Asked And Answered

We’re counting down the days until the Edmonton Oilers stand on the podium and announce to all the world their #1 pick. We’re not going to know until Tambellini announces it (or Lowe, or even Katz. If I owned the team there would be a seat for me at the draft table for damn sure, and Katz strikes me as enough of a nerd to get some enjoyment from such a day) but we can read the tea leaves. There are also some other draft trends we can look at before the 2010 edition so lets do that now.

  1. Will the Oilers trade the #1 pick? No. They “might” make a side deal with the Bruins to stay away from Hall and select Seguin #1 but even that seems a stretch. Stu (Magnificent Bastard) MacGregor should make the call and Tambellini should stand beside him on the decision. Either way, the Oilers have a chance to pick #1 overall for the first time in their history and it is a major, historic and symbolic event. Kind of like the moon landing, that sort of thing. In the words of 20th century poet John Lydon: “getting rid of the albatross; I know you very well, you are unbearable.”
  2. Who will they choose? Taylor Hall. These two are equal talents and the things that make Hall more attractive (track record of winning big games, championship resume, fame) are all things the Oilers can wrap themselves around in the darkest period of their NHL history. These are the Edmonton Oilers, not the Mobro 4000. The long haul doesn’t mean avoiding the NHL ready player, and the choice is so close that Hall gets the nod based on intangibles.
  3. Intangibles? I thought you didn’t believe in that stuff? I don’t. However, when all things are equal and you have to decide between two talents, flipping a coin seems a little vague.
  4. What else will happen on day one? The Oilers will trade into the first round (middle) and choose Dylan McIlrath. My guess is that the early 2nd rd pick and perhaps a selection from next year or an Andrew Cogliano will also be included, but they’re going to address the future blue at the draft. They have no choice.
  5. Oh God. You’re back on the “draft a defenseman” kick are you? Yeah, I think so. McIlrath isn’t going to be Orr or even Park, but if he can be Jim Dorey the Oilers will have improved an area of great need at a time when it is vital.
  6. What about day 2? The Nashville (Grebs) pick starts day 2 (if the Oilers trade up in rd 1) and one expects the Oilers will draft a forward with offensive skills. Maybe another Lander if available, but they could use more skill and this draft is deep.
  7. Then what? Then it gets fun: The Oilers under both KP and MBS have done unusual work in the third-fifth rounds. This is the place the Oilers have drafted their Coke Machines and obscure Euro’s; its kind of like being a Doors fan and listening to the Soft Parade for the first time. We could see a goalie or a coke machine or a Croatian. There’s no real way to predict the Edmonton Oilers outside the top 50 overall.
  8. Which player on the Oilers list is most likely to be traded at the draft? Riley Nash. Moreau, Nilsson and O’Sullivan can be bought out, and the Oilers management group has mentioned it is an option. Why pay anything for struggling role players when you can wait until they’re bought out and are a bargain? Souray won’t be traded until after July 1.
  9. RILEY NASH? HA-HA! He has no value! On the contrary, he’s going to be a bargain. The Oilers are either frustrated by his career path or his progress (or both) and because we know it other NHL teams know it. If I’m Boston, he’s a guy I trade for because the price is low at this time. Plus he’s closer to being NHL ready than most of the kids in this draft and might sign right away with another team.
  10. You’re just making stuff up now. No. I’m not. Smart organizations never betray anything about their prospects but fans know the Oilers have soured on Nash without ever leaving our basements to buy Cheesies. Sam Pollock’s teams never did that kind of thing.
  11. Will the Oilers do well at the draft? I think they will. MBS looks to be a guy who doesn’t gamble in the first round (Eberle, MPS) and spends some deep picks on draft fallers (Motin, Rajala, Roy). Chances are we’ll know 4 or more of the Oilers picks by name as they are called. May not sound like a big deal, but in the last decade Oilers fans were sent running to their search engines for info on Mikhnov, Niinimaki and some other high picks.
  12. Why don’t you guess at four names? Taylor Hall, Dylan McIlrath, Justin Shugg, Sondre Olden.

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