Oilers Hit the Jackpot: First Overall Pick... Again
(4/11/12) The hockey Gods smiled on the Edmonton Oilers Tuesday, as the team won the NHL draft lottery and will pick first overall for the third straight year.
It's scary to think how good this team might be a few years from now. Heck, it's scary to think how strong they could be next year. Add in projected #1 Nail Yakupov to a roster already stacked with Taylor Hall, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, and Jordan Eberle and a return to the playoffs seems imminent.
The Oilers could also decide to trade the pick in order to address other shortcomings - specifically, defense and goaltending. However, they have plenty of other prospects coming down the pipe they could use as trade bait, which means their options are wide open.
From a fantasy perspective, assuming it's Yakupov, the Russian phenom's keeper value shoots way up. The Oilers have such potent weapons already in place, and they're closer to a breakthrough than Columbus, Montreal, or some of the other teams that were in contention to land the top pick.
For those of you wanting to get a head start on scouting for next year, here are some highlights of Yakupov's Junior days...