The Edmonton Oilers hopped over the Columbus Blue Jackets to win the NHL Draft lottery for the third consecutive year. The consensus No. 1 pick is Nail Yakupov, the Russian-born, dynamic Sarnia Sting forward.
Barring an Oilers trade, he will likely join the past two No. 1 overall picks, Ryan-Nugent Hopkins and Taylor Hall, and young star Joran Eberle, in Edmonton.
The Wild, which had a 4.7 percent chance of winning the lottery and jumping up to No. 3 overall, instead retains the No. 7 overall pick. This draft is defenseman-heavy, and with so many young forwards about to be infused into the organization (Mikael Granlund, Brett Bulmer, Charlie Coyle, Johan Larsson, Jason Zucker and Zack Phillips), there's a chance the Wild goes this route in a draft that is considered defenseman-heavy in the top-10.
That doesn't mean at all it's a definite. The Wild will always take the best player available, so if a stud like Alex Galchenyuk fell to them, I'd think they'd go forward in a heartbeat.
Here is the top-11 North American skaters according to Central Scouting Service
|1||YAKUPOV, NAIL||SARNIA||OHL||5' 10.5"||189||RW|
|2||MURRAY, RYAN||EVERETT||WHL||6' 0.5"||195||D|
|3||GRIGORENKO, MIKHAIL||QUEBEC||QMJHL||6' 3.0"||200||C|
|4||GALCHENYUK, ALEX||SARNIA||OHL||6' 0.5"||198||C|
|5||RIELLY, MORGAN||MOOSE JAW||WHL||5' 11.5"||190||D|
|6||CECI, CODY||OTTAWA||OHL||6' 2.5"||207||D|
|7||FAKSA, RADEK||KITCHENER||OHL||6' 2.5"||203||C|
|8||MAATTA, OLLI||LONDON||OHL||6' 1.5"||202||D|
|9||TROUBA, JACOB||USA U-18||USHL||6' 2.0"||193||D|
|10||REINHART, GRIFFIN||EDMONTON||WHL||6' 3.75"||197||D|
|11||DUMBA, MATHEW||RED DEER||WHL||5' 11.75"||173||D|
Here's the top-12 European skaters according to Central Scouting Service
|1||FORSBERG, FILIP||LEKSAND||SWEDEN-2||6' 2.0"||181||C|
|2||TERAVAINEN, TEUVO||JOKERIT||FINLAND||5' 11.0"||165||LW|
|3||COLLBERG, SEBASTIAN||FROLUNDA||SWEDEN||5' 11.0"||176||RW|
|4||LINDHOLM, HAMPUS||ROGLE JR.||SWE-JR.||6' 2.5"||196||D|
|5||HERTL, TOMAS||SLAVIA||CZREP||6' 2.0"||198||C|
|6||ABERG, PONTUS||DJURGARDEN||SWEDEN||5' 11.0"||194||LW|
|7||POKKA, VILLE||KARPAT||FINLAND||6' 0.0"||196||D|
|8||BYSTROM, LUDWIG||MODO JR.||SWE-JR.||6' 0.75"||208||D|
|9||PROKHORKIN, NIKOLAY||CSKA 2||RUSSIA-JR.||6' 2.5"||191||LW|
|10||SLEPYSHEV, ANTON||NOVOKUZNETSK||RUSSIA||6' 2.0"||187||LW|
|11||VAINONEN, MIKKO||HIFK JR.||FINLAND-JR.||6' 3.0"||205||D|
|12||LINDELL, ESA||JOKERIT JR.||FINLAND-JR.||6' 3.0"||194||D|
Rielly is considered the best offensive defenseman. Trouba, Reinhart and Dumba are all considered high-end. TSN analyst Craig Button had the Wild taking Reinhart in his mock draft.
You'll be reading a lot more about the draft in June, which takes place in Pittsburgh June 22-23.