With four NHL postseason contests slated for Saturday, you would be hard pressed to find something more important than the playoffs to the League. Vladimir Tarasenko is scoring hat tricks; Tyler Johnson is exacting revenge on the Detroit Red Wings; the Pittsburgh Penguins are taking penalty after penalty … after penalty.
Yet, the talk of the day was involving the Edmonton Oilers.
The NHL Draft Lottery was held Saturday evening. The hockey world watched as NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly pulled the Oilers’ card as the top team in the 2015 NHL Entry Draft. It will be the Oilers’ fourth time drafting first overall in six years. Yet, Edmonton has not appeared in the postseason since losing in the Stanley Cup Final in 2006.
#Oilers drafts 2010 – Hall 1st 2011 – Nugent Hopkins 1st 2012 – Yakupov 1st 2013 – Nurse 7th 2014 – Draisaitl 3rd 2015 – McDavid 1st
— Tim Wharnsby (@TimWharnsby) April 19, 2015
Connor McDavid, the consensus top pick in this year’s draft, will be the next to don the blue and white after having his name announced at the draft. What does this mean for the NHL?
A few days ago, Grantland put together a list of the best and worst case scenarios involving where McDavid would end up, and the Oilers were the only team to fall under the “Under Absolutely No Circumstances” rankings. According to writer Sean McIndoe, Edmonton has been a black hole for prospects.
The only hope going forward now is that general manager Craig MacTavish puts a staff in place that will work with McDavid to continue his development. You also have to hope that McDavid is the final piece for Edmonton to bring it all together; with him centering Taylor Hall and Jordan Eberle (or some similar combination), the Oilers can thrive on offense … maybe.
The defense and goaltending needs to be reconfigured, as well. Nobody knows this better than MacTavish. Here’s hoping the right decisions are made to push Edmonton out of hockey obscurity and allow McDavid to become the player every scout knows he can be.
Check out the rest of today’s news from a busy weekend in the NHL.
The chase for the top pick was developed over time. [Puck Daddy]
Will McDavid be Edmonton’s savior? [National Post]
Sabres fans cannot catch a break. [For The Win]
Vladimir Tarasenko scored a hat trick to defeat the Wild in Game 2. [Bleedin’ Blue]
Tyler Johnson posted a big day against the Red Wings yesterday. [CBS Sports]
Jakob Silfverberg scored the game winner against the Jets with little time left on the clock. [Anaheim Calling]
Sidney Crosby had a huge game against the Rangers. [Bleacher Report]
Craig Anderson will play Game 3 for the Senators. [TSN.ca]
Scott Darling will start Game 3 for the Blackhawks. [ESPN.com]
Bob Hartley was fined for the line brawl between Calgary and Vancouver. [Hockey Feed]