The Edmonton Oilers have done some nice things since 2001 at the draft table. This summer’s first pick should trump the entire decade in terms of peak and career value. Hall/Seguin should be better than Gagner, Hemsky and the rest.

The odds of Hall/Seguin being an elite talent aren’t great, although the Oilers are at least picking in the neighborhood where generational talents hang out. Here are the draft odds (a 2004 study of the 1979-95 drafts):

  • 2% turned out to be a elite players
  • 4% turned into impact players
  • 15% turned out to be average NHLers
  • 24% played less than 200 games
  • 55% never played a game in the NHL

Since the Oilers traded Messier, how many “elite players” have worn the copper and blue? How many were “impact players” have played for the Oilers in that time? I really don’t care whether it is Hall or Seguin and I do understand that injury and luck and all kinds of factors out of the control of Edmonton’s Oilers will impact the future of the chosen one.

Having said all of that, this pick is a huge opportunity for the Oilers. Future playoffs, winning the division, the conference, having a team that will contend every year, giving the younger Oiler fans their own memories of winning the Stanley. Can one pick make that much difference?

No. But it is a very nice place to start.

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