... a trade. SBN Hockey is conducting a mock draft in which each of the thirty team sites have been asked to make a selection to stand for their team. My first call was to Peter Chiarelli's stand-in, Stanley Cup of Chowder, to find out just what the Bruins would be willing to give up to move up one spot and take Taylor Hall. We quickly came to an agreement that Edmonton would trade the number one overall pick to Boston for the number two overall pick and the number fifteen overall pick. He was moving up to take Taylor Hall, we were dropping down to snag Tyler Seguin and another impact player with the fifteenth pick. There were handshakes and hugs all around.
And then Gary Bettman stepped in. Well, it wasn't really Gary Bettman, it was Travis Hughes, Hockey Editor of SB Nation. Travis declared that there would be no Edmonton - Boston trade. "Then other people will want to trade," he said. So, even though the Boston - Edmonton trade has a real possibility of happening, even though Steve Tambellini and Peter Chiarelli have discussed it, even though it makes sense on some level for all parties involved, Travis outlawed it. Sounds a lot like the real Bettman, doesn't it?
So why are the Edmonton Oilers still trading if the possibility has been eliminated? Well, the boys here have never been all that keen on listening to anyone, let alone authority, and the offer from Stanley Cup of Chowder just made too much sense not to take. So, although we have to officially make a pick in order for the dark overlord to be happy, I've decided to write up the trade and take someone with the 15th overall pick as well.
The Hall-Seguin thing has been done to death by more people that have ever should have attempted to write about it. The players are very close according to the scouts, but Scott's work in the dicussion sees Hall with a more than slight edge in the race. I find myself worrying about the possibility of injury considering the way that Hall plays the game, but I don't know if it's enough to take Seguin over him. However, I do know that the scouts have these two close enough that getting a top-fifteen pick is enough to make me happy with either / or. The main reason we made the trade was that they are so close in ability.
The second reason reason we made the trade was because of the inclusion of the fifteenth overall pick and what that could mean for the franchise. When we first looked at our draft board we hoped that maybe Ryan Johansen (10th in Central Scouting's final N.A. rankings) or Nino Niederreiter (12th among N.A. Skaters) would fall to us. So we waited patiently as the "famous" names rolled off of the board in front of our fifteenth selection. I won't spoil the mock draft anymore than I am about to, but it suffices to say that we were absolutely ecstatic when we looked up and Emerson Etem was still available.
Etem, the 6', 198 lb center was born in Long Beach, California but moved to Minnesota and then Michigan to pursue his hockey dreams (C'mon Paul Kelly, get going with that California expansion!). He then spurned the NCAA for the WHL and Medicine Hat, Alberta. In his rookie season in the WHL, Etem scored 37 goals in 72 games and led all rookies in goals. He added 7 more in 12 playoff games. He's drawn comparisons to both Peter Bondra and Glenn Anderson, but I'll defer to one of the best bloggers on the WHL, former scout Brad Hornung. Hornung's take on Etem speaks for itself, so I'll grab some highlights:
- He has good leg extension and changes speeds almost effortlessly.
- He has a strong stride, good balance, and is able to turn and pivot quickly.
- He has an uncanny ability to skate to open areas and support the puck carrier
- He does appear to have soft hands and handles the puck maturely and with poise.
- He is willing to pay a price to go to the net.
My bullet points don't do Brad's scouting report justice. Make sure you read the whole thing to get an understanding of how an NHL scout views and summarizes a player.
So there you have it. The Copper & Blue pulled off a coup today at the NHL draft. We passed on the franchise goal-scorer for the play-making franchise center and ended up with a dynamic goal-scorer of our own. The franchise has been remade. A banner day, if we do say so ourselves.
Oh, yeah, our pick if we aren't allowed this trade is Taylor Hall, but who cares - we landed Seguin and Etem!