Summer Skate: Edmonton Oilers

Can the young core finally deliver the Oilers to the postseason?

Updated: September 14, 2013, 5:21 PM ET
By Corey Sznajder and Corey Pronman |
Hockey Prospectus

Jordan Eberle, Taylor Hall, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins Andy Devlin/NHLI/Getty ImagesJordan Eberle (left), Taylor Hall (center) and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins form a young, impressive trio.

Using the VUKOTA projection system of Hockey Prospectus, Insider is taking the temperature of key players on every NHL team, continuing with the Edmonton Oilers. For a detailed explanation of Prospectus' proprietary GVT value metric, read more here.

Note: Because of the lockout, GVT scores for the 2013 season are prorated from 48 to 82 games.

Summer Skate: Edmonton Oilers

The Oilers have been trapped in a rebuilding period for nearly half a decade, and, despite their accumulation of top-skilled players through the draft, it hasn't resulted in much headway in the standings. Their 24th-place finish in 2013 was their highest in four seasons, and new GM Craig MacTavish is looking to return the team to respectability. He had a pretty active offseason, definitely improving the Edmonton roster to a point that we can say the team won't finish at the bottom of the NHL this season.

But is it enough to make the Oilers a playoff team? One has to think they are still a couple of seasons from truly contending, but with players such as Taylor Hall and Jordan Eberle playing on big-money deals now -- and other players due for raises in the near future -- Edmonton might need to make the postseason sooner rather than later.

Trending up: F Ryan Nugent-Hopkins
Last season: 1.4 GVT | VUKOTA projection: 8.9

Corey Pronman is ESPN's NHL Draft and Prospects analyst. He provides analysis on the top draft-eligible players, prospects drafted by NHL teams and all other relevant prospect information. He lives in New York.