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»
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.
As the Edmonton Oilers begin the club’s most highly-anticipated season in recent memory, Hockey’s Future has a few new names to introduce in this year’s preliminary Top 20. Without needing any preamble, the most notable is Connor McDavid, who has managed to drum up world-wide attention. His addition to the club helped sell out the annual preseason rookie tournament in Penticton, British Columbia featuring the Oilers, Vancouver Canucks, Winnipeg Jets and Calgary Flames. Read more»
The 2010 Edmonton Oilers draft class is somewhat of an enigma. Aside from Taylor Hall, who was and has been an obvious lock for NHL success, the rest who followed have remained question marks for the Oilers. Many of the picks experienced setbacks related to injury, inconsistent performance, or otherwise. Read more»
The Edmonton Oilers currently have an interesting mix of collegiate and European prospects in their development pipeline, ranging from college superstars like defenseman Joey LaLeggia to a pair of fringe players across the pond that appear to be one foot out of the door in Antti Tyrvainen and Daniil Zharkov. Other prospects of note include John McCarron, who is wrapping up his four years at Cornell University, as well as Tyler Vesel, who made a splash in his freshman season with University of Nebraska-Omaha.