The Edmonton Oilers have selected Nail Yakupov with the first overall pick in the 2012 National Hockey League Entry Draft.
Was it the right move? Yes it was. Sure, the Oilers need defencemen, but there were clearly no defencemen that were ready right now that will make an immediate impact in their lineup.
Yakupov did suffer two injuries this season– a knee injury for Team Russia in the Gold medal game against Sweden in the final of the World Junior Hockey Championship in Calgary, and a concussion while playing for the Ontario Hockey League’s Sarnia Sting in March, but the bottom line his skills have been compared to Pavel Bure.
Now the job is for Steve Tambellini to go out and get a defenceman either via free agency or trade. But the bottom line is this could be a return to the 1980′s for the Oilers.
Having four excellent forwards to be the cornerstone of their franchise–Yakupov being joined by Taylor Hall, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Jordan Eberle, is something the Oilers should be excited about.