What Oilers Fan Can Expect With Pick No. 29 in the 2022 NHL Draft

Now that the 2022 Stanley Cup Playoffs have concluded with the Colorado Avalanche dethroning the Tampa Bay Lightning in six games, the hockey world’s attention will shift to the 2022 NHL Draft. The Edmonton Oilers currently hold the 29th overall pick for when the first round unfolds at the Bell Centre in Montreal on July 7.

Incredibly, this will be only the second time since Edmonton joined the NHL in 1979 that the Oilers pick at No. 29. And the other instance was so long ago, that the 29th overall pick was part of the draft’s second round.

So without much history to go on, what can Oilers fans expect – or, perhaps more accurately, hope for – when Edmonton general manager Ken Holland steps on stage and behind the podium to make the fourth-from-last pick of the first round? Here is some food for thought on pick No. 29:

Strueby Holds Unique Oilers Distinction

41 years have passed since the Oilers made the 29th overall selection – or the eighth pick of the second round – in the 1981 Draft, selecting forward Todd Strueby. Edmonton had already made one pick, taking a goaltender by the name of Grant Fuhr with the eighth overall selection. Fuhr went on to win five Stanley Cups, appear in six All-Star Games, and receive the Vezina Trophy during his time with the Oilers, all en route to becoming a member of the Hockey Hall of Fame, Class of 2003.

Goalie Grant Fuhr
Grant Fuhr, Edmonton Oilers (Photo by B Bennett/Bruce Bennett Studios/Getty Images)

The Oilers’ next pick wouldn’t prove quite as successful at the professional level. While Strueby had a fantastic junior career, winning gold with Team Canada at the 1982 World Junior Championships and as a member of the Regina Pats being named a Western Hockey League First Team All-Star in 1982 and Second Team All-Star in 1983, he only suited up for five NHL games, spaced over three seasons with the Oilers.

Strueby’s claim to fame was being in the lineup when the Oilers scored a franchise record 13 goals against the New Jersey Devils on Nov. 19, 1983, and recording his lone career point that night, with an assist on a goal by the GOAT, Wayne Gretzky.

Green Among Great Players Taken at No. 29

Strueby may not have gone on to have a noteworthy NHL career, but that doesn’t mean the Oilers can’t land themselves a future star with their 2022 first round pick. A quick glance over the all-time list of players drafted 29th overall reveals a number of gems:

  • Danny Gare (1974, Buffalo Sabres – Left Wing) scored 354 times over 827 NHL games, including a league-leading 56 goals in the 1979-80 season. He played in two All-Star Games and was a 1980 First Team All-Star.
  • Stephane Richer (1984, Montreal Canadiens – Right Wing) twice topped 50 goals in a season and ranks 84th in NHL history with 421 NHL goals. A two-time Stanley Cup champion, Richer’s 13 game-winning playoff goals are 21st most in NHL history.
  • Teppo Numminen (1986, Winnipeg Jets – Defenseman) appeared in three All-Star games over his two decades in the NHL. He is 48th in NHL history with 1,372 games played, and one of only two players to suit up for over 1,000 games with the Winnipeg Jets/Arizona Coyotes franchise.
  • Jonathan Cheechoo (1998, San Jose Sharks – Right Wing) won the Maurice Richard Trophy after leading the NHL with 56 goals in 2005-06, and was selected to play in the All-Star Game the following season when he scored 37 goals.
  • Niklas Kronwall (2000, Detroit Red Wings – Defenseman) is one of only 30 players in hockey history to win a Stanley Cup, World Championship gold medal and Olympic gold medal. He spent his entire 15 season career with the Red Wings.
  • Mike Green (2004, Washington Capitals – Defenseman) earned consecutive NHL First All-Star Team selections in 2008-09 and 2009-10, after leading all NHL defenseman in points both seasons. His 31 goals in 2009-10 were the most by an NHL blueliner since 1992-93. He retired after playing briefly with the Oilers in 2020.
Mike Green Edmonton Oilers
Mike Green, Edmonton Oilers (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

Adrian Kempe (2014, Los Angeles Kings – Left Wing) is just starting to realize his potential, scoring 35 times and earning his first All-Star Game nod in 2021-22. He led the Kings with six points in their first round playoff loss to Edmonton.

Experts Have Odelius Ranked 29th

Is this year’s Gare or Kempe out there? Oil Country certainly hopes so, but who that might be is as uncertain as who might be available by the time Edmonton’s turn rolls around at No. 29.

Related: NHL Draft History – 29th Pick Overall – The Hockey Writers

The experts have been weighing in with their projections. In a just-released poll that combines the draft rankings of 13 different media and scouting experts, Swedish defenseman Calle Odelius was ranked at No 29. The 5-foot-11, 185-pounder spent most of last season with the Djurgardens IF U20 squad, notching seven goals and 23 assists in 42 games.

Though, hold off on placing those pre-orders for No. 20 Odelius jerseys just yet. By the time the Oilers make their selection late into the proceedings on Day 1 of the 2022 Draft, there will have undoubtedly been several picks made way off the board, prospects expected to be available will be long gone, and others the Oilers never imagined having a shot at acquiring will have likely fallen into Holland’s lap. That’s part of the fun of the draft, so put your armchair GM hat on, kick your feet up, and get comfortable: Only 28 more picks until the Oilers are on the clock.

Morning Skate newsletter Click To Subscribe