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DRAFT: Chiasson thankful for support during difficult draft year

"I had the best guys around me in Brandon, and I can't say enough about the coaching staff and team there that supported me through this journey," said Jake Chiasson

by Jamie Umbach / EdmontonOilers.com

EDMONTON, AB - Navigating the turmoil of the 2020-21 season that was as a draft-eligible prospect was no easy feat to accomplish. Jake Chiasson can attest to that.

Luckily, he wasn't alone. The Oilers fourth-round draft choice will tell you it took a village to have the privilege of hearing his name called on Day 2 of the NHL Draft following a breakout campaign with the Brandon Wheat Kings in '20-21.

"We were pretty aware by the end of the summer what our season was going to look like," said Chiasson. "We had really good communication with Brandon, which thankfully allowed me to stay focused.

"I had the guys around supporting me and handling my stress a bit with the draft. I had the best guys around me in Brandon and I can't say enough about the coaching staff and team there that supported me through this journey and my first few years there."

Video: DRAFT | Jake Chiasson 07.24.21

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TALKING POINTS: Tyler Wright summarizes 2021 NHL Draft

Director of Amateur Scouting held a post-Draft interview to discuss the Oilers six selections and more

by Staff / EdmontonOilers.com

EDMONTON, AB - The 2021 NHL Draft has concluded with the Oilers welcoming six new prospects to the franchise. 

Edmonton completed this year's selection ceremony by taking four forwards and two defencemen:

  • Shawinigan Cataractes forward Xavier Bourgault (Round 1, 20th overall)

  • Cologne U-20 defenceman Luca Münzenberger (Round 3, 90th overall)

  • Brandon Wheat Kings winger Jake Chiasson (Round 4, 116th overall)

  • Krylya Sovetov Moscow winger Matvey Petrov (Round 6, 180th overall)

  • Boston Jr. Bruins winger Shane Lachance (Round 6, 186th overall)

  • Moose Jaw Warriors defenceman Max Wanner (Round 7, 212th overall)

Following the event, Oilers Director of Amateur Scouting Tyler Wright took questions from the media. Read and watch Wright's full interview from the Hall of Fame Room below.

Wright's expectations and summary of the 2021 NHL Draft:

"You have guys pushed up the list that we're trying to target and kind of hoping they slide for the most part. I think every team gets really excited after their draft. It's a pretty even-keel for us. We've got a lot of work to do. It's an exciting day for them and their families. Every one of these picks that we made today fit, at some point, in their game around the philosophy that we want the Edmonton Oilers to have in the next coming years."

Video: DRAFT | Tyler Wright 07.24.21

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DRAFT: Münzenberger draws connections to Edmonton

The Oilers third-round pick is familiar with the city from Leon Draisaitl and the World Juniors; compares game to Darnell Nurse

by Jamie Umbach / EdmontonOilers.com

EDMONTON, AB - Luca Münzenberger is in the early days of his tenure as an Oilers prospect, but the German defender already has a comfortable familiarity with his new NHL organization and the city of Edmonton.

As an up-and-coming German talent in the era of Leon Draisaitl, how can you not?

"Leon just texted me probably 10 minutes ago, and he's a great guy," Münzenberger said via Zoom following his selection. "If you're German and you're a hockey player, you've got to love the Oilers because of him."

"Leon is just a huge star in Germany even though hockey isn't as popular as it is in the U.S. or in Canada. But it's starting to grow, especially because of Leon."

The Oilers dove back into Deutschland to select the 6-foot-2, 194-pound rearguard and former captain of the Kölner Junghaie U-20 side with their 90th-overall selection in the third round of the 2021 NHL Draft on Saturday.

Video: DRAFT | Luca Munzenberger 07.24.21

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PROSPECT PROFILE: Aatu Raty

Finnish centre saw his draft value decrease over the past two seasons but remains a strong candidate for teams looking to add skill and size

by Paul Gazzola / EdmontonOilers.com

The 2021 National Hockey League Draft will be held virtually from July 23-24. The Edmonton Oilers hold five picks in the Draft, beginning with the 20th-overall selection. Stay tuned to EdmontonOilers.com from now until the event for consistent coverage.

EDMONTON, AB - Just a few seasons ago, it wasn't uncommon to hear Finnish forward Aatu Raty's name in conversations involving the best prospects for the 2021 NHL Draft.

Raty was considered a surefire top-five pick after the 6-foot-1, 185-pounder flourished during the 2018-19 campaign. That year, he was as dominant as ever overseas, accumulating 43 points in 51 total games for Kärpät's under-20 team. 

The centre's well-decorated season prompted increased exposure and as a result, mounting pressure, which proved to be consequential the following year. As Raty's draft stock expected to climb, his performance plummeted, being affected by the strain of ranking as a top National Hockey League draft candidate.

Raty bounced between Kärpät's pro club and junior affiliate in '19-20, completing the calendar with four points in 12 games in Liiga then moving on to represent Team Finland at the World Junior Championship, scoring two goals and three points in seven contests.

In what was supposed to be a season of growth and development during his '20-21 draft year, Raty regressed. With Kärpät's junior squad, he registered seven points in eight games but struggled when lifted to the big club. The forward competed in 35 games in Liiga, finishing with three goals and six points.

The underwhelming performance kept Raty off Team Finland's World Junior Championship squad, despite the pivot being a returnee.

"I wasn't happy about not making it," Raty told Scott Wheeler of The Athletic. "I know that I didn't play as well as I should have at the start of the season but I also didn't get the chance to play almost at all. I played like 10 minutes a game and only every other game. So, I basically knew that I wasn't going to be selected, not because of the skill level but because I just hadn't had enough games."

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PROSPECT PROFILE: Francesco Pinelli

The versatile Kitchener Rangers forward could outperform his rank as Central Scouting's 15th-best North American skater from a short but impactful 2020-21 campaign

by Jamie Umbach / EdmontonOilers.com

The 2021 National Hockey League Draft will be held virtually from July 23-24. The Edmonton Oilers hold five picks in the Draft, beginning with the 20th-overall selection. Stay tuned to EdmontonOilers.com from now until the event for consistent coverage.

EDMONTON, AB - Two titles in a pandemic-shortened season is nothing to scoff at; neither is the repertoire of Kitchener Rangers forward Francesco Pinelli.

The 15th-ranked North American skater by NHL Central Scouting showed similar flexibility navigating the lack of a 2020-21 OHL season to that of his own on-ice skillset as an intelligent two-way and special-teams contributor with exceptional hockey sense.

The benefits could show at Friday's Draft for Pinelli in a selection ceremony ripe with risk and reward for general managers and scouting departments around the NHL - including those of the Edmonton Oilers ­- with less data and in-person observations to go off than seasons prior.

A high hockey IQ, excellent positional play and work ethic affords Pinelli plenty of ability as a defensively sound player in his own end cutting off passes and winning puck battles.

"He has the small-area skills to make checkers miss and the vision to make plays off the flank and under pressure," said The Athletic NHL Prospect Writer Corey Pronman. "He competes well enough to win puck battles even if he's not overly physical." 

The strength of his skating ability comes from his direct approach of driving at defenders when attacking the offensive zone in transition, taking shots off the rush and showing that innate hockey sense to make quick passes to teammates and occupy the right areas when not in possession.

"He may not be real explosive off the mark, but he's super slippery and deceptive, especially with the puck," Rangers GM and head coach Mike McKenzie said to The Athletic's Scott Wheeler.

"His strength is his offensive ability: his shooting, his scoring ability, the accuracy of his shot, his hockey sense. He's a really smart player who understands the game and really knows where to go to create offence," McKenzie said. 

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PROSPECT PROFILE: Fabian Lysell

Swedish forward is considered as one of the most dynamic prospects in the 2021 NHL Draft

by Paul Gazzola / EdmontonOilers.com

The 2021 National Hockey League Draft will be held virtually from July 23-24. The Edmonton Oilers hold five picks in the Draft, beginning with the 20th-overall selection. Stay tuned to EdmontonOilers.com from now until the event for consistent coverage.

EDMONTON, AB - Could Swedish winger Fabian Lysell's name be on the Edmonton Oilers NHL Draft list?

Gifted with a toolkit featuring explosive offensive skills and strong defensive capabilities, the talented Lulea HF forward is an exciting prospect to consider ahead of the 2021 selection ceremony. 

At 5-foot-11, 172-pounds, Lysell blends skill, speed and a strong work ethic on both sides of the puck to project as a potential top-six skater at the NHL level that can contribute to any specials teams units.

The crafty 18-year-old produced offence at an underwhelming rate during his split time with Frolunda HC's junior team and Lulea of the SHL last season. In 11 games with Frolunda, Lysell tallied three goals and 13 points. He appeared in 26 outings with Lulea, notching two goals and one assist. 

Lysell found success at the 2021 IIHF World U18 Championship, however, co-leading Team Sweden in scoring by collecting nine points to help the program achieve a bronze medal in Frisco, Texas. 

"Lysell is a mobile skater with good speed and creativity," wrote NHL.com Staff Writer Mike G. Morreale, who ranked Lysell fifth among all wingers in the Draft. 

"The 18-year-old doesn't have dominating size but is strong and capable of winning 1-on-1 battles. He scored three points and averaged 7:22 of ice time in 26 SHL games, and scored nine points in seven games for third-place Sweden at the U18 World Championship."

Lysell's all-purpose type of play makes him an enticing prospect for all NHL clubs picking in Round 1. The ninth-ranked European skater by NHL Central Scouting manufactures offence off the rush or with nifty dangling and also utilizes his teammates through creative playmaking. The right-shooting right winger also has a knack for pickpocketing players and can intercept passes defensively, making him a reliable two-way specialist.

"Lysell is one of the more talented players in the draft, who beats defenders consistently with his puckhandling displays. That he's a great skater, with both good speed and edgework and can make very skilled plays at full flight, makes him a handful to defend," evaluated The Athletic NHL Prospect Writer Corey Pronman.

"On his best shift, Lysell is using his skill and speed to get around guys and take pucks to the net, or making tremendous plays with pace to his teammates. His physical effort comes and goes off the puck, but with the puck he plays with courage. In a sentence, Lysell projects as a second-line winger who has the talent to dominate an NHL shift but may frustrate observers too."

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PROSPECT PROFILE: Sebastian Cossa

Edmonton Oil Kings netminder went 38-7-4 over the past two seasons and enters the 2021 NHL Draft as the top-ranked North American goalie by NHL Central Scouting

by Paul Gazzola / EdmontonOilers.com

The 2021 National Hockey League Draft will be held virtually from July 23-24. The Edmonton Oilers hold five picks in the Draft, beginning with the 20th-overall selection. Stay tuned to EdmontonOilers.com from now until the event for consistent coverage.

EDMONTON, AB - In Edmonton Oilers National Hockey League Draft history, the club has selected a goaltender in the first round twice but that could change at this year's selection ceremony.

The Orange & Blue chose five-time Stanley Cup champion Grant Fuhr eighth overall in 1981 and picked Colorado Avalanche goalie Devan Dubnyk 14th overall in 2004.

With the 19th-overall selection in the 2021 Draft, there is potential for the Oilers to pluck a standout keeper should he be available when President of Hockey Operations & General Manager Ken Holland and his management brass are on the call.  

During a season of limited travel, the organization didn't have to venture far to watch 6-foot-6, 210-pound Edmonton Oil Kings guardian Sebastian Cossa. Playing from the Oilers home court at Rogers Place and the Downtown Community Arena, Cossa showed brilliantly over the past two seasons. In that time, he put up a 38-7-4 record, a 1.98 goals-against average, a .928 save percentage and eight shutouts in 52 games.

"In a sentence, Cossa projects as a quality NHL starting goaltender with the potential to become an upper-echelon goalie," wrote NHL Prospects Writer Corey Pronman of The Athletic. "His athletic toolkit is very intriguing as a 6-foot-6 goalie who can move very well for that size. He covers a lot of net with his length. He has some quick twitch in his frame in how he moves around the net, and gets in and out of his butterfly."

The Oil Kings puck-stopper was instrumental in backstopping Edmonton to the top of the WHL regular season standings in '20-21 as the club fashioned a 20-2-0-1 team record, which featured a plus-63 goal differential of 104 goals for and 41 against.

Cossa is deserving of the first-round projections, with the potential to become an ace at the next level under proper development. The 18-year-old is the top-ranked North American goalie by NHL Central Scouting and could be the first net-protector picked in the 2021 NHL Draft if the No. 1 ranked European goaltender, Jesper Wallstedt, isn't selected before. 

"For his size, Cossa moves extremely well. He gives himself a chance, he battles hard and never gives up on plays. You look at his positional play and it's good with his typical butterfly style and great net coverage, whether it's flaring out his pads for the low corners. He also keeps his body upright in case there's a deflection so he can use his shoulders or glove," NHL Central Scouting Goalie Scout Al Jensen told NHL.com writer Mike G. Morreale.

"When he does his movements in the crease, it's generally controlled. He's so smart at reading plays. He was able to make a ton of cross-ice one-time saves by being able to read the play and being square to shots. There's just a huge upside with him as well as Jesper. The two of them are head and shoulders above the rest of the Draft class goalies right now."

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RELEASE: Oilers select Dylan Holloway 14th overall

Forward played for the AJHL's Okotoks Oilers before making the jump to NCAA with the Wisconsin Badgers

by Press Release / EdmontonOilers.com

EDMONTON, AB - With the 14th-overall pick in the 2020 NHL Draft, the Oilers have selected forward Dylan Holloway from the University of Wisconsin.

The Alberta Junior Hockey League product and current Wisconsin centreman was selected as the Canadian Junior A Hockey League player of the year in 2018-19 after finishing second in goals (40) and points (88) in the AJHL during his second season with the Okotoks Oilers. He also had nine goals and four assists in 11 playoff games.

The 6-foot-0, 203-pound native of Bragg Creek made the move to Madison for the 2019-20 campaign and tallied eight goals and nine assists in 35 games during his freshman season with the Badgers that was cut short due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Big Ten Conference, which includes Wisconsin, announced Tuesday the 2020-21 season will begin as soon as Nov. 13 and will feature 24-game conference schedules, plus an additional four games per school against Arizona State University hosted at Big Ten venues.

Holloway has represented Canada several times internationally, most recently at the 2018 Hlinka Gretzky Cup in Edmonton. He scored one goal and two assists in five games at the U-18 tournament. He also represented Canada at the World Junior A Challenge in 2017-18 and 2018-19.

Video: DRAFT | Dylan Holloway 10.06.20

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PROSPECT PROFILE: Kaiden Guhle

Prince Albert defenceman enters this week's NHL Draft as the top-ranked WHL player by Central Scouting

by Ryan Frankson / EdmontonOilers.com

EDMONTON, AB - EdmontonOilers.com's Prospect Profile series ahead of the 2020 NHL Draft will be bookended by two of the top-ranked prospects from the Western Hockey League.

Seth Jarvis of the Portland Winterhawks, profiled on Aug. 24, may be the top-rated WHL forward heading into the Tuesday and Wednesday's virtual event, ranked 11th among North American skaters by NHL Central Scouting. However, the Prince Albert Raiders boast the top-ranked WHL prospect outright in defenceman Kaiden Guhle.

Central Scouting's eighth-ranked skater has played two full seasons with the Saskatchewan squad, putting up 11 goals and 29 assists with a +23 rating in 64 games prior to the abrupt end to the 2019-20 campaign due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Video: DRAFT | Sam Cosentino 10.04.20

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PROSPECT PROFILE: Connor Zary

Kamloops Blazers forward is ranked 15th among North American skaters by Central Scouting heading into the 2020 NHL Draft

by Ryan Frankson / EdmontonOilers.com

EDMONTON, AB - Well, if his first name is any indication...

Kamloops Blazers forward Connor Zary may not have taken Canadian major junior hockey by storm quite as much as his namesake McDavid, but the Saskatoon native is locked in as one of the top prospects for next week's NHL Draft.

The 6-foot-0, 181-pound, left-shot centreman is NHL Central Scouting's 15th-ranked North American skater heading into the 2020 draft, with the first round slated for Tuesday evening and the Oilers holding the 14th-overall pick.

Zary scored 38 goals and 48 assists in 57 games with the Blazers in 2019-20, with his 86 points putting him in a tie for fifth in Western Hockey League scoring during the abbreviated season that saw Kamloops finish atop the B.C. Division.

"Connor has been a good player in the WHL for some time now, but this year I wanted to see him take a step and be a dominant player," John Williams of NHL Central Scouting told NHL.com's Mike Morreale. "He can beat you one-on-one, reads the play well and is real good on the penalty kill. He's more quick than fast, and is elusive in tight."

Zary scored four goals and three assists in seven games with Hockey Canada at the 2019 World U-18 Championship and was part of the national program's virtual camp this summer for the upcoming World Juniors, which will be played at Rogers Place in Edmonton.

Video: DRAFT | Tyler Wright 09.02.20

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