While Edmonton fans are reveling in the knowledge that they will have the number one pick in this year’s NHL entry draft, there is one party in particular who is deserving of praise. All the focus is on Connor McDavid, the 18 year old phenom who is being hailed as possibly even better than Sidney Crosby. But who deserves the credit for actually getting Edmonton the rights to select him? The answer is ping-pong ball #1. The winner of the lottery is determined by a series of four lottery balls.
This year, with one ball left to be drawn, Edmonton had only an 18.18% chance of winning the lottery. With their opportunity fading, ping-pong ball #1 came through. It’s probably the most clutch performance in Edmonton since Fernando Pisani. McDavid coming to the Oilers offers salvation to a struggling franchise. The Oilers have performed poorly for years and now McDavid appears to be the key to changing that. Undoubtedly, higher television ratings, season ticket/jersey sales, and a boost to the city’s overall economy will be the result of Edmonton winning the draft lottery. Edmonton has a lot of young talent, but none like McDavid. He will instantly become the face of the franchise and perhaps of the NHL itself.
It’s fair to say that the ping-pong ball will be drinking for free in Edmonton for quite a while. And if McDavid turns out to be the star he’s predicted to be, maybe the Oilers will hang a #1 from their rafters for the little ping-pong ball that made it all happen.