For the first time ever, an alumnus of the World Junior A Challenge was the first-overall selection in the NHL Entry Draft after Nail Yakupov was taken with the top pick by the Edmonton Oilers at the 2012 draft in Pittsburgh on Friday night.
Yakupov represented Russia as a 16-year-old at the 2009 tournament in Summerside, P.E.I., scoring twice and adding one assist in four games as the Russians took home the bronze medal.
He is the highest-drafted WJAC alumnus since Kyle Turris was taken third overall by the Phoenix Coyotes in 2007.
Yakupov was the first of five alumni to hear their names called in the first round, which ties a record set at the 2010 draft, and the first of 26 overall, second most at a single draft, after the 28 selected in 2010.
Included in that number are seven members of the gold medal-winning Canada West entry from the 2011 World Junior A Challenge, four of the six players who earned berths on the tournament all-star team in Langley, B.C., and MVP Devin Shore, who was taken with the last pick of the second round, 61st overall by the Dallas Stars.
Since the first World Junior A Challenge in Yorkton and Humboldt, Sask., in 2006, 151 drafted players have taken part in the tournament, either prior to their selection or during the seasons following.
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