Corey Pronman’s NHL Pipeline Ranking: 18 Oilers led by Evan Bouchard

The Oilers retained their first-round picks while being in a competitive phase for the big club. I wouldn’t say their system is that deep, but the top is very good, led by top-10 pick Evan Bouchard, who plays a huge role in the NHL.

Main graduates: Kailer Yamamoto

Key Additions: Reid Schaefer

Ranking 2021: n°25

2022 NHL Draft Score: C+

Full 2022-23 NHL Pipeline Rankings

Ranking of players

1. Evan Bouchard, D

22 years old | 6 feet 3 inches | 194 pounds | Pull right

Drafted: No. 10 in 2018
Tier: Bubble NHL All-Star and MVP

Skating: below NHL average
Puck Skills: NHL Average
Hockey acumen: above NHL average
Competition: NHL average
Shooting: above NHL average

Analysis: Bouchard has emerged as an important part of the Oilers roster this season, scoring more than 40 NHL points. He’s a super-smart puck thrower who’s hit a lot of seams in the offensive zone. He has a lot of confidence at both ends to hold the pucks to wait in the lanes and make good plays. Bouchard also has a point shot that allows him to be a versatile player on the power play. Bouchard is more offensive due to his average mobility. He’s had a few bouts of questionable defensive play this season, but he’s also had regular PK duties and with his size and brains, I don’t think that’s going to be a big deal. He projects himself as a top pair defender who helps a power play in a major way and has a chance to be a standout.

2. Philip Broberg, D

21 years old | 6 feet 3 inches | 200 pounds | Pull left

Drafted: No. 8 in 2019
Level: Middle roster player

Skating: Above NHL average
Puck Skills: NHL Average
Hockey sense: below NHL average
Competition: NHL average

Analysis: Broberg had a strong first season in North America. He played a big role in Bakersfield and spent a lot of time with the Oilers. He’s a terrific athlete. Broberg has a large frame and is exceptionally mobile for his size. He is able to blast ice with his speed. He’s not that physical but plans to make a lot of saves simply due to the speed and length of his reach. Offense is a minor debate in his game. I think he’s got talent and he’s made things happen offensively in the AHL. I think he’s definitely a second pair defenseman and if the puck movement is more consistent, he could be a top pair defenseman.


Dylan Holloway was injured to start the first half of last season at Bakersfield but looked like a pro when he returned. (Andy Devlin/NHLI via Getty Images)

3. Dylan Holloway, C

20 years | 6 feet 1 | 203 pounds | Pull left

Drafted: No. 14 in 2020
Level: Middle roster player

Skating: NHL Average
Puck Skills: NHL Average
Hockey sense: NHL average
Competition: Above NHL average

Analysis: Holloway was injured to start the first half of the season, but when he returned he looked like a solid pro at Bakersfield. There’s nothing about his game that’s really elitist, but he does just fine. He plays at a professional pace and can make skillful plays at speed. He can score but also works hard with the puck. I don’t think he’s the most cerebral player you’ve ever seen, but he sees the ice quite well. I think Holloway can be a top-six forward; whether on the wing or in the center remains to be determined.

4. Ryan McLeod, C

22 years old | 6 feet 3 inches | 201 pounds | Pull left

Drafted: No. 40 in 2018
Level: Middle roster player

Skating: Above NHL average
Puck Skills: NHL Average
Hockey sense: NHL average
Competition: NHL average
Shooting: below NHL average

Analysis: McLeod had a good season, becoming an everyday part of a good Oilers team. He is a top athlete, showing incredible speed for such a big center. He can blow through NHL defensemen at a high rate. His feet also allow him to be an effective penalty killer. His offense isn’t amazing, but he has good hands and can make a few plays. He spotted on the second powerplay unit and I can see some mid-range production from him. He’s a third-line center for sure, and I can buy more for his game.

5. Reid Schaefer, L.A.

18 years old | 6 feet 3 inches | 213 pounds | Pull left

Drafted: No. 32 in 2022
Level: Middle roster player

Skating: below NHL average
Puck Skills: NHL Average
Hockey sense: NHL average
Competition: Above NHL average
Shooting: above NHL average

Analysis: Schaefer’s appeal in the NHL is because he’s a 6-foot-3 winger with legit skills, a scoring touch, and toughness. He is able to use his size and his hands to create an attack around the net, while having an excellent wrist shot to score from distance. He has value away from the puck, with a good work rate and physicality, and he can PK. Historically, he’s never been a great scorer, but his puck play and play has continued to impress me over the season and his role has elevated. He looks like a future mid-six power winger with the potential to play high in a formation if he really hits.

6. Xavier Bourgault, RA

19 years old | 6 feet | 172 pounds | Pull right

Drafted: No. 22 in 2021
Level: Middle roster player

Skating: NHL Average
Puck Skills: Above NHL average
Hockey sense: NHL average
Competition: Above NHL average

Analysis: Bourgault has missed time this season due to injury, but when healthy he was a dominant player in the QMJHL helping lead Shawinigan to a championship. He has exceptional skills with the puck, being able to consistently put pucks through the checkers and do it at NHL pace. He’s a creative passer who can lead a power play. Bourgault is also a good skater and puts pressure on defenses with his speed and skill. He’s not the biggest or the most physical, but I liked his effort this season. I saw more commitment to attacking in the middle and playing away from the puck even though it’s not his calling card. Bougault projects himself among the NHL’s top six forwards, probably on the wing.

7. Raphael Lavoie, RW

21 years old | 6 feet 4 inches | 196 pounds | Pull right

Drafted: No. 38 in 2019
Level: Expected to play NHL games

Skating: poor
Puck Skills: NHL Average
Hockey sense: below NHL average
Competition: Below NHL average
Shooting: above NHL average

Analysis: Lavoie is a player I struggled with for years. On the one hand, you love his skill and ability to score, especially with his big frame. He can tear up the puck and beat pro defensemen with his stickhandling. His game, however, lacks the speed and consistent effort you want him to excel at the highest level. I think he’s a good depth player for a team, but after an average second season, I’m not convinced he’s a full-time NHL player.

Has a chance to play (listed alphabetically)

Ryan Fanti, G

22 years old | 6 feet 3 inches | 195 pounds | Remaining captures

Signed at ELC

Analysis: Fanti has been one of the best goaltenders in college hockey this season. He is a very intelligent and composed goalkeeper with good technical skills. He’s not that big or that fast laterally, so we’ll see how he fare in pro hockey.

Joel Maatta, C

20 years | 6 feet 1 | 200 pounds | Pull left

Analysis: Maatta is a competitive center with a keen hockey sense who can play in difficult areas of the ice. I don’t like his skating or his sheer skill level though.

Luca Munzenberger, D

19 years old | 6 feet 2 inches | 194 pounds | Pull left

Drafted: n°90 in 2021

Analysis: Münzeberger is a solid skating defenseman who can make a lot of saves and is able to skate the pucks without pressure. The question is whether his game is attacking enough. If he can show even a little puck-moving ability, I can see him in the NHL.

Matvei Petrov, RW

19 years old | 6 feet 2 inches | 178 pounds | Pull right

Drafted: No. 180 in 2021

Analysis: Petrov had a lot of attacking skills. He’s a highly skilled winger with top-range shooting and can create a lot from the perimeter. His skating isn’t the best though and he doesn’t get into the net.

Carter Savoie, LW

20 years | 5 feet 9 inches | 192 pounds | Pull left

Drafted: No. 100 in 2020

Analysis: Savoie is excellent with the puck on his stick, possessing great hands, vision and a threatening shot from distance. He’s not that big and faster than quick with an average game away from the puck, so it’s unclear what his role in the NHL would be.

Tyler Tullio, RW

20 years | 5 feet 10 | 165 pounds | Pull right

Drafted: No. 126 in 2020

Analysis: Tullio is a highly skilled and intelligent forward who can shoot the puck, but lacks the ideal size and speed you’re looking for in an NHL forward.


Player Eligibility: All skaters 22 years of age or younger as of September 15, 2022, regardless of the number of NHL games they have played, are eligible. Player heights and weights are taken from the NHL.

Tool Ratings: Tool Ratings are based on a six-tier scale, with a look at how that attribute would be rated in the NHL (Poor, Below Average, Average, Above Average, High range and elite). “Average” on this scale means the tool is projected as an NHL average, which is considered a positive, not a criticism. Skating, puck skills, hockey sense and competition for each projected NHL player are scored. Shot ratings are only included if a shot is particularly good or bad.

Tier Definitions: Tiers are meant to show approximately where in an average NHL roster a player plans to fit.

(Illustration: Wes McCabe / Athleticism; Evan Bouchard photo: Andy Devlin/NHLI via Getty Images)


#Corey #Pronmans #NHL #Pipeline #Ranking #Oilers #led #Evan #Bouchard

Leave a Comment