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NHL Draft Results 2012: Nail Yakupov, Ryan Murray, Alex Galchenyuk Go With First Three Picks

The beginning of the 2012 NHL Draft at CONSOL Energy Center in Pittsburgh went as expected, with the Edmonton Oilers taking the consensus top talent by far, winger Nail Yakupov. Yakupov profiles as a big-time scorer; he's been compared to Alex Ovechkin and Steven Stamkos.

The Columbus Blue Jackets kept the second pick and took defenseman Ryan Murray. Murray appears to be able to help a flailing Blue Jackets franchise immediately, but the flipside of that is that he's been described as a "safe" pick, which is to say he's more about what he provides right now, or at least soon, rather than any stratospheric upside he might be able to achieve in the distant future.

With the third pick, the Montreal Canadiens took center Alex Galchenyuk, a very high-upside player who spent most of the season recovering from an ACL injury. He returned from that injury just before the end of the season. He was widely expected to go in the first three picks, so it was no surprise to see him taken here.

For more on the NHL Draft, check out SB Nation's NHL hub page.

Photographs by dizfunk used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.