The Buffalo Sabres finished with the worst record in the NHL, followed close behind by the Arizona Coyotes. Buffalo had a 20% chance of claiming the number one overall pick, Arizona with a 15% chance. Neither club will be choosing first in June’s draft.
It is the Edmonton Oilers who find themselves with yet another number one overall selection. The club now has its fourth number one overall pick in the last six seasons. This coveted pick will likely be used to select one of two generational talents: Connor McDavid or Jack Eichel. Both phenoms are only 18 years old and could make an immediate impact with their new club in the 2015-16 season. If the Oilers do in fact go with McDavid, could he finally be the one help that franchise take the next step and contend? It isn’t that the previous three number one overall picks for Edmonton have been complete busts, but it seems they haven’t fully materialized.
2010 #1 – Taylor Hall
2011 #1 – Ryan Nugent-Hopkins
2012 #1 – Nail Yakupov
The talent is there. It is still developing. They’re still young. How much more can this once proud franchise sustain the culture of losing? McDavid could help change all of that. It wouldn’t necessarily take an immediate playoff appearance, but there needs to be some sign of progression this season. You know, something along the lines of not being a near slam dunk to win the number one overall pick. Considering there were 13 other teams in contention, Edmonton’s 11.5% chance of winning was pretty solid.
So the Oilers are sitting pretty for the June 26th draft in Sunrise, Florida. There is little reason to believe the Oilers would actually trade the pick, but if I was GM Craig MacTavish, Kevin Lowe or anyone else in the front office, I’d certainly be listening to offers.
As Edmonton was awarded the number one pick, the rest of the top five rounded out with the Arizona Coyotes at two, Buffalo at three, Toronto at four and Carolina at five.