Edmonton Oilers Prospects: NCAA, Junior A & USHL Wrapup


Part one of the Edmonton Oilers Prospects Wrapup where we look at the Canadian Hockey League prospects can be seen here.

Let’s take a look across the NCAA, Junior A & USHL and see how the Edmonton Oilers Prospects held up.



F Evan Campbell, UMass-Lowell

After being drafted in the 5th round of the 2013 NHL Entry Draft, Campbell saw success in his second NCAA season scoring 12 goals and 15 assists for 27 points in 34 GP. Campbell was fourth on his team in scoring, including four powerplay goals.

The Oilers reached very high on Campbell as he was not among the 210 North American skaters in the Central Scouting’s final rankings. What the Oilers liked however, are his 6’1, 195 lbs frame that he uses to his advantage. Going forward, Campbell will likely run his course through the NCAA ranks and it will likely translate to him having success at the Minor, or European levels.

D Joey LaLeggia, Denver Pioneers 

LaLeggia is a candidate for the Hobey Baker Award for the best NCAA Men’s Hockey player after finishing up his fourth, and final season in Denver. Over his 154 game career, he scored 0.84 PPG. In his final season, he scored 13 goals and 25 assists for 38 points in 35 games. He was a 2012 5th round selection.

LaLeggia is a very interesting player and despite being 5’10 and 185 lbs, players like Torrey Krug, Jared Spurgeon and Sami Vatanen all have shown that there is a place for small, offensive defencemen in the NHL. Like many offensive defenseman, he is an excellent passer, a Powerplay quarterback and has great skating skills. His size and his lack of physicality is a concern in his own zone, however his high hockey IQ could make up for it.

He actually grew up with Ryan Nugent-Hopkins in the same town, and they both played for the Vancouver Northwest Giants and the Burnaby Winter Club.

For the Oilers, it’s fish-or-cut-bait  as if LaLeggia isn’t signed to a contract, he will become an Unrestricted Free Agent.

You can vote for him in the Hobey Baker race here.

F John McCarron, Cornell Big Red 

After being selected in the 6th round of the 2012 NHL draft, McCarron finished his four years at Cornell University as a 0.56 PPG player. In his final season, he scored only four goals and eight assists for 12 points in 31 GP.

McCarron’s offense struggled this year, in turn to a season-ending back injury suffered by linemate Joel Lowry. He has great size at 6’2, 225 lbs and uses that to his advantage. His brother, Mike McCarron who pays for the Oshawa Generals in the OHL, was a 2013 1st round selection by the Montreal Canadiens.

At this point, it is unlikely he will turn into anything besides a player in a bottom six role. Like LaLeggia, McCarron is in need of a contract or he will hit free agency.

F Aiden Muir, Western Michigan Broncos 

Being 6’4 and 212 lbs at the age of 19 bodes well for Muir. The freshman just wrapped up his freshman season at WMU, where he transitioned well into the lineup scoring six goals and nine assists for 15 points in 36 games. The 2013 4th round selection was drafted out of the USHL and will likely need more time to develop before we are able to be sure where he forecasts.

Despite that, he has all of the necessary tools to turn into a power-forward. He is not afraid to put his larger frame and grit to work in the tougher areas of the ice. He has never put up ground breaking numbers in his career, but I think that Muir is a prospect to keep your eye on.

C Tyler Vesel, University of Nebraska-Omaha Mavericks 

Vesel was a 2014 6th round pick who was drafted out of the USHL after having a phenomenal season scoring 33 goals, 38 assists for 71 points in only 49 GP. Although he didn’t win the scoring title that season, he has the highest PPG rate amongst all USHL players with 49+GP with 1.45 PPG.

In his freshmen year at the University of Nebraska-Omaha, Vesel scored 7 goals and 14 assists for 21 points in 36 GP. Despite being a smaller center listed at 5’11, 182 lbs, he is a player who has a very high compete level and is a solid two-way center. Like Evan Campbell in 2013, Vesel was not ranked among the 210 ranked North American Skaters in the Central Scouting Final Rankings.

He will likely use up his full four years of eligibility at UNO.



D William Lagesson, Dubuque Fighting Saints

Lagesson was a 2014 4th round draft choice, and a player that Oilers fans should keep their eye on. The 18 year old just finished his first season of North American hockey, where he played for the Dubuque Fighting Saints scoring a goal and 12 assists alongside 77 PIM and a + 14 +/- in 45 GP. On top of that, Lagesson represented Sweden at the 2015 World Junior Championships where he was named one of Sweden’s top three players.

At 6’2, 201 lbs, Lagesson is a physical player who can be very difficult to play against. He is a good skater for his size with all of the tools to be a punishing defenseman at the NHL. He has recently committed to playing NCAA hockey at UMass-Amherst starting next season. While there, he will need to mature and refine his positional play in order to meet his full potential.

He will need some time and seasoning, but I think the Oilers may have struck gold with this pick.


F Liam Coughlin, Vernon Vipers

Like Evan Campbell, Coughlin was drafted right out of the BCHL when the Oilers used a 2014 5th round pick on him. In his final season with the Vipers, Coughlin scored 20 goals and 40 assists for 60 points in 54 GP. The 6’3, 201 lbs forward his high scoring season into the playoffs where he scored 10 points in 11 games.

Currently, Coughlin struggles with his skating but does posess some high level offensive talent. He has committed to play NCAA hockey at the University of Vermont where he will need to continue to work to polish his game. Once he gets some games under his belt there, it will be easier to see where he could fit long term.


This is a good batch of players who could turn into players down the line. I am especially high on William Lagesson and Joey LaLeggia. They are both players that I feel can turn into players for us down the road.

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