Nail Yakupov is commonly regarded as the frontrunner to go first overall in the 2012 NHL Entry Draft, but there are dissenters. Some, for example, think that the Edmonton Oilers should select Ryan Murray on the grounds that they need a defenseman more than another skilled forward.
At the end of the day, the only opinions that will matter are those within the Oilers’ organization. Either they’ll choose to trade the pick or, more likely, they’ll hold on to it and draft first overall for the third straight year.
Yakupov doesn’t know if he’ll be picked first overall, but he does have strong opinions on the matter.
“I wanna go number one. No one dreams of going number two. That’s stupid,” Yakupov said, according to TSN’s James Duthie.
Well, I’m going to have to do some soul-searching now that my modest dreams involving silver medals have been invalidated, but it does show that Yakupov aims high. That’s something you hope to see out of a potential top pick, especially one could be part of Edmonton’s ambitious rebuilding efforts.
The Oilers have taken the philosophy of building through the draft to it’s extreme. As a result, if Yakupov ends up with Edmonton, he’ll be joining a young, but hopefully ambitious squad. They’ll have a lot to prove, but most of the core necessary to succeed will be there.