Over the past two drafts the Edmonton Oilers have done a good job of replenishing their prospect pool and drafting players who have higher ceilings. Outside of all those #1 picks they have drafted solid defensive players like: Oscar Klefbom (1st 2011) and William Lagesson (4th 2014). Most noticeably the defenseman who have been drafted with the new scouting staff and management: Caleb Jones (4th 2015), Ethan Bear (5th 2015), Ziyat Paigin (7th 2015), and Markus Niemelainen (3rd 2016). On the offensive side of the puck they have done a great job in creating depth with drafted players Tyler Benson, Aapeli Rasanen, Kyle Platzer, and Greg Chase. As well as signing College FA players like Drake Cagguila and Patrick Russell. All of these players have the opportunity to join the future Edmonton Oilers. Unfortunately, there are a couple of players in Bogdan Yakimov and Anton Slepyshev who have/could return to the KHL if the NHL opportunity isn’t given to them sooner rather than later. Non the less I have been extremely impressed by the Oilers work on replenishing and creating depth in their prospect pool.
Here’s a look at what the Oilers current prospect depth chart looks like:
While I still feel that they are weaker on the right side of their defense and are not so deep on the wings outside of Puljujarvi and Cagguila. I like the depth that they have going on the left side of their D and their centers. I could see the Oilers potential trading depth NHL players for picks this upcoming year and continue to improve their prospect pool.
Here’s a few players who fans should be excited about, and player’s fans should be worried about going into the 2016/2017 season:
Ethan Bear – After coming off a career year in Seattle this year, Ethan is put into a great situation where he given 25-27 minutes a night and will be put into a key leadership role on a top WHL team. Bear is also on the bubble for the Canadian world junior team.
Kyle Platzer – A player who a lot of fans weren’t very high on after being drafted is coming into his second pro season with Bakersfield. A key part of last year’s team all you heard on the prospect was good things. I expect his two-way game to develop plenty this year and may be a given an opportunity in the NHL in case of injury.
Ziyat Paigin – The Oilers 7th round pick in 2015 is coming off of a great season in the KHL. At 6’6 you wouldn’t expect this 20-year-old to be a top scoring defenseman like he was last year. I expect a lot out of Paigin this year as his contract expires in the KHL after this season.
Bogdan Yakimov – After splitting time between Bakersfield and the KHL last season, Yakimov has chosen to go back to the KHL and spend some time developing over there. A player who I thought had a chance to maybe get an NHL opportunity this year, who knows when we see him next.
Zach Nagelvoort – Going into his 3rd season with Michigan of the NCAA, Nagelvoort may once again be used in a backup role. A goalie who was highly touted in the Oilers organization when drafted may have to move over with Nick Ellis signing.
Mitch Moroz – When drafted in the 2nd round in 2011, Moroz was expected to develop into a Lucic type player. Well the Oilers stopped waiting this last off season and decided to just go out and sign the real thing. I’m sceptic of what Moroz’s future with the Oilers might be.
Updated Top 10 Prospects:
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