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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: Day 2 Live Blog

Follow along as Rounds 2 through 7 unfold at the 2019 NHL Draft in Vancouver

by Paul Gazzola /

VANCOUVER, BC - Day 2 of the 2019 NHL Draft is over, with the Oilers selecting defender Philip Broberg, forwards Raphael Lavoie (38th), Matej Blumel (100th), Tomas Mazura (162nd), Maxim Denezhkin (193rd) and goaltender Ilya Konovalov (85th).

Get all news, videos and more from the Draft below.

Video: THE PANEL | Draft Wrap-Up


Video: OILERS TODAY | Draft Recap 06.22.19

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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: 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: Prospects prepare for what could be an unpredictable first round

"From three to 10, there's a variety of guys that can go anywhere… It will be an interesting night," said centre Kirby Dach

by Paul Gazzola /

VANCOUVER, BC - You don't know until you know.

You know?

Despite the abundance of mocks, prospect rankings and scenarios mapped out in the weeks leading up to Friday's Round 1 of the 2019 NHL Draft, the players expected to be selected are fully aware of how unpredictable the Draft can, realistically, play out.

Video: DRAFT | Kirby Dach 06.20.19

The element of the unknown can either cause nerves or not, and the prospects are simply trying to stay level-headed before hearing their name called Friday at Rogers Arena - whenever that may be.

"Other than Jack (Hughes) and Kaapo Kakko, from three to 10, there's a variety of guys that can go anywhere," said Saskatoon Blades centre Kirby Dach from the top deck of a yacht at Pacific Yacht Charters Thursday. 

But what the players do know is what's up for grabs to teams - offensive defenders, skilled wingers, big centres and much, much more - so much so that given the media carousel they've been on for the last month and a half, they are able to provide scouting reports of their own.

"If you need a Dman, you're probably looking at taking Bowen Byram," Dach continued. "If you need a smaller forward then you probably are looking for Cole Caufield, Trevor Zegras or a guy who can make plays in tight, or a bigger centreman with me, Dylan (Cozens) and (Alex) Turcotte.

Video: DRAFT | Cole Caufield 06.20.19

"It's kind of up in the air and that's the nerve-racking part of it. You don't quite know what's going to happen but it's also exciting that way because it will be an interesting night. That's for sure."

The aforementioned Caufield - sharing the experience alongside a number of his teammates from the United States National Team - isn't concerned with the mystery that looms. Rather, emotions like happiness and excitement are taking over.

"Having those guys and being excited for them, too, kind of eases the nerves," Caufield said. "It's a lot to take in. I mean, we're only 18 years old. We're just kids. It's a really special feeling to have these people talking to you but I'm just trying to enjoy the moment."

The prospective NHLers have run the gamut ahead of Friday's Draft. They've played out a long hockey season, completed physical tasks at the NHL Scouting Combine, then stared at bright lights and lenses at all the media events that followed.

Video: DRAFT | Bowen Byram 06.20.19

All that's left, now, is to hit the podium.

"I'm trying not to worry about things," said Vancouver Giants defender Bowen Byram. "I did what I could do. I played all year, did the Combine and what not. 

"Now I kind of just get to sit back and relax and whatever happens will happen."

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DRAFT: Top prospects explore the possibility of coming to Oilers

Alex Turcotte, Dylan Cozens, Cole Caufield and other top 2019 NHL Draft prospects reveal what they think would be the most exciting part of playing for the Oilers

by Paul Gazzola /

VANCOUVER, BC - The top 2019 NHL Draft prospects are getting close to the light at the end of the tunnel.

That source of light may have been the sun shining down on them from the top deck of a yacht docked at Pacific Yacht Charters, where prospective NHL hopefuls such as Jack Hughes, Kaapo Kakko, Bowen Byram, Cole Caufield, Trevor Zegras, Dylan Cozens and Co., fielded crowds of reporters ahead of one of the biggest days of their lives.

The NHL Draft is an unpredictable event and although analysts and prognosticators perennially predict how the picks will unfold, nothing is certain until a name is called.

With the Oilers choosing eighth-overall in Friday's Round 1, a few of the top prospects commented on what would be the most exciting part about joining the Oilers organization.

United States National Team centre Alex Turcotte:

"Obviously they got some great players in (Connor) McDavid, (Leon) Draisaitl and (Ryan) Nugent-Hopkins. They're elite players and to be around those guys and to learn from them would be pretty special and obviously really beneficial. I know McDavid is the best player in the world. Any time you could play with a guy of that calibre, you can only get better. It would be a blast and really cool."

Video: DRAFT | Alex Turcotte 06.20.19

USNT right winger Cole Caufield:

"I think everyone does (think about playing on McDavid's wing). I think that would be pretty special. He's obviously such a great player and makes anyone he plays with look better. If I would be lucky enough to play with him, that would be pretty special."

Video: DRAFT | Cole Caufield 06.20.19

Lethbridge Hurricanes centre Dylan Cozens:

"I think Lethbridge has prepared me for wherever I end up. They've been so good to me there and given me every opportunity to succeed. If I do end up in Edmonton, I'll be happy. It's close to Lethbridge where I played, so it would be awesome."

Video: DRAFT | Dylan Cozens 06.20.19

USNT centre Trevor Zegras:

"First and foremost, I think Connor McDavid is a pretty exciting hockey player to watch. I think playing with him would be pretty cool. I know (Leon) Draisaitl had 50 goals this year which is unbelievable. But I think they got a lot of really good hockey players so that would be awesome.

"There really is no way of knowing (of the type of fit with the Oilers). Playing with Jack (Hughes) is probably the closest gauge, I guess, you can get to playing with somebody like Connor McDavid. Me and him gelled really well, so I think I would figure it out pretty quickly."

Video: DRAFT | Trevor Zegras 06.20.19

SKA St. Petersburg right winger Vasili Podkolzin (with help from a translator):

"He obviously thought about every (team) kind of thing. He isn't aiming for one particular team. The conversation he had with teams, he liked everyone and everyone liked him. He's not really worried about that too much. Any team that will pick him, he would love to be part of that team."

Video: DRAFT | Vasili Podkolzin 06.20.19

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DRAFT: All news, videos from Thursday's media avails

Get all news, videos and more from Thursday's avails with the Oilers brass and top 2019 NHL Draft prospects

by Staff /

VANCOUVER, BC - On Thursday, Oilers President of Hockey Operations & General Manager Ken Holland, Head Coach Dave Tippett and Associate Coach Jim Playfair spoke with media ahead of the NHL Draft, while the 2019 NHL Draft prospects did the same at Pacific Yacht Charters.

Get all news, videos and more from Thursday below.

Video: DRAFT | Ken Holland


Video: DRAFT | Jim Playfair


Video: DRAFT | Trevor Zegras 06.20.19

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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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