It’s Official! Plymouth Whalers’ Centre Tyler Seguin will be the top dog heading into the 2010 NHL Entry Draft, June 25-26, at the Staples Centre in Los Angeles.
The Central Scouting Bureau released its final rankings earlier today, listing what it considers to be the best 210 skaters and top 30 netminders (list also includes the best 150 international skaters and top 10 goalies).
Seguin replaced talented Windsor Spitfires’ Left Winger Taylor Hall, for the first overall ranking spot. The thinking behind Central Scouting members’ selection is seemingly two-fold:
a) Seguin is a centre who shoots right, a rare commodity at most levels of hockey and an attribute that helps the player control the puck, and play, more.
b) Seguin is a star on a Whalers’ roster thin on talent. Central Scouting’s’ Director, E.J. McGuire, suggests Seguin single-handedly led his team into the Ontario Hockey League playoffs.
While I respect McGuire’s nod to Seguin’s offensive ability, I’m sure Plymouth forward AJ Jenks (23-40-63), defenseman Austin Levi (ranked 156th by CS) and Whalers goaltender Matt Hackett, drafted in the third round by the Minnesota Wild in the 2009 NHL Entry Draft, have all had a stake in Plymouth’s success this season.
Without question, Hall plays on a deep roster with future NHL studs, including highly-touted defenceman Cam Fowler. So what! The kid is a pure goal scorer, who has a knack for burying the biscuit, something the Oilers have lacked for a number of years.
Straight up, I’m a Windsor guy – born and raised. The first hockey team I covered as a cub reporter was The Spits, with Ernie Godden and Joel Quennville. That aside, if indeed, the Edmonton Oilers are selecting first overall at this year’s entry draft, I’m crossing my fingers they call out “Taylor Hall” with their pick.
Let’s not forget, Hall also scored 106 points during the OHL’s regular season, with fewer goals than Seguin (40-66), and with a third year of junior under his belt, seems ready to make the jump to the pros. Seguin, in his second year, arguably, would remain with his junior squad. The Oilers, a team in the middle of a major transition, are a franchise in desperate need of an injection of scoring.
Having Hall and prospect Jordan Eberle wearing copper and blue next season would provide Head Coach Pat Quinn with numerous on-ice options, and potential off-ice trade options for Oilers’ GM Steve Tambellini.
Tambo has been the most interviewed man in Windsor of late, as he and his team of scouts observe Seguin and Hall, as the two scoring studs battle one another in their current OHL playoff series.
While Seguin captured the OHL scoring title, Hall has the playoff advantage, popping nine goals and seven assists in seven games. Seguin has tallied 10 points (5-5) in eight playoff games. The Spits currently hold a 3-0 lead over Seguin’s Whalers OHL Western Conference semifinal matchup.
Draft parties will be held in establishments, on decks and in dorm rooms throughout the Alberta Capital next Tuesday, April 13, when TSN broadcasts the NHL Draft Lottery beginning at 6 PM Edmonton time (MST). The Oilers boast a 48% chance of landing the number-one pick – unless of course (See 2007 Chicago Blackhawks), the franchise takes a kick in the balls!
Either way, Taylor or Tyler, the Oilers can’t go wrong!
Tonight marks the final home game of this nightmare of a season for the Oil, as they play host to the visiting Colorado Avalanche down at The Drug Store. Dustin Penner with #31 on the season vs. Minnesota Monday night is one of the few bright spots for the club this season.
Interestingly, I wonder what sort of numbers PenzOil would have recorded with a healthy Ales Hemsky on his line for a full season.
In the meantime, keep your chins up and sticks down Oiler fans!
About the Author
Written by Scott Pattison
Scott is an award-winning sports writer whose career spans more than 20 years. He's proudly covered the Oilers since moving to the Alberta capital in 2000.