One "Hall" of a Good Start

Months of speculation led to one monumental moment for the Edmonton Oilers. With the franchise's first ever number one selection in the NHL entry draft the Oilers have selected Taylor Hall.

Even though the city of Edmonton and Oiler fans were almost split down the middle, it won't take long for fans to jump on the Taylor Hall bus and Hall, more than any other young prospect at the draft, is poised to lead the Oilers through a critical rebuild.

Seguin had his share of supporters, but really, how can anyone argue with Taylor Hall's accomplishments? Hall is poised to make the jump to the NHL now. He's ready, he's willing, he's a winner and best of all he's modest about it. In short, Hall is a franchise player and he's going to be asked to do what he's already proven he can do and that's turn a team and it's successes around.

It's all of these qualities that led Stu Macgregor and Steve Tambellini to make this choice, not Friday, but more than three weeks ago. Hall was almost always the choice, it was never in doubt.

The Trade That Never Happened

For about an hour before the Oilers made Hall their guy, it was reported Tambellini was looking to make waves by selecting both 1st and 2nd and offered up a huge deal to land Seguin with the second pick. Word was, Hemsky, Eberle and/or Penner were names included in the conversation.

I like Seguin, but this could turn out to be the best trade to never happen. Hall along with Eberle, Paajarvi, Penner, Hemsky, Gagner and Horcoff give the Oilers a competitive top six. Do I think they're a playoff team yet? Perhaps no. Do I expect the Oilers to all of a sudden be an elite team? Of course not.

But moving Penner and Hemsky, then adding one of Edmonton's best propsects is simply too much to give for a potential first line center.

The Oilers Not Getting Back Into the First With a Second Pick

Earlier we had reported our thought that Edmonton would be drafting again in the top 30. All of that changed the minute Scott Howson drafted Ryan Johansen. From that moment forward GM's kept with the names on their list and two big name defencemen in Cam Fowler and Brandon Gormley fell like rain down to #12 and #13 respectively.

Tambellini has been taking some slack for his lack of moves to get into the range in which he could have drafted one of those two prospects, but consider what Tambellini was faced with.

Once players who were projected in the late second rounds started getting drafted in the first round, the Oilers had no reason to give up additional second round picks to move up from #31. Knowing they'd be getting a player projected at higher than what should have been available at that spot, the Oilers are best to take the night, think it through make the best pick first tomorrow.

The Oilers made an attempt to draft at #15, but who they wanted was gone at #10 and only Austin Watson was on their list at that point. The likelihood was that moving wouldn't have gotten you what you wanted and Oiler fans have to remember, the scouts came in with a list and a plan.

After months of planning, Macgregor and staff knew who if available would be worth moving to obtain and we as fans should accept that either the move wasn't possible with the teams to whom the offers were made or the Oilers didn't have the name on their list they wanted to move for.

What fans should remember, is the Oilers drafted a game changer in Taylor Hall. They'll get another chance to make an educated steal first thing to start round two. This is a great day for the Edmonton Oilers.


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