Photo: Traktor Chelyabinsk forward and Washington Capitals prospect Yevgeni Kuznetsov will be celebrating goals in Russia for one more season before likely moving over to the NHL (courtesy of Martin Rose/Bongarts/Getty Images)
The sixth KHL season is underway and, as usual, the past summer was very busy on all fronts. There were quite a few bold moves, with of course the biggest of them all being the sensational return to Russia of Ilya Kovalchuk, who signed a 4-year deal with SKA St. Petersburg.
Photo: Offensive-minded defenseman Justin Schultz leads a deep and talented defensive pipeline for the Edmonton Oilers (courtesy of Perry Nelson/Getty Images)
The Edmonton Oilers organization underwent some changes during the off-season with new general manager Craig MacTavish making some big moves at the 2013 NHL Draft as well as during the free agent frenzy. Many of the signings were already at the NHL level hence why there was not a great influx of new prospects here, but you can be sure that things will continue to be shaken up as we head into the 2013-14 season.
Photo: Taylor Hall was the first of three consecutive first overall picks made by the Edmonton Oilers from 2010 to 2012 (courtesy of Vincent Muzik/Icon SMI)
For the first time in four years, the Edmonton Oilers will not be taking the first overall pick in the NHL Draft. Although they failed to make the playoffs for the seventh straight year, the Oilers managed to climb a bit farther up the ladder and landed at 24th in the league after the regular season. Soon after came the dismissal of General Manager Steve Tambellini, only to be replaced by former head coach Craig MacTavish, who is anticipated to make some big changes for the club.
Photo: Nail Yakupov, shown here celebrating a late game-tying goal against Los Angeles in January, takes over the top spot in the Oilers mid-season Top 20 ranking (courtesy of Chris Austin/Icon SMI)
The Edmonton Oilers Spring Top 20 saw very little movement in the top 10 ranks while the bottom 10 prospects were shuffled more drastically. The top 10 features a number of highly skilled prospects who are either currently filling regular spots on the Oilers' roster such as Nail Yakupov and Justin Schultz or are looking slated to do so in the future.
Photo: Belleville’s Daniil Zharkov, a third-round selection by Edmonton in 2012, is tied for second on the Bulls with 14 goals this season. (courtesy of Aaron Bell/OHL Images)
The Edmonton Oilers boast a number of highly skilled forwards on their front end that are generally touted as pure goal-scorers, and their young roster makes for a team with a high level of energy and emotion. However, they tend to lack depth at their center position and do not always have the size and strength that is needed when they come up against big physical teams. The Oilers scouting team has worked tirelessly to build up a strong group of character prospects to fill some of the gaps on the roster, many of whom are playing for junior clubs across Canada.