Is there a future franchise player somewhere in this draft?
Edmonton would certainly like to hope so. The Oilers have the opportunity to add another franchise player when the 2011 NHL Entry Draft rolls around.
There is big debate again this year, just as there was last year with Taylor Hall and Tyler Seguin, over who will be picked first. However, in this draft, there are four or five names rolling around as the best player in the draft.
Canadian Ryan Nugent-Hopkins tops the list in most people's mind because of his superb vision and passing ability. Edmonton has a dire need for defensemen though, and Sweden's Adam Larsson is a damn good one. Larsson has drawn comparisons to Detroit All-Star and Captain Nick Lidstrom, a lofty comparison for an 18-year-old.
Memorial Cup MVP Jonathan Huberdeau from Saint John has creeped into the discussion after a brilliant playoff run. Huberdeau has definitely turned a lot of heads and earned consideration.
Gabriel Landeskog is ready to play in the NHL yesterday; he is a terrific physical specimen and could play at a high level next season. He has great size and great hands. Some people also throw in Sean Couturier of Drummondville; he was the QMJHL league MVP.
With all this debate, it is difficult to determine who Steve Tambellini will take June 24th. There are a lot of great players in the top 10-15.
The Oilers don't really need someone to step in this year. The Oilers will probably have a sub-playoff year and will come back to the draft next year looking for more NHL-ready players to build a future dynasty. For that reason I think the Oilers will go for more finesse then a Landeskog-type.
Colorado needs a d-man but if Larsson is taken first, I would be very surprised to see them pass Nugent-Hopkins up.
This is my personal prediction. Feel free to comment with your opinions. This is one of my favorite times of year. Cheering hard for one team to win Lord Stanley's Cup while also looking at who will be added to the lesser teams organizations. Without any further ado: My prediction!