Oilers will begin mending with Taylor

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Edmonton takes Hall first overall, leaving Seguin for Bruins

The Edmonton Oilers put the debate to rest Friday night by selecting Windsor Spitfires forward Taylor Hall with the first overall pick at the NHL entry draft.

For months, discussion went back and forth between the merits of taking Hall or his Ontario Hockey League rival, centre Tyler Seguin of the Plymouth Whalers.

Taylor Hall, picked first overall by Edmonton Oilers in the National Hockey League Entry Draft which began Friday at Staples Center in Los Angeles, is flanked by Edmonton general manager Steve Tambellini (left) and Stu MacGregor (right), director of amate

LOS ANGELES -

The Edmonton Oilers put the debate to rest Friday night by selecting Windsor Spitfires forward Taylor Hall with the first overall pick at the NHL entry draft.

For months, discussion went back and forth between the merits of taking Hall or his Ontario Hockey League rival, centre Tyler Seguin of the Plymouth Whalers.

The Oilers clearly liked the sizzle of Hall over the dependability of Seguin.

"I'm still shaking right now," Hall told TSN. "It's just an honour to be involved in this drat class."

The fleet left-winger becomes an Oiler after a sensational junior career in Windsor. The Spitfires won back-to-back Memorial Cups the last two seasons, and in each, Hall walked away as tournament MVP.

Hall, 18, tied for the OHL scoring lead with Seguin this past season, collecting 106 points. He also represented Canada at the 2010 world junior championship, where he won silver. Hall ended the season as the second-ranked player by NHL Central Scouting.

As expected, the Boston Bruins followed the Oilers' selection by taking Seguin in the No. 2 slot. Seguin, 18, finished the OHL season with 48 goals and 58 assists with the Whalers and was the top-ranked North American prospect by Central Scouting.

The newest Bruin said he has every intention of making the NHL team in the fall.

"It's my goal. I am very confident in my skills and after talking to the Bruins, I think I can come in and earn a spot," Seguin told TSN.

The Florida Panthers took Kingston blue-liner Eric Gudbranson with the third pick.The six-foot-four defenceman is most often compared to NHL star Chris Pronger.

With the fourth pick, the Columbus Blue Jackets surprised the prognosticators by picking Ryan Johansen of the Portland Winter Hawks. The centre had 25 goals in 71 games last season and was ranked 10th among North American skaters.

The New York Islanders selected Swiss forward Nino Niederreiter with the fifth pick. Niederreiter had 36 goals in 65 games with Portland last season.

The Tampa Bay Lightning took winger Brett Connolly of Prince Goeorge of the WHL sixth overall. Connolly is from B.C., but both his parents are natives of St. George's on west coast of Newfoundland.

FIRST OVERALL PICKS

2010 - Taylor Hall, LW, Edmonton, Windsor (OHL)

2009 - John Tavares, C, N.Y. Islanders, London (OHL)

2008 - Steven Stamkos, Tampa Bay, C, Sarnia (OHL)

2007 - Patrick Kane, Chicago, RW, London (OHL)

2006 - Erik Johnson, St. Louis, D, National U-18 (U.S.)

2005 - Sidney Crosby, Pittsburgh, F, Rimouski (QMJHL)

2004 - Alexander Ovechkin, Washington, LW, Dynamo (Russia)

2003 - Marc-Andre Fleury, Pittsburgh, G, Cape Breton (QMJHL)

2002 - Rick Nash, Columbus, LW, London (OHL)

2001 - Ilya Kovalchuk, Atlanta, C, Spartak (Russia)

2000 - Rick DiPietro, N.Y. Islanders, G, Boston Univ. (NCAA)

1999 - Patrik Stefan, Atlanta, C, Long Beach (IHL)

1998 - Vincent Lecavalier, Tampa Bay, C, Rimouski (QMJHL)

1997 - Joe Thornton, Boston, C, Sault Ste. Marie (OHL)

1996 - Chris Phillips, Ottawa, D, Prince Albert (WHL)

1995 - Bryan Berard, Ottawa, D, Detroit (OHL)

1994 - Ed Jovanovski, Florida, D, Windsor (OHL)

1993 - Alexandre Daigle, Ottawa, C, Victoriaville (QMJHL)

1992 - Roman Hamrlik, Tampa Bay, D, ZPS Zin (Czech Rep.)

1991 - Eric Lindros, Quebec, C, Oshawa (OHL)

1990 - Owen Nolan, Quebec, RW, Cornwall (OHL)

1989 - Mats Sundin, Quebec, RW, Nacka (Sweden)

1988 - Mike Modano, Minnesota, C, Prince Albert (WHL)

1987 - Pierre Turgeon, Buffalo, C, Granby (QMJHL)

1986 - Joe Murphy, Detroit, C, Michigan St. (NCAA)

1985 - Wendel Clark, Toronto, LW/D, Saskatoon (WHL)

1984 - Mario Lemieux, Pittsburgh, C, Laval (QMJHL)

1983 - Brian Lawton, Minnesota, C, Mount St. Charles (U.S. high school)

1982 - Gord Kluzak, Boston, D, Billings (WHL)

Organizations: Ontario Hockey League, Oilers, NHL Edmonton Oilers North American Boston Bruins Whalers Florida Panthers NCAA Columbus Blue Jackets Prince Albert New York Islanders Tampa Bay Lightning

Geographic location: Edmonton, Windsor, LOS ANGELES London Tampa Bay Pittsburgh Portland Canada Boston Ottawa N.Y. Quebec U.S. Russia Kingston Atlanta Detroit Minnesota St. George's Newfoundland Sarnia Chicago St. Louis Washington Cape Breton Long Beach Sault Ste. Marie Florida Oshawa Sweden Michigan Toronto Saskatoon

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