Robin Brownlee
June 23 2011 10:41AM

ST. PAUL, Minnesota -- Here, based on the order of selection at the time of writing today -- an order that's guaranteed to change by Friday morning when all the wheeling and dealing is done -- is how I see the first round of the NHL Entry Draft unfolding at the Xcel Energy Center.

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My 2011 NHL Draft Top-30

Jonathan Willis
June 23 2011 10:03AM

I know the hockey world is swamped with mock drafts and top-30 lists at the moment, but I thought I’d add one more – mine. This is not a mock draft; rather, this is how I rank the players I feel are the top-30 prospects for tomorrow’s draft.

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The Final Tally: The Vanek Offer Sheet

Jonathan Willis
June 22 2011 10:48PM

In the summer of 2007, then-Oilers general manager Kevin Lowe made a pair of bold moves, signing first Thomas Vanek and then Dustin Penner to offer sheets. The Oilers eventually added Penner after much grumbling from the Ducks, but only after the offer sheet to Vanek was matched by Buffalo.

Four years later, we’re finally in a position to know exactly what Lowe would have surrendered, had Buffalo not opted to match the Oilers’ offer sheet. I’ll put it this way: they dodged a bullet.

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Rumours & Speculation About Rough & Tumble Players

Jonathan Willis
June 22 2011 06:29PM

Way back in the summer of 2009, with the Oilers coming off a season that failed to live up to the expectations of the coach, the fans, and general manager Steve Tambellini, a need was identified. At the same press conference where Tambellini announced that the Oilers and Craig MacTavish had made a “mutual” decision to part ways, he made repeated statements about the team’s grit – how he wanted it to be better, how he wanted to see emotion, how he wanted the Oilers to be “hard to play against.”

It’s a quest that continues in the present. After the jump, we’ll look at three players – a rough and tumble NHL right wing and a nasty NHL depth player, as well as a WHL enforcer the Oilers might be looking at in this year’s draft.

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Robin Brownlee
June 22 2011 12:22PM

ST. PAUL, Minnesota -- I don't imagine Steve Tambellini's flight had been on the tarmac for very long when his phone started ringing. I don't expect it'll stop until he selects Ryan Nugent-Hopkins with the first pick of the 2011 NHL Entry Draft Friday.

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