Ken Holland’s last-ever draft pick for Oilers may be one of his best

BOSTON, MA - MARCH 17: Matt Copponi #21 of the Merrimack Warriors skates against the UMass Lowell River Hawks during NCAA men's hockey in the Hockey East Championship semifinal at TD Garden on March 17, 2023 in Boston, Massachusetts. The Warriors won 2-1 in double overtime. (Photo by Richard T Gagnon/Getty Images)
BOSTON, MA - MARCH 17: Matt Copponi #21 of the Merrimack Warriors skates against the UMass Lowell River Hawks during NCAA men's hockey in the Hockey East Championship semifinal at TD Garden on March 17, 2023 in Boston, Massachusetts. The Warriors won 2-1 in double overtime. (Photo by Richard T Gagnon/Getty Images) /
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Edmonton Oilers
Apr 13, 2023; Edmonton, Alberta, CAN; Edmonton Oilers centre Connor McDavid (97) celebrates a goal with center Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (93) and centre Leon Draisaitl (29) defenseman Evan Bouchard (2) and left wing Zach Hyman (18) during the first period at Rogers Place. Mandatory Credit: Walter Tychnowicz-USA TODAY Sports /

The search for quality prospects at a critical time

The Oilers are going to need quality NHLers to come out of late rounds and college signings, in order to continue to fill out the roster with young and cheap players as they enter an era where Connor McDavid, Leon Draisaitl, Evan Bouchard, and others will come due for big-time raises.

They sadly missed out on drafting Benning in a year when they traded their second and third round picks, but they can help make up for their shortcomings by drafting and signing players that are taking strides in their development like Bookman is.

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It’s possible that we see top organisation prospects traded for upgrades on the current roster at various positions during the coming year. This could create an even stronger demand for the Oilers to source out quality prospects where other teams have missed or given up on them. (See Benning.)

It would be smart of CEO Jeff Jackson and Holland to take a look at this teammate of strongly-developing late-round draft pick Copponi, and consider offering Bookman an AHL contract heading into next season.

Next. 3 Keys as the Oilers face the Lightening. dark

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