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Oilers win draft lottery, can pick first for third straight year

By Adam Gretz | Hockey writer
The Columbus Blue Jackets are only two days into their offseason and they still keep finding ways to lose. Entering Tuesday's NHL draft lottery with a 48 percent chance of getting the No. 1 pick in the 2012 draft -- by far the highest chance of any team in the lottery -- due to having the worst record in the league, the Blue Jackets ended up losing the draft lottery, watching as the Edmonton Oilers moved up from No. 2 to No. 1.

It will be the third straight year Edmonton will have the top pick in the draft.

Only Columbus, Edmonton, Toronto, Montreal and the New York Islanders had an opportunity to move up the No. 1 spot. Any other team that won would have moved up only four spots.

The Oilers picked first overall in each of the past two years, having selected Taylor Hall in 2010 and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins in 2011. The last time a team picked first overall three straight years, as the Oilers will now do unless they trade their pick, was the 1989-1991 Quebec Nordiques. They used those picks to select Mats Sundin, Owen Nolan and Eric Lindros.

The rest of the top-five:

1. Edmonton Oilers
2. Columbus Blue Jackets
3. Montreal Canadiens
4. New York Islanders
5. Toronto Maple Leafs

The 2012 NHL Draft will be held at the Consol Energy Center in Pittsburgh on June 22 and 23, and the consensus top prospect heading into it is Sarnia Sting forward Nail Yakupov.

Also at Eye On Hockey

Central Scouting draft rankings
A look at the top prospects
For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnHockey and @agretz on Twitter and like us on Facebook.
 
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