Hockey Oilers Win 2012 NHL Draft Lottery


Bench Warmer
Edmonton Oilers win 2012 NHL Draft lottery; GM Steve Tambellini keeps options open
By Greg Wyshynski


Why is this man smiling?

Oh, because the Edmonton Oilers walked into the 2012 NHL Draft Lottery with an 18.8 percent chance of winning the top pick … and did just that, leaving the NHL's worst team the Columbus Blue Jackets with the second overall pick.

Yes, the Jackets even failed at Failing for Nail.

Nail Yakupov of the Sarnia Sting (OHL) is the consensus top pick, a left wing with explosive offensive skills. The Oilers are two years removed from taking another left wing No. 1 overall in Taylor Hall, and selected center Ryan Nugent-Hopkins first overall last summer.

The last time the same team had the top pick in three consecutive NHL Drafts? The Quebec Nordiques from 1989-1991, selecting Mats Sundin, Owen Nolan and the soon-to-be-traded Eric Lindros. The Ottawa Senators had three No. 1 picks from 1993-96, broken up by the Florida Panthers taking Ed Jovanovski first in 1994. The Sens drafted Alex Daigle, Bryan Berard and Chris Phillips during that run.

Will Edmonton keep the pick, given how loaded they are up front and their needs on the blue line?

"I'm looking to know the top picks. Not only in what they do on the ice, but more importantly what really makes them tick. What makes them rally want to that person that's the No. 1 pick overall," said Tambellini on TSN.

When given the options of keeping the pick to take Yakupov, trading the pick or using the pick to draft another player, Tambellini said: "All of the above."

Here's a glance at the Oilers' system, and here's the latest Mock Draft from My Mock NHL Draft. Here's the latest Central Scouting ranking.

As for the Blue Jackets, GM Scott Howson told Puck-Rakers before the Draft Lottery:

"You always want to control the draft," said Blue Jackets general manager Scott Howson, who's traveling to Toronto this morning. "It means a lot. It's not going to be the end of the world if we don't get it. There are good players there; we just have to make sure we get the right one. "But it'll be disappointing if we don't get it."

And here's the rest of the lottery draw:

1. Edmonton Oilers
2. Columbus Blue Jackets
3. Montreal Canadiens
4. New York Islanders
5. Toronto Maple Leafs
6. Anaheim Ducks
7. Minnesota Wild
8. Carolina Hurricanes
9. Winnipeg Jets
10. Tampa Bay Lightning
11. Washington Capitals (from Colorado)
12. Buffalo Sabres
13. Dallas Stars
14. Calgary Flames

The remaining positions are determined by the results of the Stanley Cup Playoffs.