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2012 NHL Entry Draft: Oilers Spoil Blue Jackets Party

Is Yakupov heading to Oil Country?
Is Yakupov heading to Oil Country?Richard Wolowicz/Getty Images
Stephen KaczmarContributor IIApril 11, 2012

It was supposed to be a pretty straightforward day—Columbus by virtue of finishing last was supposed to humbly accept the first overall pick, while the rest of the NHL clubs vied for position. 

Wasn't the case.

The Edmonton Oilers spoiled the party and jumped up to steal the rights to the first overall pick in the 2012 NHL Entry Draft.

It doesn't take rocket science to figure out the Oilers desperately need help on the back end, specifically in search of a defencemen with offensive upside who can get the puck to the current stars of the Edmonton Oilers.

There's a kid in the draft like that and it's Ryan Murray. He's projected to go anywhere from second overall to third overall.

Nail Yakupov is the most talked about, and presumably the highest skilled player in this draft who is undoubtedly projected to go first overall in the draft. But will it be the Edmonton Oilers making that selection?

It may not be that obvious. Trading down and stocking up on later picks is an option, but how about dealing the first overall pick straight up for an NHL-ready defenceman? Say to Anaheim for Cam Fowler, or to Washington for John Carlson. How about this for thought: trading the first overall pick for a young NHL ready goalie—Tuukka Rask?

Is drafting Yakupov even a good idea? Causing a stir for playing time between Taylor Hall, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Jordan Eberle and making the last three players mentioned unhappy would be the last thing management would want to do. Let's not forget about Linus Omark, Magnus Paajarvi and Sam Gagner, all of whom deserve a look at minutes on the Oilers' top two lines as well.

I think Ryan Murray fits this version of the Oilers better than any other player available even Yakupov. Trading down is something the Oilers will seriously consider.

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