Opinion
By Séamus Smyth

It wasn’t impossible, but it was incredibly unlikely that the Edmonton Oilers would once again land the 1st overall choice in the NHL draft. Yet, it was announced this past Tuesday that the Oil would indeed have first dibs on this year’s batch of juniors primed to make a splash into the big leagues.

The Oilers landed Taylor Hall followed by Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and could now add Nail Yakupov to their dangerous line of hot-shot forwards. However, Yakupov will never dawn the blue and orange because there is no team in the NHL more desperate for a top-tier defender than E-Town.

This summer should be celebrated by Edmontonians not because they have again landed the most prized prospect in the barn, but because they will have successfully made a blockbuster deal to acquire one of the most proven and prestigious defensemen in the game.

The Oilers last made a solid run in the playoffs when they had one of the premier blue-line players in the league, Chris Pronger. It is no coincidence that adding this bulldozer of a player to the lineup was a chief factor in their post-season success.

Yakupov has all the hype and very well could be the next Pavel Bure. However, the same has been said for dozens of first-overall picks, and it hasn’t turned out that way. Those loyal to the Oil are well aware of what Jordan Eberle, Hall and the “Nuge” are capable of. They don’t need to find another guy to put the puck in the net; they need to find a man to help prevent the opposite.

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