Reuters - Sat, 26 Jun 10:48:00 2010
The Edmonton Oilers selected winger Taylor Hall of the Ontario Hockey League's Windsor Spitfires with the first overall pick in the 2010 NHL Entry Draft.
Edmonton's choice to grab the speedy goal-scorer ended a season-long debate over who would be the first player selected, with many backing Plymouth Whalers center Tyler Seguin.
"I was so shocked," Hall said after he heard his name called at the Staples Center. "I was shaking in my seat. I got up to the podium, or whatever it is, and I was shaking so much I couldn't even put my jersey on.
"I'm just so happy. My whole family's so happy."
The Boston Bruins selected second with a pick they acquired earlier in the year from the Toronto Maple Leafs in exchange for Phil Kessel.
As expected, they grabbed Seguin, who won the Red Tilson Award as the OHL Most Valuable Player and was rated ahead of Hall by the Central Scouting Bureau.
Florida used third pick on Erik Gudbranson, a large, physical defenseman with limited offensive potential. Columbus then took center Ryan Johansen, a tall, rangy play-making center from the Portland Winter Hawks.
Selecting fifth overall, the New York Islanders grabbed winger Nino Neiderreitter of Switzerland who also played for the Winter Hawks.
A record 11 American players were selected in the first round. Jack Campbell was the first American and first goalie, picked 11th by the Dallas Stars.
Emerson Etem from Long Beach, enjoyed a loud hometown ovation when selected by the Anaheim Ducks with the 29th pick and Brock Nelson from Minnesota set the American record when taken by the Islanders with the opening round's final pick.
Hall and Seguin were widely seen as the top two picks in the draft, each amassing an OHL-leading 106 points.
Seguin said he was neither surprised nor disappointed to be selected behind Hall.
"I just came in here really with an open mind," he said. "I didn't have any expectations. Everyone has their own opinion.
We've seen it all year with whatever scouting service there may be.
"Edmonton decided to select Hall first overall, and good for him. He deserves it. And I'm happy to be a Bruin."
Hall is the only two-time winner of the Stafford Smythe Memorial Trophy as the most valuable player of the Memorial Cup, awarded to the champion of Canadian Junior Hockey.
The Oilers, four-times Stanley Cup champions, struggled through their worst season in 2009, finishing with 62 points, the NHL's lowest.