Oilers unlikely to swap No. 1 pick, despite fans’ speculation

Maybe all you folks with those trade ideas to move the No. 1 overall pick in the June NHL entry draft should forward your proposals to Steve Tambellini. You could go right to the guy making the final call, never mind voicing your opinion on the talk shows and the blogs.

The Oilers general manager could look them over and run them by his scouting staff this week at their meetings before the draft in Pittsburgh on June 22. Maybe Nail Yakupov isn’t what the Oilers need — did you see where AK Bars Kazan might be making a play for Alex Burmistrov, the former No. 1 draft pick of the Atlanta Thrashers (before they relocated to Winnipeg) even though he has one year left on his entry level NHL contract?

Maybe the Oilers don’t want the hassle of taking fellow Russian Yakupov.

Before you say, “Yeah, but Yakupov has been playing the last two years in the Ontario Hockey League with the Sarnia, so he’s North Americanized,” remember that Burmistrov played one junior year in Barrie. It’s all about the money.

There certainly wasn’t this hysteria to trade the first pick in 2010 when Windsor Spitfires left-winger Taylor Hall was on the board. The prevailing opinion was the Oilers should have moved heaven and earth to get the No. 2 pick held by Boston so they could take Tyler Seguin too, so the Oilers would have a winger and a centre. It didn’t happen.

Last June, there was absolutely no discussion of moving the No. 1 pick, with Ryan Nugent-Hopkins high on everybody’s list — scouts and fans.

Now? The Oilers lucked into the No. 1 pick for a third straight year, winning the draft lottery when they had the 29th-best record over 82 games.