The Edmonton Oilers aren't tipping their hand just yet.
The NHL team held a media availability with Windsor Spitfires forward Taylor Hall on Thursday. However, neither Hall nor the team had any information on what might happen at this month's entry draft.
Hall was just in town to visit with team officials.
Debate has been raging for months over whether Hall or OHL rival Tyler Seguin will be selected by the Oilers with the first overall pick. Seguin finished just ahead of Hall in the latest NHL Central Scouting rankings.
Hall became the first player named MVP of the Memorial Cup in back-to-back years last month, after leading the Spitfires to a successful defence of their CHL title. The 18-year-old led the tournament in scoring, collecting nine points in four games as Windsor rolled over the opposition in Brandon, Man.
He begged off the most demanding physical tests of the NHL Scouting Combine less than a week later, citing a back and knee injury he suffered over the course of the playoffs.
Hall said both would be healed with rest and relaxation after a season which also included a trip to the world junior championship with Canada.
The Spitfires are not expecting him back next season.
"I think he's gone," Windsor coach Bob Boughner said during the Memorial Cup. "He's got everything you need to get to that next level, to play at that next level. He seems to just get better and better ... he'll amaze you, he'll do something every game."
And despite all of that, Hall finished second to Plymouth Whalers star Tyler Seguin on the season-ending ranking of draft-eligible prospects. The two players finished in a first-place tie for the OHL's regular season scoring crown, with 106 points.
Hall is a fearless winger with a thirst for scoring goals. He played with a fierce intensity at the Memorial Cup. In his first game, he crashed head-first into the boards before returning to spark a rout of the Brandon Wheat Kings.
Seguin is more of a natural centre, a playmaker who generally did the best he could with a weaker team.
The Boston Bruins have the second overall pick by virtue of a trade with the Toronto Maple Leafs. Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli spoke glowingly of Seguin at the combine in Toronto last month.
"We're going to get one of those two," Chiarelli said at the time. "They're terrific kids, and they're good players in their own way."
The first round of the NHL entry draft will be held June 25 in Los Angeles.
Hall, incidentally, has already been drafted once by a professional team. AK Bars Kazan, of the Russian-based Kontinental Hockey League, selected him 89th overall in its draft last year.Report Typo/Error