Oilers win Draft Lottery; Isles to pick 4th overall

For the first time since the Quebec Nordiques selected Mats Sundin, Owen Nolan and Eric Lindros first overall in back-to-back-back seasons (1989-91), the Edmonton Oilers have now indeed accomplished that same three-peat. NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly announced Tuesday evening that the Oilers were winners of the 2012 ScotiaBank NHL Draft Lottery. The proceedings took place in the NHL offices in Toronto.

The Oilers, who selected Taylor Hall and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins first overall in 2010 and 2011, respectively, are expected to select Sarnia (OHL) forward Nail Yakupov with the first pick at this June’s NHL Entry Draft in Pittsburgh. Yakupov, the 5-foot-11, 190-pound scoring winger from Nizhnekamsk, Tatarstan, Russia, has been the clear-cut favorite to be selected with the top overall pick, ever since the initial central scouting rankings tabbed him with that honor back in September.

The Islanders, with director of pro scouting Ken Morrow on hand in Toronto, failed to win the draft lottery for a fourth time in its past five attempts. Yet, unlike last year’s lottery outcome in which the New Jersey Devils climbed past the Islanders to secure the fourth overall selection (Adam Larsson), the Islanders will remain positioned at the #4 spot.

Isles’ luck in the lottery: – 2008 – Finished 5th in lottery – Traded back twice from the 5th pick to select Windsor (OHL) forward Josh Bailey with the ninth overall pick (D Aaron Ness was also acquired in this deal). 2009 – Won lottery – Selected London (OHL) forward John Tavares. 2010 – Finished 5th in lottery – Selected Portland (WHL) forward Nino Niederreiter. 2011 – Finished 5th in lottery – Selected Niagara (OHL) forward Ryan Strome. 2012 – Finished 4th in lottery – ?

Final Draft Standings: 1. Edmonton. 2. Columbus. 3. Montreal. 4. Islanders. 5. Toronto. 6. Anaheim. 7. Minnesota. 8. Carolina. 9. Winnipeg. 10. Tampa Bay. 11. Washington (via Colorado). 12. Buffalo. 13. Dallas. 14. Calgary.

Early Top-5 Prediction: 1. Edmonton – Nail Yakupov (F, Sarnia, OHL). 2. Columbus – Mikhail Grigorenko (F, Quebec, QMJHL). 3. Montreal – Ryan Murray (D, Everett, WHL). 4. Matthew Dumba – (D, Red Deer, WHL). 5. Toronto – Alex Galchenyuk (F, Sarnia, OHL).

Dumba an Islander? – “I think I would be a good fit for the Islanders because I’m a versatile defenseman that can play in all scenarios. I think coming into the NHL, there are things that I would have to overcome, but those are the challenges of being a young guy and learning the ropes from the older guys there. I would be a guy that would come in and be willing to absorb everything. I would learn as much as I can while I am there,” said the six-foot, 183-pound Dumba earlier this afternoon. The 17-year-old is currently playing for Team Canada in the Under-18 World Championships in the Czech Republic.

“The game that I would bring to the Islanders is a guy that is a very good skater. I think my skating ability is elite. I think I bring a versatile game and can play in all situations. I can play on the penalty kill, the power play, as well as 4-on-4 and 5-on-5, and be reliable. I don’t ever want to be a liability. I think this year, I have proven that I can play that type of game and be a shutdown guy and log lots of minutes. I don’t think I’m one dimensional, I think my skill-set allows me to be very versatile and go out there and compete. I battle hard. I’m very passionate about the game. When I care about something, I go all out.”

Off the cuff : With Yakupov, Grigorenko and Murray all expected to be picked before the Islanders step up to the podium for their first round selection in June, could the #4 overall pick be tempting enough for other organizations to part with present-day talent and/or future prospects?

Now that the Edmonton Oilers – heavily rumored to draft Murray with their first selection – have won the draft, is Montreal’s P.K. Subban now even more available? If so, would a deal to bring one of John Tavares’ closest friends make hockey sense for the Islanders? Could the Maple Leafs, having missed the playoffs for a seventh consecutive season, dangle the likes of Phil Kessel and/or Luke Schenn to acquire a second top-five pick? Would the Lightning be willing to part with both of their first round picks (#10 & #23), and in turn give the Islanders the option of filling multiple needs, such as a potential top-4 defenseman (London’s 6-foot-2, 200-pound Olli Maatta) and a top-6 forward (Plymouth’s 6-foot-4, 200-pound Tom Wilson).

Or could the Islanders really stand pat and select a forward – either Galchenyuk or Sweden’s Filip Forsberg – in the top-10 for a fifth consecutive year?

Many questions still need to be answered … The 2012 NHL Draft is just 73 days away.