There seems to be a lot of concern among OilersNation draft observers about making the wrong choice at number one in this year’s edition. There’s another way to look at this: there are no wrong answers. Not from here.
Not long ago, commenter "Steve Smith" posted something along the lines of "this may be the draft where the cards are stacked against Stu MacGregor." Point being that although the Oilers have secured the top overall selection, there doesn’t seem to be a pure #1 overall pick (in historic terms).
I think it comes down to how you frame the issue, and answering the question "what is reasonable?" when it comes to expectations. ALL of the draft services and ALL of the observers say this is a 4 or 5 man race for number one. Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Adam Larsson, Sean Couturier, Gabriel Landeskog and Jonathan Huberdeau all look like they could be the best player from this draft a decade gone.
It seems to me that if everyone agrees there are 5 horses in the race and on raceday it’s a photo finish, then it is completely reasonable to suggest that the Edmonton Oilers should choose the guy they believe will be the best and then put the entire matter to bed. Although that isn’t how it’ll go–Steve is right, MBS is in a no-win situation and there’s every chance it’ll bite him in the ass if he can’t look five years into the future with aplomb–sometimes you have to take your chances at the draft.
I believe the Edmonton Oilers will take Ryan Nugent-Hopkins. Bob McKenzie put the seeds of doubt in my mind last night during the draft lottery show. He detailed a conversation he’d had with Steve Tambellini after the Oilers GM returned from seeing Adam Larsson during the SEL playoffs. McKenzie stated that in his opinion the Oilers had two players in their cross hairs-RNH and Adam Larsson.
It should be a very interesting draft.
Starting today and going through the night of the draft (obviously you have to email before the draft begins), Nation Radio will be conducting our first contest. The prize? An authentic Oilers jersey with the name of Edmonton’s first pick at the 2011 entry draft on the back. Wanye is picking bottles on the side of the road as we speak, and we’re convinced he’ll have enough by draft day to cover it.
Email your top 10 (you can do it now or wait until later) to firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll award the Oilers jersey person who can correctly identify the top 10. You don’t have to list the team, just the top 10 in correct order. If there is no winner, we’ll identify the closest top 10 and award the prize.
This weeks’ guests:
- David Staples from the Edmonton Journal. We’ll talk arena, the draft and have a solid look at his error stat and what it told us about last season’s Oilers.
- Blue Bullet, a long time draft guru who has correctly identified all kinds of things from past drafts. Blue Bullet’s 2007 draft preview rings true these years later. Along with speeds (our guest last week on the show), BB is the best Oiler draft observer on the Oilogosphere.
- Kent Wilson is such a good writer and smart oberver of the game he could be an Oiler fan–but isn’t. That’s good news for us because Kent can offer insight into a weird week in Calgary, and that’s just what he’ll do today.
- Jonathan Willis is the Duke Ellington of the Oilogopshere: prolific and splendid at the same time. Jonathan will discuss the entry draft, we’ll talk about the rebuilding articles he posted here at ON and why Atlanta burned this time.
Emails are welcome at email@example.com and we’re on twitter here. Hope you enter our contest and remember if you can’t listen to the show Wanye will have it posted right here at OilersNation.