Now that we have passed the 2022 Draft to revamp the Oilers prospect pool and get some entry-level deals signed, let’s take a look at the top five Edmonton Oilers prospects for 2022. The Edmonton Oilers prospect pool is average, if not in the lower half of the league. There is very little high-end star power left to graduate to the NHL. But, generally speaking, that’s not an issue for the Edmonton Oilers where they are in their competitive window.
Most of the prospects they have project to be depth or complimentary players, filling the mid-line forward spots and bottom defensive pairings that the team has struggled mightily to occupy for the past decade. Those appear to be the final additions the Oilers will need before entering legit contender status.
So, without further ado, let’s get into the top five Edmonton Oilers prospects.
Dylan Holloway, C/W
Dylan Holloway has quickly risen up the ranks into being a high-end Oilers prospect, and Edmonton’s top prospect, after being drafted 14th overall by the Edmonton Oilers back in 2020. Originally, this pick baffled me a bit as Holloway was not overly impressive in his draft year at the University of Wisconsin. But he turned that around quite quickly the season following his draft, placing third on the team in scoring with 35 points in 23 games.
In his first professional season, Holloway recorded 22 points in 33 games in the AHL before making his NHL debut for one game in the playoffs. Holloway stands out in the Edmonton Oilers prospect pool on account of his amazing hands and stickhandling ability, as well as his strong forecheck and backcheck. He projects to be a very solid winger in the top-six for the Oilers, as early as next season.
Ken Holland got some flack for taking Philip Broberg eighth overall in 2019. But here we are, a few seasons later as he has slowly but surely developed into a solid defender as an Oilers prospect who is expected to be in the Oilers lineup next season.
Broberg shows promise at becoming a solid second-pairing defender with great two-way skills. He seems to lean a bit towards the offensively inclined side but has been no slouch defensively. In his first season in North America, Broberg split time between the Oilers and the Bakersfield Condors of the AHL. He recorded 23 points in 31 games in the AHL, but just three in 23 games in the NHL.
Expect Broberg to find regular time on the third pairing this upcoming season.
After seemingly being banished to the AHL for most of 2021-22 despite having the best numbers of any Oilers goalie, Stuart Skinner finally has a roster spot locked up for himself heading into 2022-23. In his 13 games last season, Skinner has a 2.62 GAA and 9.13 SV%. Definitely solid numbers for a goalie in his first stint in the NHL and deserving of a high spot on the top Oilers prospect list.
He may not be the flashiest goalie around, but his 6″5′ frame allows him to play the position smoothly and reliably. Skinner has been one of the most impressive goalies in the AHL over the past couple of seasons, giving him ample development time to prepare for the NHL.
He will be the Edmonton Oilers backup heading into 2022-23, possibly the team’s 1B goalie behind Jack Campbell.
This highly skilled forward was the Edmonton Oilers’ first-round pick in 2021, being selected 21st overall. Xavier Bourgault has spent the past four seasons with the Shawinigan Cataractes of the QMJHL, having his best season in 2021-22 with 75 points in 43 games, placing him as one of the top Oilers prospects. He topped this off with a great performance in the Memorial Cup Tournament, ending with seven points in four games.
Bourgault is set to turn pro this season and the logical place to start him will be the AHL, as there is not an available spot in the Oilers’ middle six forwards for him. Though after he almost made the Oilers out of camp in 2021-22, there is absolutely a chance he finds his way onto Edmonton’s third line if Jesse Puljujarvi does not re-sign. His offensive talents and playmaking skills would be a fantastic addition to the Oilers’ depth scoring, something that is historically a problem for the team.
Reid Schaefer, LW
The last spot on my list of the top five Edmonton Oilers prospects for 2022 was a toss-up between a few players, all of whom are close to full-time NHL roster spots. Ultimately, I decided on the team’s most recent first-round pick, Reid Schaefer.
Schaefer won this spot on the list due to his apparent NHL readiness right out of the draft. Being an older draft pick, he is more physically mature. The size and strength he already possesses, along with his scoring ability, allow him to fill a variety of roles on the team. Namely, he could be a productive asset even in a limited role as a physical grinder on the fourth line.
This obviously isn’t ideal, and he would have to get chances higher up in the lineup to not completely ruin his development, but after trading Zack Kassian and with Warren Foegele on the trade block, there may be a spot for a bigger, physical, power forward in the Oilers’ bottom six.
Oilers Prospects: Honorable Mentions
Markus Niemelainen spent a fair amount of time in the Oilers’ lineup this season endearing himself to us fans with his physical presence and quietly stable defensive play. At 6’6″, He adds size and physicality, which is something the Oilers’ defense needs.
He should be a regular fill-in on for the Oilers this upcoming season, possibly even being the seventh defender.
Carter Savoie, LW
Local boy Carter Savoie, recently signed to an entry-level deal this offseason, is another scoring forward who hopes to crack the Oilers’ roster in the near future. He put up an impressive 65 points in 63 games for the University of Denver and the organization hopes he can continue his development into a goal-scoring threat.
Expect him to spend most of the season with the AHL’s Condors.
Dmitri Samorukov has been one of the better but quieter Oilers prospects for years. Unfortunately, when he finally made his NHL debut last season, he was on the ice for two early goals against and got benched after just two and a half minutes of ice time.
That hasn’t soured my opinions of him, however. I still see him as a solid defender who should eventually be able to be a depth player for the team.
Unless the Oilers have some injury issues this season, he will likely spend most of his time in the AHL again.
The Oilers no longer have a plethora of top draft picks trying to make a name for themselves in the big leagues. But, these top five Oilers prospects for 2022 will be important role players to help fill out the roster.
Who would you place on the Edmonton Oilers’ top five prospects list? Drop a comment down below!
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