The Edmonton Oilers spring Top 20 list sees some major changes from the fall list, mostly due to the graduation of players like Brandon Davidson, Leon Draisaitl and Iiro Pakarinen. Darnell Nurse sits on the cusp of prospect status with regards to number of games played, but is the second name on the list for the time being. Despite his collarbone injury in November, Connor McDavid hasn’t missed a beat in his return and is a prospect in name only. He displays on a consistent basis that he is not only the top prospect in the Oilers system, but on his way to becoming the best player in the NHL.
When a team consistently finishes in the bottom quarter of the NHL standings, it translates to a high number of elite quality draft selections in a short window of time. Those players tend to appear ready for NHL duty, even if the prudent course might be for them to play out their junior eligibility. Of course, in the case of a player like Connor McDavid, the decision to get him on the NHL roster is less controversial. Couple the pro-ready players with a number of trades that dealt away a good chunk of Edmonton’s draft selections in 2015 and the team is left with a mere three prospects currently playing at the junior level.
In this week’s Prospect Faceoff, the reigning Vaughn CHL Goaltender of the Week will try and slow down one of the QMJHL’s most proficient scorers. Two Toronto Maple Leafs prospects will go head-to-head in a Thanksgiving Day matinee, while two ‘A’ rated 2016 NHL Draft-eligible skaters clash in the WHL. In the USHL, a pair of Clark Cup champions go one-on-one, while two of the NCAA’s finest freshmen collide. Read more»
Two of the biggest names in the OHL collide this weekend, as Mitch Marner guides the London Knights into Mississauga, where he will go head-to-head against Sean Day. In the WHL, two top defensemen clash, while two high-end import selections face off in the QMJHL. The CHL Canada Russia Series comes to a conclusion, where one hulking forward hopes to help the CHL take a clean sweep, but a talented Russian playmaker is hoping to write a different story. Finally, two of college hockey’s finest teams go one-on-one as a first-round NHL talent will try to shut down one of the best freshmen in the NCAA. Read more»
After years of disappointing finishes for the Edmonton Oilers, fans can find solace in the fact that the team has amassed a solid pool of prospects throughout their rebuilding years, most specifically over the last season as Peter Chiarelli took the reins as President of Hockey Operations and General Manager. Notably, Edmonton’s depth lies on defense, with the likes of Griffin Reinhart and Darnell Nurse (recent prospect graduate Oscar Klefbom continues to find success at the NHL level as well). Read more»