April 13, 2010
No. 2 pick to Bruins, that sucksOilers get top pick, Bruins go second ... hooray for them
By LANCE HORNBY, QMI Agency
TORONTO - If most National Hockey League scouts rank Tyler Seguin and Taylor Hall 1 and 1A, it only underlined the frustration of those on the Maple Leafs not to have the second pick in Tuesday night’s draft lottery.
But general manager Brian Burke took his medicine as Boston Bruins’ rival Peter Chiarelli went to TSN’s studio in his place for the draw, which confirmed the B’s will have his ticket after the last place Edmonton Oilers retained No. 1.
Burke said earlier he was not going to get worked up about the chance of losing the top pick in the lottery, insisting he’s very happy with getting Phil Kessel from Boston for two first rounds and a second. Kessel scored 30 goals for the Leafs and in Burke’s mind, he’s a proven commodity from the first round in 2006, where Hall, Seguin and names such as Cam Fowler and Erik Gudbranson are still potential NHLers.
Chiarelli, meanwhile, had hoped his 18.2% chance would allow Boston to pass Edmonton after Toronto’s shockingly bad start to 2009-10 gave the Bruins an unexpected shot at first.
“This was an emotional trade for both sides,” Chiarelli said. “I think in Toronto they realize they got a good player in Phil and we will too. You try and project draft picks and where teams will finish, but we didn’t envision it this high.
With no second rounder pick, the Leafs are on hold until the third round at the draft in Los Angeles June 25-26, unless Burke does something with Tomas Kaberle.
For Oilers’ GM Steve Tambellini, winning the ping-pong drop ends a terrible regular season on an optimistic note. Not only were the once-proud Oilers in 30th spot, there were off-ice issues that culminated in stories this week that Sheldon Souray wants out.
“A huge day for Edmonton,” Tambellini said. “It’s perfect timing for where we are in rebuild mode.”
But neither Hall of the Windsor Spitfires, or Seguin of the Plymouth Whalers, knows where they’re going yet. Opinion in Edmonton, as everywhere, is split. Neither is the next Gretzky, but the Calgary-born Hall is getting some Mark Messier comparisons on left wing. If the Oilers think the biggest hole is at centre, then it’s likely Seguin gets the nod. He nudged Hall out of top spot in the final Central Scouting rankings last week.
“We won’t announce (who they’ll pick) prior to the draft,” Tambellini vowed. “We want to go through the process. It’s important for our scouts who’ve followed these players the past two years.”
It was also noted that Hall wears No. 4 in part tribute to Bobby Orr. Wait until that gets back to Boston if he’s taken second.
A total of 14 non-playoff teams were eligible last night, with only the Oilers, Bruins, Panthers, Blue Jackets and Islanders holding a chance to get the first pick.