It couldn’t have been a better finish to a miserable season to the Edmonton Oilers. Going in as the third worst standing team in the NHL, the Oilers had an 11.5% chance to get first dib at this year’s phenom Connor MacDavid. The 97 and captain from the Erie Otters is likely to go first and for the Edmonton Oilers they have a chance to “finally” turn their fortune around and become a successful team in the NHL.
The Oilers, needless to say have a remarkable first pick cast already but in the last five years, the Oilers couldn’t make it gel together. They are fast and capable of remarkable things on offense but the backend has been nothing but poor. With the like of Taylor Hall, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Jordan Eberle, Nail Yakupov recently resigned, MacDavid will join a lineup and top six forwards many teams would envy having. Add to this lineup center Leon Draisaitl as your third center and you’re having to start quite the lineup.
It is sure the Oilers will not trade their pick. They have made that statement last night following the lottery results. And to keep the proper ethical way to do things have not made official they will pick Connor MacDavid but it is almost 99.9% sure they will pick what could be the next Crosby or even the next Gretzky.
MacDavid has gathered some amazing statistics with the Lake Erie Otters. He finished third in Ontario Hockey League scoring with 120 points, including 44 goals and 76 assists, despite playing just 47 games.
For the Oilers, it is a fourth first pick in six years. Commenting after the happy ending following the lottery results, Craig MacTavish general manager of the Edmonton Oilers stated this: “It sure turns the focus squarely on the Oilers as a team to be reckoned with in the future,” MacTavish said. “I think offence wins hockey games and we’re going to be loaded with it. This is another piece along to that end. It’s so important for our franchise on so many fronts.”
MacDavid will fill big minutes alongside Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, something the Oilers management was looking for. When interviewed after the selection results: MacDavid declared: “I think they have a great young group of talent there,” McDavid said. “Obviously names like Hall and Eberle and Nugent-Hopkins and Yakupov and the whole deal, Schultz. They have such a good group there.”
For the Buffalo Sabres, it is a bitter sweet result. With a 20% chance to land MacDavid, the Sabres saw the Oilers going pass them and select first. Although they are not going to have the first choice, the Buffalo Sabres will land a player pretty close in skills to what Connor MacDavid has to offer. The Buffalo Sabres will likely the second best player in Jack Eichel.
Finally the Arizona Coyotes will be picking third in the next entry draft which will be in Florida on June 26th. We will discuss in a future post the effect of bringing Connor MacDavid to Edmonton and how the it will change the dynamics. The Oilers will also have the 16th and 33rd choice in the next NHL Entry Draft.
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