I step away from the computer for a weekend. The Oilers draft Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, and happen to reacquire Ryan Smyth for a late round pick and Colin Fraser. Just another weekend.
On Friday, the Oilers picked Ryan Nugent-Hopkins first overall. If the object of the draft was to grab the most talented scorer available, then the Oilers just might have picked up the right guy in 2011.
There will be much banter from today until the beginning of the season about the BC kid who played in Red Deer, but for now, let’s enjoy the possibility that the team acquired the best forward in the NHL Draft. Big things will be expected of Nugent-Hopkins soon enough.
If the Oilers were to select a defenceman first overall, I predicted they would select a forward with the 19th overall pick. Edmonton did the opposite in selecting a forward, and with their 19th pick selected highly touted Swede Oscar Klefbom
Here’s a little U18 action with Klefbom giving Sweden the 3-1 pad over Canada.
Don’t get me all wet here; I think Ryan Nugent-Hopkins is going to be a very talented forward for the Oilers, but I’m especially pleased with the Klefbom pick. You know what the Oilers need? A few things, yes. Talented defencemen happen to be one of these things.
The not-yet 18 year old may not have the surname ‘Larsson’, but he is what I like about a defenceman – 6’3″, 201 lbs (and most importantly) doesn’t appear to be a liability when he’s with the puck. Going to be a few years before you see him in North America (his contract goes through 2012-13 in Sweden), and I think the fan base will like what they see. Confidentially, I think we’ll all be having a fun time come 2012-13, so don’t buy that cottage in Spain just yet.
I’m going to spare David Musil and Dillon Simpson (or at least those reading this) from hearing the obvious connection story, and I’m going to throw it up to the great hockey God in the sky on why the Oilers drafted two goaltenders in the later rounds. Let’s skip to the feel-good story that happened over the weekend. Some guy named Ryan Smyth.