- Associated Press - Saturday, June 25, 2011

ST. PAUL, MINN. (AP) - The NHL draft has resumed, and the Western Hockey League is supplying more top talent.

The Edmonton Oilers made the first pick Saturday, taking defenseman David Musil to start the second round. The St. Louis Blues, without a first-round selection Friday, grabbed right wing Ty Rattie with the 32nd pick.

Musil and Rattie played in the WHL last season. The Oilers opened the draft Friday by taking center Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, the first WHL player to go first overall since 1996.

The host Minnesota Wild drew a cheer from the crowd by dealing their third- and fourth-round picks to the Vancouver Canucks and moving into the second round to take left wing Mario Lucia at No. 60. Lucia played at Wayzata High School in the Twin Cities area, and his father Don is head coach at the University of Minnesota.

Minnesota is home to a multitude of Scandinavian descendants, particularly Sweden. So this was the perfect place for Swedes to dominate the top of the NHL draft.

For the first time in league history, four players born in Sweden were among the top 10 selections. There were a record-tying six Swedes taken in the first round Friday night, matching the totals from 1993 and 2009.

“It’s really cool,” said defenseman Jonas Brodin, who went to the hometown Wild with the 10th pick.

Left wing Gabriel Landeskog was selected second by the Colorado Avalanche. Defenseman Adam Larsson went fourth to the New Jersey Devils. Mika Zibanejad was taken with the sixth pick by the Ottawa Senators.

“I know those guys. They’re really good guys. It’s very good for Sweden,” Brodin said.

The seven top-10 picks from Sweden in the last three years matched the number of top-10 Swedes over the 23 years before that. Clearly, the talent pool in the northern European hockey hotbed is continuing to grow.

Half of the 30 first-rounders hail from Canada, including the first pick by the Edmonton Oilers, center Ryan Nugent-Hopkins of the Western Hockey League. Five were Americans, with one each from Denmark, Finland, Russia and Switzerland.

Zibanejad, if he makes the team, will join a couple of Swedes on the Senators roster, including captain Daniel Alfredsson.

“I think being a part of the team with the Swedes is helping a lot,” Zibanejad said. “I think I can take that as an advantage, for sure.”

Landeskog had 36 goals in 53 games last season for the Kitchener Rangers of the Ontario Hockey League. Larsson played two full seasons for Skelleftea and was the third blue-liner in Swedish Elite League history to make his debut at age 16. Zibanejad _ born in Stockholm to a Finnish mother and an Iranian father _ played for Djurgarden. Brodin played for Farjestad.

The remaining rounds, two through seven, were scheduled for Saturday. There were a handful of trades that headlined the first day, too.

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