Tue. Oct 27th, 2020

By the OilKnight 10/07/20

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I’m not gonna lie. Missing out on Seth Jarvis REALLY hurt. I had an article ready to go titled – “The Oilers finally got their Matthew Barzal” if Jarvis dropped to us. But, that didn’t happen and it certainly isn’t Holland’s fault. I’m sure he and his crew were crossing their fingers too hoping Jarvis fell into their laps. But that’s just the way the draft goes sometimes. The Oilers still got a very good player at #14 and had a solid draft overall so no point on dwelling on “what if’s”.

Here’s a look at who the Oilers actually drafted. I also play the hindsight game and let you know who I WOULD HAVE drafted instead based on who was still on the board at the time. Sometimes it’s the same player, most times it isn’t. This is mainly for my own personal amusement. I pour a ton of time and energy into scouting these kids all year, so naturally there are going to be guys I really lean towards when the Oilers pick. And I’d like to think I’m pretty good at doing what I do but no one’s perfect. I’ve done post draft recaps for the last few years so if you’re interested, you can find them here: 2019 Recap , 2018 Recap & 2017 Recap.

Considering Edmonton didn’t have a 2nd or 4th round pick, they did pretty well addressing the lack of depth at forward. Overall, I’ll give it a B+. If Holloway exceeds most people’s expectations (including mine), it could easily be an A.

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1st round

Edmonton Selects: F Dylan Holloway

OilKnight selects: F Rodion Amirov

To be clear, I like Holloway as a prospect. I had him ranked 16th overall in my Top 31 AHEAD of Cole Perfetti in terms of overall NHL future impact. Holloway possesses two of my favourite traits – speed & work ethic (which Perfetti does not IMO). I love the active yet responsible game he plays. He’s real aggressive on the forecheck but usually hustles back on the defensive side. That matters to me (Perfetti also does neither – just saying).

Holloway also plays a real physical style of hockey which I enjoy. He’s your prototypical power forward who can more than keep up in today’s NHL. He can dominate puck possession and is tough to play against. He’s got a big shot and release and nifty hands in tight. At times, I saw flashes of a young Evander Kane.

However, in several of my assessments I came away perplexed at whether or not Holloway was going to be a Top 6 or bottom 6 player in the NHL. I’m not convinced he has elite skill and his decision making looked questionable at times. He did light up the AJHL as a 17 yr old winning league MVP. He was also one of the youngest players in Wisconsin this year. But he’s also one of the oldest prospects in this draft. So I’m pretty confident he’s going to be a impact NHL’er, I’m just not sure how high his ceiling is.

Now I have to say, he’s probably the guy I had the worst read on out of the Top 15 so admittedly, I’m still a bit torn. I would have taken Rodion Amirov ahead of him but I’m certainly not upset about the pick and I understand it. Regardless, he’s an Oiler now so I will naturally be rooting for him hard.

*** No 2nd Round Pick ***

*** No 3rd Round Pick ***

If you follow me on social media, you’ll know I was pretty upset when Edmonton traded away this pick. Why? For one, as I mentioned I don’t do this casually – I invest heavily in scouting these prospects both mentally and monetarily all year. I follow the CHL religiously. I have countless parents, billets, coaches, and in some case players following me on Twitter, so I have a rooting interest in many of these kids.

Secondly, I REALLY wanted the Oilers to draft Ty Tullio in the 3rd round. I considered him a 2nd round talent and thought if we didn’t take him in the 3rd he’d be gone. Thankfully, I was wrong. But, I still would have taken him here for the record.

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4th Round (#100)

Edmonton Selects: F Carter Savoie

OilKnight selects: F Ty Tullio

Since the Oilers traded down to gain 4th & 5th rd picks, Tullio would absolutely been the pick here for me. Edmonton passed again and my blood pressure went up.

The Oilers selected Sherwood Park’s Carter Savoie instead. In terms of value, it’s a good pick and again I understand it. The kid has destroyed the AJHL (I’m sensing a theme here) this past season scoring a whopping 53 goals in 54 games. In many ways, I see Carter Savoie as a poor man’s version of Cole Perfetti – very similar stylistically at least.

In terms of NHL translatable skills, Savoie has great offensive instincts, creativity and puck skills. He also has big shot and release. That’s what makes him an attractive pick on top of his production.

However, the red flags are really the main reason why I wasn’t a big fan of the pick. I really question his work ethic, his skating and 200 foot game. Did he just get lazy because he was too good for his league? Perhaps. But bad habits are typically hard to shake so I worry a bit his game translating from AJHL to NHL. But there’s no doubt about his offensive talent.

Bottom line, anytime you can get a kid who scored 53 goals in any league in his draft year in the 4th round – you take it. So I don’t criticize the pick just would have went a different route.

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5th Round (#136)

Edmonton Selects: F Ty Tullio

OilKnight selects: F Martin Chromiak

I can’t believe Tullio dropped to the 5th round – but I’m elated he did! Assuming I took him in the 4th, Martin Chromiak would have been my pick here in the 5th. He came over from Slovakia halfway thru the OHL and was terrific playing with Shane Wright. Chromiak has tons of skill, is a bit raw and one of the youngest in this draft. He would have been tremendous value.

One of my favourites in the draft, Tullio is a workhorse who gets by on sheer determination & work ethic. He’s undersized but plays bigger than he is. He possesses a big one-time shot that is NHL caliber. Good hands in tight. Very similar to Brendan Gallagher in that he wears you down with grinding style and is a pain in the ass to play against. Plus, he’s right handed too which Edmonton lacks.

His skating isn’t amazing, but he’s quick, shifty & works hard so I have no doubts it will improve over the next couple years. Top speed could use another gear.

Bottom line, you needs guys like Tullio in the playoffs. He’s skilled, determined, fearless and relentless. I’m ecstatic he’s now an Oiler prospect. Absolute steal here. On a cool side note, he trains in offseason with Zack Kassian.

courtesy of Prospect Film Room on Youtube

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5th Round (#138)

Edmonton Selects: F Maxim Berezkin

OilKnight selects: F Veeti Miettinen

I’m not going to pretend I knew a lot about Maxim Berezkin beforehand – because I didn’t. I scout the CHL like crazy but European prospects are hit and miss for me. He’s a big kid with a big shot apparently, but his work ethic is spotty from what I hear which isn’t a good sign. He plays with another Oilers prospect Maxim Denezhkin in the KHL so I should be able to get some good tape on him soon.

Veeti Miettinen is undersized (5’9″, 159 lbs), but he can fly and he can rip the puck. Real gamebreaker with a high motor. Gritty too for his size. Was planning on playing in the NCAA this season but that now looks unlikely. He would have been tremendous value here. Slid to 5th round likely due to lack of ideal size and strength.

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6th Round (#169)

Edmonton Selects: F Filip Engaras

OilKnight selects: F James Hardie

Veeti Miettinen went the pick before this, I wonder if Edmonton would have taken him if he was there? Regardless, the pick was Filip Engaras who I know nothing about. More to follow later once I find some good tape on him.

James Hardie scored 34 goals for Mississauga. He’s a volume shooter who almost shoots TOO MUCH. Hardie isn’t an overly sexy player – all he does is score goals. He’s got the quick release and accurate shot. Real good hands around the net. Has some work to do in other areas but at this point in the draft he’d be too good to pass up for me. Looks like he got the Pavel Gogolev treatment from NHL scouts and GM’s.

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7th Round (#200)

Edmonton Selects: F Jeremias Lindewall

OilKnight selects: F Reid Valade

Again, I don’t scout every single European and certainly don’t scout any from Swedish Junior leagues so I will defer judgement on this one. I would have taken Reid Valade who shockingly (to me at least) didn’t get drafted. He was hurt for a bit this year in the OHL which might have hurt his stock but he brings so many things to the table I really think teams missed the boat here.

For one, he’s a terrific skater & has a non-stop motor. He loves to get in on the forecheck and is a very reliable 200 foot player. He was banged up a bit this past season but plays bigger than his size. He’s got sneaky good offensive potential too. Flashes some high end skill. He’s not elite in any offensive category but is real good in most. He’s reliable, versatile and plays a determined game. Valade looks like an NHL’er to me.

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RECAP

So as mentioned, I think the Oilers did pretty well in terms of value all else considered. Holloway and Savoie made a ton of sense and Tullio was a home run. The book is out on the other three but as long as Holloway hits this should be considered a good draft.

FYI, don’t get too caught up in “who I would have took” and see it as a negative. I’m a draft analyst so I just stick to my board bias aside just for future reference. Some people on twitter take it personal if I’m a bit critical of certain prospects. Just remember it’s as an analyst not a negative fan. I just try to keep it real 😉

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OilKnight’s picks:

  1. F Rodion Amirov
  2. (none)
  3. (none)
  4. F Ty Tullio
  5. F Martin Chromiak & F Veeti Miettinen
  6. F James Hardie
  7. F Reid Valade

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To comment please do so via Twitter @TheOilKnight