 regular season, playoff, and Memorial Cup games for Shawinigan. He turns pro in the fall.
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They selected Riley Nash 21st in 2007. He has played 627 NHL games, which is currently 27th from his draft class. He has mainly been a bottom-six forward, but he’s had a successful NHL career.
I wanted to look at picks 26-32, three before and three after the Oilers pick at 29, to get a gauge what type of player the Oilers could get. I opted to look at drafts between 2006-2019.
Players in Red are NHLers who have played 200+ games, or will reach 200 this season.
Players under 200 games played have their GP in brackets.
Players with an * are under 200 GP, but project to be regular NHLers.
The 2018-2019 class is still too early to say for certain if they will become NHLers. Some are still in NCAA, Europe or a first-year pro in AHL.
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26th Pick
Player
POS
27th Pick
Player
POS
2006
Leland Irving (13)
G
2006
Ivan Vishnevsky (5)
D
2007
David Perron
LW
2007
Brendan Smith
D
2008
Tyler Ennis
C
2008
John Carlson
D
2009
Kyle Palmieri
C
2009
Philippe Paradis
C
2010
Evgeni Kuznetsov
RW
2010
Mark Visentin (1)
G
2011
Phillip Danault
C
2011
Vladislav Namestnikov
C
2012
Brendan Gaunce (148)
C
2012
Henrik Samuelsson (3)
C
2013
Shea Theodore
D
2013
Marko Dano (141)
C
2014
Nikita Scherbak (37)
RW
2014
Nikolay Goldobin (125)
LW
2015
Noah Juulsen (56)
D
2015
Jacob Larsson (165)
D
2016
Tage Thompson
C
2016
Brett Howden
C
2017
*Jake Oettinger (79)
G
2017
*Morgan Frost (77)
C
2018
Jacob Bernard-Docker (13)
D
2018
Nicolas Beaudin (22)
D
2019
Jakob Pelletier
LW
2019
Nolan Foote (13)
D
The 26th pick has seven NHLers and Oettinger seems a lock to be the 8th. The 27th pick has four NHLers, but Frost, Beaudin and Foote could join them in a few years.
28th Pick
Player
POS
29th Pick
Player
POS
2006
Nick Foligno
LW
2006
Chris Summers (70)
D
2007
Nick Petricki (1)
D
2007
Jim O’Brien (77)
C
2008
Viktor Tikhonov (111)
LW
2008
Daultan Leveille
C
2009
Dylan Olsen (124)
D
2009
Carter Ashton (54)
LW
2010
Charlie Coyle
C
2010
Emerson Etem (173)
C
2011
Zack Phillips
C
2011
Nicklas Jensen (31)
LW
2012
Brady Skjei
D
2012
Stefan Matteau (92)
LW
2013
Morgan Klimchuk (1)
C
2013
Jason Dickinson
LW
2014
Josh Ho-Sang (53)
RW
2014
Adrian Kempe
C
2015
Anthony Beauvillier
LW
2015
Gabriel Carlsson (75)
D
2016
Lucas Johansen (1)
D
2016
Trent Frederic
C
2017
Shane Bowers
D
2017
Henri Jokiharju
D
2018
Nils Lundkvist
D
2018
*Rasmus Sandin (88)
D
2019
Ryan Suzuki
D
2019
Brayden Tracey (1)
LW
The 28th pick has produced four NHLers while pick 29 also has four and Sandin seems destined to make it. The 29th pick had six players between 1-100 GP. Players who had potential, but couldn’t become regulars.
30th Pick
Player
POS
31st Pick
Player
POS
2006
Matthew Corrente (34)
D
2006
Tomas Kana (6)
C
2007
Nick Ross
D
2007
TJ Brennan (53)
D
2008
Thomas McCollum (3)
G
2008
Jacob Markstrom
G
2009
Simon Despres*
D
2009
Mikko Koskinen
G
2010
Brock Nelson
C
2010
Tyler Pitlick
LW
2011
Rickard Rakell
RW
2011
David Musil (4)
D
2012
Tanner Pearson
LW
2012
Oscar Dansk (6)
G
2013
Ryan Hartman
RW
2013
Ian McCoshen (60)
D
2014
John Quenneville (42)
C
2014
Brendan Lemieux
LW
2015
Nick Merkley (41)
RW
2015
Jeremy Roy
D
2016
Sam Steel
C
2016
Yegor Korshkov (1)
RW
2017
Eeli Tolvanen
RW
2017
Klim Kostin  (41)
C
2018
*Joe Veleno (71)
D
2018
Alexander Alexeyev (1)
D
2019
John Beecher
C
2019
Ryan Johnson
D
Despres (in red) has an asterisk due to not playing 200 games, but his career ended due to injury. The 30th pick has seven NHLers and Veleno seems a lock to make it eight. The 31st pick had four and was the only pick to have two goalies dressed for 200+ games.
32nd Pick
Player
POS
2006
Carl Sneep (1)
D
2007
Brett MacLean (18)
LW
2008
Slava Voynov 
D
2009
Landon Ferraro (77)
C
2010
Jared Knight
C
2011
Ty Rattie (99)
RW
2012
Mitchell Moroz
LW
2013
Chris Bigras (46)
D
2014
Jayce Hawryluk (98)
RW
2015
Christian Fischer
RW
2016
Tyler Benson (36)
LW
2017
Connor Timmins (39)
D
2018
*Matthias Samuelsson (54)
D
2019
Shane Pinto (17)
C
Only two NHLers from pick 32, although Samuelsson projects to get there. Pinto probably as well, while Benson and Timmins might, but footspeed and health are questions for them respectively.
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WHAT DO THE NUMBERS SAY?

Here is what the numbers tell us among the 98 picks over 14 years. So far 32 (32.6% of the picks) have become NHLers. If we project optimistically there could be another 10 joining them which would make (43%) of the picks become regular NHLers.
Pick
NHLers
Proj. NHLers
100-200GP
1-100GP
26
7
1
1
4
27
4
1
3
3
28
4
1
2
4
29
4
1
1
6
30
7
1
0
4
31
4
0
0
6
32
2
1
0
8
I have cautiously projected six others to become NHLers, but there are many in the 2018 and 2019 class who could as well, but it is still too early to say how many games they will play.
Bernard-Docker, Beaudin, Veleno, Alexeyev, and Samuelsson from the 2018 class could all join Sandin as players who look like NHL regulars. And it is has been four years since they’ve been drafted, which illustrates my strong belief that you often need five years to determine what most draft picks will become. The top 20-25 pick you can tell earlier, but they are the exception.
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The realistic expectation for the Oilers’ 29th pick is they will need three of four more years of developing before we know if they can make the jump to the NHL. The key is to not rush them. A few more years of developing in junior, then one or two years in the AHL is the normal path for most junior picks. NCAA players often need three or four years of college before turning pro, and many start in the AHL. European players can come to the AHL earlier, but unless they are physically and emotionally ready for a different style of play and a different lifestyle, I’d opt to let them keep developing and maturing in Europe.
The Oilers haven’t had much success drafting in the early 30s recently. Between 2010-2016 they selected Tyler Pitlick and David Musil 31st, Mitch Moroz and Tyler Benson 32nd. Pitlick has battled injuries, but still managed to play 325 games for six different teams including 58 games for the Oilers. Musil and Moroz were selected earlier than they should have been and didn’t have much chance to live up to their draft ranking, while Benson is still grinding to find his way. He has the smarts and skill to play, but his footspeed is a concern.
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There are two obvious areas the Oilers need to improve in their organization — right shooting centre and right-shot defencemen. Centres, who might be available at #29, include Brad Lambert (although he might a winger in the NHL), Filip Mesar and Owen Beck. Right-shot D-men who could be available are Seamus Casey, Sam Rinzel, Ryan Chesley and Tristan Luneau.
Their rankings vary on most lists, but they are in the 25-35 range on the majority of projected lists.
Edmonton could opt to trade down to try and acquire another draft pick. Currently, they own the 29th pick, 158th, 190th and 222nd. They don’t have a 2nd, 3rd or 4th round selection. However, trading down in the late 20s doesn’t happen often.

DRAFT PICK TRADES...

Here are the recent trades that occurred at the draft and only involved draft picks similar to the Oilers #29.
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2021: Carolina trades the 27th pick to Nashville for picks 40 and 51. Nashville selected Zachary L’Heureux at 27, while Carolina picked Scott Morrow and Ville Koivunen. Too early to say if the trade benefitted either team.
2018: Toronto trades the 25th pick to St. Louis for picks 29 and 76. The Blues selected Dominik Bokk while Toronto took Rasmus Sandin and Semyon Der-Arguchintsev. Toronto traded down and still got the better player.
2017: Chicago trades the 26th pick to Dallas for picks 29 and 70. Dallas selected Jake Oettinger at 26 and Chicago chose Henri Jokiharju and Andre Altybarmakyan. Dallas moving up to take Oettinger was a great move.
We have seen three trades with a team trading back, but they were all picked before selection 29. This year’s draft might entice a few more trading of picks as the rankings of players 20-40 is very different. “There is a lot of uncertainty in this draft,” said Oilers director of Amateur Scouting and Player Development, Tyler Wright. “That doesn’t mean it is good or bad, just that this is where players are at in their development and many are lumped in together.”
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I spoke with Wright on my radio show on Monday and he agreed with the notion there isn’t as much separation between picks 20-40 as in other years. Maybe that uncertainty will allow the Oilers to trade down, if they wish, but recent history suggests trading down from 29 is rare.
Regardless of who the Oilers select at 29, or if they trade down, don’t expect this pick to make an impact in Edmonton for at least three years, possibly longer.

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