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FUTURE WATCH: Oilers CHL prospects begin their playoffs

See how the Oilers CHL prospects are doing in the playoffs

by Paul Gazzola /

EDMONTON, AB - Playoffs have begun for a few Oilers prospects competing in the Canadian Hockey League.

Stay up-to-date on how the prospects are faring below.

EVAN BOUCHARD, London Knights

If being named the CHL's Player of the Week after collecting seven points - including two goals and two assists in London's series opener against the Windsor Spitfires - wasn't enough, Oilers defence prospect Evan Bouchard added another pair of assists in a 6-3 win on Tuesday to power his Knights to a 3-0 series lead.

The 2018 10th-overall selection is now tied for first in Ontario Hockey League playoff scoring with two goals and nine points in three games. 

RYAN MCLEOD, Saginaw Spirit

McLeod, formerly a Mississauga Steelhead, was dealt to the Spirit on Jan. 3, playing 31 matches with the team in the regular season and accruing seven goals and 24 points over that time. The 40th-overall draft choice in 2018 finished the regular season with 19 goals and 62 points.

McLeod showed extremely well at Oilers Training Camp and is best known for his speed and two-way play up the middle of the ice. The forward has two assists during Saginaw's first three games of the OHL playoffs. Like Bouchard, Saginaw could secure a spot in the second round with a victory against the Sting Thursday in Sarnia.


OSTAP SAFIN, Halifax Mooseheads

Kept to the sidelines for most of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League's season due to injury, forward Ostap Safin has appeared in all three of Halifax's games against the Quebec Remparts. Despite the Mooseheads - who are a powerhouse perennially - concluding the regular campaign at the top of the QMJHL standings with a 49-15-2-2 record and 102 points, the club trails the Remparts 2-1 in the series.

Safin registered his first point of the series in Game 3, dishing a slick backhand feed to Raphael Lavoie to set up the game-winning goal. 

The Mooseheads will attempt to knot the series up Thursday in Quebec.



The Russian defenceman with a penchant for big hits is coming into his own offensively. Samorukov, a third-round selection (84th-overall) in the 2017 NHL Draft, ended the regular season with 10 goals and 45 points in 59 games. 

Guelph currently heads their series against the Kitchener Rangers 3-0, with Samorukov registering one goal and four points in the trio of games his squad has played so far. Samorukov's four points have him in a tie for third in defence scoring in the 2018-19 postseason.


Known to boast the 'Kirill shot' with his lethal release, Oilers forward prospect Kirill Maksimov's Niagara IceDogs are up 2-1 in their Round 1 series versus the North Bay Battalion. Maksimov has been withheld from the lineup, however, due to a lower-body injury and will not compete in the first round.

The Russian, a fifth-round selection (146th-overall), ended the regular season with 40 goals and 79 points in 63 games.


OLIVIER RODRIGUE, Drummondville Voltigeurs

Goaltender Olivier Rodrigue, another 2018 second-round selection, has also yet to appear in any one of the Drummondville Voltigeurs' postseason matches against the Gatineau Olympiques. Rodrigue's Voltigeurs possess a commanding 3-0 series lead, however, and should be given a boost when the keeper - who had 35 wins and a .902 save percentage in the regular season - returns.

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