The Edmonton Oilers would like to take just a moment to thank our hosts, the Florida Panthers and their fans, for the wonderful job they've done in hosting this year's draft and bringing the entire NHL together for this weekend. It is going to be a very special time for everyone *cough* who gets to pick first *cough*.
We'd also like to say a quick hello and thank you to our fans back in Edmonton who are attending our draft party at Rexall Place. After two years without the first overall pick it says a lot about your passion as fans that you stuck with us through the tough times. You truly are the best fans in the league.
And of course we'd like to congratulate the Stanley Cup Champion ... yeah right, like we've paid attention to anything since April 18th.
And finally ... with the first pick in the 2015 NHL entry draft the Edmonton Oilers are proud to select, from the Erie Otters, Connor McDavid.
Now that might not be exactly what Oilers GM Peter Chiarelli says when he steps up to the podium on June 26th to announce the team's first pick in this year's entry draft but it'll probably be pretty close. And the last sentence, if nothing else, that part will almost certainly be accurate.
In previous years when the Oilers had the first pick, and it's happened a lot in recent years, there was at least a little drama surrounding the pick. Most people in the know, and fans around the league, expected the team to take Taylor Hall, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, and Nail Yakupov first oveall. But right up until the moment that the pick was actually made there was still a little doubt. That won't be the case this time. The Oilers are taking Connor McDavid. No ifs ands or buts. Connor McDavid is the consensus number one pick. Scratch that, he's the unanimous selection for the first overall pick.
How good is he? Is he better than Sidney Crosby? We've been hearing that he might be for few years, and while we'll have to wait a few more years before we know for sure, the simple fact that the question itself isn't met with outright laughter should tell you that it's at least a possibility. He's that kind of good. Yes, Connor McDavid is a very, very special player, a generational talent, and like it or not, he's going to be a putting on an Edmonton Oilers jersey on draft night. Personally, I think it will look spectacular.
The buzz around Connor McDavid has been building for a long time. Long before the Oilers once again proved to be the masters of the NHL's draft lottery. Fans around the league, and especially those whose teams has a realistic shot at landing the first overall selection, all knew more about Connor McDavid than probably any other prospect in the draft. We'd seen him play at the World Junior Hockey Championships, we'd heard about his performance in the OHL, and we'd read the scouting reports (oh how we'd read the scouting reports). And we thought what if. Well, for Oilers fans that what if will soon become a reality. 16 days and counting.
And since those scouting reports never get old, let me leave you with a couple, just a little something to tide you over for the next couple weeks until the Oilers make it official.
Having the chance to scout Sidney Crosby at the same age, McDavid is even more impressive, true superstar potential. - Director, International Scouting Service Dennis MacInnins
A generational talent, Connor McDavid is a catalyst for positive plays in all three zones. Thinks the game analytically and recognizes scoring chances before they have even happened. Blessed with good size and an elite-level skillset, which includes nimble skating and deft puckhandling. All-in-all, a dominant center with all of the will, power, and intangibles to become a successful hockey luminary. - Curtis Joe, Elite Prospects
McDavid possesses a natural quickness, an ultra-quickness if you will, in all areas of his game that sets him apart from the pack. Whether it's skating quickness, speed and agility or his hands, passing and shooting, or his anticipation, awareness and reaction time; all these components of his game are performed with a quickness that at times is truly amazing, and that ability places him in the company of [Wayne] Gretzky and [Sidney] Crosby. - Director of NHL Central Scouting Dan Marr
McDavid is considered to be one of the best players available for the NHL Draft since Sidney Crosby was chosen first overall back in 2005. His skating, shot and hockey IQ are all at an advanced level, and he has the ability to make other players around him better. Although more noted for his offensive skills, McDavid can be used in any situation. He is certainly the most NHL-ready prospect from the 2015 class. - Hockey's Future