Monday, April 12, 2010

Kerrzy's Notebook: Playin' the Lotto

It's been an interesting couple of days for Oilers fans, and that will continue on Tuesday night.

On Sunday, the Oilers wrapped up an extremely disappointing season with a 7-2 loss to the Anaheim Ducks. After the game, Sportsnet's Mark Spector dropped an exclusive bit of news about the latest big name player to ask for his ticket out of town - Sheldon Souray. Don't worry though folks, good news is coming.

The NHL Draft Lottery goes on Tuesday night in Toronto and EdmontonOilers.com is billing it "one of the biggest days in the history of the club."

Why is that? Well incase you haven't heard, the Oil have a 48.2% chance at claiming the first overall pick and no matter what happens, they'll be choosing no worse than second overall.

The Oilers website has tons of information to get you all set up for the big 6pm event and even has a Draft Lottery Simulator, which I tried out for you already: In four of the five times I clicked the link, the Oil wound up with the first overall pick.

With two could-be number one's this year though, would you want first pick or would you be happy with second? I ask that because it's going to be a tough choice for the Oilers if they wind up with that top pick.

Last week, NHL Central Scouting released its final rankings for the season, with Plymouth Whalers centre Tyler Seguin moving past Windsor Spitfires winger Taylor Hall into first place on the list. Both of those guys finished with 108 regular season points this year in the OHL, but Hall's (heavily favoured) Spitfires crushed Seguin's Whalers in the second round of the playoffs.

It's believed the Oilers are leaning towards Seguin because he plays a position that they aren't very deep at, but he might not be NHL-ready just yet. If that's the case, rushing him into the lineup before he's ready would be the worst thing management could do.

The draft isn't the only place you can stock up on guys that play in the middle though.

If Seguin won't quite be NHL-ready for the upcoming season, maybe Taylor Hall is your guy, despite the fact that you've already got a lot of wingers. I'm of the mindset that you take the best player available - and with an extra year of junior over Seguin, I think Hall is the guy most likely to be able to make an impact right away at the NHL level.

Another thing to keep an eye on is who winds up with the other top-two pick - it was rumoured last month that the Oilers were talking to the Boston Bruins about swinging a deal to get their pick, should they wind up in the top two.

Wouldn't that be interesting?

That's obviously a huge risk to take because you'd have to give up something significant to make that deal happen, but it's a move that would give the Oilers one of the most lethal stockpiles of young talent in the league.

Eberle, Paajarvi-Svensson, Hall, Seguin...think of the possibilities!

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