by Lisa Brown on 04/10/12 at 10:30 PM ET
It happened folks, the Edmonton Oilers have moved from second to first overall at this year’s NHL entry draft. Steve Tambellini smiles and says that anything is possible, but he is not trading that first pick. Nail Yakupov will be an Edmonton Oiler.
Yakupov will not be the first Oiler to come to the organization needing to work on his English, but he will be the first Oiler in a very long time who will not have the time in junior to work on the language. At the 2012 IIHF World Juniors we saw how talented Yakupov is, but also how in media scrums Yakupov can struggle to get his message across. Yakupov’s addition will be nothing short of incredible to an already talented roster, and may make players like Sam Gagner expendable.
While Columbus had the biggest chance to get the first overall pick, it seems the odds were not in their favour. My friends in Columbus will blame the ghosts of the old state penitentiary where Nationwide Arena now stands, but maybe this is more about the Oilers and a true sign that their luck is turning around.
Now the biggest concern going forward for the Oilers may be how well will three first overall picks get along in one dressing room. The current need of defence may seem glaring, but they have several defencemen who are nearly NHL ready in Oscar Klefbom, David Musil and Martin Marincin.
Things may still be coming together nicely for the Edmonton Oilers, this marks just the second time in history that an NHL team will pick first overall three times consecutively, the first being the Quebec Nordiques who hit this mark in 1991. So long as the Oilers do not become the first time in history to make the first overall pick four years in a row the players in the locker room and ticket holding fans may be able to swallow their disappointment from this season.
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Lisa McRitchie is a fairly new writer, online at least, but makes up for inexperience with passion for the game of hockey and memories of Mrs. Leskiw’s English AP class; who knew they would pay off one day.
Oil Patch focuses on the Edmonton Oilers, the Edmonton Oil Kings, The Oklahoma City Barons and Team Canada Hockey with game coverage, news updates, speculation and interviews.
Although the Oilers have had a difficult past decade… or three, here at Oil Patch, the future looks bright.
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