When it comes to the Edmonton Oilers and their disappointing first round picks, Mike Sillinger can say “been there, done that.” Chosen very high in his draft year, Sillinger never did deliver the kind of career expected of tall skill 1st rd centers from Canadian towns.
Sillinger was taken 11th in 1989 by Detroit. Later in that draft the Wings selected Nik Lidstrom, Sergei Fedorov and Vladimir Konstantinov among others so despite Sillinger’s journeyman career that draft still ranks as one of the all-time best (Oilers have two in that category, 1979, 1980).
Edmonton hired Sillinger today as their new director of player development. It’ll be his job to evaluate and mentor the prospects and it’s not a stretch to suggest he’ll be around to help the Marc Pouliot’s on the big league club with faceoffs and dealing with draft pedigree.
Sillinger’s career came to an end after several seasons of playing in pain. He has chronic hip problems and has endured three surgeries over the last few seasons in a vain attempt to get his career back on track. Sillinger is known to GM Steve Tambellini and represents another hiring that has no Oiler strings attached from the past.