Tag: Taylor Hall

Of course they did: Oilers win 2015 NHL Draft Lottery, will select first overall


Stop us if you’ve heard this one before, but the Edmonton Oilers will pick first overall at the draft.

That was the big story out of Toronto on Saturday night as the Oilers, who came into the lottery with an 11.5 percent chance at the No. 1 pick, won it all and will now get the top choice — for the fourth time since 2010.

It’ll also give Edmonton a shot at adding OHL Erie wunderkind Connor McDavid to a group that includes those three aforementioned No. 1 picks: Taylor Hall, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Nail Yakupov.

While tonight’s development was euphoric for Edmonton, it was a tough blow for both Buffalo and Arizona, who finished lower in the standings than the Oilers and had better lottery odds heading into tonight. The Sabres will now select second overall and the Coyotes third, and it’s widely expected Buffalo will select Boston University sniper Jack Eichel with the No. 2 pick.

As for the rest of the draft order, it looks like this:

1. Edmonton Oilers

2. Buffalo Sabres

3. Arizona Coyotes

4. Toronto Maple Leafs

5. Carolina Hurricanes

6. New Jersey Devils

7. Philadelphia Flyers

8. Columbus Blue Jackets

9. San Jose Sharks

10. Colorado Avalanche

11. Florida Panthers

12. Dallas Stars

13. Los Angeles Kings

14. Boston Bruins

Immediately following the draft, Oilers assistant GM Bill Scott spoke with Sportsnet and wouldn’t confirm they’d be taking McDavid No. 1 overall — but all signs point to McDavid heading to Edmonton.

“We want to wait ’til we’re in Florida and make that call live,” Scott explained. “It’s a special day for that player that goes No. 1 overall, and we want him to have that moment.”

Barring some unbelievable turn of events, that player will be McDavid. He’s been tabbed as a generational talent that could turn a franchise around — just consider what his current boss, OHL Erie owner Sherry Bassin, said recently.

“I think (Barrie Colts coach) Dale Hawerchuk said it best,” Bassin explained, per Reuters. “Dale told me that Connor skates like Bobby Orr, sees the ice like Wayne Gretzky and handles the puck like Mario Lemieux.

“Anybody who knows hockey knows this is the highest of praise.”

Last week, the NHL released its final draft rankings and, to nobody’s surprise, McDavid topped the list, followed by Eichel in the No. 2 spot. Boston College d-man Noah Hanifin, McDavid’s teammate with the Otters, Dylan Strome, OHL Kingston forward Lawson Crouse and OHL London scoring sensation Mitch Marner rounded out the top six North American skaters.

The European rankings were topped by Finnish winger Mikko Rantanen. At 6-foot-3, the 18-year-old spent this season playing professionally with SM-liiga outfit TPS Turku, scoring 28 points in 56 games while serving as an alternate captain.

“Rantanen is in a class of his own at present in Europe,” NHL Director of European Scouting Goran Stubb said. “After Mikko you can pick almost anyone for the next spots.”

Seguin, Giroux highlight Team Canada roster for Worlds

Dallas Stars v Philadelphia Flyers

Canada won’t be lacking for offensive weapons at this year’s World Hockey Championships.

Two of the league’s top-12 scorers — Dallas’ Tyler Seguin and Philly’s Claude Giroux — will wear the red and white in Prague from May 1-17, Hockey Canada announced on Tuesday. Seguin and Giroux were part of the original 19-man roster set for the tournament; Canada can register up to 25 players as teams are eliminated from the Stanley Cup playoffs.

The rest of the Canadian roster looks like this…

Goalies: Martin Jones, Mike Smith

Defense: Tyson Barrie, Brent Burns, Aaron Ekblad, Jake Muzzin, David Savard

Forwards: Seguin, Giroux, Matt Duchene, Cody Eakin, Jordan Eberle, Tyler Ennis, Taylor Hall, Nathan MacKinnon, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Ryan O’Reilly, Jason Spezza, Tyler Toffoli.

Team Canada will be coached by Todd McLellan.

MacT promises ‘very busy summer’ in Edmonton

Craig MacTavish.

Upon being hired as Edmonton’s GM in 2013, Craig MacTavish called himself a “man of action” prepared to do “bold things” to make the Oilers better.

Two years later… well, at least he’s still on message.

“It’s going to be a very busy summer,” MacTavish said during Monday’s season-ending presser. “We’ve got to make some additions.

“Make no mistake, we have the assets to go out and acquire more proven players.”

Which begs the question — what assets?

Per Sportsnet, MacTavish has informed Taylor Hall, Jordan Eberle and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins they won’t be moved. Nail Yakupov was believed to be in that group as well, and today signed a two-year contract extension.

One would assume Leon Draisaitl and Darnell Nurse are off the table. That leaves some less-than-enticing roster pieces available for trade… and the big ticket.

That, of course, is Edmonton’s first-round pick at the upcoming NHL Entry Draft.

The lottery goes on Saturday, with the Oilers holding an 11.5 percent chance at the first overall selection and locked into —  at worst — the No. 4 pick. While it might seem crazy to trade that high a selection in an extremely deep draft, do consider what MacTavish said back in November.

“I don’t view another first-round draft choice as what we need. Whether I can get suitable value for that remains to be seen.”

Of course, that was back in November, before Edmonton’s season went in the toilet — the thinking might’ve changed since then. But if it didn’t, MacTavish’s comments today suggest that pick could very well be in play, especially given how he thinks this summer could unfold.

“Do I envision a scenario where a proven top one or two defenseman becomes available? Potentially. I think there are going to be some very unhappy teams here in the next couple of weeks,” he explained. “There are going to be teams that are up against a very tight salary cap, and that’s going to create an environment where they potentially could be looking to offload some high-end assets.

“We’d be in a position — because of the developing assets that we have — where we’d be able to acquire them.”