The Pages Of Oilers Jambalaya

Sunday, May 19, 2013


For the past 5 years, I have compiled my NHL Draft prospects rankings in late September of each year. I usually update in early February and once again at the end of the memorial cup. Basically before the CHL starts and upon the end of the CHL Memorial Cup. Because of the length of the CHL season all the European prospects have already finished as well and we have a chance to see players possibly shine in the biggest games on the Jr planet. This definitely includes the Memorial Cup and even some Jr players who may have jumped up to play with the men in their perspective leagues. i.e.: SEL and or KHL.

I have had some comments (all fairly assessed) wondering about my TOP 15 NHL Draft Prospects. Of course if looking quickly at my list and comparing it to some of the top end lists out there would be inaccurate judgement of my rankings and unfair in comparison. The rankings people are looking at today are all UPDATED versions and not taken from the rankings of those people last September 2012.

With my draft rankings they are based on the 'best player available' from my perspective. This is NOT a MOCK draft of who will be picked by what team. It is not based on who the best players will be in 5 years. It is based on BPA this draft. I have removed 3 of my players from my September 2012 original rankings completely out of the top 15 and moved 3 new players in.

Instead of waiting till the end of the Memorial Cup, I have decided to release my year ending REVS 2013 NHL DRAFT PROSPECTS today.

1. Nathan Mackinnon
2. Seth Jones
3.Jonathan Drouin 
4. Aleksander Barkov
5. Valeri Nichushkin
6. Darnell Nurse
7.  Sean Monahan
8.  Elias Lindholm
9.  Hunter Shinkaruk
10.  Nikita Zadorov
11.  Max Domi
12.  Curtis Lazar
13. Frederik Gauthier
15. Ryan Pulock

NOTES on some players.....

Very few rankings had Jonathan Drouin even in their Top 10 last September 2012. While acknowledging his offence they felt he was still too small of a player. Throughout the year and especially after the World Jr's, almost every ranking had started putting him Top 5. In fact before November 2012 very few people knew who Drouin was other then those who follow lots of jr hockey. The only reason Drouin does not rank higher for me is due to his size. 

While I do believe Seth Jones is a incredible player, he is almost a year older then Nathan MacKinnon. (11 months older) and has been playing at a very large size against smaller players for some time. While defence is good and offence is OK, it is not great. Playing on a team like Portland, with his size and vision Seth Jones should against smaller players have scored at least a point per game as a defencemen to make him worthy of a #1 OV Draft Pick.

Nathan MacKinnon , playing against bigger players (he entered the CHL at 5'10 170 lbs) and slowly grew into his frame but still is small in NHL size. Nathan (with the exception of the World Jr tourney) has excelled at every level of hockey and is showing people at the Memorial Cup why he was ranked #1 for so long. His drive, skill, speed and hockey IQ is the total package. Even if MacKinnon goes 2nd at the NHL Draft, he IMO will still prove to have been the best player out of this years crop of players.

Max is putting on quite a push to really jump the rankings himself. Like Drouin few last September 2012 even had him ranked so high but this guy is a bull in a china shop, is strong on his skates like Crosby and has some nice elite skill. His size is what will keep him out of the top 8.

Yes, I did have him ranked higher and if not for being put up as a checking center against other teams top lines Lazar would have produced much more. This guys two-way play is exceptional and some people IMO are underrating him and he may even turn out to be a Top 10 pick when all is said and done on draft day. This player is as close as you get to a 'sure thing' outside the top 3 of even draft. I have dropped him some for his lack of offence but could not see how I could drop him any lower.

Feel free to comment on my final Top 15 Draft rankings, that's the excitement of this time of year. No one is wrong or right until draft day and then it takes 5 years to really see what kind of player they turn into. I really do believe this year the top 20 players selected will be pretty high end players. I don't feel it's as deep as draft as some will say but there is some nice talent in the 8-15 range.

Before Draft day, I will be posting a MOCK draft of who I believe will be selected and in what order but for now, let's sit back and enjoy the NEXT ONES play this game at the memorial cup while the top 3 ranked players in the world compete for the highest claim to fame in Jr hockey....The Memorial Cup!


  1. Colorado- Jones

    Florida - Drouin/ MacKinnon

    TB- Drouin/ MacKinnon

    Nash- Barkov/ Lindholm - most likely Barkov

    Car - Nichushkin, Monahan Lindholm Nurse, Zadorov

    Cal- Nichushkin, Monahan Lindholm

    EDM- Monahan, Zadorov, Lindholm Nichushkin

  2. Thats a pretty good estimate of the possibilities. I am not sure Carolina would take Zadorov that early however.

  3. Carolina probably won't take Zadorov, but I think Oilers would take him if Monahan is gone at #7

  4. While I do believe the Oilers like Zadorov's size and skill, I would think they will be a little apprehensive of his lack of speed.

  5. According to Corey Pronman he has above average speed.

    "London blueliner Nikita Zadorov was one of the tougher first round ranking selections. He is a gifted player, with elite physicality, great skating, and nice offensive touch. "

  6. More on Zadorov

    "Zadorov is best known for his defensive skills. A huge defenceman, he dishes out big hits, and opposing forwards really need to keep their heads up if coming down his end of the ice. He is mean along the boards and in front of the net. His skating and mobility is top notch, making him really hard to get by one on one. His pivots are crisp, and his edgework outstanding which allows him to maintain his gap control, cover a lot of ice, and close quickly on a forward and take the body. His backwards skating is outstanding, which makes him very difficult to beat one-on-one off the rush."

  7. I see why you mentioned those articles. In that same article it is important to note the following..."He skates at an above-average to plus level, which is significant for a player at his size. He can close gaps remarkably well. The rest of his game is not as impressive, but he could be a fine puck mover and positional defender. Scouting sources have divided opinion on both of those fronts." In regards to lack of speed, this is a area that just above average is not OK for most their scouts. Many coaches will tell you that the larger the player the more difficult to see their speed improve into their pro development. On the other hand he could be still growing muscle and be a hard worker who continues to learn and get faster (More commonly that is not the case with taller hockey players)

    In the Oilers organization they are wanting more then just (above-average, fair, quaility) assesments. They like to see words being used like (top flight, excellent, strong, powerful, quick). Usually scouts when determining word useage like 'abover-average' that is in comparrision to other players they compete against. The speed in the CHL is nothing like the pro level. I understand we may not see this the same however that is my reasoning for my assesment about him having a lack of speed the oilers will be wanting.

    In the end however, they may surprise us and still take him if available (haha!)

  8. What I have seen of him only 2 games at the memorial cup, his speed does look average. I know it is only 2 games but with the 7th pick I would expect more.

  9. Colorado- Jones

    Florida - MacKinnon

    TB- Drouin

    Nashville - Barkov

    Carolina - Lindholm


    Edmonton- Nichushkin

  10. This will change the equation if true

    Fedor Fedin ‏@FedFedRMNB 2h
    Top prospect Valery Nichushkin announces he'll sign in the NHL after draft. Tells R-Sport: "Dynamo told me I can go if I want"

  11. With the news of Nichushkin willing and able to play in the NHL now puts the oilers in a highly like;y situation where they will have a choice of Monahan or Nichushkin. Worse case is that Lindholm is available. We know Jones/MacKinnon/Drouin/Barkov WILL be gone for sure. That leaves Lindholm/Monahan/Nichushkin for 5,6 and 7th spot. IMO, if the first 4 are gone as well as Monahan and Nichushkin then Edmonton trys trading down instead of taking a d-man or Lindholm. This makes things interesting now....

  12. Lindholm is ranked quite high, I wonder if Edmonton is just playing poker right now. The obvious choice for Edmonton is Monahan. Edmonton has said they like him, they have been silent regarding Lindholm. It would be hard to bluff regarding Monahan.

    Have to wait till June 30th

  13. Hearing Stu speak, Stauffer interviews, Craig Button (like or dislike him) MacT, Lowe and Kruger you can sometimes get a idea at least. Like you said it could be a poker face if they WANT Lindholm but not sure they want to take a chance on a swede as they have not turned out well in quite a well as forwards, only defencemen. Time will tell as you say

  14. I really dont think Edmonton wants Lindholm. Colorado wants Jones or MacKinnon and Florida takes whichever one Colorado did not take. Tampa Bay takes Nichushkin or Drouin and Nashville takes Barkov or Drouin depending if Drouin falls slightly.Carolina takes Nurse, Nuchuskin or Zadorov and then Calgary will take Nuchuskin,Lindholm or Monohan. Edmonton takes either Monahan or Nichuskin or they will be trading down in the draft.

  15. Col - SJ

    Fla- NM

    TB- JD

    Nash- AB

    Carolina- VN or DN

    Calgary- SM

    EDM- EL or DN


Oilers Jambalaya is in no way, shape or form associated with the Edmonton Oilers. This is a fans blog for fans. We happen to love those teams, so we write about them.