by Lisa Brown on 04/05/12 at 01:00 AM ET
The NHL entry draft lottery is only 5 days away, and it looks as though the Oilers are going to have another high chance at the number one overall draft pick. With only 2 games to go, the Oilers stand 2 points behind the 27th place Montreal Canadiens, but the Habs aren’t going down without a fight either. And so, it will all come down to the final games this weekend.
If the Oilers finish 29th, they will have a 18.8% chance of selecting first overall while Columbus will have a 48.2% chance. After winning the past two years in a row, the Oilers may make history by selecting first overall three years in a row.
As strange as it may sound, I really hope that the Oilers don’t win the lottery and don’t select first overall. That’s just crazy talk right? I say that because Nail Yakupov is a gifted, talented and driven hockey player, but he also seems to have a strong personality.
Yakupov didn’t make his biggest impact on the ice at this year’s world juniors, it was his post game scrums that were the most notable.
From my short interactions with Yakupov it is difficult to make a judgement, but there are certain traits that can and will show through. And for Yakupov he seems to have a little bit more… shall we say… confident than any other player at the juniors. While a player like Oscar Klefbom was always smiling, always polite and always friendly someone like Yakupov came across more abrasively and you can’t help but wonder how that might mix with an already fragile Oilers’ locker room.
On Oilers Nation Wednesday, Robin Brownlee discussed the goings on at the Oilers’ practice. It doesn’t sound as though it was a fun time all around. Groups of friends have been forming, the core and most important to Oilers’ fans being the younger group of Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Jordan Eberle and Taylor Hall.
From all appearances Eberle and Nugent-Hopkins are the quietest of the three and everyone seems to get along. By adding yet another first overall draft pick, everything could change.
Strangely enough, the second overall selection could be a very different story. While Yakupov has been the consensus pick for first overall, different lists have different players ranked for every other position. Craig Button of TSN has the WHL Red Deer Rebels’ defenceman Mat Dumba as the second pick, while TSN has QMJHL Mikhail Grigorenko at the same ranking and there is no knowing where Stu MacGregor and the Oilers’ amateur scouting staff have landed. In either case, both players are far more easy going and less heated despite the fact that they are both tough competitors.
There is no knowing where the Oilers’ will pick, not until Tuesday and even then the Oilers could still trade that pick, but I for one hope that Columbus wins the lottery, they could use something to look forward to in the fall with the potential loss of Rick Nash this summer.
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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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