The Edmonton Oilers have many reasons to be optimistic about their future going into this season. First of all, they have one prospect that is likely graduating from the farm to join the big club in Ryan Malone and have several young guys who are a threat to join the team next year. So lets take this opportunity to take a look at the current prospects in the Oiler system. 1) Ales Hemsky â€“ If Hemsky were a better defensive player, this kid would likely be on the team this year but there just isnâ€™t the room on the top 6 where Gledhill feels he needs to play to be effective. Ales has uncanny on-ice vision, and an underrated shot that he doesnâ€™t use nearly enough. 2) Dustin Brown â€“ One of Gledhillâ€™s favorite prospects, Dustin brings a great mix of skill and heart to the rink every night. He has drawn comparisons of another great American forward in Adam Deadmarsh. 3) Hannu Toivonen â€“ Some may have rated this Finnish butterfly goaltender higher on this list, and this writer wouldnâ€™t put up much of an argument. These top 3 could really be put in any order. Toivonen has really impressed in the minors, and may replace Snow next year as Nabokovâ€™s backup. 4) Corey Perry â€“ Last yearâ€™s OHL scoring champ comes in at #4 on our list, but he shouldnâ€™t be too disappointed given the talent ahead of him. Corey still needs to work on his skating, but it seems to be more and more likely that he has a career ahead of him in the HFNHL. 5) Alexander Steen â€“ This was Gledhillâ€™s first pick as general manager of the Oilers, and is really the only legitimate prospect at center among the bunch. Steen is not thought to have the upside of the prospects ahead of him but is the most mature, not surprisingly considering his NHL pedigree. 6) Ladislav Smid â€“ Edmontonâ€™s first selection of the 2004 draft is a steady blueliner who may make an impact with the big club sooner than anticipated. He is expected to come over to North America this season and compete for a spot on the farm team. 7) Kris Chucko â€“ Chucko has good size, and his good showing at University of Minnesota this past year silenced some of the skeptics that thought his production was solely a product of Salmon Arm linemate Travis Zajac. Then again, if Chucko gets put on a line with US phenom and Gopher recruit Phil Kessel then there may be some that say heâ€™s feeding off Kessel. Weâ€™ll just have to wait and see on this one. 8) Kenndal McArdle â€“ McArdle is a â€œnever say dieâ€ kind of player. He works hard all the time and may have the toughness to make it as a very good 3rd line energy player some day. 9) T.J. Oshie â€“ What Oshie lacks in size, he makes up for in offensive creativity. He put up great numbers in the Minnesota High School system, but will have to prove himself on a deep North Dakota squad. 10) Paul Stastny â€“ He shares his fatherâ€™s name, but does he have the skills to make it as an HFNHL forward. Paul has been impressive so far at the University of Denver, and should be called upon to contribute more for a program that is a consistent contender for the National Title. 11) Tim Ramholt â€“ Gledhill thought he got a steal when he picked up the Swiss blueliner in 2003 and is still high on the youngster. Not much has come from Switzerland in the past (perhaps itâ€™s the air), but Ramholt seems committed to playing in the HFNHL when he came over for the 2003-04 season to play in the QMJHL. 12) J.F. Jacques â€“ When drafted, Jacques was thought to be a physical forward with limited offensive tools in a finesse league (QMJHL). He proved critics wrong in â€™04-â€™05 putting up 36 goals and 78 points. What has people drooling though is his 6â€™4â€ frame. 13) Rob Globke â€“ Globke was a very good college power-forward, but has had some trouble adjusting to the professional ranks. He still has potential but the window is closing if he doesnâ€™t put up a better sophomore campaign in the AHL. 14) Sami Lepisto â€“ If Sami were bigger, he would probably be listed on the teamâ€™s top ten. He has great offensive skills for a Dman, putting up 25 points last year in a very good Finish Elite League. This is one of the players that Gledhill had reportedly targeted prior to the 2004 Entry Draft and will likely be given every opportunity to succeed. 15) Jesse Niinimaki â€“ Itâ€™s hard to judge Niinimaki since a large part of his development time was hampered by a season ending shoulder injury in 2003. This is starting to look more and more like a boom or bust pick, but that doesnâ€™t worry the GM too much since he was picked up in the 4th round of 2002.