There are plenty of theories on what Edmonton should do with the first overall selection at the 2012 NHL Entry Draft.
One school of thought is to pick the consensus best player, Sarnia forward Nail Yakupov. Another is to draft based on need and select Everett defenseman Ryan Murray.
Another is to trade out of the No. 1 spot entirely — something that Oilers GM Steve Tambellini addressed today on Sportsnet’s Fan 590.
“I’ve had a few soft calls up to this point. I know there will be teams making offers,” Tambellini said. “We didn’t expect going into the lottery that we were going to win the lottery, but we got it and we’re happy with it.
“It’s a wonderful bonus, so you know that if we did do something, it would have to be a significant offer.”
Trading the first overall pick in the draft — prior to making the selection — has happened before, but not that often.
In 1983, Pittsburgh traded the first pick to Minnesota, who selected Brian Lawton.
Canucks GM Brian Burke was at the center of a hot potato No. 1 pick in 1999:
Burke started the process when Chicago won the draft lottery May 16. He immediately started talking with the Blackhawks in hopes of acquiring Chicago’s pick, No. 4. He did, trading defenseman Bryan McCabe and Vancouver’s No. 1 pick in 2000 or 2001 for the Blackhawk’s choice.
Then he moved that pick to Tampa Bay with the 75th and 88th choices overall for the Lightning’s pick, No. 1 in the draft. Finally, the Canucks traded the first overall pick and a conditional third-round choice in 2000 to Atlanta for the Thrashers’ choice, second overall.
The end result in ’99 was Patrick Stefan going No. 1 to Atlanta and the Sedin twins going No. 2 and 3 to the Canucks.
In 2002, Columbus GM Doug MacLean swung a deal with Florida to move up to No. 1 and select Rick Nash.
In 2003, the Panthers again traded out of No. 1 by sending it to Pittsburgh for a package including the No. 3. The Penguins took Marc-Andre Fleury first overall, the Panthers took Nathan Horton third.