One of my favorite blogs out there is Coming Down The Pipe, hosted by Guy Flaming and Dean Millard. These two are very knowledgeable when it comes to young prospects. Recently, they interviewed Oilers GM Steve Tambellini and Director of NHL Central Scouting E.J. McGuire on their show and asked some pretty good draft related questions such as the great Taylor Hall vs. Tyler Seguin debate.
The full audio of the interview can be downloaded from their site here. But read on for a summary of the interview if you can not download/listen….
Btw, the answer part of the transcript below is my summarized version of the response.. it’s not the actual quote, word for word.
Q. Who should the Oilers take? Should they take Seguin because CSS ranked him #1?
A. Says that if they need a great winger, they take Hall.. if they need a right hand shot Center to build a team around, they take Seguin.
Q. How does this year’s crop of draftees compare to last year’s crop?
A. Mentioned that when picking players, they predict who will be the best for the next few years, and also mentioned that the top picks this year would be right in there with last year’s group.
Q. How is Jeff Skinner?
A. Might have the best hands/moves in the draft, but skating needs work and that’s why he’s not higher… he is “a pure sniper” though.
Q. What’s the deal with Kirill Kabanov?
A. His skill level puts him in the top 10, but because of him not playing for “non-injury reasons” he dropped. The team that picks him has to weight the fact he quit on Moncton was supposedly to prepare for the U18 tourney and he is rumored to have been kicked off that team. He concedes that it could all be rumor.
Q. Policy is to take the best player available and not draft by need.. that true with #1 pick?
A. Have to be careful about drafting by need nad need to go through the full assessment (scouting, interviews, etc.). He wants to hear if there is a separation between the two, or if they are equal.
Q. Does the fact that Seguin was pointless vs. Hall in playoffs factor into reports Oilers are getting?
A. Every part of the assessment period is important. It’s not just about the interview, playoffs, WJ’s, etc… it’s the whole package together. It’s about projecting who will be the best player down the road, and who will be the best Oiler, specifically.
Q. Word is that Taylor Hall gets caught with his head down a lot… is that a concern for you?
A. “I hope that is a concern for him too!”. Players generally learn from that mistake. You only get so many chances.
Q. Have you made up your mind on the pick?
A. No. He also mentioned he doesn’t want to tell the scouting staff who he prefers (to not skew their research). He wants them to go through the whole process and be thorough and not interfere (THANK YOU!). He wants his scouts to make the decision.
Q. Are you actively persuing another first rounder?
A. Yes, but so are 29 other teams, so who knows what the market will look like. Loves that there are two high decent second round picks, and he will persue every avenue to add another pick.