For all of the futility surrounding the Edmonton Oilers over the past few seasons, the team has managed to acquire some intriguing and talented prospects, many of which have already graduated to the NHL.
Darnell Nurse and Oscar Klefbom represent the top prospects currently not playing in the NHL for the Edmonton Oilers, and factor to be integral parts of the roster in the next couple of seasons.
Edmonton has quite a few strong defensive prospects who should be able to take the next step sooner rather than later, as well as a couple intriguing offensive players who could help round out the roster.
Until they do make an impact, here are some NHL comparisons for the Oilers’ top prospects.
Klefbom may be the next Oilers prospect to graduate to the NHL and could make an immediate impact.
NHL comparison: Brent Seabrook
Klefbom is possibly the Oilers best prospect and will looked upon to step into the Oilers roster and help solidify a very suspect defensive core sometime in the next couple of seasons.
To compare Klefbom to Brent Seabrook may be a bit of stretch, but the similarities are there.
Like Seabrook, Klefbom possesses above average skating ability for a player of his size and has the ability to find his teammates with great breakout passes.
Klefbom also possesses a heavy shot from the point, something that Seabrook has honed over his tenure with Chicago, and if Klefbom can contribute offensively like Seabrook, the Oilers blue line should drastically improve.
The talented Swede will have to improve his defensive zone play and physicality if he truly wishes to emulate Seabrook, but with some seasoning in the AHL and acclimation to the North American game, he could very well blossom into a Seabrook-esque player.
NHL comparison: Chris Pronger
If Darnell Nurse can develop into half the player and leader that Chris Pronger was during his NHL career, the Oilers will be in great shape and Nurse may be regarded as one of the best Oilers draft picks not taken first overall.
At 6’5” and 192 lbs. Nurse still has quite a bit of room to grow into his frame, much like Pronger did when he first broke into the league.
Nurse may already be a better skater than Pronger was during his career, and shows a willingness to play physically while also jumping into the offensive zone to contribute in scoring opportunities.
Nurse will have to develop a better shot from the point to truly recognize the Pronger comparison, and will have to earn a reputation as a player that opponents fear playing against, but as he continues to grow this should come naturally.
NHL comparison: Ryan Jones
Entering his draft year in 2012, Moroz was compared to Boston Bruins forward Milan Lucic due to Moroz’s size, tenacity and scoring ability. Since then his offensive production has been up and down but Moroz has demonstrated an ability to contribute as well as provide a physical aspect and willingness to fight and defend teammates when necessary.
Ryan Jones is more of an accurate comparison due to the fact that Moroz, should he continue to develop, should be an energy guy who can kill penalties, play decent minutes as well as score some timely goals.
Moroz may have more of an offensive upside than Jones, but he hasn’t quite reached a level warranting Lucic comparisons quite yet.
The Oilers have a major need for a player with Jujhar Khaira's skillset.
NHL comparison: Dave Bolland
Jujhar Khaira may not be one of the most talented prospects in the Edmonton Oilers farm system, but if he can blossom into a Dave Bolland type player, he will play a huge role for the Oilers for years to come.
Khaira is a decent skater who at 6’3” and 194 lbs. plays a nasty game and possesses a mean streak at times.
Like Bolland, Khaira is a decent skater but has playmaking and finishing abilities around the net that should make him a decent bottom-six option for the club should he continue to progress in the WHL.