According to Sportsnet’s Mark Spector, the Edmonton Oilers will indeed select first overall at the 2012 NHL Entry Draft.
Spector — formerly of the Edmonton Journal, still with TEAM 1260 — reports the Oilers’ asking price for the No. 1 pick was simply too high for potential suitors, suggesting it would’ve taken a high-profile young defenseman (Jake Gardiner out of Toronto, P.K. Subban out of Montreal) to lure the pick away.
As for who Edmonton will take first…well, that decision is still up in the air. Spector reports GM Steve Tambellini will wait until the last moment — either Thursday night or Friday morning — to figure out which player he’ll take.
Sarnia Sting forward Nail Yakupov, the No.1 ranked North American skater, visited Edmonton in early June. Yakupov scored 31G-38A-69PTS in just 42 games this season, missing a significant chunk of time to a knee injury.
The Oilers are also believed to covet WHL Everett defenseman Ryan Murray, who played for Team Canada at the World Hockey Championships under the eye of GM and Oilers president Kevin Lowe.