- 1LW - Taylor Hall
- 1C- Ryan Nugent-Hopkins
- 1RW/2C - Leon Draisaitl
- LD - Brandon Davidson
- LD - Oscar Klefbom
- LD - Darnell Nurse
- G - Laurent Brossoit
- 2LW - Benoit Pouliot
- 2RW - Nail Yakupov
- 2RW/3RW - Jordan Eberle
- 3LW/RW - Teddy Purcell
- 3LW/4LW - Matt Hendricks
- 4RW - Rob Klinkhammer
- 4LW - Luke Gazdic
- 3C - Anton Lander
- 4C - Andrew Miller
- 4RW - Iiro Pakarinen
- RD - Mark Fayne
- RD - Justin Schultz
- LD - Andrew Ference
- LD - Nikita Nikitin
- G - Ben Scrivens
- 2C - Connor McDavid has been a massive improvement over 2C - Derek Roy (+2)
- 3C/4C - Mark Letestu has been about the same as 4C - Boyd Gordon
- 3LW - Lauri Korpikoski has been about the same as anyone else on the 3rd line
- 3RW - Anton Slepyshev has not been an improvement over others previously
- RD - Eric Gryba has been a slight improvement over LD - Mark Fraser (+1)
- LD - Andrej Sekera has been about the same, if not worse than RD - Jeff Petry (-1)
- LD - Griffin Reinhart has been slight improvement over Nikita Nikitin, but not enough although he'll improve (+0.5)
- G - Cam Talbot has been about the same as Ben Scrivens, below average (-1)
- G - Anders Nilsson has been better than Viktor Fasth, and arguably better than Cam Talbot (+1)
The Oilers have been "in" more games so far comparatively to last year and aren't getting blown out as much.
At this point, to get over the hump we've been all dying for, here are the gaps (if team is healthy):
Hall - Nugent-Hopkins - Draisaitl/Eberle
Pouliot - McDavid - Eberle/Yakupov
Hendricks - ???/Draisaitl - Yakupov/Eberle/???
Klinkhammer - ??? - ???
Which means Lander, Korpikoski, Gazdic, Miller, Slepyshev, Pakarinen aren't taking this team to the next level.
Sekera - ???
Klefbom - ???
Nurse - ???
Which means there are too many left-shot defensemen, and right-shot guys like Fayne, Schultz, and Gryba have not been good enough, and obviously Ference and Nikitin need to be moved. I still get the feeling Davidson will get the short end of the stick and be moved in a package, which is really too bad. That said, McLellan doesn't seem to care much what hand a guy shoots with. There is only 1 veteran on that entire d-squad I list above, meaning, it will take a few years until the youngsters get to playoff-level.
Which means Talbot needs to take a backseat to Nilsson and they obviously need to let Scrivens go.
With that amount of work for management to do, I'm not hopeful that we'll get many bonafide NHLers pop out of other teams. I wouldn't worry so much about the forwards at this time and focus on improving the defense, which is usually best done through landing a big name UFA or through development. Seeing that there are no real right-shot defensemen being developed, drafting new and developing would always be smart to do, but the most prudent thing to do is to land a UFA.
UFA right-shot d-men available in 2016 that come to mind are:
How much do you miss Petry now, eh?