In The System: Oilers Top 10 Prospects, Part 1

BUFFALO, NY - JUNE 25: Tyler Benson poses for a portrait after being selected 32nd overall by the Edmonton Oilers during the 2016 NHL Draft on June 25, 2016 in Buffalo, New York. (Photo by Jeffrey T. Barnes/Getty Images)

The prospects are in town and the Oilers rookie camp is officially underway as of September 15th.

There’s nothing more that hockey fans love, than seeing what the future may bring, so I’m starting a three part series on the ranking of the Oilers Top 10 prospects.

In part one, I’ll be ranking numbers 10 through 7.

I decided to leave out Evan Bouchard and Ryan McLeod because they’re more of NHL mainstays at this point, and this is all in my opinion of course.

#10 Tyler Tullio (C/RW)

Tullio was drafted in the 5th round 126th overall in 2020. He’s currently playing in the OHL with the Oshawa Generals, where he was recently named captain.

He also just signed his 3 year entry-level deal on September 6th.

At 5’11 and 181 lbs, he’s not the biggest winger but he makes up for it with his ability to read and react well. He pays great attention to detail on the defensive side of the puck, which is key for any team.

I don’t think he’ll be NHL caliber for at least another 2-3 years but at this point Tullio is an important prospect for the team, and was a steal for a 5th round pick in my eyes.

NHL Projection: Two-Way, Top 6 Forward

#9 Carter Savoie (LW)

Savoie was also drafted in 2020 but in the 4th round with the 100th overall pick. Another steal that the Oilers got late in that years draft.

The St. Albert, Alberta native is about to start his second season with the University of Denver of the NCAA. In just 24 games last year he had an impressive 13 goals, along with a total of 24 points.

The biggest attribute he’s shown so far is his goal scoring. Carter is excellent at shooting on the rush and through sticks or bodies, along with his hard and accurate shot.

Just like Tullio and most late round picks, he’ll probably take a little longer to develop but goal scoring ability is very beneficial, so we may see him in the NHL sooner than projected.

NHL Projection: Depth Scoring, Top 9 Winger

#8 Xavier Bourgault (C/RW)

The 2021 1st round pick of the Oilers (22nd Overall) is a player fans should be excited about. He plays in the QMJHL with the Shawinigan Cataractes where he’s put up 111 points in 92 games the last two seasons.

Bourgault would probably be higher on my list but he’s only 18 years old and being one of the Oilers newest draft picks, he still has a lot in his game to develop.

The best quality that Bourgault possesses is his work ethic, where he’s great at forechecking and causing turnovers in the offensive end. He’s also more of a playmaker and his defensive game needs an upgrade, but with his hard work it’s nothing good coaching can’t teach.

Xavier has been compared to Brad Marchand of the Bruins (without the pest-like qualities). With that being said I think Oilers fans should be very excited for the newest top prospect.

NHL Projection: Playmaking, Top 6 Forward

#7 Tyler Benson (LW)

As fans know, Benson has been a top prospect for quite sometime now. Drafted in the 2nd round with the 32nd pick back in 2016, he’s definitely taken his time to develop.

Edmonton born and drafted by the Oilers from the Vancouver Giants of the WHL, where he was captain for 3 seasons. In 190 WHL games over a span of 5 years, Benson had a modest 184 points.

Now an AHL regular for the past 3 seasons, he’s amassed 141 points in 146 games. His junior numbers have translated quite well to pro hockey and that’s something that shouldn’t go un-noticed. Benson was called up to the NHL in the 2019-20 season for 7 games where he had just 1 assist.

Injuries have hindered his development a little but it’s nice to see the Oilers actually taking their time with prospects for once. I feel like in no time the 23 year old will be an NHL regular and if he has a strong training camp and preseason, it could be this year.

NHL Projection: Power Forward, 2nd-3rd Liner

Next up in Part 2, I’ll be doing numbers 6-4.

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