Can Hemsky be worth an Oilers 1-2 on draft day?

No team has ever had the top-two picks, but Edmonton’s sniper could be a very valuable bargaining chip

Dan Barnes, Edmonton Journal

What the Oilers have in Ales Hemsky currently pales in comparison to what people think the Oilers can or even should get for Ales Hemsky.

Which is to say, Tyler Seguin or Taylor Hall.

It’s the blind hope du jour; the Oilers plucking not one but both blue-chip forwards out of the June entry draft in a history-making rebuild-a-palooza that would guarantee GM Steve Tambellini a place in the Hall of Fame. Or at least a nickname upgrade from Stand Pat Steve to Two-Fer Tamby.

Since the National Hockey League amateur draft became the entry draft in 1979, no team has ever chosen first and second. The Canucks came closest at Nos. 2 and 3 with the Sedin twins in 1999, Daniel before Henrik. The Islanders drafted first (Rick DiPietro) and fifth (Raffi Torres) in 2000 and fourth (Roberto Luongo) and fifth (Eric Brewer) in 1997. The Nordiques went third (Curtis Leschyshyn) and fifth (Daniel Dore, oops) in 1988.

And all it would cost to ensure both Hall and Seguin strap on Oilers colours next fall, these people opine, is the 31st pick and Hemsky.

Oh, and Edmonton might have to take Michael Ryder and his $4-million-US cap hit for the 2010-11 season from the Bruins. No biggie, since Hemsky’s hit would be $4.1 million.

Now, before even considering what Bruins GM Peter Chiarelli might have to say about dropping 29 spots in the draft (not good) while swapping Ryder for Hemsky (much better), the dream scenario is dependent on the Oilers finishing 30th (practically guaranteed) and winning the draft lottery (ditto) and the Maple Leafs staying where they are in 29th place, since Boston secured Toronto’s first-rounder in the Phil Kessel trade.