Future looks bright for young Oilers

TERRY JONES, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 11:02 PM ET

Jordan Eberle and Sam Gagner were actively cheering for Taylor Hall.

They sat at on a stage at the Edmonton Oilers draft party in front of 6,000 fans waiting to find out the No. 1 pick in the draft with everybody else.

Both were clearly delighted when Steve Tambellini took the stage and selected Hall.

Eberle, the Oilers first round pick last year, knew how badly Hall was hoping he'd be headed to Edmonton.

I spoke with him Thursday. I spoke quite a bit with him during the last month, said the player who skated on the same line as Hall with Team Canada at the World Junior Championship in Saskatoon earlier this year.

I know how excited it is for him to get here. This is where he wanted to be.

Eberle, who will be a rookie at training camp with Hall as well as World Junior and IIHF World Championship star Magnus Paajarvi-Svensson from Sweden, the Oilers first round pick two years ago, said he was cheering for Hall partially because he'd become a friend.

But he also said he was hoping Hall would be the Oilers pick because he knows exactly what Edmonton would be getting.

He's a competitor. He's a winner.

We've got a lot of guys coming in. It's going to be exciting to be part of this organization with the guys we've got coming in.

The Oilers brought Eberle, Sam Gagner, Ladislav Smid, Devan Dubnyk and Jeff Deslauriers to the draft party last night at Rexall Place as well as Tom Renney.

Eberle came to the party, sat down and heard that his name, along with Ales Hemsky, had been mentioned in rumors of a last minute deal to Boston for the No. 2 pick in an attempt by the Oilers to get both Hall and Seguin.

Gagner was cheering for Hall thinking about the prospect of having him as his left winger.

A No. 6 pick by the Oilers in the first round three years ago, Gagner is a centre. So is Seguin.

It's a pretty exciting day. He has a winning pedigree. He's won Memorial Cups in the last two years and at the end of the day, all we want to do is win. He's won every place he's been.

I'm very excited. We added a winner here today.

I think this is very exciting. It's exciting for all of us. We've got a lot of fresh new blood here. We've got a great group of guys who are going to grow together.

terry.jones@sunmedia.ca


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