LOS ANGELES -- The Edmonton Oilers selected forward Taylor Hall with the No. 1 pick in the NHL draft on Friday, finally ending a yearlong debate about the two best 18-year-old prospects in hockey.
The league-worst Oilers chose Hall over fellow OHL forward Tyler Seguin, making the toughest call at the top of a draft in several years.
"They're such a great franchise with so much history behind them," Hall said. "With the five (Stanley) Cups they won, it will mean a lot to me to join their organization and hopefully bring another one up there."
While Hall will go to a rebuilding club, the playoff-tested Boston Bruins eagerly grabbed Seguin moments later with the No. 2 pick.
Sign Up and Save
Get six months of free digital access to the Tri-City Herald
Seven players from the WHL were drafted Friday -- the draft resumes today with the second round -- including Portland forward Ryan Johansen, taken fourth by the Columbus Blue Jackets.
Also selected were Portland forward Nino Niederreiter (No. 5, Islanders), Prince George forward Brett Connolly (No. 6, Lightning), Moose Jaw defenseman Dylan McIlrath (No. 10, Rangers), Edmonton defensman Mark Pysyk (No. 23, Sabres), Moose Jaw forward Quinton Howden (No. 25, Panthers) and Medicine Hat forward Emerson Etem (No. 29, Ducks).
None of the Tri-City Americans eligible for the draft were projected to go in the first round. Among those who could be selected today are Justin Feser, Brooks Macek, Jordan Messier and Patrick Holland.
Seattle goalie Calvin Pickard, younger brother to former Ams goalie and 2008 first-round pick Chet Pickard, slipped out of the first round but is expected to go quickly in the second.
Hall is the fourth straight OHL player chosen No. 1, following Patrick Kane, Steven Stamkos, and John Tavares.