Part 3 of 3 – Scouting the QMJHL for future Edmonton Oilers – TheOilKnight.ca
 

Part 3 of 3 – Scouting the QMJHL for future Edmonton Oilers

| Posted in All Topics, Draft Talk

Spread the love

 

This is the final installment of a 3 part series where I break down all draft eligible prospects in the CHL and look for potential fits for the Edmonton Oilers. It is interesting to note, that in the last SEVEN years the Oilers have drafted a grand total of TWO prospects from the “Q” (Marco Roy 2nd rd in 2013, Keven Bouchard 7th rd in 2014) neither of which ever played an NHL game for Edmonton. In fact, the Oilers have not had a player drafted from the QMJHL to play a game for them since 2008 when Philippe Cornet played a whopping 2 whole games. You have to go back even further to find a Prospect from the Quebec League who actually scored a goal wearing an Oilers jersey and that was Marc-Antoine Pouliot & J.F. Jacques both who were drafted in 2003….that’s FIFTEEN YEARS AGO!!!

So needless to say, the QMJHL has never been a priority for the Oilers come draft time despite being only 1 of 3 Major Junior Leagues in Canada. Who knows if they even bother to scout that league much. The reality is though it is a league full of potential quality NHL talent headlined by a couple of potential stars in Filip ZadinaNoah Dobson and Joe Veleno.

With that in mind here is a list of the draft eligible centers. I have highlighted the ones I like in particular for the Oilers in RED:

Rank

Shoots

CENTER

Size

Weight

GP

G

A

P

FC 12 L

Joe Veleno

6’1 194 64 22 57 79
FC 22 L

Benoit-Olivier Groulx

6’1 190 68 27 28 55
FC 24 L

Alexander Khovanov

5’11 179 29 9 19 28
FC 40 L

Philipp Kurashev

6’0 192 59 19 41 60
FC 62 R

Dmitri Zavgorodny

5’9 161 62 26 21 47
NCS 147 L

Luke Henman

6’0 150 61 9 38 47
NCS 158 L

Samuel Houde

5’11 148 54 16 16 32
NR R

Mathias Laferriere

6’1 174 67 12 29 41
NR R

Derek Gentile

5’8 179 67 23 38 61
NR L

Shawn Element

6’0 183 62 9 10 19
NR L

Cedric Desruisseaux

5’8 152 64 24 22 46
NR L

Edouard St-Laurent

6’0 170 61 14 12 26
NR R

Andrew Coxhead

6’2 185 68 11 14 25

 

Who I wouldn’t draft for the Oilers:

Joe Veleno (Top 15 pick) – It’s not that I don’t like Veleno but I don’t really see the Center position a big need especially with a Top 10 pick and he being a lefty. Veleno appears to be a very solid, 2 way forward who’s skilled, smart and fast. The fact he is the only player in the history of the QMJHL to get exceptional player status as a 15 yr old tells you how talented he is. He doesn’t appear to be a high scoring threat rather more of a playmaker who sees the ice very well. He really is a complete player but I wonder about his offensive upside and if there really is much of a difference between him and Ty Dellandrea who is projected to go some 20 or so picks later. I would not draft him for Edmonton unless we moved down and he dropped considerably.

Benoit-Olivier Groulx (Late 1st rd) – Groulx is a player I got to watch a couple times and frankly I wasn’t overly impressed. You can tell he has skill but he isn’t the greatest skater out there and he tends to play on the perimeter a lot. He does have a big shot which I saw more on highlight reels but something about this guy turns me off. I like his hands and he appears to backcheck well I’m just not sure how bad he wants it. Based on where he is projected the only way the Oilers would have a chance to draft him is if he dropped to the 2nd round and even in that case I think I would pass. I could be wrong about this player and probably need to see more from him but at this point it’s unlikely he falls within our range so I’ll go with my gut.

Alexander Khovanov (2nd rd) – Khovanov has all the talent in the world. He is very quick, has great hands and is an excellent passer. What I don’t like about Khovanov is he takes shifts off, takes selfish penalties and only really tries on the Powerplay. Those are big red flags for me to the point where I wouldn’t draft him unless he dropped several rounds and even then I’d question it. Not a fan of players who have all the skill but no will. Yes he reminds me of Nail Yakupov.

 

Players I like for the Oilers:

Philipp Kurashev (Late 2nd/early 3rd) – Next to Zadina, Kurashev might be my favourite forward out of the Quebec League. I love how he thinks the game. He has tremendous vision, poise and has terrific hands. He is an explosive skater and capable of undressing you with a variety of moves. Such a slick hockey player who is so crafty on the ice. I think there is still considerable upside with him too as a lot of times he passes up a shot trying to make a cute pass instead. He has such a dangerous release once he gets a little more selfish his goal totals could sky rocket. Not the greatest faceoff guy but is very good defensively. Has played LW and may ultimately end up there in NHL. I’ll call him a C/LW with tremendous upside. Should be available right where Edmonton picks in the 2nd round. Big fan of this kid.

Zavgorodny is talented but tiny I would put him in the MAYBE category. I’m not sure at his size he can stick in the NHL but he has some nice skill and can skate. The rest of the group don’t do anything for me.

 

Next up. The LEFT WINGERS….

Rank Shoots

LEFT WING

Size Weight GP G A P
FC 4 L

Filip Zadina

6’1 192 57 44 38 82
FC 47 L

Anderson MacDonald

6’2 205 58 27 18 45
FC 66 L

Gabriel Fortier

5’10 190 66 26 33 59
NCS 187 L

Tomas Ethier

6’4 209 65 15 18 33
NR L

Joel Teasdale

6’0 201 65 32 33 65
NR L

Thomas Casey

5’8 176 60 8 4 12
NR L

Yaroslav Alexeyev

5’11 152 63 20 33 53

 

Players I like for the Oilers:

Filip Zadina (Top 5 pick) – Zadina should be a star in the NHL. I compare him to Tarasenko as he is relentless on the puck and is a pure sniper. Excels in all facets of the game really he can skate, shoot, is smart and plays a great 200 ft game. There really isn’t much of a difference between he and Svechnikov other than the Russian is a bit more physical but make no mistake Zadina is a wonderful talent who would look awesome playing on a line with McDavid. Elite talent.

Gabriel Fortier (3rd rd) – Fortier is intriguing as he might be the fastest player in the Q and one of the fastest prospects in all of Junior hockey. He needs to do a better job of changing speeds & slowing the game down at times but his elite speed gives him a chance at the next level. He definitely needs to get stronger as he can be pushed off the puck easily but he has some nice hands and creates a lot of chances with that speed. Right now, I think he compares to an Andreas Athanasiou – a guy who can fly, PK and play on your 3rd or 4th line. If he is available when the Oilers pick in the 3rd rd he could be a nice fit.

Joel Teasdale (Late Round) – Teasdale is a 19 yr old who had a good season last year with 18-29-47 in 60 GP. This year, he finished with 32 goals. He is probably an average skater at best but he a relentless, hard working player who scores a lot of garbage goals, wins a ton of puck battles and fights for every puck. Could do a lot worse for a 7th round pick.

 

Who I wouldn’t draft for the Oilers:

Anderson MacDonald (2nd-3rd rd) –  MacDonald is a big man with some nice skill however I don’t think he should be a guy the Oilers target. Similar to a Patrick Maroon he actually has a pretty good shot but is a little slow afoot. He dominates the QMJHL due to his size but I’m not sure that will translate well in today’s NHL. Definitely would not spend a 2nd-3rd rd pick on this player.

Ethier would be a Maybe for me haven’t seen enough of him and Alexeyev is an intriguing 19 yr old who is skinny as a rail but has some skill. Both could be potential late round sleepers.

 

On to the RIGHT WINGERS….

Rank Shoots RIGHT WING Size Weight GP G A P
FC 37 R Vladislav Kotkov 6’4 203 61 21 28 49
NCS 120 R Nicolas Guay 5’11 176 68 29 26 55
NCS 122 R Jeremy McKenna 5’9 172 68 36 41 77
NCS 135 R Shawn Boudrias 6’5 205 60 28 32 60
NCS 174 L Matthew Grouchy 6’1 190 63 17 17 34
NCS 182 R Jordan Martel 6’1 185 66 39 38 77
NCS 207 R Bobby Lynch 6’2 172 67 28 39 67
NR L Bastian Eckl 6’2 176 46 3 15 18

It’s possible only 1 or 2 RW’s from the QMJHL get drafted. Martel is 20 yrs old and Lynch will also be 20 at the draft. GuayMcKenna are 19 yr olds who were eligible last year. Boudrias was also born in 1999 but doesnt turn 19 till September so technically he’ll still be 18 come draft time. Same with GrouchyEckl will be 17 still and hasn’t shown enough yet I think to be drafted.

Vladislav Kotkov (2nd round) – Kotkov is a bit of a wildcard for me. I haven’t got a chance to watch him much but from what I’ve seen he’s a big guy with a big shot who’s a pretty good skater and a load in front. How much does he differ from a Serron Noel? I think he’s not as fast but might be more of a pure shooter. I’m not sure he’s the type of player the Oilers will be targeting but he could make a big impact in the NHL. Some team will likely fall in love with this guy based on his size/skill combination. Probably the best player I know the least about in the CHL. I’ll call him a boom or bust candidate at this point.

 

Here is a list of draft eligible DEFENCEMEN….

Rank Shoots  DEFENCEMEN Size Weight GP

 

G

 

A P
FC 9 R Noah Dobson 6’3 179 67 17 52 69
FC 13 L Jared McIsaac 6’1 194 65 9 38 47
FC 54 L Nicolas Beaudin 5’11 172 68 12 57 69
FC 60 L Xavier Bernard 6’2 176 66 11 24 35
FC 74 R Xavier Bouchard 6’3 190 65 3 18 21
NCS 90 L Michal Ivan 6’1 183 48 3 14 17
NCS 168 L Adam McCormick 5’11 181 67 7 30 37
NR L Radim Salda 6’1 176 62 10 31 41
NR L Antoine Crete-Belzile 6’0 187 51 3 7 10
NR L Tomas Dajcar 6’4 209 42 2 3 5
NR L Chris McQuaid 6’1 168 68 5 9 14
NR L Dominic Cormier 5’10 165 66 9 38 47
NR L Leon Denny 5’8 185 60 6 10 16
NR L Mathieu Charlebois 6’2 212 61 0 4 4

Players I like for the Oilers:

Noah Dobson (Top 15 Pick) – Dobson is a 6’3′ RHD that can skate. At the CHL prospects game they did their Skills Competition and Dobson was 1st of all skaters in the backwards skate, 1st in backwards skate with the puck and 3rd in the forward skate. That means he won’t have any issues in the NHL with speed which is half the battle. At 6’3 he is also a very physical defender who can punish players along the boards and is a tough one on one defender. Defensively, he makes great reads and is excellent at clearing his man out in front. He also is an excellent passer and very capable of carrying the puck out on zone exits. Offensively, he has a big shot and can effectively run a Powerplay. Really, he can do it all. He is big, strong, fast and smart plus he is right handed which makes for the perfect combination. If you compare him to Bouchard, Dobson is a bit faster, a bit better defensively and a bit more physical whereas Bouchard has a bit better offensive capability right now but I think Dobson still has room to grow. If the Oilers don’t pick in the Top 5, Dobson would be my #1 choice for them. Not Bouchard, not Ty Smith who I like a lot but Dobson. Complete defenceman who I think will be a #1 Dman in the NHL very similar in style to an Alex Pietrangelo. May not be ready right away but will be worth the wait.

Who I wouldn’t draft for the Oilers:

Jared McIsaac (Top 15 pick) – LD. McIsaac is a silky smooth skater who is tough and a defence first kind of player. Those are nice traits to have but not really what the Oilers are looking for and certainly not someone they should take with their Top 10 pick. He does have a big shot but doesn’t use it nearly enough as he should. Will be a nice safe pick for someone but not Edmonton.

 

The rest…

Nicolas Beaudin looks to be the best of the rest. He is a bit undersized who isn’t very physical and is not overly flashy but seems to be a smart heady defenceman that could turn out to be ok at the next level. The rest on that list aren’t overly impressive.

 

FINAL WORD…

The QMJHL this year is a little top heavy with ZadinaDobsonVeleno and McIsaac all legit 1st rd prospects and a bunch others capable of going before the end of the 2nd round. After that, in terms of value I’m not seeing anyone with real sleeper potential. As far as a potential fit for Edmonton I really only like 2 players from this league in particular (unless Edmonton gets a Top 3 pick) in Dobson and Kurashev both whom I REALLY like. Fortier and Zavgorodny are other mid round possibilities:

8th Overall Oilers Mock Draft (WHL only)

1st Round – RD Noah Dobson

2nd Round – LW/C Phillip Kurashev

3rd Round – C Gabriel Fortier 

4th Round – C Dmitri Zavgorodny

5th Round – None

6th Round – None

7th Round – D Joel Teasdale

 

To comment please do so via Twitter @TheOilKnight


About The Oil Knight

Born and raised in London, Ontario area. Been an Oilers fan & London Knights fan for almost 30 years.