by Lisa Brown on 06/18/13 at 10:15 PM ET
Oh Oiler fans, what are you to do? The 2013 NHL entry draft is fast approaching and you have no idea, at all, who your team will take, and your team isn't even drafting first overall! Quel dommage! Fear not, the end of June through beginning of July can still be exciting.
While it may be different to stand back and watch the speculation on who will go first overall, it can still be exciting, I promise! Hockey fans of other teams have stood back and speculated just as loudly as Oiler fans whether it would be Taylor or Tyler, or Yak or Murray. This year, the speculation is even more interesting, because the top three players all played in the Memorial Cup. Two of the three were of course on the winning team.
Craig Button has Seth Jones going first, Jonathan Drouin second and Nathan MacKinnon third. Bob McKenzie has Jones, MacKinnon and Drouin going top three, in that order. BUT for a different spin on things, Don Cherry thinks that it will be MacKinnon to go first overall.
True, this isn’t exactly a widely debated topic, most people feel it will be Jones, but just to speculate, just the anticipation should pique your interest as a hockey fan. Shouldn’t it?
Well, if not, there is of course the Oilers’ first pick at #7. The first pick with GM Craig MacTavish and head coach Dallas Eakins. The two men are quite similar in terms of mentality on the game, and what they value in players (based off of what little we know and all reports we have heard up until now). So who will they pick? Are they looking for a defenceman, another other forward? And what about their goaltending needs?
The easy answer is to say that the Oilers will take the best player available, but the follow up question is of course, the best player according to who?
Stu MacGregor, the Oilers’ head of amateur scouting has a good track record. He was brought in to replace Kevin Prendergrast after the historic Alex Plante draft of 2007. Mind you, if it wasn’t the Oilers, someone would have picked up Plante soon after; he was a highly touted draft prospect. While we expect MacGregor to do something amazing and pick the right player, the truth is you just never know how a player will develop. Drafting is part science and part art mixed with a bit of gut feel. Just what MacGregor will feel on the last Sunday morning of June as the Oilers prepare to step up to the podium, we will never know. Just like we won’t know what exactly the 6 other teams will do.
Some names out there as possibilities for the Oilers at 7 are not set in stone and don’t carry much weight, but do include:
Fucale wasn’t always ranked top 10 as he is with Craig Button’s final list, Fucale has his performance in the Memorial Cup to thank for that. But a player who knows what it takes to win, both in terms of the physical and mental commitment, is exactly the type of player the Oilers prize and want to add to their organization.
The 6’1” goaltender may rank high with Button, but you won’t find him on Future Considerations first round list, but that doesn't mean that the Oilers wouldn't consider taking the tender early if they really want him, or his style of player and they feel that he won't be available by the time that they step up to the podium.
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Lisa McRitchie is a fairly new writer, online at least, but makes up for inexperience with passion for the game of hockey and memories of Mrs. Leskiw’s English AP class; who knew they would pay off one day.
Oil Patch focuses on the Edmonton Oilers, the Edmonton Oil Kings, The Oklahoma City Barons and Team Canada Hockey with game coverage, news updates, speculation and interviews.
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