NHL Draft Lottery 2012: Edmonton Oilers Win Draft Lottery for 3rd Straight Year

Nicholas Goss@@NicholasGoss35Correspondent IApril 11, 2012

Top prospect Nail Yakupov
Top prospect Nail YakupovRichard Wolowicz/Getty Images

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:

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.

Year Team Player Notes
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:

Rank Player Team (League) Position
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.

Nicholas Goss is a Featured Columnist for Bleacher Report and was the organization's on-site reporter for the 2011 Stanley Cup Finals in Boston.

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