Hurricanes, Oilers will be busiest at Draft
The Carolina Hurricanes have a League-high 11 selections, including six in the first 85 picks. Their first pick is at No. 7, and they also have three second-round picks and a pair of third-round selections.
"Unfortunately we didn't have the year we hoped to have and that's why we're in the strong position we're in now," Hurricanes General Manager Jim Rutherford told NHL.com. "It didn't feel very good until now, and now we're about a week away from going to L.A. and our organization can get excited again."
The Edmonton Oilers have the draft's first pick, but it's just one of 10 selections they own, including three in the first 48 thanks to a pair of second-round picks.
"I'm excited," Oilers GM Steve Tambellini told NHL Live! last week. "When we lost our No. 1 goaltender, Nik Khabibulin, and we lost our most skilled player, Ales Hemsky, in November … what it did was present great clarity to the organization that it was time for a rebuild. It's time to restore the depth not only with the Oilers, but throughout our entire system. We don't have enough players that are pushing people for jobs here."
Tambellini said he's received a number of calls regarding teams interested in trading for the No. 1 pick, but Tambellini didn't express a whole lot of interest in moving it.
"We're getting lots of calls on how people can help our hockey club," he said. "It's a tough year, but the reward for the first pick overall … I can't tell you how excited this market is. You go through airports, baggage check people are asking, 'Taylor (Hall) or Tyler (Seguin), which one?'"
Tambellini still isn't tipping his hand on whether he's leaning toward Seguin, the Plymouth Whalers center and OHL Player of the Year ranked No. 1 among North American skaters by NHL Central Scouting, or Hall, the Windsor Spitfires left wing and first-ever two-time Memorial Cup MVP ranked, who's ranked No. 2.
"I pushed our amateur scouts the last year and a bit," Tambellini said. "We needed to dig deeper. The book they've had on this draft and specifically the two players everybody is talking about is pretty impressive. To listen to people describe a player's strengths and weaknesses -- both these players are outstanding men and they're going to be great players in the League, for sure."
While Tambellini likely will keep the top pick, Rutherford thinks the depth of the draft, as well as a number of other issues, will make this year's selection process a pretty active one on the trade front.
"Some teams have cap issues, some people have budget issues," said Rutherford, "so because of that I would suspect that you will see more movement and more activity."
Rutherford said his team could be among those looking to make some moves at the draft.
"Unfortunately we didn't have the year we hoped to have and that's why we're in the strong position we're in now. It didn't feel very good until now, and now we're about a week away from going to L.A. and our organization can get excited again."
-- Hurricanes GM Jim Rutherford
Four teams have multiple first-round picks. Boston has the No. 2 pick -- acquired from Toronto in the Phil Kessel deal -- along with its own pick at No. 15. Atlanta has its own pick at No. 8, as well as the No. 24 choice, acquired from New Jersey in the Ilya Kovalchuk deal. Anaheim will pick 12th and also has the No. 29 pick, which it got from Philadelphia in the Chris Pronger trade. Phoenix has the No. 13 pick thanks to the Olli Jokinen trade with Calgary, as well as its own No. 22 selection.
The New York Islanders also have 10 picks -- three in the first 58, and six in the first 95.
Atlanta's first-round picks are two of the nine new Thrashers GM Rick Dudley will have to rebuild his team, including five picks in the first 101 selections. Florida and new GM Dale Tallon also have nine picks, including four in the first 50 spots. Buffalo and Los Angeles also have nine picks each.
Dallas and San Jose have the fewest picks -- four each. Philadelphia, Toronto and Calgary won't make their first picks until the third round.
Contact Adam Kimelman at firstname.lastname@example.org
Author: Adam Kimelman | NHL.com Staff Writer