After returning from the most successful road trip of the season, the Oilers picked up right where they left off at home dropping back to back losses and scoring a combined 2 goals! As stated before, this is exactly what the Oilers needed to try and keep that hold on the 2nd overall pick in this June’s entry draft.
If you read my last blog you know my stance on drafting the big Center over Defenseman.
I am tired of hearing all the radio stations, newspapers, hockey writers and “so called” experts say that the Oilers must take a defensman with the their 1st round pick this year. Here are 4 reasons why the Oilers should take the Center.
1) The Oilers have 4 highly touted prospects coming down the pipe in Martin Marincin (2010 2nd round pick), Martin Gernat (2011 5th round pick), David Musil (2011 2nd round pick) and Oscar Klefbom (2011 1st round pick). All the Oilers need is for one of these 4 to pan out as a top 2 defensive pairing in the NHL and they will be thrilled but by the looks of things and the progress these 4 are making it looks like more than one will come through.
2) As stated above, the highest drafted D-man was Oscar Klefbom at 19th. The only franchise #1 defenseman in the league today that was taken 1st overall was Chris Pronger and let’s face it, there are no Pronger’s in this upcoming draft. Shea Weber (2nd Round), Niklas Lidstrom (3rd Round), Kris Letang (3rd Round), Kieth Yandle (3rd Round) and the list goes on and on.
3) Defenseman are easier to acquire via trade or free agency as opposed to Centers. When you look back over the past 5 years, the number of top 4 D-men being traded is ridiculous! Let’s put this way, the last big name/big center to be traded was Joe Thornton in 2005! Dion Phaneuf, Brian Campbell, Erik Johnson (former 1st overall), Chris Pronger (3 times) and the likes of many more have all been traded which proves my point that it is easier to acquire these types of players with the right package, or in the Phaneuf package…the wrong type!
4) The last reason would have to be June 1st and July 1st! I bring up June 1st as there is a highly rated defensive prospect coming out of the University of Wisconsin Badgers and a Anaheim Ducks 2008 2nd round pick who remains unsigned and is set to become an unrestriced free agent, Justin Schultz. Point a game player, powereplay quarterback and a big right handed shot that the Oilers have been searching for. A TSN insider has stated that he believes Schultz will land in Edmonton due to the fact of playing with the likes of Hall, Eberle and taking passes on the powerplay from RNH on the half wall for many years to come, not to mention the amount of playing he will get in Edmonton as well as it’s very close to home for him. I also mention July 1st which marks the first day of free agency. Mark my words, if Ryan Suter makes it to July 1st the Edmonton Oilers will make a push to sign this guy! He is a #2 in Nashville and that is only because he is playing behind the best defenseman in the league in Weber. He comes to Edmonton and he will be the absolute #1 guy! I’m not saying they will land him but they will be one of the teams contending and will only hear the Oilers name as they will have to grossly overpay to get him to buy in to what we have going on for years to come in the City of Champions!
So after all this, please feel free to tell me why the Oilers need to draft a defenseman again? I do await your comments and look forward to hearing what you have to say in favor of the defenseman!