NHL Network analyst Craig Button, like most hockey fans, watched with great interest the results of the 2012 NHL Draft Lottery.
With the win, the Edmonton Oilers
earned the right to pick No. 1. And in Button's opinion, the choice is clear -- Sarnia Sting right wing Nail Yakupov
, the top-rated North American skater in NHL Central Scouting's final ranking.
is too good a player for the Edmonton Oilers
to bypass," said Button. "The Edmonton fan base, they know about stars. Nail Yakupov
has star written all over him."
At No. 2, Button sees the Columbus Blue Jackets
dipping into the deep pool of available defenseman by opting for Everett Silvertips blueliner Ryan Murray
"[Murray is] a real steady, strong defenseman," said Button. "Maybe not flashy, but incredibly effective. He's a leader, he's a player that will play 15 years in the League and he will help a team win."
At No. 3, Button sees the Montreal Canadiens
going for center Mikhail Grigorenko
, who plays for Canadiens legend Patrick Roy
with the Quebec Remparts.
"You hear so much talk about their center ice and not being big in the forward ranks," said Button, "Grigorenko is a perfect complement to Tomas Plekanec
and David Desharnais
With the fourth pick, Button believes the New York Islanders
will take Swedish forward Filip Forsberg
"We know they've taken forwards a lot," said Button, "but with Filip Forsberg
, arguably he's in the same class as Nail Yakupov
. Too big, too skilled, too determined. I believe he adds a tremendous amount to the Islanders' group."
With the fifth pick, Button envisions the Toronto Maple Leafs
selecting Sarnia's Alex Galchenyuk
. The center missed most of the season with a knee injury, but that will be a thing of the past when next season starts.
"He's a player that reminds me of Ron Francis
," said Button. "And for a team in dire need of centermen, Alex Galchenyuk
fits the bill."