Home News Edmonton Oilers’ Struggles: Impact of First-Round Draft Failures

Edmonton Oilers’ Struggles: Impact of First-Round Draft Failures

Since the Edmonton Oilers selected Connor McDavid as the first overall pick in the 2015 NHL Draft, their first-round failures have been a cause for concern. Let’s take a closer look at their struggles and the impact it has had on the team’s success.

Oilers’ Draft Woes

Since McDavid’s arrival, the Oilers have failed to capitalize on their first-round draft picks. Despite having the opportunity to select promising young talents, their choices have often fallen short of expectations.

2015: No Second-Chance
In 2015, Edmonton selected Connor McDavid, a generational talent who has become the face of the franchise. While this pick was undoubtedly a success, it also highlights the Oilers’ inability to draft impactful players beyond the first round.

2016: A Missed Opportunity
The following year, the Oilers had the fourth overall pick in the draft. They chose Jesse Puljujarvi, a highly touted forward with immense potential. However, Puljujarvi struggled to find his footing in the NHL and ultimately returned to play in Europe. This was a missed opportunity for the Oilers to add another impactful player to their roster.

2017: Defensive Dilemma
With the 22nd overall pick in 2017, the Oilers selected defenseman Kailer Yamamoto. While Yamamoto has shown flashes of brilliance, injuries and inconsistency have hindered his progress. The team was hoping for a solid defensive addition, but so far, Yamamoto has yet to live up to those expectations.

2018: Another Forward, Another Letdown
In the 2018 draft, the Oilers picked Evan Bouchard with the tenth overall selection. Bouchard has showcased his offensive skills in the minor leagues, but his transition to the NHL has been a slow process. As of yet, he has not solidified his place in the Oilers’ lineup, leaving fans wanting more.

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2019: A Valuable Defender
The Oilers selected defenseman Philip Broberg with the eighth overall pick in 2019. While Broberg is still developing, there is hope that he can become a top-tier defenseman for the team in the future. It remains to be seen how his career will unfold, but the Oilers are banking on his potential.

2020: Haunting the Oilers
In the most recent draft, the 2020 NHL Draft, the Oilers selected defenseman Dylan Holloway with the 14th overall pick. As a young and talented player, Holloway could potentially break the Oilers’ streak of disappointing first-round picks. However, it’s too early to determine his impact on the team.

The Impact on the Oilers

The Oilers’ inability to find immediate impact players in the first round has hindered their ability to build a well-rounded roster. While McDavid and Leon Draisaitl have led the team to some success, their contributions cannot mask the lack of depth caused by these failed picks.

The team has had to rely heavily on trades and free agency to complement their star players, creating an imbalance in the lineup. This has resulted in a lack of consistent success and an ongoing struggle to make deep playoff runs.

Looking Ahead

The Oilers’ first-round draft failures since McDavid’s arrival have highlighted the need for better scouting and player development within the organization. It is crucial for the team to find and develop impactful players beyond the obvious first overall selections to build a stronger foundation for the future.

While some of the mentioned draft picks still have the potential to turn their careers around, time will tell if they can live up to expectations. In the meantime, the Oilers must continue to seek ways to improve their draft strategy and find hidden gems in later rounds to support their star-studded lineup.

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With McDavid leading the charge, the Oilers have the potential to become a dominant force in the NHL. However, they must address their first-round drafting issues to maximize their chances of sustained success. Only then will they be able to shed the label of first-round failures and establish themselves as a well-rounded team capable of achieving greatness.