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Why the optimism round Edmonton Oilers draft decide with 1-in-17 probability of turning into a stable NHLer?

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2023 Edmonton Oilers prospects
#4 Maximus Wanner

Rating final yr, #21

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This century in NHL entry drafts between 2000 and 2021, groups have taken 195 defencemen 2 hundredth general or decrease.

These are backside basement picks. All of them wee wolfed up lengthy after much more achieved and promising gamers have been chosen.

However of these 195 d-men chosen out of the underside of the barrel, 11 of them grew to become stable NHLers, with another on his manner. These 11 gamers all performed 300-plus NHL video games, with Anton Stralman main the way in which, 938 common video games performed, then Dustin Byfuglien, 869, Johnny Oduya, 850 and Justin Braun, 842.

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D-men drafted lately haven’t but had that probability to hit the 300 mark however I believe Jacob Middleton, who had now performed 159 video games within the NHL, has a very good shot.

There could also be a couple of greater than Middleton who will shoot up.

And certainly one of then could possibly be Edmonton Oilers prospect Maximus Wanner, taken 212th general within the 2021 draft.

300 games

It’s a protracted shot for any d-man taken at this a part of the draft. On common, about six per cent of all of the d-men drafted 200-plus hit that 300 recreation mark, giving every certainly one of them, on common, a few one in 17 shot at making it within the NHL.

Why then the optimism round Most Wanner? He has, in spite of everything, simply now been ranked as the best d-man prospect within the Edmonton group. The Oilers have additionally handed him an Entry Stage Contract and he’s anticipated to make the Bakersfield Condors subsequent season.


When he was taken within the draft in 2021, the opinions have been lower than glowing.

Justin Frose of Future Issues was not bullish in regards to the participant: “I heard some rumblings on Wanner however he actually didn’t do a lot for me after I watched him. I didn’t rank him as a part of my record.”

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Scott Wheeler of the Athletic mentioned: “I’d be shocked if Shane Lachance or Max Wanner ever get entry-level offers.”

And the Athletic’s Corey Pronman: “Lacks dimensions in his skating and ability that may permit him to move and transfer pucks at larger ranges.”

But when Wanner was a 1-in-17 probability to play 300 NHL video games on the day he was drafted, I’ll counsel these odds at the moment are extra like 1-in-4.

Wanne performed little in his draft yr, simply 17 WHL video games, so scouts didn’t have a lot to go on, however they do now. He cranked it as much as 23 factors in 55 video games in his Draft+1 season, then 30 factors in 44 video games this season, his Draft+2, and closing yr of main junior.

He was additionally +23 for targets plus-minus. In fact, this isn’t the most effective stat on which to charge a person participant, because it’s earned by a big group of gamers over time, not a singe participant. However his Moose Jaw squad was nonetheless +23 for targets when Wanner was on the ice at even energy this yr, and that was the most effective mark on his squad by a protracted shot.

The opposite facet of Wanner that has people bullish on him are his measurement, 6-foot, 3-inches, 190-pounds, and his aggressive play.

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There’s been some stable studies on Wanner from scouts, together with one who talked not too long ago to Allan “Lowetide” Mitchell of The Athletic and mentioned Wanner was trending up: “He’s lengthy and rangy and performs with a depressing chunk.”

Wanner has additionally regarded sharp briefly showings on the Oilers improvement camp and in rookie video games, equivalent to a contest in opposition to the Winnipeg Jets rookies final September, after I famous that the 19-year-old made a helluva good first impression, that he was massive however skated properly, and was easy and assured skating with and defending the puck. In that recreation, Wanner made a number of certain performs to evade Winnipeg forecheckers.

Wanner additionally regarded good in a rookie recreation in opposition to Calgary, with my sharp-eyed Cult colleague Bruce McCurdy writing, “The strapping proper shot defender dealt with himself properly for essentially the most half taking part in first-pairing minutes with Broberg.”

Lastly, Wanner shoots proper and simply now the Oilers are brief once more on proper shot d-man prospects.

In fact, it could possibly be that Wanner’s excessive rating amongst Oilers prospects this yr merely displays how weak Edmonton’s prospect pool is simply now. It’s persistently ranked close to the underside of NHL prospect teams.

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And it’s additionally the case that there’s been loads of d-men ranked in our Prime 5 for Oilers prospects earlier than who’ve did not pan out.

This consists of Taylor Chorney, 4th general in 2007, Theo Peckham, as excessive as third in 2008, Alex Plante, fifth in 2008, Martin Marincin, as excessive as third in 2013, Griffin Reinhart, third in 2015, Ziyat Paigin, third in 2016, and Dmitri Samorukov, 4th in 2020.

A number of advantageous younger prospects fail to make it massive within the NHL.

However a handful of them accomplish that.

And that’s what retains us watching and hoping.

Good luck to Maximus Wanner.

He’s already taken a giant step signing an Entry Stage Contract. Now comes the AHL.

Expectations for 2023-34: Taking an everyday shift in Bakersfield on the suitable facet and an everyday activate the PK there. Getting a handful of factors and holding his personal in workforce plus-minus. Stepping us because the season goes alongside, beginning to dominant on defence along with his bodily edge and perhaps busting into the Prime 4 by the final stretch of the yr.


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On the Cult of Hockey prospect collection rankings

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