First off I want to thank all of those on Twitter who I’ve had some pretty heated debates for being cool and stating their opinions. It’s been fun. I’d also like to thank the Oilers for going 5/5 on the PK versus the Flames and also for being 4-1 in their last 5 games. I did wonder aloud what would happen of the Oilers won three and lost one repeatedly until the end of the year if that would be enough to at least challenge for a wild card spot? Would it be enough to save the jobs of Peter Chiarelli and Todd McLellan?
What a game eh? Crikey I thought it was over after the 1st period AGAIN! But man, from the 2nd period until the shootout, THAT was an entertaining game. Brandon Davidson, right? You totally forgot Adam Larsson was out, didn’t you? Connor shit-talking the refs was outstanding! Ryan Strome’s game was fantabulous! It’s the kind of game you want to see every night, right? Do you think that a game like that is enough to make up for the Buffalo game?
I want to get into this post now and I’ll disclose this right off of the bat, I got the idea from an article I read at the Athletic. I don’t think it’s plagiarism because I’m certainly not ripping off the post word-for-word, but I am using the same premise.
Oh, if you haven’t signed up for a subscription to The Athletic, you should.
It’s a wicked offer that includes a free 7-day trial so you can try The Athletic on for size free and see if the in-depth, ad-free coverage on the site is to your standards. If you’re not feeling it and its worth of $4.49/month, shut ‘er down anytime during the trial before getting charged.
Trust me, it’s a good deal and the content isn’t just nerdy stats stuff. There are lots of opinion pieces and interviews with players/coaches/GMs, rumor blogs from team insiders like Pierre LeBrun, prospect coverage from the draft guru himself Corey Pronman, DETAILED analysis and breakdowns of systems and plays from Tyler Dellow and Justin Bourne, and much more.
Sign up HERE with my link and I’ll get a little kickback from The Athletic too in the form of a shiny Amazon gift certificate 🙂
ON TO MY POST!
I have ten prospects from the upcoming draft that I’m going to be writing about and I get my rankings from MyNHLDraft.com. I love that site because it gives us a consolidated ranking from all the other rankings out there and it simply makes everything easier for a post like this.
Here are the candidates:
- Rasmus Dahlin – (LHD) 6’2″ 181lbs – Frolunda (SHL)
What’s his deal? THE best defensive prospect to come along in a VERY long time. Everything is off of the charts with this guy AND he’s still growing. Could you imagine a defenseman that skates like Erik Karlsson, hits like Victor Hedman, and has the demeanor/hockey IQ of Niklas Lidstrom? Personally, I think he’s the next coming of Borje Salming.
How would he help the Oilers? “Dahlin to McDavid to Draisaitl, SCORE! Another goal for the Oilers league-leading powerplay!”
That’s one way he’d help the Oilers.
The Oilers would finally have a threat from the blueline. They’ve spent countless seasons trying to draft/trade/sign for one without success on a Dahlin-like level. Even at 17, he’s cool as a cucumber out there and Edmonton could use that sort of calmness on the back-end. They would have to bear with the kid though because he gambles sometimes and it doesn’t pay off but if the Oilers fan base could hold back from getting all over one of their players for once, he’d become an all-time great for them.
- Andrei Svechnikov – (RW) 6’1″ 180lbs – Barrie (OHL)
What’s his deal? The younger Svechnikov (older brother is in the DET org.) is one of the best skaters in the draft. Pure skilled sniper and he’s not afraid to go to the blue paint to get his goals. Has been compared to Tarasenko and Hossa. He’s tearing apart the OHL at the moment with 19 goals in 24 games.
How would he help the Oilers? Those that are crying for the Oilers to add skill on the wing would love this guy. He oozes confidence on the ice and brings it every night. He’s got a frame on him that wouldn’t make it difficult for him to compete in the NHL as an 18 year old. He’d definitely be helpful on the PP but only if the coaching staff saw fit to allow him to contribute, right?
Now you have to ask yourself as an Oilers fan, do you want another baby on the wings? Do you think with the poor history of successful Russian hockey players in Edmonton, that he’d be the right pick?
- Brady Tkachuk – (LW) – 6’2″ 194lbs – Boston U (NCAA)
What’s his deal? Best power forward in the draft. He has soft silky mitts and a beauty shot to go with it. He’s very physical, more so than his brother, and he’s also much more irritating than his brother. Tkachuk stood out in a very good way at the World Juniors.
How would he help the Oilers? Ratings for all of the Battle of Alberta games would shoot up. That’s one. He’s basically the new Corey Perry but a better skater. He’d draw a ton of penalties because he’s an annoying prick on the ice and knows how to get under the opposition’s skin. He’ll actually hit and physically, he’s ready to play in the NHL.
- Adam Boqvist – (RHD) – 5’10” 168lbs – Almtuna (SWE)
What’s his deal? Erik Karlsson mini. Or maybe like Erik Brannstrom, who Vegas drafted last year. He can shimmy and shake and is the purest offensive dman in the draft I believe. Great shot, excellent passing and puck handling. He’s prone to getting caught out though because he takes a lot of risks. He’s not big but there’s a sort of revolution going on with small dmen coming into the league and Boqvist should benefit from it.
How would he help the Oilers? It would take a year or two before he could make a real impact with the roster but of course having the kind of offensive hammer from the blueline in the Oilers toolbox would pay outstanding dividends on the PP and the Oilers transition game needs a lot of help right now. This is an aspect of the game, once acclimatized to the NA ice/game, Boqvist would excel at.
- Filip Zadina – (RW) – 6’0″ 198lbs – Halifax (QMJHL)
What’s his deal? 27 goals in 38 games in Halifax is his deal and how about that World Juniors performance?! He shoots and he scores. It’s that simple. Give him the puck if you want a goal. Craig Button says he’s the best goal-scorer in this draft and we’ve actually been hearing about him since he was 14.
How would he help the Oilers? Zadina is probably a better goal scorer than Svechnikov but doesn’t bring as much on the other side of the puck that the Russian will eventually bring. So if you’re looking for a Claude Giroux type, I reckon Zadina is your man. Gets points wherever he goes too.
- Quinn Hughes – (LHD) – 5’9″ 168lbs – Michigan (NCAA)
What’s his deal? Red rover red rover we call Quinn Hughes over. Listen, this kid can flat out skate. One of the best end-to-end skaters I’ve ever seen probably. Very Coffey-like. It’s so good it masks how small he is but like I said above, there’s a size revolution going on in the NHL now. Smaller dmen are going to thrive in this no-hit NHL that’s being promoted. I think his on ice vision is quite high-end and his shot/pass are above average.
How would he help the Oilers? Transitioning the puck. Simple. When the opposition is tasked with finding a way to stop one of McDavid, Puljuarvi, Draisaitl, or Hughes coming at them, they’re going to trip all over themselves.
- Oliver Wahlstrom – (C) – 6’0″ 195lbs – USNDTP
What’s his deal? Shootah! Wahlstrom is a shoot-first ask questions later type of player. Might not be the best goal scorer but could be the best shooter. 27 goals in 35 games for the USNTDP U-18 squad is massive! He’s slated to attend Harvard next season.
How would he help the Oilers? Lots of ppl clamoring for the Oilers to pick up a Hoffman or a Pacioretty, right? Well Wahlstrom would be able to take that mantle. He’s the kind of player that would thrive on a line with a centre who could dictate the play/hog the puck a bit and allow him to get open for a shot. I’m sure McDavid and Draisaitl fall under that category, no?
- Evan Bouchard – (RHD) – 6’2″ 181lbs – London (OHL)
What’s his deal? Great poise. High hockey IQ. excellent passer. HUGE cannon. He’s also a right-shot which is very valuable these days. Look, the London knights basically traded away their best dmen this year (or lost them to the NHL) and asked Bouchard, a 17 year old, to take over. And that he has. He’s well over a point-per-game (58pts in 46gp) and he’s rising up the draft charts like a friggin’ rocket.
How would he help the Oilers? The big right-handed shot is one that the Oilers have been lacking for some time. I love the poise too. It’d probably take the same amount of time for Bouchard to develop as it did Nurse but if you were patient enough, the payoff could be ridiculous! I do wonder if we’re looking at a Jake Muzzin-type of dman in Evan Bouchard?
- Isac Lundestrom – (C) – 6’0″ 185lbs – Lulea (SWE)
What’s his deal? Lundestrom is fast, gritty, has very skilled stickhandling abilities. He has a good handle on when and when not to move the puck. I asked a scout based in Sweden about him and he said that Lundestrom might not be a star in the NHL but he’ll be a very good hockey player whose coach and fans will really love.
How would he help the Oilers? From what I can gather, if all things turn out, Lundestrom will be a very good 2-way centreman. Now with McDavid, Draisaitl, and RNH currently taking up the top three, I imagine that we’re looking at an Elias Lindholm kind of player or to a much lesser extent, Henrik Zetterberg. Tenacious but skilled. I think that kind of player would benefit the middle-6 quite a bit. I think that a player like Lundestrom could help on the PK eventually.
- Noah Dobson – (RHD) – 6’3″ 183lbs – Acadie-Bathurst (QMJHL)
What’s his deal? Here’s another dman who’s rocketing up the draft charts. Dobson is a BIG boy and still growing, right? I think he’s looking a bit like Colton Parayko right now. But boy oh boy can this kid shoot the puck. Not only that but he can skate with the puck very well. Sam Cosentino said that offensively, the sky is the limit for Dobson and for a right-handed dman, that’s great to hear.
How would he help the Oilers? Evan Bouchard is the better dman all round but I’d argue that perhaps Dobson’s shot is better and maybe he’ll have a bit more success on the PP than Bouchard. I mean the Oilers prospect depth on D is pretty rude as it is but as we’ve seen in Anaheim, you can never have enough dmen coming up through the pipelines.