It looks for all the world like the Edmonton Oilers did it right. Giving all those minutes to the inexperienced, the undersized, the wannabes, the has-beens and the never-weres have had the desired result: Edmonton will own the #1 or #2 pick at the 2010 Entry Draft.
Oh sure, something could still go wrong. The Oilers could talk themselves into Cam Fowler or trade the pick for 10 cents on the dollar, but it is a good bet Edmonton will call out the name “Hall” or “Seguin” when the time comes.
As for the rest of the draft, it appears to be taking shape. When you see this much movement this late in a draft year it usually means that the quality is uneven. This one (so far) reminds me of the 2002 entry draft, which perfectly reflects my point.
The Oilers used their first round pick that season on Finn C Jesse Niinimaki (epic fail) but were able to pick up three NHL players in round two (Jarret Stoll, Matt Greene and Jeff Deslauriers). Redline has mentioned a lack of quality defensmen in this year’s draft, which may mean more value is placed on kids like Fowler, Forbort and Mark Pysyk.
There is some late disagreement from a couple of the scouting services on the top 10 for this season. Here’s the Redline top 10 with ISS’s grade in brackets.
- Taylor Hall (2)
- Tyler Seguin (1)
- Vladimir Tarasenko (4)
- Nino Niederreiter (9)
- Derek Forbort (10)
- Cam Fowler (3)
- Mikael Granlund (14)
- Brandon Gormley (5)
- Kirill Kabanov (7)
- Jeff Skinner (15)
Redline is the better list, although they do some weird things every year (ranking Fowler at 6, for instance). The list to watch for is the final Bob McKenzie list, out a week or so before the entry draft.
I think Oiler fans can count on one of the OHL forwards come draft day and if the Oilers draft trends hold true the 2nd round pick will be a BPA pick. It’ll likely be the third round when Stu “Magnificent Bastard” MacGregor fills for need and grabs a knuckle-dragger forward and a tall tree on the blue.