The new Oilers brain trust was excited to take part in forming up this new league and developing a new roster in Edmonton.
As the new GM for the BEARD Hockey iteration of the Edmonton Oilers, I’d like to provide a summary of the recent Dispersal Draft.
The main goals for the roster going into the Dispersal was building a solid foundation of centres and defense while targeting young RFA-aged talent. I feel that a solid group of evolving talent that is cost controlled will be a big factor in a championship team down the road.
Another consideration was acquiring some solid prospects for the farm team that’ll be working their way onto the big club very soon.
Overall this new Oilers squad should be competitive right out of the gate but have plenty of running room to grow into a force to be reckoned with in coming seasons. Our young talent has been augmented by some solid veteran players to help guide the way.
I guess I shouldn’t have been surprised that my draft list for the early rounds got blown up so quickly - that speaks to the quality of the other BEARD GM’s. With that being said, I feel that the picks in the first handful of rounds will set the Oilers up for long term success.
The Oilers were pleased to pick a pair of exceptional 23-year-old’s in the first two rounds. Zach Werenski is already a fantastic two-way defenseman and Mathew Barzal is an emerging goal-scoring threat.
The next two rounds netted Tomas Hertl and Ryan Graves. These picks give the Oilers another fantastic young centre and a punishing all around defender.
Round five saw the Oilers address the long-term goaltending situation. Elvis Merzlikins will begin as the backup but we fully expect him to develop into a bonafide #1 in the coming seasons. He will be mentored by veteran tender Braden Holtby. It’s a tandem that should serve the Oilers well over the coming seasons.
The next two picks of Kevin Hayes and Brock Nelson will bring both skill and experience to the top six. They are both well rounded players and can line up at both centre and wing.
Rounds eight and nine shifted focus back to young and talented defense. Rasmus Andersson and Dante Fabbro are both emerging talents and should be fixtures in the top four in coming years.
The remaining Dispersal rounds saw picks distributed between both the big club and the farm, as well as striking a balance between youth and veteran talent. Veteran coach Bruce Boudreau was selected to guide the Pro squad.
The following is a provisional lineup for the Edmonton Oilers going into the inaugural BEARD Hockey season.
Brock Nelson - Tomas Hertl - Erik Haula
Zach Sanford - Kevin Hayes - Alex Killorn
Ivan Barbashev - Mathew Barzal - Artturi Lehkonen
Loui Eriksson - Carter Verhaeghe - Nicolas Aube-Kubel
Zach Werenski - Ryan Graves
Jack Johnson - Matt Roy
Rasmus Andersson - Carson Soucy