On Saturday, the Oilers were the winners of the NHL Draft Lottery and will pick first overall in the 2015 NHL Draft. With two “generational” talents at the top of draft boards, the Oilers are in prime position to make a turnaround.
“When this was drawn, I think every fan in this city, every Oilers fan in the country jumped through the roof and we’re so excited. I can tell you, I was sitting at home by myself and all I did was start to smile,” said Oilers Entertainment Group CEO Bob Nicholson.
The Oilers haven’t made any definitive announcements on who they will take with the first-overall pick. There are steps left to complete before the draft is held in Sunrise, FL in June.
“In regards to the draft, there are playoff series going on right now and they should be focused on that,” Nicholson said of the top prospects. “We certainly know where we’re going to be picking on draft day, but there’s a process here and we want to live with that process. Saturday was a huge part of the Oilers here in the future. But from where I’m sitting, we have a lot of other things we’re going to look at and we have to make sure we take our time and make sure we get this right.”
On Monday, Oilers Entertainment Group announced that Bob Nicholson has been named Chief Executive Officer of OEG, effective immediately.
“Today I speak as the CEO of Oilers Entertainment Group and firstly, I want to thank to Daryl Katz,” said Nicholson. “Thanks for this honour. It’s a privilege and there’s a lot of responsibility that goes with this. I’m going to step to the plate and do the best job that I can do and I’m going to really trust my instincts.
Nicholson joined the organization as Vice-Chair of OEG in June of 2014. He will now expand his responsibilities and be much more hands on when it comes to every aspect of the organization, including hockey operations.
Nicholson, who retired as President & CEO of Hockey Canada in 2014, has a history of success overseeing the Canadian Men’s and Women’s National Teams. As OEG continues to formulate their plan of attack moving forward, Nicholson says there are some pillars he wants to build around.
“There are a few words I want to throw out right now: loyalty, trust, teamwork, and that’s not with just the players on the ice. We’re going to have that through our whole organization. As we start to define what this organization is going to be we’re going to build around those words,” he said.
Everyone in the organization will now work under Nicholson moving forward.
“Really, the last 10 months, I’ve been Vice Chair really looking over the whole organization,” said Nicholson. “Now everyone in the organization reports directly to myself so I’m going to be rolling up the sleeves and being much more hands on with every part of the organization.”
The Oklahoma City Barons will play the San Antonio Rampage in the first round of the American Hockey League’s Calder Cup playoffs.
The series will be a best of five, with the first two games in Oklahoma City on Thursday, April 23 and Saturday, April 25. The rest of the series will be played in San Antonio.
Game 1: April 23, 2015 - 6 p.m. - San Antonio at Oklahoma City
Game 2: April 25, 2015 - 6 p.m. - San Antonio at Oklahoma City
Game 3: April 29, 2015 - 6 p.m. - Oklahoma City at San Antonio
Game 4*: May 1, 2015 - 6:30 p.m. - Oklahoma City at San Antonio
Game 5*: May 2, 2015 - 6:05 p.m. - Oklahoma City at San Antonio
* If Necessary all times listed as MDT
The Barons posted a 3-5-2-2 record against San Antonio this season. This will be the second time the Barons have played the Rampage in the post-season. OKC beat San Antonio in five games (4-1) in 2012.
All Barons games will be available, for a cost, at AHLlive.com.
WATCH: MacT Interview | Daly draws | Bill Scott | McDavid Interview | Actual Lottery
Following the Draft Lottery, Connor McDavid took part in a conference call with other top prospects Jack Eichel, Noah Hanifin and Dylvan Strome to discuss a variety of topics.
RELATED: Crosby on McDavid; Oilers winning the lottery
One topic that came up right off the hop for McDavid was his thoughts on Edmonton and the potential of being drafted by the Oilers.
“It’s a dream come true. It’s a great city to be in," McDavid began. "They’ve got the fans supporting them through a bit of a tough slide the last couple of years. The support they’ve received is amazing. That speaks volumes to the fan support they get in Edmonton. It’s pretty special.”
McDavid was then asked about what was going through his mind as Bill Daly drew cards 14 through 3, ultimately landing on Edmonton with the gold card.
“It’s been a weird day. At the same time, it’s been exciting. When they pulled the cards it’s the fastest my heart’s ever beaten. It’s sure exciting. If Edmonton selects me it would be a tremendous honour.”
The 18-year-old centre was asked about the top talent on the Oilers and the possibility of playing with them.
“They have younger talent, names like Hall, Eberle, (Nugent) Hopkins and Yakupov. And on D with Schultz. They have such a good group there, it’s hard to pick anyone. That’s going a little too far ahead of ourselves, obviously. The draft hasn’t started. We’ll see what happens.”
Hey @cmcdavid97 left shot black tape left side— Taylor Hall (@hallsy04) April 19, 2015
Pittsburgh Penguins centre Sidney Crosby, himself a first-overall pick in 2005, talked to the media tonight about the Oilers winning the draft lottery, the possibility of Connor McDavid going to Edmonton and why that's a good thing for him.
“The great thing for him is that they have a lot of young guys there already,” Crosby said to Josh Yohe of the Pittsburgh Tribune. “That's a big thing for him. It's not like he's going to an older team or anything like that. He'll be able to grow with those guys. They have a ton of young talent there already, so it should be a good thing for him to be there.”
Crosby also talked about the potential comparisons to Wayne Gretzky, as he himself had to deal with in Pittsburgh with Mario Lemieux.
“He's definitely going to hear about that, and he'll have to deal with all the comparisons to him. It's to be expected.”
WATCH: MacT Interview | Daly draws | Bill Scott | McDavid Interview | Actual Lottery
Oilers GM Craig MacTavish spoke with us from Switzerland shortly after the announcement that the Oilers had won the 2015 NHL Draft Lottery. Here is a transcript of the interview:
What were your thoughts when you first saw that the Oilers had won the Draft Lottery?
“We just started yelling. We were all in Switzerland, watching it on the iPad and then started to get nervous after it got by Carolina and got by Toronto. Then the palms started sweating. That was a great pronouncement by Bill Daly for sure.”
How does winning the lottery change any plans you may have had for this upcoming off-season and/or at the draft?
“We’re going to enjoy this for now. It’s a pretty special night for all the Oilers fans. It’s a game-changer for the franchise. I feel great for the players and I feel really good for the fans. We’ll enjoy that for an evening and then figure out how this all works going forward.”
Talk about Connor McDavid and Jack Eichel, the type of players that they are and what they could potentially bring to the Oilers.
“Both are great, great players. These players have been looked at and sought after for the last three years. It’s been earmarked an epic draft for the last three, four years with these players coming in.
“We’re extremely fortunate to be in this position. We’re going to relax and enjoy it tonight and we’ll let the Oilers fans celebrate and we’ll get onto the business of hockey tomorrow.”
What does it mean to have the ability to land a franchise player of this type with the Oilers in the situation that they’re in: emerging team, new arena being built, etc.
“Any one of the 14 teams would make a great case for being the best spot for this player. In particular, our situation with the new building, I’m not thinking about it so much from a building standpoint but just what it’s going to mean for the hockey club. I’m really happy for the players. Really happy for the fans. It gives the Oilers a real shot in the arm going forward.
“I could stand up there and talk about optimism and a bright future but I think everyone can share in that vision now with us winning the Lottery.
Last question, and only because I have to ask, what are the chances that you would consider trading the pick?
“What's less than zero? ... No chance."
The numbers which came up for the Oilers in their successful draft lottery were (in order drawn) 5, 14, 6 and 1.
Each team was given a designated number of the 1,000 possible valid combinations and since the Oilers had an 11.5% chance of winning, they had 115 potential four-ball sets which would gain them the win.
You can view the number combinations assigned to each team via NHL.com.
WATCH: Oilers select first overall | Interview with Bill Scott | McDavid Interview
The Edmonton Oilers won the draft lottery and will choose first overall in the 2015 NHL Entry Draft.
More coverage to come, including an interview with Craig MacTavish and some of the prospects for the draft including Connor McDavid and Jack Eichel.
More details to follow!
Oilers official press release:
EDMONTON OILERS WIN DRAFT LOTTERY, EARN FIRST SELECTION IN 2015 NHL DRAFT
The Edmonton Oilers won the 2015 NHL Draft Lottery tonight and earned the first drafting position for the First Round of the 2015 NHL Draft.
This will be the fourth time the Oilers have selected first overall, after drafting Taylor Hall (2010), Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (2011) and Nail Yakupov (2012) in consecutive years.
The order of selection for the first 14 drafting positions in the First Round, only, of the 2015 NHL Draft is as follows:
1. Edmonton Oilers
2. Buffalo Sabres
3. Arizona Coyotes
4. Toronto Maple Leafs
5. Carolina Hurricanes
6. New Jersey Devils
7. Philadelphia Flyers
8. Columbus Blue Jackets
9. San Jose Sharks
10. Colorado Avalanche
11. Florida Panthers
12. Dallas Stars
13. Los Angeles Kings
14. Boston Bruins
The remaining positions are determined by the results of the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
The drawing was conducted at Rogers Sportsnet’s studio in downtown Toronto and the winning team was revealed live on CBC and TVA Sports in Canada and NBC in the U.S. prior to their broadcast of Game 2 of the Penguins-Rangers First Round series.
Fourteen balls, numbered 1 to 14, were placed in a lottery machine. The machine randomly selected four balls. The resulting four-number series (without regard to selection order) was matched against a chart that shows all possible combinations and the Clubs to which each was assigned. The chart (available on NHL.com) showed that the Oilers had been assigned the numbers (1-5-6-14) that were expelled.
The Oilers would have picked third based on inverse order of regular season finish, representing an 11.5% likelihood that their combination would emerge.
Full odds of winning can be found here.
The 2015 NHL Draft will be hosted by the Panthers at BB&T Center in Sunrise, Florida from June 26-27.
Results of Draft Drawings
Year Selected Effect on Draft Order Player Selected
1995 Los Angeles Moved from 7th to 3rd D Aki Berg
1996 Ottawa Retained 1st selection D Chris Phillips
1997 Boston Retained 1st selection C Joe Thornton
1998 Tampa Bay Moved from 3rd to 1st via trades C Vincent Lecavalier
1999 Chicago Moved from 8th to 4th RW Pavel Brendl *
2000 NY Islanders Moved from 5th to 1st G Rick DiPietro
2001 Atlanta Moved from 3rd to 1st LW Ilya Kovalchuk
2002 Florida Moved from 3rd to 1st LW Rick Nash **
2003 Florida Moved from 4th to 1st G Marc-Andre Fleury ***
2004 Washington Moved from 3rd to 1st LW Alex Ovechkin
2005 Pittsburgh n/a C Sidney Crosby
2006 St. Louis Retained 1st selection D Erik Johnson
2007 Chicago Moved from 5th to 1st RW Patrick Kane
2008 Tampa Bay Retained 1st selection C Steven Stamkos
2009 NY Islanders Retained 1st selection C John Tavares
2010 Edmonton Retained 1st selection LW Taylor Hall
2011 New Jersey Moved from 8th to 4th D Adam Larsson
2012 Edmonton Moved from 2nd to 1st RW Nail Yakupov
2013 Colorado Moved from 2nd to 1st C Nathan MacKinnon
2014 Florida Moved from 2nd to 1st D Aaron Ekblad
2015 Edmonton Moved from 3rd to 1st
* NY Rangers obtained Chicago's pick in a trade (via Vancouver and Tampa Bay). The Rangers selected RW Pavel Brendl fourth overall.
** Columbus obtained Florida's pick in a trade. The Blue Jackets selected LW Rick Nash first overall.
*** Pittsburgh obtained Florida's pick in a trade. The Penguins selected G Marc-Andre Fleury first overall
RCMP Const. David Wynn, 42, passed away in January following a gun shot wound suffered in St. Albert. Aux. Const. Derek Bond was also shot during the routine license plate check that led to the confrontation, but survived the attack.
This Saturday, Oilers alumni will faceoff against a team of Mounties in a game to support the families of Wynn and Bond at 7:15pm at Servus Place in St. Albert.
On January 27, there was a moment of silence held ahead of the Oilers game at Rexall Place. Wynn’s three sons performed the ceremonial puck-drop to an emotional display of support by the fans in attendance.
Saturday’s game in St. Albert is free to attend; however, chuck-a-puck and cash donations will be collected on site.