While the Oilers blueline is not totally depleted with prospects including 2011 draftees Oscar Klefbom and David Musil leading the way of the future, the Oil have a real chance to solidify that group like they have done at forward by using their #1 pick to bolster the defence. Everett Silvertip defenceman Ryan Murray (recently selected to play for Team Canada at World’s) is a player the Oilers have to consider getting. Although I am not so sure they need to draft Murray #1 as much as I think they can get creative by trading the #1 and getting assets in return and still get Murray. This may be where Tambellini has to become sly and take full advantage of their position.
Although Sarnia Sting forward Nail Yakupov is the consensus #1 player in the upcoming draft and deserves to be, I would think the Oilers have the most interesting decision in the last 3 years on who to draft 1st. The possibility of the Oil selecting a D-man either with the #1 pick or trading the rights to the #1 for a package including a young blue chip blueliner has to be a possibility.
With the Oilers having picked first overall the last two years and young gun Jordan Eberle playing like a #1 overall pick, the Oilers are now in a position where they can and should be picking more to the needs of the team and maybe not specifically (the ‘ole cliche) best player available.
Tambellini and company got their main man in Taylor Hall in ’10. The only real debate with the Hall selection was that natural center Tyler Seguin may be what the team needed positionally. Fast forward a year later when the team got that center with the Nugent-Hopkins pick which should satisfy their need for a #1 center for years to come. The Nudge and Eberle seem to click well together, and Hall has the ability to play with anyone. Add in Sam Gagner (RFA), who himself is still only 22 years old, Magnus Paajarvi, Anton Lander, Tyler Pitlick and you can see that the Oil have a lot of young potential at forward.
The Oiler brass have big decision to make this summer and one would think their options are more open than the last two drafts. Tambellini wouldn’t be doing a service to Oiler nation if all options weren’t at least looked at. The GM may need to go on the offensive to get better defensively!