It appears to be that time of the year again. No, not baseball season, but rather the starting date for the great debate of who the Oilers should take with their (hopefully) 1st overall selection. There has been three names thrown about as the only options for the pick, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins of the Red Deer Rebels in the WHL, Adam Larsson of Skellfelta AIK of the Swedish Elite League and Sean Couturier of the Drummondville Voltigers in the QMJHL. Each prospect has their own question marks, Nugent-Hopkins is a tad on the thin side, Larsson might take time to make an actual impact and Couturier is apparently slow.
Oilers fans will remember last year when there was the whole Taylor vs. Tyler debate and it was actually somewhat close, that is until Hall showed us that extra gear he has and completely dominated during the playoffs and a 2nd straight Memorial Cup MVP. The reason I brought this up is that it appears that Ryan Nugent-Hopkins is showing us his extra gear right now. He went on an unbelievable stretch after being cut from Canada's sliver medal World Juniors team and had a rather impressive start to his playoffs. Could he be the answer at center? I would like to think so. Despite being listed at 164 pounds on the WHL website, one would have to assume that since September that he has added around 10-15 pounds to his body. Many would argue though that given the Oilers recent struggles, the D man in Adam Larsson would be the right pick. The only thing that would prevent us from doing that would be how the D would look with him in the lineup next year. We would have Whitney, Gilbert, Smid, Peckham, Petry and Larsson as our 6 D coming out of camp. I don't know about you but that is not the 6 players I would like playing in front of our goaltending. Couturier, the other real option has been known to be slow. He is a big body, something the Oilers need at center but given the style of play in the Q, who knows if he can be as effective of a player in the NHL.
Some would say this is a tough decision to make, it's really not, the Oilers should take the BPA in June and as of right now that Nugent-Hopkins kid is playing way too good to ignore. The only question is, which of his last names will he drop to shorten his name.