I remember when Bob McKenzie arrived at the Hockey News over 30 years ago. He was a bright guy, and the only ‘long hair’ in the entire publication (‘long hair’ was a phrase my Dad used; long hairs were not to be trusted according to my father, but could be welcomed into the home–if not the living room. “Hoods” and “hippies” were to be avoided at all costs). McKenzie was an excellent writer and a hard worker–to my generation he WAS the Hockey News for many years, and when he transitioned to tsn (he worked both for a decade or so if I recall correctly) it was a smooth move for readers/viewers.
The growth of the draft has been a sublime experience for me–I loved the draft in 1974, and every year since–and it has now reached a point where draft day is a climax and an end to the season. A day/weekend to say goodbye to the season past, but also hello to the future, and a time for the industry of hockey to get together for one weekend before holidays. I approach each draft as I did the first ones, with wonder and joy and anticipation. It is, finally, the lifeblood of our game.
McKenzie’s list is the gold standard for each season’s entry draft. If your NHL team is risk averse, you can read about your first and second round pick tonight although you won’t know their names. For Oiler fans: the club has selected 17 players in the top 75 since 2008, and of those players only two were not mentioned in McKenzie’s annual list–Troy Hesketh and Jujhar Khaira.
Later tonight, SpOILer’s top 30 will appear and Blue Bullet’s will be along sometime in the next day or so. We are approaching Christmas for draftniks–and this season is going to be a tremendous edition.
I don’t think the Oilers will pick where they’re slotted to select at this time, but they are going to gather some value. My guess is two centermen and then we’ll see–sounds like one of those picks might be a trade item.
The show is at 5:30, I’ll post the link here when tsn publishes it. I’ll be interested to see where Curtis Lazar ranks.
Oh, and one final thing: a quote from MacT this afternoon:
- “We can acquire role players by other means. If you draft somebody who’s inadequate in maybe speed or size but has some skill, maybe he can improve in those areas and offer … significant skill that can move the dial of your team.”
Edit to add: Mckenzie list is here.