As promised, we are set to begin our annual Top 25 Under 25 series. Typically, this includes articles that serve as a look at what a player within the Oilers organization has done or might do. Our first article will drop tomorrow afternoon around this time, taking a brief look at the narrow misses — the players we ranked 30 to 26 — before jumping off with the Top 25 Under 25 proper next week.
New for this year, we decided (at the last minute, no less) to include a Fan Vote portion. Dozens (DOZENS!) of our readers took the time to log into a desktop (our third-party survey host was very mobile-hostile) and to rank players they both have and have not heard of from 1-40. A genuine thanks to those of you who did.
T25 U25 Fan Vote Results
A Few Thoughts
It’s no surprise that Connor McDavid, the NHL Network’s top-ranked C and two-time Ted Lindsay award winner was the consensus number one among you readers. I say consensus, though I did bin one set of submissions that slotted the captain in at 30th. I refuse to include such obnoxiousness. And, as you’ll note with some of the other rankings I didn’t bin, my threshold for obnoxiousness is otherwise quite high.
Leon Draisaitl following suit with all but one voter ranking him the second-best ‘Under 25’ in the organization makes a lot of sense too. Curiously, in that one submission he was placed directly behind Matej Blumel and Tomas Mazura, really narrowing down — in my mind, at least — who might possibly do such a thing. We like who we like, I suppose.
The first interesting tidbit for me was how many different players received third-place votes. Including Mazura (though I’m not sure I should), all of Darnell Nurse, Tyler Benson, Evan Bouchard, and Caleb Jones received at least one top-three vote. And I’d love for whoever put Matthew Cairns at 3 to give a little insight as to why in the comments, if they feel so inclined. “I stopped caring after Draisaitl” is a totally valid answer here, by the way.
A few surprising names received top-five votes as well. Patrick Siikanen, Cooper Marody, Jujhar Khaira, Jesse Puljujarvi, Philip Broberg, Dimitri Samorukov, and Kailer Yamamoto all garnered at least one top-five vote.
On the flip side, only three players — McDavid, Draisaitl, and Nurse — failed to receive any votes outside of the top 10. Given their statuses in the NHL, this makes sense.
Four goaltenders cracked the fans’ Top 25. I find this kind of interesting as, organizationally, the last Oilers-drafted goalie to play any amount of time for them was Tyler Bunz, and that amount of time was one period in which he allowed three goals on 10 shots.
Remember, this is all in good fun, and to be taken with a grain of salt. It’s hard to know how many people took this seriously after even ranking their top ten players, but it’s still fun to take a peek at. Maybe it will generate some discussion. Lord knows, August needs something to keep us awake.
We will revisit this list at the conclusion of our series to see how it stacks up against the staff’s version. Thanks again to everyone who participated!