The 2019 NHL Entry Draft has come and gone; the Oilers have selected six player to join the team through the draft process. Overall, the draft may be described as a bit of a mixed bag for Oilers fans.
That's a wrap from Vancouver!— Edmonton Oilers (@EdmontonOilers) June 22, 2019
The #Oilers leave #NHLDraft with six new prospects:
8️⃣ Philip Broberg (D)
3️⃣8️⃣ Raphael Lavoie (F)
8️⃣5️⃣ Ilya Konovalov (G)
1️⃣0️⃣0️⃣ Matej Blumel (F)
1️⃣6️⃣2️⃣ Tomas Mazura (F)
1️⃣9️⃣3️⃣ Maxim Denezhkin (F)
Visit https://t.co/OXQ6n8OZGU to learn about them! pic.twitter.com/6QdlSmP0yp
Many Oilers fans were hoping for a series of trades that might net the Oilers some help for next season. However, despite numerous trades on the second day of the draft, the Oilers were not part of any trades. They ended the day by selecting at the same spots they entered the draft with. Holland showed a determination to find players he believed would fit his vision for the Oilers.
The Oilers first round selection — Philip Broberg — has a big upside but also reason to be leery. He is according to Holland’s Friday night press, a part of the Oilers efforts to build a formidable defensive core. Broberg played in Sweden in the 2019-2020 season.
To start the second day, the Oilers selected Halifax Moosehead Raphael Lavoie. Lavoie is a skilled player who had a successful post season and performed well in the Memorial Cup. Lavoie was projected to be a first round selection, and so for him to fall to the Oilers in the second rounds was cause for celebration. In fact, selecting Lavoie was my absolute favourite thing the Oilers did this draft.
The third round saw the Oilers select Ilya Konovalov with the 85th pick. The goaltender had a 0.930 with Loko Yaroslavl of the KHL. He’s committed to play there again in the 2019-2020 season. The Oilers used their final three picks in the draft to pick forwards on which there is a limited body of information available. All three of their final picks were Europe.
Of the six players the Oilers selected, only Lavoie was from the North American lists. Each of their other picks were chosen from the international eligibility lists, which is interesting. It’s probably not significant, but it is interesting.
Another interesting fact is the a number of the Oilers draft selections have already committed to playing next season in Europe. This seems to go against the idea of getting players to North American as quickly as possible because success in Europe isn’t an indicator for success in the NHL. Also interesting is the Oilers taking a bit of a gamble on another KHL goaltender. This is probably more interesting based on the optics that are currently swirling around the Oilers goal.
If the Oilers are intending to make NHLers out of their later round picks, they did poorly. But if the intent was to get some players who are a limited risk and might be a decent return, they probably did okay.
Overall, the Oilers had an okay draft. They wouldn’t be considered winners by most but they’re probably not considered the big losers either. And for now that seems like the best Oilers fans can hope for.
Development camp starts on Monday in Edmonton which will give fans, coaches, and the media a chance to see more of the players selected over the weekend.