Edmonton Oilers: Top Five First-Round Picks of All Time


The Edmonton Oilers sure seem to be great at hitting the top spot in the lottery when it comes to the NHL Draft each year.  However, with the selection of everyone’s top pick, Connor McDavid, first overall this year, the Oilers might have made one of the greatest selections in years.


So today, since we have not seen McDavid’s damage in the NHL yet, we picked our choices for the Oilers’ Top Five First-Round Picks of All-Time.  Feel free to comment and join in the conversation!

5. Kevin Lowe

Kevin Lowe, all-time Oilers’ great, makes this list because he was the first-ever Oilers’ draft pick, as well as a six-time Stanley Cup Championship.  Lowe needs no explanation for making this list, with 84 goals, 347 assists and 431 points.  Lowe’s mark is not to be forgotten, as the defender played every game to the last minute and was always there when you needed him.  We love number 4.

4. Jason Arnott

Arnott only played five seasons for the Oilers, but his numbers all around in his career make him one of the top picks the Edmonton Oilers have ever made.  Selected as the seventh overall pick in 1993, Arnott scored 33 goals in his debut season with Edmonton.

Although his numbers were inconsistent, and he would have a 30-goal season followed by a 15-goal season, his numbers were still high and impressive.  The center went on to play for five other teams, all of where he racked up high goal-scoring seasons and assist numbers.  By the time his NHL career ended, Arnott racked up 417 goals and 521 assists, make that 938 points for Arnott in his career.  He hit the 400-goal mark when playing for the Washington Capitals in 2011, after he was traded there by the New Jersey Devils.

3. Grant Fuhr

The forwards and scorers aren’t the only ones getting love.  Coming in at number three is Fuhr.  The goaltender, although known for his spectacular play, had a career 46 assists, showing the netminder also enjoyed powering the offense.  In the 1981 draft, the Oil took Fuhr at eighth overall.

Fuhr had a career GAA of 3.38 and a save percentage of .887.  These numbers these days aren’t the greatest ones we’ve heard, however, Fuhr was one of the greatest goaltenders of all time.  Fuhr led the Oilers to four Stanley Cups in five seasons, from 1984 to 1988.  Gretzky calls him one of the greatest goaltenders of all time, and he is, since he has won five Stanley Cups, the Vezina Trophy, the Jennings award and six All-Star Game Selections.

2. Ryan Smyth

Mandatory Credit: Chris Austin-USA TODAY Sports

We couldn’t leave here without knowing that the great Smyth made this list easily.  He is our number two greatest Oilers first rounder of all-time.  Selected sixth overall by the Oilers in 1994, Smyth played for the Edmonton Oilers for 12 seasons with impressive goal-scoring numbers.  He hit the 30-goal mark many times, as well as 30-assists.  However, he was traded to the New York Islanders in the 2006-07 season as a result of failed contract negotiations.  He continued superb play with the Isles, Colorado Avalanche and Los Angeles Kings until 2011, when he returned to the Oilers in June in a trade involving Colin Fraser and a 2012 Draft Pick.  In 2012, he scored his 800th point of his career with the Oilers on an assist against the Winnipeg Jets, and on March 6, 2014, Smyth broke the Oilers record for most franchise power-play goals, previously held by the great one, Wayne Gretzky.

Though Smyth retired in 2014 after 19 seasons, he holds great career stats and milestones, including 386 goals and 456 assists.  He also won an Olympic Gold Medal in 2002 and was selected twice for the NHL All-Star team.  He also served as a captain for the Oilers.

1. Paul Coffey

We hope this was obvious.  Coffey, all-time Edmonton Oilers great, is probably the greatest first-round selections the Oilers have ever made.

Selected sixth overall in 1980’s draft, Coffey scored 32 points his first season, as well as declared his defensive efficiency with a +4.  He only played seven seasons with the Oilers, but he made a huge impact.  The defenseman hit 30 goals nearly every season and scored a career-high of 48 goals in the 1985-86 season, as well as a career high of 90 assists and a +61.

Although Coffey’s +/- suffered when he was traded to the Pittsburgh Penguins in 1987, he still kept high numbers in the goals and assist categories.  He went on to play for the Kings, Detroit Red Wings and a variety of other teams, and in the end he accumulated 396 goals and 1,135 assists, along with a +294 in a career 1,406 games.

Coffey won the Norris trophy three times, as well as winning four Stanley Cup Championships, 13 All-Star game selections, three Canada cups and becoming 13th overall in points all-time in the NHL.  Coffey was also named to the NHL Hall of Fame, and is an all-time great.  We will always remember number 7.

So, Oil Country, do you agree with our list?  Comment below!

Next: Prospect Connor McDavid Dominates Development Camp

More from Oil On Whyte