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DRAFT: The value of Lavoie

"We had him higher, obviously. I'll say that," said Oilers Director of Player Personnel Bob Green

by Paul Gazzola /

VANCOUVER, BC - Bob Green had to stop and laugh before saying it.

Because it's cliché and repeated each year at the NHL Draft and Vancouver's 2019 edition was no different.

"Don't we always say we never expected to get...," joked the Oilers Director of Player Development, seated before the media after the Oilers 193rd selection, their final one. 

"We had him higher, obviously. I'll say that."

Video: OILERS TODAY | Draft Recap 06.22.19

'We' being Green, Oilers President of Hockey Operations and General Manager Ken Holland, Oilers Assistant General Manager Keith Gretzky and the rest of the scouting staff, and 'him' being second-round selection Raphael Lavoie.

The 38th-overall pick and Halifax Mooseheads power forward came into the Draft with projections of going anywhere from the mid-first to second round due to his frame, strength, scoring and playmaking ability. 

Luckily for the Oilers, Lavoie - sitting in the bowl awaiting his name to be announced - remained available when they were on the clock.

"We saw he was glaring there for us this morning when we got up," Green said. "We talked a little bit last night about him after we got to the hotel but there were lots of guys there that we liked. But we were happy to get him."

Video: THE PANEL | Draft Wrap-Up

The Chambly, QC, product was a force in the Mooseheads' playoff run, scoring 20 goals in 23 games but losing in the President's Cup Final to the Rouyn-Noranda Huskies. Lavoie's stock elevated by the round and the forward - who can play centre or wing but prefers the latter - gained more exposure at the 2019 Memorial Cup where Halifax served as hosts.

"He had a great playoff," said Green. "He had a good Memorial Cup. I saw him out there. During the course of the year, I liked his game. He's a big, strong kid that can score. He makes plays with the puck, he's strong down low and he complements good players."

More eyes saw Lavoie during his extended season and that was when his performance saw new heights. The 18-year-old praised Halifax Head Coach Eric Veilleux for optimizing his output.

Video: DRAFT | Raphael Lavoie

"My coach this year was probably the best coach I've ever had in my life," Lavoie, who had six more postseason goals than the player behind him, said. "He's been great to me and he's a big reason and part of why I'm here."

The 6-foot-4, 199-pounder blends a medley of size, strength and poise but pointed out that Veilleux's instructions pieced it together.

"Talking to me about details when I don't have the puck or how to play the game in general," Lavoie said of the wisdom Veilleux shared.

"Just being an impact every night."

Lavoie didn't project where he would be next season but regardless, given his potential, the Oilers are happy to get a great value on their second-round pick.

That, Green said so himself.

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DRAFT: Get to know Matej Blumel

Get to know the Oilers 100th-overall selection from the 2019 NHL Draft

by Staff /

VANCOUVER, BC - Here is some information Oilers fans should know about the 100th-overall selection at the 2019 NHL Draft, Matej Blumel.

Matej Blümel - Waterloo Black Hawks (USHL)

HEIGHT: 5'11"
WEIGHT: 190 lbs
BORN: May 31, 2000
COMMITMENT: University of Connecticut
YOUTH TEAM: HC Dynamo Pardubice

NHL Draft Notes:

  • Ranked 107th among NA skaters on NHL Central Scouting Midterm rankings.

  • Had one goal in the 2018 USHL/NHL Top Prospects Game.

  • Hlinka Gretzky Memorial Cup Silver Medal with Czech Republic (2017-18)

  • U18 WJC Top-3 Player on Team (2017-18).

  • 60 points (30-30-60) in 58 games (2018-19), including 20 multi-point games, six three-point games and seven multi-goal games.

  • Had a six-game point streak (3-8-11) from November 17 - December 1, 2018.

  • Scored a hat trick (3-0-3) on October 6, 2018, at Central Illinois Flying Aces.

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DRAFT: Everything you need to know about Raphael Lavoie

Get to know the Oilers 38th-overall selection from the 2019 NHL Draft

by Staff /

VANCOUVER, BC - Here is everything Oilers fans need to know about Halifax Mooseheads forward Raphael Lavoie.

Raphael Lavoie - Halifax Mooseheads (QMJHL)
HEIGHT: 6'4"
WEIGHT: 190 lbs
BORN: September 25, 2000

NHL Draft Notes:

  • His 32 points ranked 2nd among players in the 2019 QMJHL Playoffs. His 20 goals led all players.

  • Became the 29th player in QMJHL history to record at least 20 goals in a single QMJHL postseason. He scored 17 goals in his first 16 postseason games this year.

  • Set a QMJHL record with 6 OT goals in a single season.

  • Played on a line with Samuel Asselin.

  • Antoine Morand, who captained this year's Mooseheads team and is an Anaheim Ducks prospect, was one of the players Lavoie relied on this season for advice.

  • Recorded 3 points (2G, 1A) in 4 games in the 2019 Memorial Cup. He was the top draft-eligible player at the tournament.

  • Drafted 29th overall by the Halifax Mooseheads in the 2016 QMJHL Draft.

Award History (2018-19):

  • QMJHL Best Professional Prospect

  • QMJHL Playoffs Most Goals (20)

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DRAFT: Broberg welcomed by McDavid

Moments after being selected eighth overall, Philip Broberg was welcomed to the Edmonton Oilers by Captain Connor McDavid

by Tony Brar /

VANCOUVER, BC - "I'm just going to take it all in and I'm just so happy to be an Oiler right now."

The newest member of the Edmonton Oilers couldn't hold back his excitement after being drafted eighth overall at the 2019 NHL Draft.

For Philip Broberg, wearing the orange and blue will kickstart a string of new things to come in his near future.

A new home. A new team. And eventually new teammates, including Connor McDavid, who is the only player in the National Hockey League to record 100 or more points in each of his last three seasons.

"Right now, he's the best player in the world," said Broberg of McDavid. "Obviously, his speed is a great aspect of his game.

"One day, I hope I will play with him."

Tweet from @EdmontonOilers: Captain Connor welcomes Philip to the #Oilers organization!

In a showcase of his leadership, the Oilers Captain texted the Swedish defenceman on Draft day, congratulating him and welcoming him to the Oilers family.

"It's from McDavid," said a smiling Broberg when looking at his messages shortly after being drafted. "He said, 'Hey bud, it's Connor McDavid. I tried to call you a couple of times but it won't go through. Congrats man, I'm looking forward to getting to know you. Have fun tonight and see you soon.'"

Along with the message from McDavid, the Swedish rearguard also highlighted a special moment on the stage that he soon won't forget: shaking Wayne Gretzky's hand while donning the Oilers jersey for the first time.

"It was awesome. He's the GOAT," laughed Broberg. "That was obviously an experience."

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DRAFT: Holland covets Broberg's talent, size and speed

"I like that he's talented. I like that he's 6-foot-3. I like that he can skate… We're excited to get a 6-foot-3, puck-moving, puck-transporting defenceman," said Oilers GM Ken Holland

by Paul Gazzola /

VANCOUVER, BC - Talent. Size. Speed.

Those are the qualities Oilers President of Hockey Operations and General Manager Ken Holland believes Philip Broberg possesses, and are the three reasons why the Swedish blueliner became a member of the Oilers organization at the eighth spot of the 2019 NHL Draft.

Video: DRAFT | Ken Holland Round 1 Recap

Holland was on hand after Round 1 of the Draft concluded and said so himself.

"I like that he's talented," Holland said. "I like that he's 6-foot-3. I like that he can skate… We're excited to get a 6-foot-3, puck-moving, puck-transporting defenceman"

The NHL Draft is, of course, fraught with mystery as to who will be chosen when NHL management teams step up to the podium and this year's edition of the event was no different. Holland alluded to the seven clubs that chose ahead of the Oilers but maintained his desire to covet a future top-four hopeful.

"The seven teams ahead of you make your decisions and certainly, we had our lists," Holland said. "I thought that there was a lot of good players at the top part of the draft. We knew we were going to get a good player. 

"We're excited to get Philip."

Video: DRAFT | 1-on-1 with Philip Broberg

Broberg characterized his game after getting into his new Oilers threads, also articulating what areas he wants to improve.

"I'm a two-way defender with good skating ability who likes to move the puck and skate it out as well," Broberg, who compiled two goals and nine points in 41 games with AIK of Allsvenskan. 

"I'm a big sized defenceman as well but I still want to improve my first pass and be stronger in the corners and in front of the net."

But for now, the newest piece of the Oilers prospect pipeline is looking forward to enjoying the moment.

"I'm just going to take it all in and I'm just so happy to be an Oiler right now."

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DRAFT: Everything you need to know about Philip Broberg

Get to know Oilers eighth-overall selection Philip Broberg

by Staff /

VANCOUVER, BC - Here's everything Oilers fans need to know about Swedish defenceman Philip Broberg, who was selected eighth-overall by Oilers President of Hockey Operations and General Manager Ken Holland.

HEIGHT: 6'3"
WEIGHT: 201 lbs
BORN: June 25, 2001

NHL Draft Notes:

  • Will play for Skelleftea in the AHL for the 2019-20 season.

  • Looks at Lightning defenceman, Victor Hedman as a model for his game.

  • Met with 28 different NHL teams for interviews at the draft combine.

  • Named top defenceman at the World U18's.

  • Assisted the game-tying goal for Sweden in the gold medal game at the World U18 Hockey Championship. Sweden went on to defeat Russia 4-3 in overtime.

  • Became the first Swedish defenceman to be selected to the World U18 Hockey Championship All-Star team since Adam Larsson in 2009-10.

  • Drafted 54th overall by the Hamilton Bulldogs in the 2018 CHL Import Draft.

  • Göran Stubb, the NHL's director of European scouting said via email. "He has all the tools to become a top pair D-man in the NHL."

  • Looks to become the 10th Swedish-born defenceman to be selected in the top-10 of the NHL Draft.

Personal Notes:

  • Played soccer and floorball until he was 12.

  • Went to a hockey school in Furudal when he was 13 (former players such as Mats Sundin, Henrik Zetterberg and Daniel Alfredsson attended). Randy Edmonds, who was working with a group of bantam-age-players noticed that Philip had the size and skill to play defence and recommended to his parents that he switch positions.

  • His father, Mattias, was his minor league coach and would occasionally play him on defence against better teams due to his size advantage.

  • His younger brother, Marcus, is playing for AIK's U16 team.

  • "He would be an even better hockey player if he used his body to its full potential," the younger Broberg said. "But he's a really good skater."

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PROSPECT PROFILE: Matthew Robertson

The rearguard from Sherwood Park, Alberta improved his offensive output capabilities with an improving Edmonton Oil Kings club this past season

by Jamie Umbach /

EDMONTON, AB - It's a name Oil Country knows well.

The Edmonton Oil Kings impressed this past season in the WHL, reversing a 22-win campaign in 2017-18 to finish 42-18-4-4 and atop the Central Division before exiting in the Eastern Conference Final to the Prince Albert Raiders in in six games.

Critical to that on-ice improvement for the Oil Kings were the efforts and output received from defenceman Matthew Robertson.

"Going into the year nobody really knew what to expect," Roberston said to on June 1 at the NHL Scouting Combine.

"We had some new management, but I thought we had some team-building and I thought we connected really well and had a good group of guys. As we move forward, I thought we had a good second half of the year and a good push in playoffs. I think we kept getting better."

Video: COMBINE | Matthew Robertson

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The centre was the complete package last season for the struggling Kootenay Ice (now Winnipeg), and comes into the NHL Draft as one of the most complete players available

by Jamie Umbach /

EDMONTON, AB - It was tough sledding for the newly-minted Winnipeg Ice this past season in the WHL, but Peyton Krebs made the most of a challenging situation.

Formerly the Kootenay Ice, the rebuilding western outfit finished with a measly 13 wins in 68 games - second last in the league next to Swift Current with 11 - before announcing its relocation to Winnipeg this past January.

If not for a bright spot in Krebs, it could've been an even longer season in Cranbrook.

The centre from Calgary, Alberta led the team in more ways than one, donning the 'C' as a 17-year-old, notching 68 points (19G, 49A) in 64 games, and playing a key role on both sides of special teams killing penalties and leading the power play.

Video: COMBINE | Peyton Krebs

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Turcotte's excellent playmaking ability, skating, and overall compete level ranks the centre as a consensus top-eight pick despite a season hampered by injury and illness

by Jamie Umbach /

EDMONTON, AB ­- Much like how they shared the spoils of a dominating season with the U.S. National Team Development Program, Alex Turcotte and his teammates shared in the experience of the NHL Scouting Combine and its many fitness tests and interviews.

"There were only 13 teams I talked to, and there weren't any really surprising questions," Turcotte, speaking to at the combine, said.

"I know a couple of my buddies got asked some weird ones," he smirked.

The forward is one of seven USNTDP products expected to be selected in the first round of this weekend's NHL Draft in Vancouver, and exceptional playmaking and great skating has Turcotte up there with the best of the bunch as a consensus top-eight pick.

Video: COMBINE | Alex Turcotte

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Count Yukon product Dylan Cozens amongst intriguing forwards projected to go inside the top 10

by Cait MacPhail /

EDMONTON, AB - In a class chalk-full of intriguing and skilled forwards with varying skill-sets, you'll be hard-pressed to find two mock drafts where the top 10 looks exactly the same with the 2019 NHL Draft just weeks away.

With the likes of a pure scorer in Cole Caufield, crafty playmaker Trevor Zegras or the speedy and versatile centre Alex Turcotte, it's shaping up to be a pick-your-poison situation for forwards available in this year's first round. And another that has worked himself into the conversation is the lean, tall, two-way workhorse centre Dylan Cozens of the WHL Lethbridge Hurricanes, NHL Central Scouting's fifth-ranked North American skater.

Video: COMBINE | Dylan Cozens 

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