Edmonton Oilers 2023–24 prospects Part I: Tier C and honourable mentions

As the season quickly approaches, there will undoubtedly be surprises in the coming months, especially concerning the growth of young players throughout the Edmonton Oilers system. With a summer of training behind them, these prospects will be looking to raise their stock with a strong training camp. Before they have a chance to change our minds and re-forge their place in the depth chart, let’s take a look at where these prospects stand heading into the 2023–24 schedule.

While the Oilers have no bonafide top tier prospects league-wide, they do boast some interesting players in the system. For our sake, the Oilers top 20 prospects will be divided into three tiers and ranked within them. More than anything, this should help give us an idea of where everyone is, what the strengths, weaknesses, and next steps of their games should be. Starting today with the first half of our third tier, lets take a look at prospects ranked from 20th to 16th.

20. Samuel Jonsson, G

Samuel Jonsson finished his Junior career in Sweden, and is expected to be joining a pro league this season, in the Allsvenskan. As such, it might be difficult for Jonsson to get starts over the next season or two. Over this time we should hope to see Jonsson show well and earn the trust of his team. With a couple strong seasons Jonsson might start to put himself into the public consciousness a bit more.

Jonsson was the primary starter for his Rogle BK J20 team last season and had a fantastic playoff year, going 6–0 with a 2.09 goals against average and a .927% save percentage. At 6’5”, Jonsson has the frame of a modern goalie.

19. Nathaniel Day, G

While a full scouting report on Nathaniel Day can be found here, it suffices to say that there is still a long road ahead of him before he is in the conversation of NHL play. His post draft journey begins with a chance to prove that his rise into the starting job for his OHL Flint Firebirds last season was no fluke. If he is able to be the firebirds go-to option in net it will be a nice addition to his profile.

Likewise, there is a chance that Day is in the mix to represent team Canada in his age group. While many fret and bemoan the state of Canadian goaltending as a whole, being in the conversation for these teams is achievable for Day. Almost certainly, Day will play out the remaining two seasons of his OHL eligibility before graduating elsewhere, to the AHL or ECHL.

Higher in the ranks starts will be harder to come by, so Day would do well to seize this opportunity as much as possible. Taking over midway through the season, Day has a chance to start building out his resume with a fairly clear path to the starting job once again, adding.

More than any specific stat, we should hope to see Day hold onto this job. Of course, a stellar save percentage and a strong win-loss record would go a long way towards

18. Matthew Copponi, C/W

While a seventh-round pick is hardly high value draft capital, the Oilers selecting a double over age player certainly raises some eyebrows, as this is hardly the chalk draft strategy. Still, Matthew Copponi presents an interesting profile as we look into it.

While his first two college seasons were hardly spectacular, Copponi ascended into his power in 2022–23, a true game changer for a stellar Merrimack team. Not the biggest or strongest, Copponi took a while to gain enough strength for his skill to take over. One of his favourite players to watch growing up was Brad Marchand, and there are some stylistic similarities there.

Copponi attacks the middle of the ice fearlessly. His puck skills are not as much dazzling as they are functional, as Copponi has shown the ability to maintain control and make smart plays through traffic. We should expect Copponi to use his agility, puck skill, and playmaking to power Merrimack’s offence this season. Perhaps he will see some AHL at the end of this season, a handful of games for Copponi to hit the ground running as an AHL rookie in 2024–25. As an older prospect, Copponi will have little room to spare, and we should hope that his adjustment to the AHL goes more smoothly than his adjustment to the NCAA.

17. Jake Chiasson, W

Jake Chiasson is entering his AHL rookie season after graduating from the WHL. Although he didn’t develop into a dominant scorer in junior, Chiasson was able to contribute as a top-six forward on a strong Saskatoon Blades team after being traded at the deadline.

One of the best changes on his new team, Chiasson was placed closer to the net on the power play, as the bumper or the net front, instead of a spot further out, like on the flank as he was playing with the Brandon Wheat Kings. This does highlight Chiasson’s stylistic profile, built off of craftiness and scrappiness as opposed to elegance and grace.

As such, a big part of Chiasson’s development will be adding strength and balance, as he will need to be strong enough to thrive in contested ice. This should help Chiasson in improving his puck protection, where continuing to add to his overall puck control will be crucial. We’ve seen flashes of skill, but as he moves up the ranks Chiasson will have to hone his offensive quality to succeed against higher quality competition.

It might be notable that Chiasson was able to deliver in clutch situations last season, factoring in on several huge goals for the Blades. If there is some immeasurable clutch-metre, Chiasson seems to have some of it.

It’s probably a bit much to expect top-six level AHL scoring for Chiasson in his rookie season, but perhaps reaching such a level in his second or third seasons might be plausible. With so many forwards in his age group projected to be on the Bakersfield Condors this season, it might be a perfect opportunity for a player like Chiasson to develop some chemistry with some of his cohort, a rising tide to raise all ships.

16. Carter Savoie, W

Carter Savoie is coming off of an AHL rookie season that did not overwhelm. Despite being a year older than some of the Condors 2022–23 AHL rookie class, Savoie was out-produced by younger players, as his production from the NCAA has yet to translate to the higher level. For this reason, his stock might be a bit lower on this season’s list than last year’s.

Of course, this doesn’t mean that Savoie can’t undo this perceived stagnation, as he still possesses the skill that made him a more notable prospect in the past. Savoie is at his best when he’s explosive and dynamic with the puck. Savoie uses his agility to attack the middle of the ice as a puck carrier, creating scoring opportunities for himself.

In college we saw Savoie as a shooting threat, but this has yet to come to fruition. Perhaps in his second pro season, and with a healthy summer, Savoie can take another step in 2023–24. For Savoie to get a look in the NHL, he will have to prove his mettle as an offensive forward.

Honourable mentions:

Joel Mattaa, W

Joel Mattaa will return to the University of Vermont in what could be his final NCAA season, an extremely low scoring team. A teammate of fellow Oilers prospect Luca Munzenberger, it should be noted that Oilers Coach Jay Woodcroft’s brother, Todd Woodcroft, is behind the bench.

Naturally, it would be encouraging to see more scoring totals from Mattaa this season, but he brings other dimensions to the ice. Mattaa is highlighted by an effort-first approach to the game, adorned with some potential defensive traits. More important will be how he’s able to translate his game to higher levels. Perhaps playing with better players will help him, just as Mattaa might be able to do the dirty work for more skilled linemates.

It is a path steep and narrow, but an example of a player who followed such a path might be Zach Hyman, though Mattaa’s production is still lagging behind where Hyman’s was. In any case, Mattaa is a ways away from any NHL consideration.

Carl Berglund, C/W

Signed as a free agent at the end of his college season, Carl Berglund joined the Condors for a few games down the stretch. With a taste of pro experience and a summer of training, Berglund will look to hit the ground running in his rookie AHL season. His hopes as a prospect might depend on it, as he is a bit on the older side, as far as this list is concerned.

In college, Berglund showed some skill with the puck in the slot, though this likely won’t be his main strength as a pro. Berglund would do well to thrive as a support passer, helping his team navigate onto the attack with smart plays and strong positioning. His NHL odds might be long, but Berglund might be something of a stabilising presence on a Condors roster that might boast a lot of young talent.

Ethan de Jong, W

Ethan de Jong is signed to an AHL deal, moving up from the NCAA where he was teammates with former Oilers product Skyler Brind’Amour. While he might have a bit more scoring upside than Berglund, their roles in the Oilers future might be similar, as potential middle-six forwards for the Condors for the next few seasons.

Gregory Babinski

twitter: @axiomsofice


  1. This was a nice write-up Greg.

    On Savoie, in order to provide the entire story, I think we need to mention that injury was a massive part of his tough rookie pro season. Hurt in rookie camp and missed all of main camp and the start to the Condors’ season.

    Hurt through the year – just never gained traction.

    Also, I know we talk about this every September but Carter Savoie looks noticeably leaner.

    I know the verbal about him being a “stocky 190” but I’ve always posited that, from watching him, I don’t think that 190 was all “good weight”.

    He mentioned losing weight and changing his body comp and it looks like he’s being honest.

    Anyways, I hope the kid stays healthy and puts himself back in the conversation. He is very skilled and his shot – he just has this ability to get off shots from weird angles and puck positions to that give goalies trouble.

  2. Also, I’m not sure why the org would rush a very slender Matt Copponi to pro hockey. He just turned 20 and has a few seasons of college eligibility left.

    I’d be shocked if he turns pro after this season.

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