There's a chance three players with Russian ties could be among the top five picks at the 2012 NHL Draft on June 22 at Consol Energy Center in Pittsburgh.
If it happens, it will be the first time since 2001, when Ilya Kovalchuk, Alexander Svitov and Stanislav Chistov were chosen first, third and fifth, respectively. There's also a possibility Russian players could go first and second overall for the first time since 2004, when Alex Ovechkin went No. 1 to the Washington Capitals and Evgeni Malkin was taken No. 2 by the Pittsburgh Penguins.
"It would be great if that many Russian players went in the draft, but for me, I want to be No. 1," NHL Central Scouting's top-rated North American skater, Nail Yakupov of the Sarnia Sting, told NHL.com.