The Edmonton Oilers have graduated many recent draft picks directly into the NHL over the past few seasons. Beginning with Taylor Hall and most recently Nail Yakupov, the Oilers have seen the majority of their prospects make the leap directly from junior hockey into the NHL ranks.
Edmonton has a couple of high-profile prospects in Darnell Nurse and Oscar Klefbom, both of whom factor to be in competition for a roster spot with Edmonton next season. But a few other prospects have flown relatively under the radar thus far.
Here is a look at the Edmonton Oilers’ most underrated prospects at each position.
Lost in the hype surrounding the trade of Ladislav Smid to the Calgary Flames was that the Oilers got an interesting goaltending prospect in Laurent Brossoit as a return.
He was a standout with the Edmonton Oil Kings and is a player management should be quite familiar with.
With the Oil Kings, he shouldered a tremendous workload and finished the 2012-13 season with an impressive 33-8-6 record and a sparkling 2.25 goals-against average.
While he is currently playing a backup role to Tyler Bunz with the Bakersfield Condors of the ECHL, his record has been impressive. Overall, he is 7-2-1 since coming over from the Alaska Aces.
Brossoit may still be some time away from making an impact in the NHL, as the strong and agile goaltender must still develop some of the mental aspects of his game, but he could turn out to be an excellent addition to the Oilers system.
Martin Marincin is beginning to make a name for himself at the NHL level.
It is hard to consider Martin Marincin an underrated prospect at this point, thanks in large part to his current run with the Edmonton Oilers. However, considering that Klefbom garnered most, if not all, of the organization’s defensive prospect coverage, Marincin is doing quite well for himself.
He is a big, lanky defender who possesses above-average skating ability and a keen hockey sense that allows him to join into the offensive rush from time to time.
His offensive skill set will also provide the team with another decent puck-moving defender who is capable of running the power play.
He will have to work on his defensive positioning as well as develop a bit more of a physical presence in order to fully utilize his size, but he could be a permanent fixture with Edmonton going forward.
Mitchell Moroz is another former Edmonton Oil King who is within the Oilers organization. He is exactly the type of forward the NHL roster lacks.
He is a prototypical power forward who plays the game with great energy and tenacity, although he may lack the polish when it comes to his offensive game.
He is more than able of contributing offensively but projects to be mainly an energy type of player who can play hard, physical minutes against top opposition.
After the Oilers selected Tyler Pitlick with the 31st pick in 2010, the former NCAA and WHL standout has had a tough time acclimating to the professional game and an even harder time staying healthy.
He has not capitalized on a stellar NCAA and WHL career thus far into his professional career, but he possesses the talent and size to contribute once he regains his form.
At 6’2” and 194 pounds, Pitlick has the frame to compete in the NHL but has struggled to find his offensive game with the Oklahoma City Barons.
If he can return to any semblance of the form that he had in his junior days, he could be a useful third- or fourth-line winger who can play a regular shift and chip in offensively from time to time.
The Edmonton Oilers have a plethora of top-six forwards who are rich with offensive talent, but the team has suffered due to a lack of complementary pieces.
Greg Chase is the type of center iceman the Oilers lack. He could potentially fill a roster spot in the next couple of seasons.
At 6’0” and 204 pounds, he is much larger than most of the forwards on the team and has shown quite the offensive flair during his time with the WHL’s Calgary Hitmen.
Chase was a late seventh-round selection for the Oilers, but he could turn out to be quite the steal if he continues to improve when he transitions into the AHL next season.