The Edmonton Oilers won the 2015 NHL Draft Lottery, despite finishing the season with a better record than both the Arizona Coyotes and Buffalo Sabres. The Oilers now have a golden opportunity to land the phenomenal Connor McDavid.
Edmonton is no stranger to the top overall pick. In fact, they have held the top pick in four of the last six seasons. The team has used those selections on Ryan Nugent Hopkins, Taylor Hall, and Nail Yakupov, all of which have thus far failed to live up to the prestige of being the number one pick.
Nugent Hopkins is coming off his second 56-point season, but he was once considered the next Sydney Crosby, and thus far has failed to defy expectations.
Hall had been the only one of the trio to record over 60 points in a season, scoring 80 for the 2013-14 campaign. However, an injury riddled 2014-15 campaign left him to play in only 53 games which limited him to only 38 points on the year.
Finally, we get to the biggest puzzle out of them all, Nail Yakupov. The Russian-born winger has seemingly had a hard time adjusting to the NHL style of play. He has never scored more than 34 points in any of his three professional seasons, and at times has looked lost on the ice.
The chance to draft McDavid might be a fresh start for the Oilers, as he is one of the best prospects to come along in ages. This season, McDavid scored 120 points in 47 games for the OHL Erie Otters, and led Canada to first place in the World Junior Classic.
While Oilers General Manager, Craig MacTavish, wasn’t able to definitively state whom his team would be taking (It’s literally the worst kept secret in all of hockey.) he did offer some insight into his thinking when it comes to Conor McDavid.
“He’s not only the most productive junior player, but also the most dynamic.”
Hopefully, the addition of McDavid can give the Oilers the ammunition to make moves on their roster, as the team is going to be very active looking at defensive and goalie help. It’s entirely possible Edmonton trades one of their former top overall picks or other high draft sections to make moves to better the team.
Just don’t expect the Oilers to trade the pick. MacTavish made that very clear when he spoke on the team’s chances of dealing the top selection.
“Zero” MacTavish said.
Unless something drastic happens, Connor McDavid is going to be an Oiler. Let’s just hope Edmonton never gets the top overall pick again.