It’s pretty hard to believe that a franchise that employed Wayne Gretzky, Mark Messier, Jari Kurri, Grant Fuhr and Paul Coffey never had a No. 1 overall draft pick until they selected Taylor Hall in June, but that’s exactly the case.
Hall got his first taste of Edmonton this week – and regardless of what Dany Heatley and other people who spurned the market would say – he received quite the royal treatment.
As much fun as that might be, you have to wonder if Hall will be able to handle the pressure that comes with leading a fledgling franchise to turn things around. He’s at least saying all the right things, as Terry Jones of Canoe.ca captured.
“I guess it’s how you treat things and how you look at things. You can take it as pressure. Or you can take it and have fun with it. For me it’s really, really been fun.
“I wouldn’t trade my position with anybody else.
“I don’t think the spotlight is going to be so bright here that I can’t be me. I think it’s going to be just right. I’m going to enjoy it. I’d like to think I’ve worked hard for it. And when I leave here and go home I’m going to work even harder and make sure I’m going to be focused on making the team when I return for training camp.
“I know that I now have to be careful where I go and what I do, especially as an 18-year-old.”
The Oilers have a long way to go before they will be the toast of the town, but drafting Taylor Hall is a good start. It should be interesting to see how the young winger will handle being under the microscope.