En-chanting choice for Oil

TERRY JONES -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 10:17 AM ET

ANAHEIM -- The Edmonton Oilers may have a chance for a Shane Doan do-over.

Back at the 1995 NHL entry draft in Edmonton a six-year-old kid by the name of Keaton Ellerby was sitting in the stands chanting "Doan! Doan! Doan!" with the rest of the crowd when the Oilers took the stage to name the sixth pick in the first round.

"There were all sorts of us there," said Doan's cousin yesterday, as the top six North American players projected by Central Scouting were introduced here.

In a sense, it won't be Ellerby's first draft. He was at the 1995 draft in Edmonton.

"I remember buying a puck at the gift shop with the draft logo on it. I still have it. I also bought a draft pennant which is still on my wall at home," he said.

His dad, Cal, was there chanting "Doan! Doan! Doan!" with the rest of them.

"We were all excited thinking Shane would be picked by the Oilers and we'd be able to watch him play a lot in Edmonton," said Cal.

The Oilers - as everybody in Edmonton painfully remembers - picked Steve Kelly instead.

The Oilers have had that thrown in their face for years. But now, the way this draft looks, they might have a shot at his cousin.

Ellerby, who plays junior in Kamloops, is ranked fourth of the six.

Kyle Turris of Burnaby is ranked No. 1 and may possibly be the first Tier 2-player to ever be picked first. Patrick Kane of the London Knights is ranked No. 2 and James van Riemsdyk of the U.S. National U-18 teams is ranked No. 3. They all look to be selected before the Oilers pick sixth. Throw in a couple Europeans in there and ...

The Oilers will probably be deciding between Ellerby, Karl Alzner of the Calgary Hitmen and Sam Gagner of the London Knights, the Nos. 5 and 6 ranked players.

Edmonton, on the rare occasions when they've picked early, have made selections which have either been spectacularly good or spectacularly bad.

In 1994 the Oilers picked fourth and took Jason Bonsignore. The same year, however, they also had the sixth pick and took Ryan Smyth.

Boyd Devereaux was a sixth pick in 1996, Jason Arnott selected seventh in 1993, Grant Fuhr picked eighth in 1981 and Paul Coffey chosen sixth in 1980.

Having lost Pronger to the Ducks, the Oilers have a chance here to get a player who says his goal is to become the next Pronger.

"I've tried to tailor myself after him," he said of Pronger, who he met for the first time here yesterday. "I think it would be a little early to compare me to him night now. But I definitely have that kind of body type and I try to model my game after him."

He had a major growth spurt this year.

"I just took off. I just kept growing. I'm 6-foot-4 1/2 now," he said.

Ellerby spends his off-season training with Doan.

"He has a place on the lake in Kamloops. He's really helped me. I hang out with him and train with him," he said of his dad's sister's son.

Ellerby hasn't spent much time with Catriona LeMay Doan, Canada's golden girl of speed skating, but he's been around her a bit and describes her as "another great person to have around."

Ellerby declares his favourite team as the Calgary Flames, but says he'd love to be drafted by the Oilers.

"Edmonton would be an awesome place to go. My family all comes from around there," he said of the Consort area.

"We know the Oilers are picking sixth," said his dad. "All his relatives would be happy.

" They're all Oiler fans."

The draft is June 23 in Columbus.

They're ready to start the chant now.

"Ellerby! Ellerby! Ellerby!"


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