The Oilers, picking first overall for the third straight year, opted for the dynamic 18-year-old forward of the Sarnia Sting of the Ontario Hockey League on Friday night. Yakupov scored 31 goals in 42 games last season and broke Steven Stamkos' franchise rookie scoring record in 2010-11 when he finished with 49 goals and 101 points.
Yakupov is the first Russian-born player to be taken with the top pick since the Washington Capitals grabbed Alex Ovechkin in 2004. Yakupov joins a young core that includes centre Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, the top selection in 2011 and winger Taylor Hall, the first pick in 2010.
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