Blue Jackets had no intention of taking Nail Yakupov

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Blue Jackets GM Scott Howson got the man he wanted with the second overall pick in the 2012 NHL Entry Draft: defenseman Ryan Murray.

The Oilers conformed to conventional wisdom and took Nail Yakupov with the top pick. However, going into the draft there was some speculation that Edmonton might surprise people by taking Murray, especially given how many young, skilled forwards were already in the Oilers’ organization.

If the Oilers had taken Murray, would the Blue Jackets have responded by scooping up Nail Yakupov? Aaron Portzline of the Columbus Dispatch reported that the simple answer is no. Instead, Howson would have traded their top pick.

“We had a very attractive offer,” Howson said, “and then we got another offer from the same team.”

Howson insists that he thinks Yakupov will be a good player, but it looks like he had no intention of adding him to the Blue Jackets’ organization.