Saturday, June 25, 2011

On How They Did In Round 1

So the first round of the 2011 NHL Entry Draft has come and gone and as expected the Oilers selected Ryan Nugent-Hopkins first overall. While there was a fair bit of action on the draft floor, the Oilers stayed relatively quiet, though likely not for lack of trying, and opted to stick with their 19th overall pick and ended up drafting Swedish defenseman Oscar Klefbom. In other news, after a day of rumors that the Calgary Flames had a deal in place to acquire Ryan Smyth from the LA Kings, Smyth opted to veto the trade and hold out for a deal with the Edmonton, which eventually came with the Oilers sending Gilbert Brule and a conditional draft pick back the other way. However, while media outlets in LA have reported the deal is done, Steve Tambellini himself has denied this. Regardless, this is a trade that will eventually be completed, likely by tomorrow.

Overall the Oilers had a successful first day of the 2011 Draft. They picked the best player available with their first pick and managed to grab a big defensive defenseman at #19. In Oscar Klefbom the Oilers are getting a physical character defenseman who can move the puck well and played in the Swedish Elite League at 17 last year. He also captained Team Sweden to a silver medal at the U18 World Jr Tournament. At 6 foot 4 and 200 pounds he certainly has the size to play the NHL game but may need some time to develop.

Today the Oilers were able to add two solid prospects to help fill two large holes in the current roster at center ice and on the back end. More importantly they did so without having to give up a significant roster player in an attempt to move up from the 19 spot. They also added the veteran leadership of Ryan Smyth and managed to ship out an expendable forward in Gilbert Brule. Hopefully the Oilers can find more success tomorrow in the remaining rounds.

UPDATE: TSN and the Edmonton Journal are reporting that concerns over the health of Brule is holding up the Smyth deal. While the trade is still likely to be completed, it will probably involve different pieces going back to the LA Kings.

UPDATE2: The Oilers reported this morning that Ryan Smyth is heading back to Edmonton in exchange for Colin Fraser and a 7th round pick. Interesting that the final offer was less than what was in the original deal. Good on Steve Tambellini to not cave to all the fan pressure to just make a deal happen but to actually hold out and get the best deal for the Oilers.

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