Saturday, June 24, 2006
NHL Draft Strategy: Oilers
I agree with Matt's sentiments entirely: take the best player available, with a sentiment on youth. Of course, none of this will be the focus for Oilers fans on Saturday. If the story hasn't died by the time I post this, every eye in Edmonton will be watching to see if Kevin Lowe flips Chris Pronger. There might also be movement on the trade front for other teams.* I haven't paid any attention to the draft this year, so I have no idea who is available. Really, my only demand is that the Oilers don't draft anyone from Switzerland or with the last name "Bonsignore." Abboud has done some preliminary work on the draft over at SportsMatters, Pat has some thoughts at BDHS, Oilswell has a look at IOF, Mirtle is live blogging at the Globe & Mail, and there is also a blog devoted entirely to the NHL draft. Check it out at NHLDraftNet. I am pretty busy until Monday, so I will let others carry on the conversation while I am gone.
Oh yeah, and here is my prediction for how the Flames draft will go:
Of the Flames first 10 picks, 8 will be taken from the Western Hockey League. 7 of those picks will have played on the 3rd and 4th line of the Red Deer Rebels or Calgary Hitmen. 6 of those players will have been born in Edmonton. Darryl Sutter's explanation will be succinct: “I like their grit.”
*Vancouver and Florida have already completed a Bertuzzi/Luongo deal. Shockingly, Stephane Matteau was not picked up by Mike Keenan.
***Update*** I forgot to add Spector for the trade rumours, as well as a link to current NHL team payroll commitments and 2006 Free Agents.