Edmonton Oilers draft wrap: Forwards, forwards, forwards, nothing but forwards


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After a long, l-o-n-g wait during an agonizingly slow second and third round, the tumblers began falling in place for the Edmonton Oilers at the 2020 Draft. First the club announced the return of Jesse Puljujarvi to the fold, signing a two-year contract. That had been telegraphed for a while, but the two-year term was a surprise. J.P. brings a tantalizing mix of skill and size in a now 22-year-old package who is poised to help the club in the coming season.

The rest of the Draft was spent with eyes firmly on the more distant future, as the Oilers added forward after forward to a a somewhat-depleted prospect group of attackers. After first drafting three Canadians, the club looked further afield to snag a Russian and two Swedes in the late going. Three of the six draftees are slated to play in NCAA in 2020-21.

The Oilers had previously traded out their second and fourth round picks (#45 and #107) to Detroit Red Wings at the deadline for veterans Andreas Athanasiou and Mike Green, neither of whom clicked in Edmonton.  Ken Holland addressed those gaps somewhat with a trade-down of the team’s third-round pick for two later ones, both of which were converted into excellent bets on small, skilled forwards. Either would have fully justified the #76 pick that was initially traded; instead, the Oilers managed to parlay that one pick into two promising youngsters.


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Capsule summaries and scouting reports for all of those players are provided below, along with links to full prospect summaries:

1st round, #14 overall: C/LW Dylan HollowayThe Oilers turned to the University of Wisconsin Badgers to snag one of just two first-year-draft-eligible players in the NCAA. Previously a hotshot scorer and MVP with the Okotoks Oilers of the AJHL, Holloway struggled out of the gate with the freshman-laden Badgers.  A 6’1, 203-lb power forward capable of playing centre or wing, he came on down the stretch with 5 goals and 9 points in his final 10 games to finish the season with 35 GP, 8-9-17.

  • In Holloway, the Oilers get a top-end athlete. He’s a center with great speed and strength who can bulldoze his way past opponents. I think he’s very skilled, but the amount of offense he brings is the debate point. I personally see a second-line forward, unsure if a center or a wing, who can help a team and bring different elements to some of the more highly skilled guys in Edmonton’s top-six. (Corey Pronman, The Athletic)

4th round, #100 overall: LW Carter Savoie. The small-ish but stocky Savoie lit up the AJHL with 53-46-99 in 54 games for Sherwood Park Crusaders. That was the highest goal total in the Junior A loop in 19 seasons. If his pre-draft rankings are our guide, the Oilers got him at a bargain price in the fourth round. He is set to play for one of NCAA’s leading programs at the University of Denver, where he will need to develop his all-around game in the next couple of seasons.


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  • Puck skills and creativity are big hallmarks of Savoie’s game. He averaged nearly a goal per game in the AJHL and can make next-level offensive reads. But if Savoie is going to make it, he has to up his competitiveness level. (Chris Peters, ESPN.)

5th round, #126 overall: C/RW Tyler Tullio. Another great value pick, at least compared to rankings which consistently placed the player in the 40-60 range. Another small forward at 5’11, 165 lbs, Tullio has a feisty edge to his game which may ultimately earn him friends in Edmonton and enemies elsewhere. Produced a solid 27-39-66 in 62 games in his 17-year-old season with Oshawa Generals. The interesting fact that his dad owns the club suggests the player will continue to get opportunities in his two remaining years of major junior, though his progress to this point indicates he will have earned them.

  • His straight-line speed is above average, and he is in open ice frequently because of a quick first step, but his slight frame and average balance make him an easy target for opponents trying to knock him off the puck…. One thing that hasn’t won Tullio many friends among OHL competitors is his abrasiveness. He’s not very big but plays as if nothing can slow him down. Steve Kournianos, The Draft Analyst)

5th round, #138 overall: LW Maxim Beryozkin. A week before his 19th birthday, Beryozkin is already a very large man at 6’4, 216 lbs. He’s also already in the KHL, albeit in a limited role with Lokomotiv Yaroslavl, after a strong season with that club’s junior program. How did he stay on the board so long? His rankings were all over the map, so consider him a wild card.


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  • The versatile winger finished top 20 in both goals and points in the MHL, serving notice that he should be
    under consideration for the 2021 Russian WJC team. The rangy winger uses his size, reach and speed to create offence at the Russian junior level on a regular basis. Can he take the next step? It’s up to him. 
    (Grant McCagg, Recrutes)

6th round, #169 overall: C Filip Engaras. This pick came out of nowhere, as the now 21-year-old Swede was passed over in two previous drafts. But after sitting out a year due to his previous professional status, the right-shot centre joined University of New Hampshire and produced a decent 8-7-15 in his first season.

  • He is a clever two-way center who reads the game well. Has really great skating abilities and good work ethic. Has improved his release and is now a good shooter, combined with the smartness which he uses to find unexpected passes. I am excited to see his future development as he is that kind of guy that really works hard, on and off ice. He is certainly determined to have a good hockey career. (Carl Larsson, Future Considerations)

7th round, #200 overall: LW Jeremias Lindewall. 18-year-old Swede is a decent-sized (6’2, 183) left winger with a nose for the net. He had modest production for MODO of the Swedish J20 SuperElit (major junior), though he’s off to a red hot start in 2020-21 with 4-4-8 in just 4 GP.

  • He showed off good puck control and could cover it effectively with his body. For a player of his size, Lindewall showed off good first steps and could accelerate well with the puck without having to slow down. What Lindewall does best is his work in front of the opposing net. He can take and deliver blows and has some grit to his style. (Elite Prospects)

In this tantalizing snippet, Lindewall demonstrates full command of “The Forsberg”.


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The Cult of Hockey on the 2020 draft

McCURDY: Oilers take Dylan Holloway 14th overall 

STAPLES: “Head-scratching asset management”: Oilers blasted for not keeping Athanasiou

STAPLES: Ottawa, Columbus, New Jersey reached highest in the draft’s first round

STAPLES: Edmonton trades 76th pick

STAPLES: Puljujarvi returns!

STAPLES: Oilers draft Carter Savoie, local sniper at #100

LEAVINS: Oilers draft OHL sniper Tullio at #126

McCURDY: Massive Russian winger Maxim Beryozkin selected at #138

STAPLES: Oilers go off the board to pick overaged Swedish pivot Filip Engaras at #169

LEAVINS: Oilers land Swedish winger Jeremias Lindewall at #200

Follow me on Twitter @BruceMcCurdy


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