Don’t look now, but the Edmonton Oilers are building an offensive juggernaut.
After taking can’t-miss scorer Nail Yakupov with the first overall draft pick in the 2012 NHL Draft, the Men of Oil won the bidding for collegiate free agent defenseman Justin Schultz.
Schultz, a second-round pick of the Anaheim Ducks in 2008, played out his college career at Wisconsin without signing a NHL team. Many teams coveted him in free agency, but Edmonton beat out Vancouver, Toronto, Ottawa and the New York Rangers.
This signing filled a major void for the Edmonton, which lacked depth and talent on the blue line.
Many experts figured the Oilers would trade out of the first overall pick and draft a defenseman later in the draft, but Edmonton went ahead and took Yakupov – a pure scorer who has earned Pavel Bure comparisons during his development.
By then adding Schultz to that pick, the already explosive Oilers added two elite offensive prospects to their pile. This team will be a LOT of fun to watch.