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Oilers' diminished feeder system is brief on "can't miss" polish, lengthy on diamonds within the tough

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2023 Edmonton Oilers prospects
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The overriding theme of this summer season’s Edmonton Oilers’ prospect rankings right here on the Cult of Hockey was important sufficient that we lined it in some element within the introductory put up a month in the past. That being the vanity of the pool in each uncooked numbers of prospects and in high-end hopefuls. Our personal definition of “prospect” is any participant within the system who would at present qualify as an NHL rookie, be they signed to an NHL-class contract or on the reserve checklist of unsigned draft choose.

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That quantity has dropped sharply two years in a row.

Number of prospects by year

First the dangerous information…

One direct-line connection to these declining numbers might be discovered within the final two NHL Drafts, by which Edmonton had simply 4, then three alternatives among the many seven rounds. The opposite seven picks had all been traded within the pursuit of short-term assist in the type of deadline leases or numerous iterations of cap reduction, with the hulking, bearded exception of Mattias Ekholm who has the look of a person who’ll be round city for awhile.

Not solely did they commerce half of their 14 picks the final two years, that was preferentially the prime half. The membership retained each of its sixth and seventh spherical picks whereas letting go a primary, a second, two thirds, two fourths, and a fifth. The membership had only one choose within the prime 150 of both draft … that being the lone first-rounder, Reid Schaefer, later included within the Ekholm swap.

By the numbers, that’s each low amount (simply 7 picks) and low high quality (common choose #151 in a 224-player draft), each of that are mirrored in our personal overview of the prospect system as an entire. There aren’t sufficient proficient younger hopefuls to fill the spots vacated by those that have moved on.

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That’s hardly simply our statement, as many summer season rankings persistently positioned Edmonton’s group within the backside quartile of the NHL, some as little as twenty eighth and even thirty first.

…and now the great

A number of of the latter have moved on in precisely the fitting path: upwards, to the Edmonton Oilers.

In 2021-22, the highest two picks from Peter Chiarelli’s final draft each made the transfer, specifically Evan Bouchard and Ryan McLeod. Already, each are Core 12 gamers.

2022-23 was a banner 12 months that noticed 5 males play sufficiently as NHL rookies to shed that standing, led by Stu Skinner who seized the #1 function between the pipes and netminded his solution to the All-Rookie Staff, to not point out a good-looking three-year extension. The opposite graduates — Philip Broberg, Dylan Holloway, Vincent Desharnais and Markus Niemelainen — all noticed time in each NHL and AHL with extra combined outcomes, although clearly all 4 made progress within the 12 months simply previous. They’ve nonetheless received loads of proving to do however at an inexpensive cap hit in; certainly, there may be appreciable potential for worth contracts on this quartet within the upcoming season, after which all 4 shall be up for renewal.

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Two first-rounders promoted. One traded. None drafted. Identical to that, the 4 first-round picks that populated final 12 months’s checklist have been lowered to only one. So guess what, that man now stands atop the Oilers’ prospect rankings.

Rankings particulars

Prospects rankings detail

Detailed rankings of our panel of voters, which included the Cult of Hockey‘s writing trio of David Staples, Bruce McCurdy and Kurt Leavins together with our Edmonton Journal colleague and long-time Oilers’ scribe Jim Matheson. This 12 months buddy of the weblog Ira “Authentic Pouzar” Cooper was invited to take part in each the voting and the writing course of. We thank Ira for his contributions of scouting experiences on a number of AHLers together with the complete write-up on Tyler Tullio.

Collectively all of us agreed on which gamers comprise the highest 4, although by no means in the identical order. Three completely different gamers acquired first-place votes, with Xavier Bourgault getting three of the 5 to hold the day.

Prospect depth chart

Prospects depth chart

Bourgault has loads of firm as a right-shot winger, which describes 4 of the highest 5 hopefuls. The excellent news right here is that two of them are established as right-shot left wingers which can go a good distance in direction of correcting the obvious imbalance above.

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Reality stays they’re wingers, leaving no centres, no goalies, and only one d-man within the prime 5. Not a great combine. Specifically the pivot place is mild, although the spring addition of Jayden Grubbe in a trade-and-sign deal helps.

Movers and shakers

Prospects movers and shakers

With six of the highest seven having graduated from final 12 months’s checklist and no newcomers on this 12 months’s prime seven, it follows {that a} bunch of longer-term prospects took a serious leap ahead, at the very least when it comes to our rankings.

  • Raphael Lavoie had a powerful AHL season within the closing 12 months of his ELC, led Bakersfield in objectives with 25, and surged from #11 to #2.
  • Matvei Petrov took a second straight mighty leap, from #22 in his draft 12 months to #9 a 12 months in the past and now #3.
  • Max Wanner‘s closing main junior season was promising sufficient to vault him from #21 to #4.
  • Ty Tullio made a profitable transition to the professional ranks and rose from #15 to #5.
  • Olivier Rodrigue decisively received the battle for Bako backup and delivered by far one of the best of his three professional seasons, surging from #22 to #6.
  • Yikita Yevseyev raised his inventory with a strong season as an 18-year-old within the KHL that lifted him from #26 to #10.

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The lone newcomers to crack the highest 10 are Jayden Grubbe who slides in at #8, together with #9 hopeful Beau Akey, by far Edmonton’s highest number of this 12 months’s draft class at #56 total.

Departures from final 12 months’s High 25

  • #1 Philip Broberg — graduated to NHL
  • #2 Dylan Holloway — graduated to NHL
  • #3 Stu Skinner — graduated to NHL
  • #5 Reid Schaefer — traded
  • #6 Markus Niemelainen — graduated to NHL
  • #7 Dmitri Samorukov — traded
  • #10 Vincent Desharnais — graduated to NHL
  • #13 Michael Kesselring — traded
  • #16 Noah Philp — retired
  • #23 Filip Engaras — traded
  • #25 Skyler Brind’Amour — unsigned

Historic High 5

Prospects historical top 5

That is our thirteenth 12 months of rating prospects on the Cult of Hockey, and for the thirteenth time the #1 spot is occupied by a first-round draft alternative (daring blue font). At #22 total Bourgault is tied with the recently-departed Kailer Yamamoto because the lowest-pedigreed prime prospect over these years. As was the case in 2017, he’s adopted by a single second-round choice and three guys taken exterior of the highest 100.

In 2017 that lack of draft pedigree within the system was borne out, and all gamers listed in that 12 months’s prime 5 have since moved on from the org. Even so, three of them have been full-time NHLers in 2022-23, 5 years after that “weak” class.

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The orange backgrounds characterize gamers that have been drafted in the course of the Ken Holland period, which for the primary time contains everybody within the prime 5; certainly, 25 of the 27 on the present checklist have been acquired for the reason that Dutchman’s arrival in 2019. Solely Philip Kemp and Olivier Rodrigue stay as growing gamers added by the prior regime.

Hyperlinks to prospect profiles

Associated on the Cult of Hockey

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