The Edmonton Oilers have another first overall pick on the horizon. This one is different. This one feels unsettled, unfinished.
I suggested over at ON the other day that Nail Yakupov was not an automatic. There are little things, like NY’s agent saying the Oilers hadn’t been in touch, and Ryan Murray being invited (or so) to the grown up Team Canada.
I believe the Oilers are looking at adding a defensive stud to go with their three gifted forwards, and they may feel this is their last best chance to add an impact defender.
I believe that defender is Ryan Murray.
The other thing is EDM doesn’t shop Moscow successfully, never has. The Oilers once got talked into Alexei Mikhnov but that ended badly and they are well aware of the pratfalls possible when a smaller market team goes bear hunting.
And if you look at the evidence, read the tea leaves, there is a story emerging:
- Sliderule in yesterday’s BB post:It appears the Oil are going to try to trade down or select Murray. Stauffer today was comparing Murray to Suter.As he had just finished interviewing Tambo he might be reflecting Oiler thinking. I think they will regret passing on a elite prospect like Yak to take D.
- Steve Tambellini to Jim Matheson: “if we can get a good (established) player and a good draft pick and we feel great about it, we’d do it. But maybe by the time we get out of the meetings, we decide that player X is by far the best player. If so, we’re taking the pick. Stu (head scout MacGregor) hasn’t told us that yet (if Yakupov or anybody else is his No. 1), but we really try to make sure everybody gets to speak with passion on the players they like or dislike. You don’t want it pre-determined. The scouts work too hard at that.”
Folks, it’s not a huge step from “if we get an established player and a good draft pick” to “we didn’t feel we could risk trading down to #3 because our intel suggested Columbus had Murray #1 as well.”
That’s just me thinking out loud, but as mentioned in the ON item there’s the thread of a story here. Stu MacGregor has an impressive track record, I’d say outstanding (although most observers seem to be less impressed).
If the Edmonton Oilers draft Ryan Murray #1 overall and Stu MacGregor tells me it’s the right thing to do, I’m inclined to give him the benefit of the doubt.
What say you?