I have seen the future of the Edmonton Oilers and his name is Taylor Hall.
For a blog that prides itself on using math and discouraging the “saw him good” crowd, I’ll admit that this clearly runs across the grain.
But there’s too much. Taylor Hall has an extra something, call it a dash of Howe and a pinch of Messier to him. If you’re not comfortable with those names, we can use “Mark” Howe and I’ll still feel the same way.
In last night’s Memorial Cup opener Taylor Hall slammed into the boards in what looked (in real time) like a devastating injury. We all watch a lot of hockey and our brains are conditioned to disregard most hits and collisions because they occur so often. But when you see a hit like that one the brain tells you Taylor Hall’s game (and possibly Memorial Cup) is over.
So it was with some astonishment that I observed the young man scoring a beautiful goal just a few minutes later. He played, and played well, although the game was soon decided and the shifts became fewer and farther between as the night wore on. There’s always a chance we receive word today that the kid is concussed and that he won’t play in the next game–in fact, I expect it. But Taylor Hall showed something (and we know from the scouting reports that he plays the game with abandon) last night and I’m convinced.
Those who read this blog know I’m a pretty stubborn fellow. Once I’m convinced of something that’s pretty much all she wrote. My opinion up to this point has been that the Oilers need to draft the bpa and that Stu MacGregor should make the final decision. Still feel that way. But I’m changing my vote. I said previously that Seguin would be the better choice because the math says they are equal players, and that Seguin’s being a center and coming on strong late tipped the scales for me. Reject all signals.
Taylor Hall has ridiculous talent, no fear and a strong will to win. He’s the best player available and should be taken number one overall.