The Edmonton Oilers’ NCAA and European prospect pool is not a large one, made even smaller by Finnish goaltender Eetu Laurikainen joining the Bakersfield Condors in 2015-16 and Bogdan Yakimov making his return to North American hockey after a brief hiatus in Europe. The team also added former Minnesota Wild prospect Jere Sallinen out of the Finnish Liiga to its pro ranks. The remaining crop of players consists of mid- to late-round picks, many of whom are longshots for NHL success. Nevertheless, there are some intriguing standouts, such as in the case of Russian defender Ziyat Paygin who has pleasantly surprised many with his 2015-16 season numbers. Tyler Vesel continues to lead the way as the de facto leader of the NCAA prospect group. See the full breakdown below.
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.
The West Division in the OHL is up for grabs, and two teams in the race are looking towards their top scorers to help secure a division title. In the WHL, Jayce Hawryluk just earned his first professional contract following an unbelievable month, and in the QMJHL, Cody Donaghey is settling into a new home after being traded in two different leagues this season. Also included this week, Hockey East serves up a high-quality matchup, and one rising Finnish superstar rounds out a stellar edition of Prospect Faceoff. Read more»
This week’s Prospect Faceoff is loaded with powerhouse matchups from around North America. The Ottawa Senators will be interested in the result from a game in Shawinigan this weekend, and scouts from the NHL will be on hand in Fargo as the Lincoln Stars pay them the Fargo Force visit. We’ll check-in with the most recent members of the 100-point club from the OHL and WHL, and an often discussed Calgary Flames prospect is in action as his NCAA career winds down. Read more»
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»