With the Oilers Western Conference Finals loss, they have officially locked in at pick #29 in the draft this season.
With multiple solid options at this point in the draft, the question arises of who the Oilers take with their 1st round pick, so let’s take a look at who I think they should take:
Jagger Firkus (RW) – Moose Jaw Warriors (WHL)
5’10″/115 lb/Shoots Right
Arguably one of the most skilled forwards in this year’s draft, The “Firkus Circus” as he has become known in Moose Jaw has the skill and swagger to back it up. The Irma, Alberta native scored 36 goals and added 44 assists in his 66 games played in the WHL this season. Firkus has a high end offensive skill set, which he displayed by scoring a lacrosse style, or “Michigan”, goal in the WHL playoffs against Saskatoon. Firkus definitely has the swagger to back up the skill, in an interview after his lacrosse goal he was seen in a Michigan Wolverines toque in an ode to the origin of the move that has been made famous by the likes of Andrei Svechnikov and Trevor Zegras. Drawing comparisons to Toronto Maple Leafs forward Mitch Marner, Firkus has the potential to be a high draft pick and if he falls to #29 I can assume he would be hard to pass up.
Maveric Lamoureux (RD) – Drummondville Voltigeurs (QMJHL)
6’7″/196 lb/Shoots Right
One player on the “Bubble” of being drafted in the first round who I really like is the 6’7″ right-shot Maveric Lamoureux. The Hawkesbury, Ontario native scored 4 goals and added 20 assists in his 54 games played this season. Despite being a bit more of a project than other options in round 1, Lamoureux’s size and strong skating ability make him an appetizing option for a team picking in the late first round like the Oilers. Drawing comparisons to Vegas Golden Knights defensemen Nic Hague, the 18 year-old has the opportunity to be a late round steal for any team willing to take the risk.
Ivan Miroshnichenko Lane Hutson (LW) – Omskie Krylia (VHL)
6’0″/185 lb/Shoots Right
Possibly the biggest question of the draft is where does Ivan Miroshnichenko land? After coming into the season in a top-10 spot in the rankings, an unfortunate battle with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma has put some mystery about where he will land. Despite only 16 points in 31 games this season, the Russian’s international pedigree makes him a hard option to pass up. With 49 points in 37 international games including his 8 points in 7 games at the 2020-21 world juniors. Miroshnichecko’s ability to perform under the bright lights in the important moments is going to have him in every team’s conversations during rounds 1 and 2.
Lane Hutson (LD) – USA NTDP
5’8″/165 lb/Shoots Left
Another player that may not be a first rounder, but an option to trade back and select to gain some draft capital is the left-shooting Lane Hutson. The Boston University commit has already drawn some comparisons to New York Rangers star defensemen Adam Fox and has worked to bulk up for the draft. The smart and mobile defensemen’s biggest knock was his size, but his 103 points in 93 games split between the US National U18 team, USNTDP Juniors, and 2021-22 US World Juniors club. If the Oilers do end up trading the 29th overall pick, I can definitely see them taking a long and hard look at Hutson.
Tyler Brennan (G) – Prince George Cougars (WHL)
6’4″/190 lb/Catches Left
Ranked as the top goalie in this year’s draft, there’s a lot to like about the 6’4″ Brennan. Despite being another player the Oilers would have to trade down to justify drafting. The big bodied, flexible goaltender had an outstanding post season in Prince George, posting a .954 save percentage in 4 games. However, Brennan’s regular season leaves much to be desired, posting a measly .899 save percentage and 11-25-2 record. A bit more of a reach for the Oilers but I could definitely see the club trade back and take him if they choose to go the goaltending route this year.