2012 lottery: Oilers get top pick for third year in a row

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Brian Burke had some rather pointed things to say about the Pittsburgh Penguins “model” – which essentially came down to being very bad for a very long time to stock up on draft picks – but the Edmonton Oilers have a chance to prove or disprove it in a big way. The Edmonton Oilers won the 2012 NHL Draft Lottery on Tuesday, giving them the No. 1 overall pick for three consecutive seasons.

The Oilers moved up from second place in the draft positioning, beating out the Columbus Blue Jackets, who held a 25 percent chance to take the top spot after recording the worst record in the NHL. Here’s what the draft will look like – at least before trades and other maneuvering takes place.

1 – Edmonton
2 – Columbus
3 – Montreal
4 – NY Islanders
5 – Toronto
6 – Anaheim
7 – Minnesota
8 – Carolina
9 – Winnipeg
10 – Tampa Bay
11 – Washington (via COL)
12 – Buffalo
13 – Dallas
14 – Calgary

In 2010, the Oilers opted to draft winger Taylor Hall instead of center Tyler Seguin. In last year’s draft, Edmonton chose slick playmaking center Ryan Nugent-Hopkins instead of defenseman Adam Larsson.

Which direction should the Oilers go in this year, then? Should they pick Nail Yakupov, the widely-held No. 1 prospect? Should Edmonton instead address the most obvious area of need by adding the best defenseman available? Or perhaps the Oil might be wisest to trade the pick for multiple choices or an immediate improvement?

We’ll have more on this subject soon, but in the mean time, let us know what you think Edmonton and the rest of the lottery teams should consider.

Habs sign Mark Streit — is he Markov’s replacement?

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The Montreal Canadiens have signed 39-year-old defenseman Mark Streit to a one-year contract worth a reported $700,000.

This will actually be Streit’s second stint with the Habs. He started his NHL career in Montreal, all the way back in 2005.

Streit split last season between Philadelphia and Pittsburgh. In the playoffs, he only appeared in three games for the Penguins, all of them in the Eastern Conference Final against Ottawa when Justin Schultz was hurt.

What the Streit signing means for Andrei Markov remains to be seen. Streit, like Markov, can run a power play, so it’s tempting to conclude that Streit is Markov’s replacement.

That being said, almost all of Streit’s contract could be buried in the AHL if necessary, so that conclusion may be premature. This could even be a move by GM Marc Bergevin to gain leverage and convince Markov to sign.

Markov, 38, remains an unrestricted free agent. The Canadiens want him back, but only at a certain price.

Devils give Mirco Mueller two-year extension

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The New Jersey Devils have signed defenseman Mirco Mueller to a two-year contract extension with a cap hit of $850,000.

Mueller, a first-round draft pick of the Sharks in 2013, has only played 54 NHL games, scoring two goals with four assists. In June, after spending most of 2016-17 in the AHL, San Jose traded the 22-year-old to the Devils.

In New Jersey, Mueller should get a good chance to crack a rebuilding roster.

“Mirco is adding another piece to what we’re trying to build here,” Devils coach John Hynes said, per NJ.com. “He’s a young player, he can play with pace. He’s a very good skater. He’s got size, which is something we need on the back end. He makes a good first pass. He allows you to get out of your own zone because he can break out, he can end plays defensively, get possession, make the pass to be able to transition yourself out of defensive situations.”

The Devils have also re-signed goalie Scott Wedgewood and forward Joseph Blandisi.

Rangers lock up Zibanejad for next five years

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The New York Rangers have locked up a key piece of their future, signing center Mika Zibanejad to a five-year deal with a cap hit of $5.35 million.

Zibanejad had an arbitration hearing scheduled for today, but that won’t be required anymore.

The 24-year-old had 14 goals and 23 assists in 56 games last season. It was his first year in New York after getting traded from Ottawa for Derick Brassard.

With Derek Stepan in Arizona now, Zibanejad is arguably the Rangers’ No. 1 center. Kevin Hayes is in that conversation as well, and perhaps Lias Andersson will be soon.

But getting Zibanejad signed long term was a top priority for GM Jeff Gorton this offseason. Hayes can become a restricted free agent next summer, but that’s a bridge to cross at a later date.

Related: Andersson to get ‘every opportunity’ to make Rangers next season

Avalanche reportedly settle with Nieto, avoiding arbitration

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Matt Nieto won’t need his arbitration hearing on Monday.

According to Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman, Nieto has agreed to a one-year, $1 million contract with the Colorado Avalanche.

Nieto split last season between San Jose and Colorado, which claimed him off waivers in January.

In 43 games for the Avalanche, the 24-year-old forward scored seven goals with four assists.

Nieto was the only Colorado player on this summer’s arbitration list. However, the Avs still have a restricted free agent in Nikita Zadorov, who could be off to the KHL next season.