Tonight we will finally find out what the Edmonton Oilers are planing to do with the first overall pick in this 2012 NHL Entry Draft. Having held the first overall selection in each of the last two years as well, the Oilers have now got keeping everyone in suspense right up to the moment the pick is announced down to a science. The local media, who are usually in step with everything the Oilers have planned, don't know. And the fans are coming apart at the seams trying to guess what Tambellini might do, hoping he does the right thing, and preparing for the worst all at the same time.
Will it be Nail Yakupov? Maybe Ryan Murray? What about Griffin Reinhart? Or is there a trade in the works? In about an hour from now we will finally have the answer. The Oilers may not play a lot of exciting or meaningful hockey games during the season but they have certainly managed to make the month of June and the draft plenty exciting.
Everything gets started tonight at 5pm MST. Whether that is when the draft starts or just the beginning of the TSN's preamble is anyone's guess. The Oilers of course hold the first selection and will kick everything off but there are 29 other teams that will be in Pittsburgh tonight selecting players and making trades. The selection order (at least for now) looks like this:
1- Edmonton Oilers
6 - Anaheim Ducks
7 - Minnesota Wild
9 - Winnipeg Jets
10 - Tampa Bay Lightning
11 - Washington Capitals (from Colorado)
12 - Buffalo Sabres
13 - Dallas Stars
14 - Calgary Flames
15 - Ottawa Senators
16 - Washington Capitals
17 - San Jose Sharks
18 - Chicago Blackhawks
19 - Tampa Bay Lightning (from Detroit)
20 - Philadelphia Flyers
21 - Buffalo Sabres (from Nashville)
22 - Pittsburgh Penguins
23 - Florida Panthers
24 - Boston Bruins
25 - St. Louis Blues
26 - Vancouver Canucks
27 - Phoenix Coyotes
28 - New York Rangers
29 - New Jersey Devils
30 - Los Angeles Kings
News, notes, and links:
- Tampa Bay, Washington, and Buffalo all have two picks in the first round. They also pick consecutively starting at number ten. If you're trying to guess what teams might be looking to move up a few spots in the draft I would look at those three.
- With the first overall selection in three consecutive drafts the Oilers have tied the mark of futility set by the Quebec Nordiques who accomplished the same feat in 1989, 1990, and 1991. Jonathan Willis took a look at those Nordique teams back in April.
- In the SB Nation mock draft we here at the Copper and Blue selected Nail Yakupov. I can't tell you how much I hope the Oilers follow our lead. Or maybe they just listen to the scouts who have also identified Yakupov as the consensus number one.
- Of course Oilers management has options but drafting a defenceman with the first overall selection shouldn't be one of them.
- For fun we asked you for your predictions for draft weekend. My personal favourite was "pain".
- And because the fun doesn't stop after tonight, our choice for the Oilers second round selection.