After a pair of seasons at the bottom of the NHL, the Edmonton Oilers got lucky in 2012 and won the draft lottery, securing a third consecutive first overall pick in the process. In the lead up to the big event in Pittsburgh, much was made that Edmonton might be looking at someone other than consensus top pick Sarnia Sting winger Nail Yakupov, with many suggesting they would select Everett Silvertips blueliner Ryan Murray (CLB). When the dust settled however, the consensus was accurate and Yakupov is now an Oiler.

The rumors of Murray were well founded in one regard, as he would address a major organizational need. In end though, Head Scout Stu MacGregor and his team opted for the best player available, leaving the task of finding the elusive franchise caliber defenseman to General Manager Steve Tambellini and his braintrust.

The Oilers still managed to address their long-term need at defense when they signed offensive defenseman Justin Schultz, a top prospect out of the University of Wisconsin who had exercised his right to walk away from the Anaheim Ducks and pick his destination.


More...