Nearly two months ago, we started a poll up asking the readers who they’d pick for first overall at the 2011 draft.
I expected some would fall for the skill and ability of Nugent-Hopkins. Apparently, there are more out there than I thought.
A whopping 48% of those who took the very Scientific poll here at Oil On Whyte said that the Oilers should take the gifted scorer from Red Deer.
Centre Ryan Nugent-Hopkins is a fine choice, and it’s hard to disagree with those who chose him in the poll. If the Oilers don’t pick him at first overall, I’d have a real hard time believing he’d drop to anything further than second. Nugent-Hopkins was a 100 point scorer (106 to be exact) with the Rebels in the WHL, and there appears to be no real weakness to his game. Recent accounts have seen him at around 170 pounds, and he’d almost certainly need to add to that in order to progress to the NHL level, but there isn’t anything wrong in picking RNH at 1 overall.
At a somewhat distant second, 28% of the readers went with yours truly and picked Swedish defenceman Adam Larsson first overall.
Big shots from a big Swede – Adam Larsson is my pick at number one. 6’3″, 200 lbs, plays a tonne of clock already, has good one-on-one presence, and as I said last month when submitting my choice for the Fansided.com Mock Draft, if he’s half as good as Nicklas Lidstrom, then he’d fit just fine in Edmonton for the next fifteen or so years. The defence was questionable all year in 2010-11, and Larsson’s the best pick overall.
Eleven per cent of those who took the poll went with QMJHL MVP Sean Couturier.
A few months back, center Sean Couturier was the number one prospect out of Central Scouting. His rank may have slipped a bit since then, but the QMJHL’s Drummondville Voltigeurs experienced great success with a pair of 96 point scorers in Ondrej Palat and Sean Couturier. Couturier has a blend of speed and size to go along with his nose around the net. It’s possible that Couturier gets drafted at first overall, but his stock may have slipped a notch or two in the past few months.
Ten per cent of the voters selected Gabriel Landeskog of Kitchener to be the first overall pick.
Another Swede likely to go in the top five is six-foot centre Gabriel Landeskog. Like fellow countryman Adam Larsson, the gifted Landeskog fills out at 195-200 lbs, helping minimize any ‘size transition’ to the NHL. The first European to be named captain of the Kitchener Rangers, Landeskog had 66 points in 53 games. Landeskog will almost certainly be a top five guy. Will he go first?
Two per cent of the voters picked ‘someone else’. For those voters, I have included a picture of Gary Numan’s 1980 album ‘Telekon’.
Who will it be? Will the readers’ selection hold true? Will the Oilers defer to D? Will Landeskog or Couturier slide in under the radar?
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