NHL Draft Lottery: Edmonton wins again
Just before puck drop at Madison Square Garden for Game 2 of the Penguins-Rangers Stanley Cup playoff series this week, the hockey world held its breath as the 2015 Draft Lottery results were announced.
Buffalo fans prayed for Canada’s newest “golden boy” Connor McDavid after the Sabres were given a 20 percent chance of having the first draft pick. Toronto held on to its 9.5 percent chance of bringing McDavid back home to Ontario. Boston fans hoped for North Chelmsford, Mass., native Jack Eichel.
But the winner of the 2015 Connor McDavid Sweepstakes? Who else but the trolls of the draft lottery, the Edmonton Oilers.
The Oilers, who have consistently been a bottom-three team in the league, missing the playoffs completely every year since the 2006-07 season, have gone first overall in the draft three times since 2010. Selections of Taylor Hall, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, and Nail Yakupov respectively were all supposed to pull Edmonton out of its horrible playoff drought, but to no avail.
Other stars Edmonton acquired in the more recent draft years were Jordan Eberle (first round, 22nd overall), current Arizona Coyotes forward Sam Gagner (first round, sixth overall), current Anaheim Ducks forward Andrew Cogliano (first round, 25th overall), and current Minnesota Wild goalie Devan Dubnyk (first round, 14th overall) – all of whom spent at least five seasons in Alberta.
The era of Wayne Gretzky ended and incapable management and coaching has crippled the Oilers to the point where even Connor “McJesus” McDavid won’t save them.
Edmonton is a barren wasteland where NHL dreams go to die. Star forwards have been reduced to mere shells of men, and whenever a player gets offered an out, he takes it no matter what contract is being offered. David Perron, now a Penguin, left Edmonton in exchange for Rob Klinkhammer and a 2015 first-round draft pick.
McDavid is rumored to be in current contract negotiations with Toronto to be traded from the Oilers, saying that he will accept payment in the form of pepperoni pizza Lunchables and a DVD box set of season four of Friends.
McDavid, the 17-year-old prodigal son of Canada, the so-called “Next Gretzky,” is projected to go first overall in the 2015 Entry Draft. No. 97 on the OHL team Erie Otters totaled a shocking 285 points over three seasons. Currently, the team is in the midst of an impressive playoff run with McDavid adding 11 goals in nine games to his already impressive resume.
Gretzky lauded McDavid’s impressive stats and NHL readiness, calling the Newmarket, Ontario native the best draft pick he’s seen in 30 years, even greater than the current darling of the NHL, Sidney Crosby.
Drafting second, the Sabres are projected to obtain Eichel, an 18-year-old Boston University freshman, who helped carry the Terriers to the 2015 Hockey East Championship and a heartbreaking loss in the Frozen Four Championship. Eichel also was a key player on Team USA for the 2013 and 2014 World Junior Championships, notching 13 points combined over those two years. He was recently named a choice to play under Columbus Blue Jackets head coach Todd Richards at the 2015 IIHF World Hockey Championships in Prague.
If one has the chance to see him skate, that person should take the opportunity. His skating is nothing short of art.
After the Beanpot tournament final on Feb. 23, when BU trumped Northeastern, 4-3, in overtime, a Snapchat video of Eichel drinking a beer in celebration went viral on Twitter and Tumblr. Eichel’s famous words, now haunting him in his dreams and proving to be the foreshadowing of a hilarious plot twist, rang out among the festivities:
“Buffalo…I’m comin’ for ya!”