The Edmonton Oilers started the 2021-22 season on a strong note, going 16-5 but winning just two of their next 13 games. They’ve been battling injuries and COVID-19 has plagued the franchise, but their faltering top spot in the Western Conference highlights a major hole in their roster. Ironically, some of the areas that need improvement — goalie, third-line center, front four — are holes that general manager Ken Holland tried to fill last summer.
in the Netherlands Latest Press Conference, who said he’s reluctant to trade his first-round pick or top prospect for a short-term lease, but he’s been on the phone with other general managers. He also said he would consider a hockey trade this year and beyond. By saying this, he knows that a long-term solution needs to be reached, whether it’s in goal, mid lane, or back end.
The question is, which prospects, if any, are he willing to give up when the time comes? That’s thanks to the Oilers’ scouting department, as they’ve replenished the prospect’s cabinet with some nice pieces in the last few drafts. But if Edmonton does end up making a trade, Dylan Holloway and Xavier Burgo shouldn’t be in the conversation.
Holloway’s versatility will be a valuable asset
In the age of the salary cap, teams look to fill their roster with cheap entry-level contracts, and some teams even get lucky when players overfill. Take the Montreal Canadiens, for example. In their Stanley Cup last spring, they had a pair of young entry-level players, Nick Suzuki and Cole Caulfield, who were able to provide secondary scoring. They combined for 28 points and played a pivotal role in Montreal’s playoffs.
Of all the Oilers prospects, Holloway and Burgo are the most likely to step in and offer offense on cheap contracts. Both have pedigrees from former first-round picks and have both represented Canada at the past two World Junior Championships (WJC).
Holloway is an interesting prospect because of his combination of speed, skill and size. In his first year with the Wisconsin Badgers in the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), he had eight goals and nine assists in 35 games. Not an eye-popping number to say the least. But that was the season after he was drafted by the Oilers in 2019, and he started to hype. He had a strong season, finishing the year with 11 goals and 24 assists in 23 games, fifth in the NCAA in scoring.
He was named to the Big Ten First Team and was a finalist Hobby Baker Memorial Award (NCAA Men’s Hockey Player of the Year), lost to teammates and is now Canadiens forward Caufield.
Holloway has added value due to his versatility. He can play wing and center at the same time and has a 57 percent scrimmage against the Badgers.The Oilers desperately need a long-term third-line center who, with his speed, will be able to play in his own and Ryan McLeod Fight for that position.Meanwhile, if teams see him more as a wing, he’ll be a cheap option on his entry-level contract Conor McDavid Or Leon Dresser.
Bourgault may replace Kailer Yamamoto in the future
Bourgault, on the other hand, is eighth in the Quebec Major Hockey League (QMHL) overall standings with 42 points from 24 games, despite missing out on the World Youth Team for Canada.he injured In the Championship, but due to his excellent two-way play, he has stopped at the front line in red and white. Bourgault has great offensive instincts and a great shot/shoot — he’s already scoring in an Oilers jersey in a preseason game against the Calgary Flames.
Apart from physical fitness, hockey writer The prospect profile draft notes that he has a great hockey IQ and an ability to find empty ice. All in all, he qualifies as a legitimate top-six NHL player, and he’s even been compared to Philadelphia Flyers captain Claude Giroux (from “Some eye-opening comparisons of the Demonton Oiler Xavier Burgott”, Edmonton Magazine, 7/25/21).
Going forward, the Oilers could face a situation where they have to decide whether to keep Jesse Puljujarvi or Kailer Yamamoto, who are both currently in the top six. Both players deserve a raise, and the team may be forced to trade a player to free up cap space. If that happens, I think the team would prefer to keep the 6-foot-4 Finnish power forward rather than the 5-foot-8 Yamamoto. That’s why keeping the Bourgault is essential. He’s still a few years away from becoming an Oilers, but as a right-hander and offensively gifted forward, he’ll be a cheap replacement for Yamamoto in the second tier.
Oilers hold valuable prospects as bargaining chips
Aside from Holloway and Burgo, the Oilers still have great value prospects. Has the former eighth overall pick in the 2019 NHL draft, Philip Broberg. He showed his smooth skating ability in a recent game against the Oilers, and Edmonton should keep him if they can. But if there is a suitable deal, the Netherlands should at least consider this. Defensive players usually take longer to develop, and at the very least, the Swedish guard is at least two years away from becoming an impact player at the NHL level. While he’s going all out, McDavid’s current deal may only have a limited amount of time left.
In the American Hockey League (AHL), the Oilers also own the 6-foot-3 Raphael Lavoie and the Bakersfield Condors. He recently scored 6 goals and provided 3 assists in the last seven games, and he also represented Canada in the World Youth Team.Dimitri Samurokov recently made his NHL debut, but made early mistakes See him nailed to the bench for the rest of the game. Still, after an admirable season in the Continental Hockey League (KHL) with CSKA Moscow last season, he has progressed well with the Condors, scoring eight points in 48 games against the senior men .
Tyler Tullio had a terrific season as the captain of the Oshawa generals when he was only 12 years oldth Scored in the Ontario Hockey League (OHL) with 41 points in 28 games. Carter Savoie ranks ninth in the NCAA in scoring at 1.38, with 12 goals and 10 assists in 16 games. Both are mid-round picks in the 2020 NHL draft, and both have had great seasons that will definitely boost their stock.
Then there’s the dynamic Matvey Petrov, who may be the biggest wild card prospect for the Oilers — he’s currently No. 2 overall in the OHL with 54 points in 33 games. He made 180th Overall, in the 2021 NHL draft, but as hockey writer Brian Swain writes, he is likely to become steal his all Draft class. He’s a right forward with lightning fast shots. My gut tells me that the Oilers should keep this player as he is in OHL, but remember, you have to give to get it. A Russian forward with a rocket could be a big part of meeting the Oilers’ needs.
As Holland said, in a perfect world his press conference Last Tuesday, depth had to come from within, from developing one’s own prospects. The Oilers are extending the break, which will give players time to recover and recover from COVID protocols. But if they start to slide further down the standings and risk not making the playoffs, I don’t see Holland remaining idle for the seventh year of McDavid’s career. There will be a deal, but Holloway and Burgo’s names should be left off the trade list.
The NHL’s first Ultimate MVP fan announced by Upperdeck – CBC Radio Oilers’ fan panel analyst – freelance writer. Hockey writer sports reporter for the Edmonton Oilers.