Year after year for the past decade, the Edmonton Oilers have added top talents via the draft. Rather than building an enviable prospect pool, the team has only succeeded in constructing unbalanced rosters that finish near the bottom of the league standings. Still, the 2015 Draft gifted the Oilers one of the world’s best players, and several other young men who have learned the NHL game the hard way are coming into the primes of their careers. Will the supporting cast be enough to change the script in 2016-17? Only time will tell, but the Hockey’s Future prospect awards for 2015-16 serve to highlight some of the more encouraging signs from a mostly disappointing campaign.
It seems like just yesterday that we were talking about October/November, and the first On the Rush of the 2015-16 campaign was being put together. Alas, here we are in April with many teams and players done for the season. It has been another phenomenal year across the hockey world, and every year we are left with no shortage of players who surpass expectations and those that fall short. Read more»
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.
Year after year in the Kevin Lowe era, the Edmonton Oilers have relied upon rookies to play at the top level of hockey. Players like Sam Gagner, Andrew Cogliano, Ladislav Smid, Taylor Hall, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Nail Yakupov, and Justin Schultz have been asked to come in and play veteran roles in minutes they weren’t yet ready to handle. The results have been predictably poor for this once-proud franchise. Read more»
Unlike the previous article, which detailed the Edmonton Oilers’ mere three junior prospects, the NHL team has a staggering 22 names in its professional pipeline. A number of these pro players are on the verge of graduating as they continue to log NHL minutes, such as Iiro Pakarinen, Darnell Nurse and Brandon Davidson, and for the sake of keeping things concise, this month’s article will focus on those players who have spent the majority of the 2015-16 season at the AHL or ECHL level. Read more»