In this blog, I’m going to give a short write up for the past 6 first round picks by Edmonton since 2009.
6. Magnus Pääjärvi-Svensson.
Magnus Pääjärvi looked to be a tremendous pick in 2009 when the Edmonton Oilers drafted him 10th Overall. Pääjärvi had lots of potential and hopes were high on him. He had a memorable first pre season game against Tampa Bay on September 23, 2010 when he registered 4 points including a hat trick and a assist. He was promising and unfortunately, not everything went his way. After slow development the Oilers looked at other options. Pääjärvi hit long strides this past season and started to get looks again. Now he’s in St. Louis where he got traded to along with a 2nd rounder in 2014 in exchange for David Perron.
5. Taylor Hall
Taylor Hall was the historic first pick in the 2010 NHL Entry Draft when Edmonton selected him 1st Overall. Since then, the Edmonton Oilers and Taylor haven’t looked back. Taylor Hall has been exceptional since his rookie season and he looked like he truly broke out this past season averaging 1.11 points per game. Pretty outstanding. He’s a true leader and he shows up every game, puts everything into each shift. He’s very determined. Taylor Hall is my favorite to be the next captain for the Edmonton Oilers.
4. Ryan Nugent-Hopkins
Ryan Nugent-Hopkins is arguably one of the most important pieces to the Edmonton Oilers from now on. He’s the #1 center and he has great chemistry with Hall and Eberle. Nugent-Hopkins had a spectacular rookie season, in which he was a Calder finalist. His sophomore season wasn’t as good as his rookie campaign, below average in other words. Nugent-Hopkins required surgery during the shortened season and hopes to be healthy as soon as possible.
3. Oscar Klefbom
Oscar Klefbom is a strong two-way defenseman, a great skater and a leader. Klefbom has all the tools to become a top pairing defenseman in the NHL. He’s very mature and steady. Above average hockey IQ. He has flourished in Sweden playing for Farjëstad BK until his season ended this past season with a shoulder injury which required surgery. Klefbom has a lot of upside which, if developed properly, he could turn into a top pairing rearguard. He’s a intregal part to the future of the Edmonton Oilers success.
2. Nail Yakupov
Nail Yakupov, the Niznekhamsk born Russian machine is a unbelieveable talent. He has a world class shot, arguably the best on the Edmonton Oilers, elite vision and elite skill. His skating is excellent. He’s a firefly. He has great personality and is liked by teammates. Nail was drafted 1st Overall in 2012 by the Edmonton Oilers and hasn’t disappointed. He had a great rookie season which he lit it up late in the season.
1. Darnell Nurse
Darnell Nurse was drafted 7th overall by the Edmonton Oilers. He is 6’4 185 lbs and with a bit more muscle, he could be a solid 6’4 210 lb top 4 defenseman in a couple years. He’s a leader and he’s determined to have success. He has the drive to potentially play on opening night. I think he’ll go back to junior and develop. That’s what’s best for him and the Oilers.