Our annual ranking of the Oilers’ top prospects begins tomorrow with #25.
Before we get to the 2021 Top 25, a quick look at those who have aged out. These players have appeared on past versions of the Top 25 and will no longer appear because...well, they’re 25.
This year, there are a pair of players who have graduated from the Top 25 under 25. We’re going to see one of them a whole lot in this upcoming season, and there’s a good chance we’ll see the other a fair bit as well.
- WILLIAM LAGESSON (Last T25U25 Position: #13 in 2020)
William Lagesson was drafted way back in the fourth round of the 2014 NHL Entry Draft at number 91 overall. A defenceman hailing from Sweden, Lagesson appeared in nineteen games for the Oilers last season, averaging just over fourteen minutes a game. Lagesson made his NHL debut during the 2018-19 when he suited up for eight games. At 25 years of age, Lagesson will have his work cut out for him as he looks to beat out Kris Russell and Slater Koekkoek to solidfy a roster spot this upcoming season. While Lagesson hasn’t yet turned into an everyday player for the Oilers, it’s a good bet that we’ll see him for at least a handful of games if the third pair needs a fresh look.
- LEON DRAISAITL (Last T25U25 (Last Position: #2 in 2020)
Leon Draisaitl would have easily been number one on any year of this list save for the fact that Connor McDavid exists and is currently employed to play hockey by the Oilers. Leon Draisaitl was taken third overall in the 2014 NHL Entry Draft after the Buffalo Sabres selected Sam Reinhart second overall. Reinhart has turned out to be a fine player, but Leon Draisaitl has turned out to be a...finer player.
The only other player taken from the 2014 NHL Entry Draft that’s remotely close to Leon Draisaitl in points is Boston’s David Pastrnak, who is within 100 points of Leon’s totals. At 506 total points in 479 games played, Draisaitl has been everywhere for the Oilers since being drafted. Draisiatl has eclipsed the 100 point mark in 2018-19 and 2019-20. He was rewarded with the Hart, Art Ross and the Lester B. Pearson trophies in 2019-20 when he finished with 110 points in just 71 games, good for the league lead.
He’s an invaluable part of the Oilers’ offence, and will be leaned upon heavily in the 2021-22 season and beyond.
Join us as we begin our countdown of this year’s Top 25 under 25 beginning tomorrow. We’ll reveal one player a day starting at number 25, count down with us all the way to number one.