Does top prospect Nail Yakupov want to be drafted by the Oilers? Could they try to flip that pick to New Jersey for Adam Larsson? Does Yann Danis have a future with the Oilers?
EDMONTON SUN: Terry Jones reports Sarnia Sting right wing Nail Yakupov, ranked the top prospect heading into this year’s NHL entry draft, is enthusiastic over the possibility he could be selected by the Oilers, who hold the first overall pick. “I definitely want to go to Edmonton and play for the Oilers, for sure,” said Yakupov, who has played in Canada the past two years and enjoyed the experience.
EDMONTON JOURNAL: Jim Matheson, responding to reader e-mail, doubts the Oilers would ship the first overall pick to the New Jersey Devils for Adam Larsson as one reader suggested. Matheson also suggested Yann Danis, the starter for the Oilers’ farm team, probably doesn’t have a chance of cracking the big club next season if Nikolai Khabibulin returns as expected. Danis could, however, catch the interest of another NHL club.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: While I have no doubt Oilers management will consider trade options, especially if they’re offered a young, top-pairing defenseman, it wouldn’t surprise me if they retain the first overall pick and use it to select Yakupov, and seek a top-pairing defenseman via free agency or trade. Given his enthusiasm toward the possibility of joining the Oilers, that could prove a positive enticement for GM Steve Tambellini to select him.