Like clockwork, the annual Top 25 under 25 is set to begin in just a few days here at the old Copper and Blue. Voted on by C&B staff, it’s a labour of love (and a lot of fun) to rank prospects who we believe will have an impact at the NHL level in a year, or two, or three. Many of these prospects are already showing significant impact at the NHL level.
Like the past couple of years, you’ve probably got a pretty good guess as to who number one will be. You’ll probably get a good guess in as to who number two would be as well. After that? Who knows. Virtual Jenga.
Our countdown will begin at #25 on Monday, August 6th. But before we begin our nearly month-long journey into the future of the Oilers, let’s take a quick look over our shoulder to see some current Oilers who have aged out from the Top 25 under 25 list.
2017 T25U25 ranking: 4
Drafted first overall in 2011, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins will be entering his eighth year of NHL play this season. Nugent-Hopkins has 313 career points in 457 career games, it’s still incredible to think he’s only 25. A mainstay down the middle, Nugent-Hopkins will likely get some good looks alongside Connor McDavid in the 1LW hole to start the season in 2018-19.
2017 T25U25 ranking: 9
The fifth overall selection in the 2011 NHL Entry Draft, Ryan Strome was acquired by the Oilers in the 2017 deal that sent Jordan Eberle to the New York Islanders. A one time 50 point scorer in 2014-15, Strome has compiled 160 total points in 340 career games. In one season with the Oilers, he’s scored 34 points (13-21-34). He’ll no doubt look to improve on those numbers as a the likely 3C for the Oilers going into the 2018-19
2017 T25U25 ranking: 3
Klefbom was selected 19th overall in the 2011 NHL Entry Draft, and he’ll anchor the Oilers’ left side going into 2018-19 so long as he’s not moved in an attempt to fix the right side. The knock on Klefbom is that he’s suffered key injuries through his career. After getting 22 bone splinters removed from his shoulder in March, the Oilers will count on Klefbom to have a big rebound this year.
2017-18 T25U25 ranking: 6
New Jersey selected Adam Larsson fourth overall in the 2011 NHL Entry Draft. After spending his first five years on the Devils’ blueline, he was sent to the Oilers in a deal that saw Taylor Hall jettisoned to New Jersey. The Oilers grossly overpaid to acquire Larsson, but the Oilers didn’t have a lot going for them on right defence prior to Larsson’s arrival. Look for Klefbom and Larsson to spend some quality time together on the top pairing in 2018-19.
With four players aging out of the Top 25, that means there are four new faces on the list. Find out who they are beginning on Monday when the 2018 Top 25 under 25 kicks off.