There are some wonky items floating about in regard to the top of this year’s entry draft. Columbus is apparently interested in dealing the first overall pick should they win the lottery. Another rumor had them taking the Swede Forsberg if it can to actually making the #1 pick (Columbus hasn’t done well with Russians).
Now the Oilers don’t fly Aeroflot much either, but in the case of Nail Yakupov exceptions would have to be made. Yakupov’s scouting reports is an interesting one, and the comparables conjured up are fascinating:
- Bob McKenzie: “You can’t say Ovechkin because he is not as physical or as powerful. He will get his nose dirty to score a goal. But he won’t necessarily overpower you the way Ovechkin did. The very first time you see Ovechkin, we saw him as a 17 year old, the thing that impressed you was not just that he was fast, he could score goals and had a great shot, but that he ran people over. There’s a difference in that. But I am not sure there is a Russian winger that he could be compared to. I don’t want to say Semin either. I don’t have a good answer for you on that.”
- Russian National Junior Team head coach Valeri Bragin: “He reminds me of Bure. He is just as quick, a good goal-scoring winger. He is not as big as Ovechkin or Kovalchuk were when they were drafted, but he is very quick. I am really looking forward to playing him for the National Team after not having seen him play a year.”
Yakupov’s numbers suggest he’s a little shy of Hall (via Desjardins NHLE) but certainly an enormous prospect. Oilers should have him number one on the list.
After that, it’s a crap shoot. I’ve suggested they will take Ryan Murray for all kinds of reasons. It doesn’t mean I think they should take him, but the Oilers have the look of an organization that is ticking off the columns as they go–with “franchise defenseman” the major unassigned item.
What say you? Trade up for Nail? Take Murray? Deal the pick for an established blue? Deal down and take Reinhart? Opinions welcome.