Jason Gregor
June 23 2012 02:39PM

On day two of the draft the Oilers went after big forwards with skill, and then took a few 20-year-olds late in the draft. I knew the Oilers really liked Mitch Moroz, and I think it is fair to say they grabbed him earlier than people expected. He would have been snatched up before their 3rd round pick. Winnipeg, Carolina, Philly and Anaheim liked him, so the Oilers rolled the dice and drafted the rugged forward 32nd overall.

Was it a risk? Sure, but was is it an awful one, I don't think so. The Oilers have enough legitimate skill, but they have few players with a combination of size and skill. If you honestly think they would be able to acquire forwards who can play in their top-six or top-nine that are rugged, tough and skilled then you likely think being a GM in NHL 2012 is the same as being one in the NHL.

You need to draft those players and then ensure you do a good job developing them.

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Jason Gregor
June 23 2012 10:09AM


I'll be live blogging from the draft floor in Pittsburgh today.

The Oilers have an opportunity to add some depth to the organization today, and I expect them to add some players with a combination of size and skill.

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Jason Gregor
June 23 2012 12:02AM

Stu MacGregor added a right winger to round out the only potential 1st-overall line combo in the NHL, when he recommended the Oilers take Nail Yakupov with the first pick. After all the buildup, the Oilers made the correct choice and now have four extremely skilled young forwards.

MacGregor talked about the decision to take Yakupov and what he'll be looking to acquire on day two of the 2012 draft.

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Jason Gregor
June 22 2012 07:39PM


 Despite all the rumours about potentially not taking him, the Oilers selected Nail Yakupov with the first pick. He was considered the best player in the draft, and the Oilers agreed.

Yakupov was stoked being the first pick, and was excited about the chance to play with the other young stars in Edmonton. He was very emotional talking about being the first pick, and he had to hold back the tears. He had a great line when he was asked who he would like to play with in Edmonton, "My whole team."

The Oilers now have four, young dynamic forwards, but now the focus turns to finding some solid defenders, and gritty, tough and skilled role players.

The Oilers currently hold the 32nd pick, and they are very high on Henrik Samuelsson. If he is still available in the final few picks of the first round, we might see them try and move up a few spots.

**Edited... Coyotes took Samuelsson 27th overall, so scratch that idea. ***

Another guy who is tough and rugged is D-man Dalton Thrower, best last name in hockey, who they might look at.

You can expect the Oilers to use one, if not two, of their remaining picks to draft some players with a mix of size, skill and toughness. A major void in the organization is players who have a mixture of skill, grit and nastiness.


  • Steve Tambellini needs to start re-tooling his team now that the 1st pick is in the books. The easy moves are over with, if this franchise is going to move forward he needs to get creative and make some moves that involve acquiring NHL players.
  • Now that the Oilers have Yakupov, I'm sure we will hear lots of chatter about possibly moving Hemsky to acquire a blueliner. In theory it makes sense, since they have Eberle and Yakupov on the RW, but I don't see the need to rush into it. I still think Hemsky's trade value might be a tad low right now, so letting him play with the kids for a few months, or a year, and see his value increase.
  • The Oilers own the 32nd, 63rd, 91st, 93rd, 123rd and 153rd picks.
  • Mitch Moroz would be a great 3rd round pick if he is there. As a 17-year-old he scored 17 goals in a 4th line role with the Oil Kings. He's also very tough. He's exactly what the Oilers need in their organization.
  • Here is a great story of Radek Faksa, who went 13th overall to the Stars.


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Jason Gregor
June 22 2012 12:34PM

At around 5:05 p.m. Edmonton time the Nation will either explode in excitement if the Oilers draft Nail Yakupov, or we'll set an all-time comments record if they take Ryan Murray instead.

Here in Pittsburgh all the speculation is that the Oilers will take Murray. We won't know until draft time if that's true, but I won't be stunned if they take him based on the buzz here in the Consol Energy Centre in Pittsburgh. Murray will be a solid player, but if they do take him I think they'd be making a big mistake.

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