The Edmonton Oilers won the 2012 NHL Draft Lottery on Tuesday night and will select first overall in the 2012 NHL Draft.
The Oilers will now pick first overall for the third straight season, the second time in NHL history that this has happened. The last team to have three consecutive No. 1 picks was the Quebec Nordiques, who selected Mats Sundin (1989), Owen Nolan (1990) and Eric Lindros (1991).
After taking two forwards in the last two drafts at No. 1, it's time for the team to select a defenseman with their first round pick.
Here is the order for the top five picks in the 2012 NHL Draft:
- 5) Toronto Maple Leafs
- 4) New York Islanders
- 3) Montreal Canadiens
- 2) Columbus Blue Jackets
- 1) Edmonton Oilers
Here is the list of the last 11 top picks. There have been many successful first overall selections since the start of the 21st century.
|2001||Atlanta Thrashers||Ilya Kovalchuk||One of the best goal scorers since 2000|
|2002||Columbus Blue Jackets||Rick Nash||Elite power forward who scores goals|
|2003||Pittsburgh Penguins||Marc-Andre Fleury||Stanley Cup winning goaltender|
|2004||Washington Capitals||Alexander Ovechkin||One of the NHL's best offensive stars|
|2005||Pittsburgh Penguins||Sidney Crosby||One of the best players ever|
|2006||St. Louis Blues||Erik Johnson||With Avalanche now, slowly developing|
|2007||Chicago Blackhawks||Patrick Kane||Scored winning goal of 2010 Cup Final|
|2008||Tampa Bay Lightning||Steven Stamkos||Led NHL with 60 goals this season|
|2009||New York Islanders||John Tavares||Will be a superstar next year|
|2010||Edmonton Oilers||Taylor Hall||Injury prone, but great when on the ice|
|2011||Edmonton Oilers||Ryan Nugent-Hopkins||Top contender for 2012 Calder Trophy|
This year's draft class isn't as deep as in season's past, but there are a number of elite prospects at the top of the rankings, which are led by the Sarnia Sting's Nail Yakupov.
The last player from the Sarnia Sting to be selected No. 1 overall was Steven Stamkos, who has become a legitimate superstar with the Lightning.
Here are my top 10 North American skaters in the 2012 NHL draft class:
|1||Nail Yakupov||Sarnia (OHL)||RW|
|2||Ryan Murray||Everett (WHL)||D|
|3||Mikhail Grigorenko||Quebec (QMJHL)||C|
|4||Alex Galchenyuk||Sarnia (OHL)||C|
|5||Morgan Reilly||Moose Jaw (WHL)||D|
|6||Codi Ceci||Ottawa (OHL)||D|
|7||Radek Faksa||Kitchener (OHL)||C|
|8||Olli Maatta||London (OHL)||D|
|9||Jacob Trouba||USA-18 (USHL)||D|
|10||Griffin Reinhart||Edmonton (WHL)||D|
As you can tell, the top of the draft is very strong with defenseman, however, the top two prospects in many people's eyes are the two Russian forwards: Yakupov and Grigorenko. Both are potential superstars who have tremendous offensive talent.
The Oilers won't return to the playoffs unless they either acquire or draft a top-tier defenseman. Ryan Murray is going to be a good NHL player, but he is not the franchise building blueliner that Adam Larsson was last year.
The Oilers cannot afford to take another forward high in the draft when their depth on defense is so weak. Edmonton must trade this top pick for a proven NHL defenseman that they can build around for years.