While there have been no concrete offers made for the Edmonton Oilers’ first pick overall in this year’s Entry Draft, general manager Steve Tambellini tells Sportsnet that he is willing to explore the possibility of moving it — but it won’t come cheap.
You can always listen. But for us to move the No. 1 pick it would have to be quite a significant proposal.
Toronto Sun’s Terry Koshan reports that if the Oilers retain the pick, expectation is they will select Sarnia Sting’s talented forward Nail Yakupov — the North American-based top-rated skater.
Still, insiders say that it wouldn’t surprise them if the Oilers decided to drop down in the draft an pick a defenseman like Everett Silvertips’s Ryan Murray to improve their blueline.
Murray played for Oilers president of hockey operations Kevin Lowe as a member of Canada’s World Championship team last month. Both Lowe and Tambellini are said to have been impressed with Murray.
Tambellini says he and his staff have not decided what decided course of action they will take: draft the best player available, or go with an organizational need, like on the blueline. A decision will come until the night before the June 22 draft.
We’re not sure who this pick is now and that’s the way it’s been the last couple years. The idea is to project on who will be the best player for your team. Most teams have different opinions on what’s best for them. That’s what we’ll do — we’ll decide which player is the best player for the Edmonton Oilers.
In order to help themselves with their decision, the Oilers have invited a number of prospects to visit with them in Edmonton for follow up interviews.
You want to get as much information as possible. That’s the whole thing — you want to know who you’re drafting.
Yakupov is set to meet with Oilers’ brass in this Sunday. The young Russian sounds excited for having the opportunity to convince the Oilers make him the first choice overall.
For me it was great news. I’ll probably meet the guys and the president and the GM — just talking with the guys and see the dressing room and see the town.