May 19, 2024

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Edmonton Oilers’ Costly Error: NHL Analyst Identifies Team’s Biggest Draft Mistake

The Edmonton Oilers are currently dealing with a goaltender issue in the 2023-24 NHL season, and it seems that their decision to pass on Jesper Wallstedt in the 2021 NHL draft is receiving significant scrutiny. NHL insider Mark Spector recently shared his opinion on the matter, labeling the decision as a “big mistake” and emphasizing the team’s lack of a strong goalie pipeline. Responding to a fan’s question during an #AskSpec session, Spector acknowledged that while other teams also “missed,” the Oilers should have prioritized securing a goaltender. This sentiment is in line with criticism from Steven Ellis of the Daily Faceoff, who questioned the Oilers’ choice to not select Wallstedt and emphasized the importance of having a reliable goaltender for the long term. The decision to pass on Wallstedt during the 2021 NHL draft became particularly evident as the team faced challenges early in the season due to subpar goaltender performances. In the 2021 draft, the Oilers opted to trade their pick at No. 20 to Minnesota, allowing the Wild to select Wallstedt and leaving the Oilers with the 22nd and 90th picks. Their decision to forgo Wallstedt is raising questions about the team’s long-term strategy in addressing critical positions.