2011 ENTRY DRAFT: OILERSNATION LIVE BLOG

Robin Brownlee
June 24 2011 03:59PM

ST. PAUL, Minnesota -- One Ryan or two? Maybe none?

Those are the two obvious storylines for the Edmonton Oilers heading into the 2011 NHL Entry Draft today and Jason Gregor and I are going to be all over them as the answers unfold at the Xcel Energy Center.

Will the Oilers use their second consecutive first overall pick to select centre Ryan Nugent-Hopkins of the Red Deer Rebels? That's the shot we've been calling here are Oilersnation for weeks now, and despite some speculation that's in doubt, it's the likeliest bet.

The second storyline, one that's developed rapidly in recent days, is the buzz that Ryan Smyth of the Los Angeles Kings has let it be known he'd like to return to Edmonton. That's a wish Los Angeles GM Dean Lombardi has indicated he will try to accommodate -- perhaps as early as today.

Might the Oilers leave the draft floor today with both Nugent-Hopkins and Smyth in the fold? We'll be on top of that, as well as tracking GM Steve Tambellini's stated efforts to move up and get a second high pick in the first round, as the day unfolds.

I'll be talking to scouts and GMs on the floor at the Xcel Energy Centre and keeping tabs with beat writers from other cities as the proceedings begin today and I'll be posting regular updates starting at about 3 p.m. Edmonton time, so check back regularly.

AS IT HAPPENS . . .

-- 12:45: We're hearing, and TSN is reporting on its website, that Winnipeg has been received permission from the NHl to reinstate the name Jets for next season. The question now, did the Winnipeg group anticipate this and will they have a Jets hat and jersey for whoever they take with the seventh selection?

-- 1:02: Smyth to Calgary rumours rampant, as per Gord Miller etc., but no confirmation on a deal yet.

-- 1:04: As per Stauffer: Oilers scouting staff said to be unanimous on taking Nugent-Hopkins.

-- 4:01: TSN will have a shot of the top prospects, including Nugent-Hopkins, casually strolling into the Xcel Energy Center together as part of their coverage today. I know this because I watched them set it up . . .

-- 4:50: Time flies. Just ran into Harold Snepsts, who was one of my favourite players during his days with the Vancouver Canucks. For all my travels around the NHL, I haven't seen old Hammerin' Harry in 20 years. He's sporting the shaved dome now and has to be pushing 60 years old. He was a tough SOB back in the day.

-- 5:07: Just had a quick chat with Nugent-Hopkins on his way to do another interview. He says the nerves are holding up pretty well. Said he  had a chance to talk to Hall today and he seems to be happily taking in everything around him. Pretty calm and cool customer, this kid.

 -- 5:22: Former Oilers chief scout Kevin Prendergast on Nugent-Hopkins: 'He's a special player."

-- 5:28: Mike Gillis holding court with Vancouver beat writers . . . Hall doing an interview with Stauffer  . . . a bunch of fans in a section up in the nosebleeds have been chanting "Go Jets Go" for the last 30 minutes . . . Ken Wiebe, a Winnipeg hockey writer, tells me it's doubtful the Jets will have a team jersey for their first pick because no design has been approved by the NHL and it's not a given the new outfit will be the same as the new one, even if the name is the same.

-- 5:35: I'm told by a scout the Avs are taking Landeskog.

-- 6:05: Just waiting on The Count to get festivities rolling . . . once the Oilers make their pick, I'll be posting comments from RNH here as soon as I get back from his availability . . .

-- 6:10: If the Oilers can move Brule in the Smyth trade that at least takes a little bite out of the overpay on Smyth's salary. That's a deal I'd be shaking hands on right now.

-- 6:15: Smyth deal done, according to TSN.

-- 6:17: Standing ovation for the family of E.J. MaGuire. Classy.

-- 6:22: Tambellini calls the shot -- NUGENT-HOPKINS. Big smile from the kid.

THE KID SAYS . . .

7:28 (After 35 minutes of computer malfunction and language you don't want to hear . . .)

  -- "It feels amazing. I can't even describe what I'm feeling right now. I mean, all the nerves are finally starting to go away and it just feels great."

-- "When my name got called, it definitely didn't hit my until I got up on stage and shook Steve Tambellini's hand again. I'm just very excited about this opportunity."

-- "Just from what people were saying I had a rough idea, but I mean I really didn't know what was going to happen. I'm really just relieved."

-- 7:30: Will be getting Tambellini and Stu MacGregor for their comments after the first round. Stay tuned for that . . . it as KP who called Colorado and Landeskog . . .

-- 7:55: Some action around the Oilers table, but I can't see who Tambellini was talking to . . . nice eyesight, Brownlee . . . still guys available Tambellini would be very happy with 19th . . . Jamie Oleksiak and Oscar Klefbom. 

-- 8:10: NY Rangers have Aaron Boogaard make the 15th pick for them in honour of brother Derek. It's J.T. Miller. Nice touch by the Rangers.

-- 8:17: Hearing again, this time from sources close to Oilers, the Smyth deal involving Brule is done. Still no official word from the team.

-- 8:37: Chicago takes Mark McNeill, who the Oilers really wanted at 19th. That's Oleksiak and McNeill gone, which leads me to Klefbom.

-- 8:40: Tambellini up on stage with Bettman early for the pick . . . it's KLEFBOM

CONFIDENT KID

-- 9:05: We've read the scouting reports on Klefbom. I asked him to provide Oilers fans will one of his own, Here's what he said:

"Now, the have a really big, strong defenseman. A really ambitious guy and a very competitive person. I try to be better every day. I have some good leadership, as well. I'll try to give them that."

 MORE FROM NUGENT-HOPKINS, courtesy of NHL transcripts

-- 9:55 Q.    Did anybody say anything in that moment to you?
     RYAN NUGENT-HOPKINS:  I don't know if they did, I don't think I could
even remember right now.

     Q.   You talked yesterday a little bit about the possibility of going
back  for  another year at Junior.  Now that you know it's the Oilers, have
they talked to you at all about their thoughts in that regard?
     RYAN  NUGENT-HOPKINS:   Not really.  But I mean from what I've heard,
Steve's  in  no  rush  to get me playing.  But if I do go back to Junior, I
won't  be  disappointed at all.  It will be a great opportunity for us, Red
Deer, as a team to hopefully to get to the Memorial Cup.
     Personally  it  will be a good year of development for me too, but my
goal now is to make the Oilers right now.

     Q.  You're in with a group of guys that are all coming up at the same
time.   Can  you just speak to the excitement about being part of something
that seems like it's building pretty well?
     RYAN  NUGENT-HOPKINS:   Yeah, definitely it's going to be great.  I'm
definitely  going  to be able to relate to all the young guys in the system
already.   So  just  joining  a group like that is very exciting for me.  I
just can't wait to get started.

     Q.  The World Juniors are going to be in Edmonton in Calgary.  I know
the NHL's dream, but on the same token won't it kind of be neat considering
where you're located?
     RYAN  NUGENT-HOPKINS:  Yeah, definitely, if I didn't make the Oilers,
hopefully  I  can  make  the  World  Junior squad, and that will be a great
opportunity for me as well.

 Listen to Robin Brownlee Wednesdays and Thursdays from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. on the Jason Gregor Show on TEAM 1260.

 

Aceb4a1816f5fa09879a023b07d1a9b4
A sports writer since 1983, including stints at The Edmonton Journal and The Sun 1989-2007, I happily co-host the Jason Gregor Show on TSN 1260 twice a week and write when so inclined. Have the best damn lawn on the internet. Most important, I am Sam's dad. Follow me on Twitter at Robin_Brownlee. Or don't.
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#201 @Oilanderp
June 24 2011, 06:58PM
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Drop the Klefbomb!

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#202 Matt Henderson
June 24 2011, 07:00PM
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Wow, Oleksiak at 14. Didnt see that coming either.

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#203 Cheesenaka
June 24 2011, 07:01PM
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positivebrontefan wrote:

Or Oleksiak

damn dallas lol

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#204 positivebrontefan
June 24 2011, 07:02PM
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Well that means Biggs is still available.

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#205 gongshow
June 24 2011, 07:04PM
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With Dallas letting Charlie Huddy go today, if the Oil could add RNH, Smytty AND Huddy, this would really be a good day.

Hire Huddy to give the kids like Petry, Peckham and Laddy the mentorship that they need. I really don't see what Bucky brings to the table (other than 'try harder').

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#206 positivebrontefan
June 24 2011, 07:04PM
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Dam. That kid would have been awesome.

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#207 #94 sized hole where my heart used to be...
June 24 2011, 07:05PM
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no love for Beaulieu? suprised no1's snagged him yet..

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#208 SuntanOil
June 24 2011, 07:05PM
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Did I hear Gord Miller say that the Stars let Charlie Huddy go today?

Does anyone think we could find a spot for him?

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#209 Oilcruzer
June 24 2011, 07:06PM
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SuntanOil wrote:

Did I hear Gord Miller say that the Stars let Charlie Huddy go today?

Does anyone think we could find a spot for him?

Only EVERYONE

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#210 michael
June 24 2011, 07:06PM
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Cripes did we Dallas' defence to get any bigger?

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#211 positivebrontefan
June 24 2011, 07:06PM
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gongshow wrote:

With Dallas letting Charlie Huddy go today, if the Oil could add RNH, Smytty AND Huddy, this would really be a good day.

Hire Huddy to give the kids like Petry, Peckham and Laddy the mentorship that they need. I really don't see what Bucky brings to the table (other than 'try harder').

That and "if you bleed more it makes the team think your hurt more so they'll try harder".

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#212 Krusher
June 24 2011, 07:08PM
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Pick Murphy!!!

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#213 positivebrontefan
June 24 2011, 07:10PM
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Classy org the stars. Fans too. Brought tears to my eyes with the standing O.

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#214 Bucknuck
June 24 2011, 07:11PM
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I am tracking against Brownlee's picks and I have to say I am quite impressed. He's hit a number of picks dead on.

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#215 positivebrontefan
June 24 2011, 07:11PM
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That being said still no Biggs.

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#216 SurfacetoAirMissile
June 24 2011, 07:15PM
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2 picks till the oil pick..... bunch of good prospects left

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#217 SurfacetoAirMissile
June 24 2011, 07:17PM
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Who did Brownlee say the oil would pick at 19?

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#218 positivebrontefan
June 24 2011, 07:18PM
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How hot is Joel Armias sister... Tell me that's his sister.

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#219 Skidplate
June 24 2011, 07:19PM
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@SurfacetoAirMissile

Klefbom

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#220 positivebrontefan
June 24 2011, 07:19PM
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And tell me she's actually hot. I'm about eight beers in.

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#221 Firesteve
June 24 2011, 07:21PM
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Little disappointed with the no moves. I wonder if everyone wanted to much to move up or if Steve just couldn't get it done. I think explanations are needed...

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#222 Krusher
June 24 2011, 07:21PM
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Biggs would be what Jacques was projected. Can't go wrong there! A crushing bodychecker in the bottom 6 forwards is nothing to sneeze at!

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#223 positivebrontefan
June 24 2011, 07:23PM
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Firesteve wrote:

Little disappointed with the no moves. I wonder if everyone wanted to much to move up or if Steve just couldn't get it done. I think explanations are needed...

I know. Nobody has It bores me. Other than Armia's sister that is.

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#224 Smokey
June 24 2011, 07:23PM
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I hope the Oil get BEAULIEU

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#225 Smokey
June 24 2011, 07:24PM
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Damn Montreal

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#226 Skidplate
June 24 2011, 07:24PM
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Nope

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#227 Skidplate
June 24 2011, 07:25PM
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Klefbom or Mcneil or Morrow

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#228 Krusher
June 24 2011, 07:25PM
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Hmmmm.... Montreal took a French kid. That's rare

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#229 positivebrontefan
June 24 2011, 07:25PM
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Biggs still available.

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#230 michael
June 24 2011, 07:25PM
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one more pick. McNeil come on Tambo

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#231 Oilcruzer
June 24 2011, 07:26PM
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McNeil or Klefbom? Anyone? Beuller?

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#232 positivebrontefan
June 24 2011, 07:27PM
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Krusher wrote:

Hmmmm.... Montreal took a French kid. That's rare

LOL!!!

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#233 positivebrontefan
June 24 2011, 07:28PM
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Fricken Hawks will pick Biggs.

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#234 DoubleJ
June 24 2011, 07:30PM
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How many picks do we have in the 2nd?

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#235 Skidplate
June 24 2011, 07:30PM
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and thats fine, we don't need a winger. D or C please

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#236 Smokey
June 24 2011, 07:30PM
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Its Morrow or Klefbom, its probably going Captain Klefbom, but I want Morrow

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#237 positivebrontefan
June 24 2011, 07:31PM
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Kid has great English for a French kid.

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#238 Oilcruzer
June 24 2011, 07:32PM
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SJS trades Setoguchi, Charlie Coyle and 1st pick (No. 28) to MIN for Brent Burns and a 2nd rd pick

From TSN's Bobby McK

Edit And now of course it's on the big screen

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#239 Skidplate
June 24 2011, 07:33PM
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Good trade for both teams.

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#240 positivebrontefan
June 24 2011, 07:34PM
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Holy Hanna. What trade

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#241 BArmstrong
June 24 2011, 07:34PM
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Holy trade Batman!!

Burns and Boyle - look out.

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#242 BArmstrong
June 24 2011, 07:36PM
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%$@#&%$@!@@!

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#243 Cheesenaka
June 24 2011, 07:36PM
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damn, mcneil is gone

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#244 MaestroFreshMess
June 24 2011, 07:36PM
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Now they (oil) have to take Klefbom

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#245 positivebrontefan
June 24 2011, 07:36PM
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Well McNiels gone.

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#246 michael
June 24 2011, 07:36PM
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damn

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#247 DoubleJ
June 24 2011, 07:36PM
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Poop. That's the guy we wanted.

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#248 Aitch
June 24 2011, 07:36PM
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positivebrontefan wrote:

Kid has great English for a French kid.

That's cuz he's not French. His father is. He said that he'll have to work on his french going to Montreal.

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#249 Skidplate
June 24 2011, 07:37PM
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Klefbom or Morrow.

I chose Morrow.

Edit, I mean Klefbom...

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#250 positivebrontefan
June 24 2011, 07:38PM
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How is McNiel bald at 18?

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