Oilers Draft Candidates: 2022 NHL Entry Draft

Edmonton Oilers General Manager, Ken Holland (Photo by Dave Reginek - Pool/Getty Images)
Edmonton Oilers General Manager, Ken Holland (Photo by Dave Reginek - Pool/Getty Images) /

The Edmonton Oilers are essentially a lock for the playoffs, so looking at the 2022 NHL Entry Draft with our first round pick in hand, the Oilers are likely picking anywhere between 20-32, so no superstar will be selected right off the hop. But, what the Oilers can do, is add to their already stacked rookie depth with a first round player that will benefit from playing and competing with one of the strongest prospect pools in the league.

Below, are 3 candidates the Oilers should look into drafting, around the late parts of the draft.

Denton Mateychuk – Moose Jaw Warriors (WHL)

Mateychuk, 17, is a left handed D man with the Warriors in the Western Hockey League. He currently averages a point per game through 61 games, with 11 goals and 50 assists. He is seen as a two way player, who not only has a good stride and impressive offensive impact, but can become a shutdown defensemen in clutch scenarios when his team needs him the most.

Mateychuk is from Winnipeg, and while playing with the Eastman selects, often averaged a point per game or better. EPRinkside.com stated that Mateychuk is always “up in the play, and when he gets the puck, few defensemen create more opportunities. He’s a confident, aggressive defender, too”

Bob McKenzie has him at #29 overall, while EliteProspects.Com has him ranked at #8, so Denton could truly go anywhere, but I’d bet on him falling to the second half of the draft. If the Oilers decide to further bolster their defensive prospect pool, they will be adding one of, if not the strongest defender in the draft.

Jagger Firkus – Moose Jaw Warriors (WHL)

Firkus, 17, is a right handed forward with the Warriors, and has been one of their strongest and best players all around, as well as one of their most important on the impressively stacked team. Through 64 games this season in the Western League, Firkus has 79 points and is currently on pace for 84 as they finish out their regular season.

Firkus is from Irma, Alberta, and played his youth hockey in Lloydminster, where he was a standout player. In his second season of u15 AAA with the Bobcats, he had 65 points in 30 games, and was able to crack the u18 AAA roster the following season, while affiliating with the Warriors for 12 games. In those 12 games, he had a goal and an assist, while averaging over a point per game with his own u18 AAA team, totaling 34 in 30 games.

Firkus is ranked #15 overall by Craig Button, but ranked #41 by EliteProspects.Com. The belief is that a team will snag him in the first round, right around where the Oilers would select, and if he’s still available, the Oilers should be all over his offensive skill.

Lian Bichsel – Leksands IF J20 (SWI)

Bichsel, 17, is a left handed D man playing in Switzerland. The one thing specifically that stands out about him is his height, standing tall at 6’5, and weighing in around 220 pounds. Although not having a strong offensive side, Bichsel is a shut down player, and is expected to be picked in the top 25. If he falls to Edmonton, I really like the idea of snagging him.

NHL Central Scouting had Bichsel ranked as the 14th best European player in the draft, and whatever team picks him up to add to their prospect pool, will have some serious size, and some added grit to their lineup.

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