- Neate Sager of Yahoo! Sports and Andrey Osadchenko of Oilers Nation: Igor Larionov has said that the Maple Leafs may want to trade up in the draft for Nail Yakupov and/or Alex Galchenyuk, as neither may be there when they draft at #5. Larionov added the Blue Jackets are also interested in Yakupov, “Scott Howson, Craig Patrick and Tyler Wright spent two days in Sarnia with Yakupov and his family. It’s a serious indication they really want him.” Larionov:
Tambellini told me: ‘We like him. We want him. But we’re going to make a decision the day before the draft’. I also know the Habs want to get one of my guys – either Nail or Alex [Galchenyuk]. So do the Leafs. It is possible that the Leafs are going to trade their draft pick and get both of them. There is a possibility like that. Nail and Alex went to New Jersey for Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Finals. After this they met Leafs GM Brian Burke. Then Nail met with the Habs.
- Cory Pronman of ESPN: The Oilers have some nice pieces along the blueline like Ladislav Smid, Jeff Petry and Nick Schultz, and some nice prospects in Oscar Klefbom, David Musil, Martin Marincin and Martin Gernat. Pronman thinks the Oilers need to draft Nail Yakupov with the 1st overall pick. Yes, the Oilers could use a top end defenseman, but the draft isn’t the place to fill that need. Murray may have the potential to be one at some point, but it can take defensemen a few years to get there. Going the trade route may be their best option. The Predators and Coyotes could use some scoring help and are stocked with good, young Dmen. The Coyotes have 3 nice Dmen in Oliver Ekman-Larsson, David Rundblad and Brandon Gormley. Some think that Jordan Eberle may be looking for a contract more than he’s worth when he becomes a RFA after 2013-14.