After a long, l-o-n-g wait during an agonizingly slow second and third round, the tumblers began falling in place for the Edmonton Oilers at the 2020 Draft. First the club announced the return of Jesse Puljujarvi to the fold, signing a two-year contract. That had been telegraphed for a while, but the two-year term was a surprise. J.P. brings a tantalizing mix of skill and size in a now 22-year-old package who is poised to help the club in the coming season.
The rest of the Draft was spent with eyes firmly on the more distant future, as the Oilers added forward after forward to a a somewhat-depleted prospect group of attackers. After first drafting three Canadians, the club looked further afield to snag a Russian and two Swedes in the late going. Three of the six draftees are slated to play in NCAA in 2020-21.
The Oilers had previously traded out their second and fourth round picks (#45 and #107) to Detroit Red Wings at the deadline for veterans Andreas Athanasiou and Mike Green, neither of whom clicked in Edmonton. Ken Holland addressed those gaps somewhat with a trade-down of the team’s third-round pick for two later ones, both of which were converted into excellent bets on small, skilled forwards. Either would have fully justified the #76 pick that was initially traded; instead, the Oilers managed to parlay that one pick into two promising youngsters.
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