LIGHT OF A CLEAR BLUE MORNING

Edmonton Oilers

The Edmonton Oilers cash their third #1 overall pick today, adding the final name to the fab four. In a very real way, it’s the biggest test for the scouting group in Oilers history.

Nail is going to be a famous hockey player and an extremely good one. You can’t find a mock draft or a top 30 on the internet without Nail’s name at the top (actually you can, but this has happened only recently). The “gap” between Nail and the rest is sliding, but he’s still #1 as draft day arrives and will be known far and wide for doing the hardest thing in hockey: scoring goals.

I enjoyed Robin Brownlee’s series with Stu MacGregor and the item on Ryan Murray was very informative. MacGregor told Robin that Murray’s weakness was “he’s only six feet and a bit. What will be the determining factor is if he can be that shutdown-type D-man you require in that sort of position.”

Murray has been described as being a “safe” pick, and I think most of us think he’ll be the pick should Edmonton decide not to draft the gifted Russian.

Griffin Reinhart arrives courtesy a strong regular season and a deep run into spring in which he showcased his talents. A team looking for a combination of size, skill and truculence would have to take a long look at the Oil King defender. In Jason Gregor’s article yesterday he got a wonderful quote from MacGregor:

Macgregor: “It’s almost like he got a bit more determined and decided he was going to show people he is a high-end prospect. Not to say that he wasn’t, but he’s growing into his body and now he’s getting that physical strength that young kids with his size don’t always have right away because they are tall and lanky.”

 

WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN?

Stu MacGregor and his scouts have reached a conclusion. There has been speculation, guesstimation, hunches, sneaking suspicions, trick knees, deduction, theory, supposition.This is the final member of the fab four, these men must choose well. Why is this the most important draft decision in Oiler history? They are selecting number one overall with a gigantic “team need” glaring them in the face. BPA may take a holiday.

Is it Nail? We wait.

  • Seriously....Gord?

    This isn’t a test for the Oilers scouting department – it’s a test for Dithers and the other half wits in upper management. The magnificent one, as brilliant as he is, isn’t smarter than every scouting agency combined.

    Yak is our man – at least he’d better be.

  • Seriously....Gord?

    http://watch.tsn.ca/nhl/clip706176#clip706176

    About 2:19 in, Ryan Ditarick asks about who the oil are looking at. Who’s on the oilers board.

    ST: I won’t give you names obviously, Ryan, at this time, but I can say Stu and his staff…la lalallaa.

    It’s interesting, as the look on his face seems strange. Starts smiling, like he’s just subtly told the world what he’s doing, not just mentioning the interviewers name. He looks smug enough to think no one will catch the joke. Seems he’s telegraphing his intentions. Say Hello Ryan…unless Nail is Russian for Ryan.

  • Truth

    All the Twitter chatter from people at the draft this morning is the Oil taking Murray. I dont’t know if this means anything, but if they take him at #1 I’ll be pissed. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, if they want Murray at least trade down and pick him.

  • The Soup Fascist

    “Safe pick” is a relative term. Murray may be the safe pick in terms of a can’t miss, steady, if not spectacular 15 year career, but in terms of “safe pick” for Tambo taking the consensus #1 is essential to keep a virtual lynch mob from his door – even though MBS is giving him the piece of paper with the name on it.

  • TheJKriz

    Around 10.5 hours from now, I fully expect to post something similar to the following:

    “SOCKS???! We got SOCKS for Oilers Christmas????”

    Someone else put it in very good perspective when the topic of possibly trading the #1 pick for a supposedly available Keith Yandle came up…to paraphrase: “I wouldn’t trade the 1st overall pick, but I’d definitely give up Ryan Murray.”

    I maintain that if Ryan Murray were 2 weeks older, as part of the 2011 draft he would’ve been a 50/50 call to even be a top 5 pick, and likely considered to be the 3rd best dman in the draft. I’m not about to easily swallow the medicine that he’s a legit 1st overall choice in 2012.

  • Concur

    There may be a collective sigh of relief when the Oilers select Nail first, but what is really exciting is what else they will do to select again early or do a deal for something else. It is well known they need defensive help and they like both Murray and Reinhart. I will be on edge until those two are selected to see what happens.

  • jonrmcleod

    Last night on Sportsnet, Spector said after talking to Tambellini that he’s convinced the Oilers will select Yakupov. (Not that Spector’s speculation is proof, but it’s one more thing.)

  • French Toast Mafia

    Judging by FTHM series i think Yakupov is the guy. If not him on of the centers. Was it just me or did MacGregor not give the most stunning review of Murray.