Edmonton Oilers Top 10 Prospects: Help Is On The Horizon

With the Edmonton Oilers season firmly in the rearview mirror and no rooting interest in this years playoffs, it’s a perfect time to look at what, and who, is on the horizon for the Oilers.

Before the question is raised, this list does not include Connor McDavid. While he will be certainly chosen by the Oilers and eventually be in top spot, since he is not officially picked by an NHL team until June, he is not yet part of the Edmonton organization.

Players who have become NHL regulars or those who have made significant contributions at that level are also not included. Players like Oscar Klefbom and Martin Marincin, based on their time in the NHL have graduated this list.

Leon Draisaitl (Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports)
Leon Draisaitl (Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports)

1. Leon Draisaitl – Kelowna Rockets (WHL)


Last year’s third overall pick made the Oilers out of training camp, which was clearly more of an indication of the team’s woeful depth at centre rather than Draisaitl’s readiness.

He did however gain valuable experience in his NHL time and since being returned to the Kelowna Rockets has been a stud. He will also get the chance to play meaningful games as his Rockets are set to begin the WHL Championship against Brandon. A trip to the Memorial Cup could only help further his development.

A big prototypical centre teams search for, he has drawn comparisons to Joe Thornton for his size and passing ability. With the Oilers winning the draft lottery there’s a chance Draisaitl could start next season in the AHL, which may not be a bad thing.

2. Darnell Nurse – Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds (OHL)


More of a 1B to Draisaitl than behind him, Nurse is exactly what the Oilers so desperately need. He’s a big, smooth skating defenseman who can log big minutes and plays with a mean streak.

While his Greyhounds were eliminated by McDavid’s Erie Otters, Nurse was excellent in going head to head against his future teammate and seemed to be on the ice all the time. While McDavid racked up a lot of points, many were not 5 on 5 against Nurse.

One only has to look at his work for Canada at the World Juniors, especially the gold medal game, to envision his future role with the Oilers.

Will be given a chance to make the team out of camp next fall, but could also start in the AHL depending on potential offseason acquisitions.

See related: OHL Conference final a glimpse into Oilers future}

3. Laurent Brossoit – Oklahoma City Barons (AHL)


The heir apparent in goal, and really the only goaltending prospect of note in the system, Brossoit’s development took a huge step this season. Expected to see limited minutes behind Richard Bachman and be brought along slowly in his first AHL season, Brossoit was excellent and pushed for more minutes.

He split time with Bachman over the course of the year, one in which both netminders put up stellar numbers.

Brossoit is a couple of years away still, but is right where the Oilers want him to be and he projects as the AHL full time starter next season.

Laurent Brossoit (Steven Christy/OKC Barons)
Laurent Brossoit (Steven Christy/OKC Barons)

4. Anton Slepyshev – Ufa Salavat Yulayev (KHL)

Left Wing

As enigmatic as it gets, the Oilers are hoping they can sign Slepyshev this summer and have him in camp for the fall. A former KHL first overall pick, Slepyshev has talent in spades. Size, skating, hands, shot he has the whole arsenal.

However like many, the two obstacles previous facing the Oilers are inconsistency and a KHL contract. Following this season, Edmonton hopes both are non-issues and he will be in North America for the start of the 2015-16 season, be it in the NHL or AHL.

Anton Slepyshev
(Anton Slepyshev. Photo: www.ak-bars.ru – Sergei Manzheleyev)

See related: Oilers need Anton Slepyshev to make impact in North America}

5. Jujhar Khaira – Oklahoma City Barons (AHL)


Injured for the last month of the season, Khaira entered the lineup in a big way in the playoffs, scoring the series winning goal for the Barons, to send them to the second round.

A budding power forward with touch around the net, his progress as a pro has been slow to develop, but still has the combination of size and skill that makes him a prospect of note.

Injury has played a role but the Oilers are hoping he will continue trending up with a strong playoff performance.

6. Bogdan Yakimov – Oklahoma City Barons (AHL)


Another prospect with size, Yakimov may be the biggest. At 6’5” 235lbs, he is a mammoth on the ice. Projected as more of a bottom six player, he could be an ideal third line centre in the NHL with the ability to contribute at both ends of the ice.

Has drawn comparisons to former NHLer Bobby Holik for his size and attributes. The Oilers would be thrilled if he had even a portion of the impact Holik did in his NHL career.

7. Dillon Simpson – Oklahoma City Barons (AHL)


Son of former Oiler Craig Simpson, Dillon has played well in his first year as a pro after coming off a very successful NCAA career.

He possesses a strong two way game and also brings intangibles like leadership and a high hockey IQ. Currently playing on the Barons third pairing in their playoff run, he has played well and will look to take the next step in his progression next season.

Dillon Simpson (Steven Christy/OKC Barons)
Dillon Simpson (Steven Christy/OKC Barons)

8. Mitch Moroz – Oklahoma City Barons (AHL)

Left Wing

Another forward with a tantalizing combination of size and skill, Moroz has continuously left the Oilers wanting more.

A 35 goal scorer in junior, Moroz managed just 5 in his first year with the Barons and was a -15.

A big forward who likes to throw his body around, he’s the type of player the Oilers badly need in their lineup. They just hope he takes a big step forward in his development in the near future.

Mitch Moroz (Steven Christy/OKC Barons)
Mitch Moroz (Steven Christy/OKC Barons)


9. Greg Chase – Victoria Royals (WHL)


An agitator and a scorer, Chase is one of those players that all successful teams seem to have. Projected as a bottom six centre, Chase can also contribute offensively as evidenced by his point per game average in junior.

A former 7th round pick, Chase could be an ultimate steal for the Oilers, and as everyone knows, they could really use one of those about now.

{See related: Greg Chase a hidden gem for the Oilers}

10. Marco Roy – Quebec Remparts (QMJHL)


A second round pick in 2013, Roy has yet to match or build on the numbers he put up in his draft year, but has shown promise and is headed to the Memorial Cup as a member of the Remparts.

He has put up solid numbers and has averaged close to a point per game over his last three QMJHL seasons. The Oilers are hoping he has a solid QMJHL finals and a good showing at the Memorial Cup, as both stages have the potential to dramatically improve his stock as a prospect in the system.


Brandon Davidson – Oklahoma City Barons (AHL)


Solid defensive defenseman has had an excellent year and has formed a productive top pairing for the Barons with Brad Hunt.

He has arguably been the Barons most dependable defenseman all year and showed well in a brief call-up to the Oilers.

Joey Laleggia – University of Denver (NCAA)


A small, offensively gifted blueliner, few project Laleggia to have any impact for the Oilers at the NHL level. Then again few probably thought he would have as successful an NCAA career as he did either.

He won just about every individual accolade he could in college, and has drawn comparisons to the Bruins Torey Krug in terms of play as well as a potential path to the pro game.

{See related: Oilers sign star college defenseman Joey Laleggia}