Edmonton Oilers Prospects: CHL Wrapup


Let’s take a look across the Canadian Hockey League and see how the Edmonton Oilers Prospects held up.



C Leon Draisaitl, Kelowna Rockets

Leon Draisaitl is an exciting player. After scoring two goals and seven assists for nine points in the 37 games he played in Edmonton, Leon got sent back to the WHL here he absolutely lit the world on fire. In the 32 games he played as a Rocket, “Dr. Drai” scored 19 goals and 34 assists for 53 points, while posting a +14 +/- rating.

Moving forward, it might be in the organization’s best interest to place the 19-year old in the AHL next season. The fact is that the last thing the Oilers need to do is rush another young center into the lineup. Remember Sam Gagner and Andrew Cogliano? They struggled mightily as young centers for the Oilers.

In the future, there is no doubt that Leon is set to become a dynamic player for us. At 6’1, 210 lbs, he possesses NHL size to go along with his great talent in the offensive zone. Before he makes the jump to being an NHL regular, he needs to work to adapt to the fast pace that the NHL brings.

D Ben Betker, Everett Silvertips

This season, the 20-year old wore an “A” and played in 64 games, scoring six goals and 25 assists for 31 points while posting a +19 +/-. Originally a 2013, sixth round selection, Betker helped lead the Silvertips to a 2 seed placement in the WHL’s Western Conference. The 6’6, 220 lbs, Cranbrook BC Native is best described as a big, tough stay at home “old school” defencemen. While struggling with his skating, he has made large strides in his offensive game to help provide for the Silvertips. Betker set a career high in assists (25) and +/- (+19) this season.

In the long-term, it is likely that Betker will need more seasoning to fine tune his skating and technical skills. He attended the Oilers training camp prior to the 2014 – 2015 season and is in need of an Entry Level Contract by June 2015.

UPDATED MARCH 26th, 2015:

C Greg Chase, Calgary Hitmen, Victoria Royals

The 2014-2015 season was an interesting one for  Greg Chase. The 20-year old sat out for two weeks in November after requesting a trade from the Calgary Hitmen. Chase landed in Victoria, where he ended up finishing the season scoring 20 goals and 41 assists for 61 total points, a significant drop of from the 85 points he scored as a member of the Hitmen in 2013-2014.

The Oilers have faith in Chase however, as they signed him to a 3-year Entry Level Contract at the beginning of the season after he had a great training camp with the team.

“In our experience Greg has done a good job of working on the physical habits we’ve identified as important for his development,” said Oilers’ GM Craig MacTavish in the beginning of November after it was announced the Hitmen would look to move on. “It looks like a situation in Calgary where a trade would be mutually beneficial. Tough to assign appropriate responsibility. We support Greg and hope this is resolved quickly for both interests.”

Listed at 6’0, 200 lbs, Chase plays a gritty type of game that he gets from his uncle, Former NHL tough guy Kelly Chase. Chase is known to be hard to play against and has a scoring flare to his game. I would look to see him play for the Condors next season.

RW Jackson Houck, Vancouver Giants

The former 4th round, 2013 draft pick wore an “A” for the Vancouver Giants where he scored 22 goals, 29 assists for 51 points in 65 GP. The son of former Edmonton Oilers draft choice Paul Houck (4th round, 1981) needs to be signed by the Oilers prior to June 2015, or he will re-enter the NHL Draft.

Houck lacks technical skill, and has a low skating ability. Where he makes up for that is by being a hard worker who doesn’t give up. The chance of him turning into a formidable NHLer are little, and the Oilers may have wasted a draft pick on him.

Houck’s season finished with the Giants as they didn’t make the playoffs, so in turn, he sign an Amateur Tryout with the banged up OKC Barons. His time there may help determine whether or not he gets and ELC with the Oilers.



D Darnell Nurse, Sault St. Marie 

It has apparent that Darnell Nurse has the necessary tools to be a future #1 defenseman in the NHL. In 36 games this season, Nurse scored 10 goals and 23 assists for 33 points and had a 18 +/- rating alongside 58 PIM. Nurse represented Canada at the 2015 World Junior Championships where he helped lead Team Canada to a gold medal. There, Nurse was also named one of Canada’s three best players and was also given the Best Player award for Team Canada in the Gold medal game.

On top of his accolades listed above, he also captained his Sault St. Marie Greyhounds to a #2 seed in the OHL Western Conference playoffs, and a #1 ranking in the CHL Top 10.

Nurse possesses great size, skating ability and the smarts to make it at the next level. Nurse often draws comparisons to former Edmonton Oiler Chris Pronger. He is able to play in all situations, and also has the ability to log big time minutes.

Nurse showed some promise in the short stint he had with Edmonton at the beginning of the year, but like Leon Draisaitl, Nurse could benefit from time spent in the AHL. Across the board, it is generally very tough for young defenseman to play well in the NHL. Not as a slight against Nurse, but why do we need to rush these young guys into the lineup? It’s apparent that the program being ran in OKC right now has pushed some quality players into our lineup, and Draisaitl and Nurse could be the next two.



C Marco Roy, Quebec Remparts

The 6’0, 200 lbs Marco Roy has put on some significant size since he was drafted in the 2nd round of the 2013 NHL Entry draft. Since being drafted, he has put on around 20 lbs and grown an inch. After being traded from the Blainville-Boisbriand Armada to the Remparts in the offseason, Roy had a good year putting up 26 goals and 24 assists in 50 GP.

Roy has good skating ability with the power to get through the neutral zone easily. He sometimes gets caught out of position, but his willingness to dig deep into tough areas of the ice helps him get scoring chances in the offensive zone.  Like Houck and Betker, if Roy doesn’t sign with the Oilers by June this year, he will be set to re-enter the NHL Entry Draft.


I would not be surprised to see the Oilers take chances on some of these players. As Lowetide pointed out, the Oilers have 43 players on their 50-man list and there is a good group of guys that need to be signed. Personally, I would like to see Betker get signed out of this group of players because his size and skill set would accent the group of players we currently have in our system.

Come back tomorrow when we look at the Edmonton Oilers Prospects in the NCAA.

– Credit to Hockey’s Future for the parts of the synopsis on players