It’s that time of year again! The Oilers are drafting 3rd overall and the rebuild will get another useful piece that will likely get rushed into action. Who will they choose? Will they make a trade? Will I fall down drunk at the Draft Party? These are questions that will have answers in due time.
This year, we weren’t supposed to be in this position again but here we are. The Oilers were supposed to compete for a playoff spot, but all they ended up competing for was lottery position. It sucked. At some point the cycle will end, and maybe tonight is the beginning of that end. The interesting thing about the Oilers picking #3 is that so much of it depends on who the Panthers and Sabres will be picking. Will this year be like last year when Seth Jones slid to the #4 pick? Will the Oilers have a chance at Ekblad? If not, which centre will they pick? The anticipation is killing me!
WHAT WOULD I DO? I THOUGHT YOU’D NEVER ASK
I’m going to go out on a limb here, and feel free to tell me how stupid I am, but I don’t want the Oilers to draft Ekblad even if they have the chance. Ok, calm down, hear me out… In the Lil Nugey draft, the two top choices that year were supposed to be Nuge and Adam Larsson. The argument against Nuge was that he’s too small, while Larsson projected to be the next big thing on defence. Nuge went #1, Larsson went #4. Fast forward three years later and Nuge is producing just fine in the NHL (although Nugey shouldn’t have been thrust into the #1 centre roll from day one but that’s the Oilers fault not his), while Adam Larsson spent the majority of last season in the AHL learning to be a pro. I’m not saying that Larsson won’t be good or great in the future, he’s just not there yet.
I think it’s reasonable to expect the same type of projection for Aaron Ekblad. I fully expect that this young man will be turn into a fantastic defenceman, but it’s unreasonable to expect that of him now. Even though he’s built like a man, doesn’t mean he’ll be able to handle men that have played in the league forever. Not to mention, have you looked at the Oilers depth at centre? It’s not good. Ideally, I would like to see the Oilers draft a centreman and send him back to junior, but the cupboards are bare and we may not have that luxury. What the Oilers do have is a stable full of defensive prospects that are marinating nicely. Taking a centre, to me, is the safer bet and faster bet.
Feel free to tell me I’m wrong (Lord knows it happens regularly). But when you do tell me I’m wrong, I want to know why. I want to know what makes Aaron Ekblad different from the other top defensive prospects that have come in, struggled, and taken time to come into their own? I have no doubt that he will be a very solid player, but that doesn’t help us now. I don’t want to be writing the same Draft Party stuff next year. This has to end!
MACT IS BEING SNEAKY
Last year, MacT came out and said that now was the time for bold moves. Bold moves didn’t happen and we all had a good laugh making bold move jokes for the rest of the reason. This year, he’s keeping his cards much closer to the vest. Although I’m sure other GMs know exactly what MacT is looking for, he’s not throwing out public promises of dick swingery in terms of roster movement like he did last summer. I think that will help MacT makes deals in the short term, and in the long run.
Tonight is going to be a very interesting night for Oilers fans. Do you think MacT will make some moves?
If you’re in the city and can make it to the Pint Downtown, we’ll be drinking Nation beers and saluting 18 year olds that haven’t played an NHL game yet. Oh the fun we’ll have. Tickets are still available online, or you can pick them up at the door. For $20 you’ll get a Draft Party t-shirt, a $20 Pint GC, and a $10 Oodle Noodle GC!
All ticket proceeds will be split among the Inner City Children’s Program and the Boys & Girls Clubs Big Brothers Big Sisters of Edmonton. There’s no better party than when you’re partying for the children!
Tonight, new Nation Overlord Brian Sutherby will be posting Oilers related updates on the draft in this section of the article. Keep refreshing, and feel free to tell Sutherby how handsome he is and why I deserve a raise. Thank you. Enjoy the draft, everybody!