For the third straight year the Edmonton Oilers are positioned to make the number one pick in the NHL Draft. After selecting Taylor Hall in 2010 and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins in 2011, general manager Steve Tambellini will step to the podium in Pittsburgh to unveil his latest top choice.
You can catch all the drama and excitement of the first round of the 2012 NHL Draft live now on TSN and TSN.ca. The Draft is also available on TSN Mobile TV.
After choosing TSN's consensus top-ranked player in each of the last two drafts, the Oilers likely selection this year is consensus No. 1 ranked draft prospect Nail Yakupov of the Sarnia Sting. The 5-foot-11, 190-pound Russian born winger, who features an impressive combination of speed and skill, had 31 goals and 69 points in 42 games for the OHL's Sting.
When asked about the likelihood of trading out of the top spot, Oilers GM Steve Tambellini's said he would have to be blown away to make any deal.
"It would have to be something significant ... that makes sense for me to give up the No. 1 pick," said Tambellini. "Winning the lottery puts us in another spot for an incredible piece that will bring us forward. And I'm very comfortable, if it stays as is, we're going to make our pick."
Besides Yakupov, defenceman Ryan Murray of the WHL's Everett Silvertips may also be a consideration for the Oilers. TSN's No. 2 ranked prospect, Murray is known for his smooth skating, offensively efficient style.
Following the Columbus Blue Jackets, who have the second overall pick, the Montreal Canadiens sit in the No. 3 position.
Possibilities at that spot include No. 3 ranked Swedish prospect Filip Forsberg as well as punishing defenceman Griffin Reinhart of the WHL's Edmonton Oil Kings.
The Toronto Maple Leafs have the No. 5 pick following the New York Islanders at No. 4. Rumours have swirled around Maple Leafs president and general manager Brian Burke trading up, but if Burke does decide to make the pick, hard-hitting, No. 6 ranked defenceman Mathew Dumba or playmaking centre Alex Galchenyuk of the Sarnia Sting will likely be available.
The next Canadian team to make a selection will be the Winnipeg Jets at the No. 9 spot. The Jets could lean towards TSN top-10 ranked defencemen Morgan Rielly of the Moose Jaw Warriors, U.S.-born Jacob Trouba or Olli Maatta of the London Knights.
Beyond the top 10, the Calgary Flames have the 14th pick, while the Ottawa Senators are set to pick 15th.
The Vancouver Canucks will be the last Canadian team to pick as they sit in the 26th position.
Of course, things could change drastically if teams at the top of the draft decide to shake things up by dealing picks and/or players.
Blue Jackets GM Scott Howson is actively shopping Rick Nash and has said he is willing to entertain offers for the second-overall pick.
"We're going to stay at (No.) 2 or move back," Howson said.
"There's a few possibilities in terms of us moving back," he added. "So we're going to look at that and see if that's something we want to do. If we stick at 2, we're pretty confident in the player we're going to take."
The potential trade of Canucks goalie Roberto Luongo could also shake things up.
Canucks assistant GM Laurence Gilman remained non-committal when asked about a potential Luongo trade, saying, "Mike (GM Mike Gillis) has entertained calls about both our goaltenders."
Trade rumours involving Luongo have been linked to both the Toronto Maple Leafs and the Florida Panthers, who sit in the 23rd slot.
- with files from The Canadian Press