Photo: Edmonton Oilers prospect Anton Slepyshev was a surprising inclusion on the NHL squad for 11 games last season, but his upside remains an intriguing asset (courtesy of Glenn James/NHLI via Getty Images)
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.
Photo: Edmonton Oilers rookie forward Connor McDavid is competing for Team Canada at his first IIHF World Championship after winning gold with Canada at the U20 World Junior Championship in 2015 (courtesy of Pavel Bednyakov/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
The 2016 IIHF World Championship started with the most anticipated match-up, according to North American fans. Not only was it Canada against the USA, but the game featured the senior men’s national team debuts of Connor McDavid and Auston Matthews – the No. 1 overall draft pick last season and the presumptive No. 1 pick this year. Read more»
Photo: Edmonton Oilers rookie forward Connor McDavid will compete for Team Canada at the 2016 IIHF World Championship that begins next week in Moscow and St. Petersburg (courtesy of Bob Frid/Icon Sportswire)
The race for the 2016 Calder Trophy as the league’s top rookie was certainly interesting. But, if the staff at Hockey’s Future is right, the winner of this year’s award will be the person many expected to win it when the season started, that individual being the Edmonton Oilers‘ Connor McDavid. Read more»
Photo: Philadelphia Flyers defenseman Shayne Gostisbehere had a strong NHL rookie campaign, scoring 17 goals and 46 points in 64 games in 2015-16 (courtesy of Gavin Baker/Icon Sportswire)
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»
Photo: Edmonton Oilers prospect William Lagesson is a Frölunda product and UMass freshman who has shown intriguing amounts of offense in his young career (courtesy of Matthew J. Lee/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)
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.