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Edmonton Oilers will still have work to do

Updated: April 20, 2011, 12:55 PM ET
By Alvin Chang

The Edmonton Oilers will have the No. 1 overall pick for the second straight year. And in the salary cap era, it can't be overstated how valuable that is.

First off, picks Nos. 1 and 2 are almost twice as valuable as the No. 3. Players drafted in the top two slots have averaged about 11 GVT per season, using Tom Awad's player valuation metric. Players drafted at Nos. 3, 4 and 5 have averaged about 6 GVT per season. So there's a good chance a top-two pick nets you an all-star player.

These players have to sign entry-level contracts. That means, initially, they are a great financial value. And when those entry-level deals are over, the players are still restricted free agents. That means the drafting team controls these elite players for seven seasons.

So the Oilers will have two of these players, Taylor Hall and this year's top pick. That has to be a recipe for a championship team, right?

We looked at teams from the past 20 years that have had consecutive top-two picks. And we learned the Oilers have a lot to look forward to -- such as playoff appearances. But getting their hands on the Cup is far from a guarantee. In fact, as one team has already proven, the possibility of abject failure is still very real.

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