Posted by TheHockeyGuy on 1st December 2009
The Edmonton Oilers’ rally cry has started.
“Let’s tank the season.” “Let’s get a lottery pick.” The reasons?
Injured star right-winger Ales Hemsky will not play until next season because of his shoulder. The team has lost more than 160 man-games to injury and illness a third of the way into this NHL season. And with a team that’s closer to 15th spot in the Western Conference standings than the eighth and final playoff spot, it could get ugly here, folks.
But ugly could be beautiful, if you’re an Oilers fan who wouldn’t mind getting a shot at the three franchise junior players who will be up for grabs in the June entry draft: winger Taylor Hall, centre Tyler Seguin and defenceman Cam Fowler.
You can probably put flashy Russian forward Kirill Kabanov, who is hurt and won’t be playing in the world junior hockey championship next month, on that list, too. There are NHL teams, however, who are always leery of taking Russians that early in the draft unless their surname is Ovechkin or Kovalchuk.
Only five teams that finish with the worst records after the regular season will have a shot at the first overall pick in the annual lottery.
Right now, the Carolina Hurricanes are in last place, with the Toronto Maple Leafs, Minnesota Wild, Anaheim Ducks, Florida Panthers, St. Louis Blues and the Oilers in the running to call out the first name.
The Boston Bruins actually have the Leafs’ first pick in the draft, however, because Toronto general manager Brian Burke surrendered it in 2010 and ‘11 to get Phil Kessel who has been a scoring machine for the Leafs this season.
It has been proven that most top-five draft picks play like top picks –right away. Just take a gander at: John Tavares, who has 21 points with the New York Islanders; Victor Hedman, who’s playing 23 minutes a game on the Tampa Bay Lightning’s blue-line;Matt Duchene, who has 11 points with the Colorado Avalanche; and Evander Kane, who is a second-liner with the Atlanta Thrashers and has eight goals. They were the top four choices last June.
Click here to read the full article – By Jim Matheson of Edmonton Journal
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Tags: Anaheim Ducks, Boston Bruins, Cam Fowler, Edmonton Oilers, Evander Kane, Florida Panthers, John Tavares, Kirill Kabanov, Matt Duchene, Minnesota Wild, NHL, St. Louis Blues, Taylor Hall, Toronto Maple Leafs, Tyler Seguin, Victor Hedman
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