Baby-faced centre Ryan Nugent-Hopkins has followed Taylor Hall as the Edmonton Oilers' next brick in their rebuild.

Nugent-Hopkins was the first name called on Day 1 of the NHL entry draft at the Xcel Energy Center a year after the Oilers called rambunctious winger Hall to the stage with the No. 1 selection.

The Oilers listened to some entreaties from the Florida Panthers, who urged them to take centre Stephen Weiss or winger David Booth and move back to the No. 3 pick to select Swedish defenceman Adam Larsson or Saint John Sea Dogs forward Jonathan Huberdeau. But the pitches fell on deaf ears

Nugent-Hopkins weighs just 174 pounds, but he's a gigantic talent.

He has had plenty written about him in Edmonton after playing junior for the Western Hockey League's Red Deer Rebels, but when Tambellini called out his name on Friday, his heart still skipped a beat.

"I don't know what was going through my head. I was just so happy to hear my name," said Nugent-Hopkins, who had Hall on stage with him because the NHL's first pick in 2010 was sitting at their draft table, wearing an Oilers retro jersey.

"Taylor just told me to enjoy the whole experience even as nervous as you are."

"I would hope this is the last year we pick first. Twice in a row is enough," said Hall, who could be on the same line as Nugent-Hopkins next season.

If Nugent-Hopkins can do what every forward going No. 1 since 1989 has done. Make the team right off the bat, hopefully meshing with the 19-year-old Hall. "I guess we won't know until we get on the ice together. I can see it working," said RNH, who is tickled to be joining a group of kids. "It's such a young, talented team with lots of promise for the future."

Nugent-Hopkins has been at Rexall Place plenty of times this past winter and spring, playing against the WHL's Edmonton Oil Kings in the regular season and playoffs.

"Coming into Edmonton as much as I did, I've seen the pictures of the old teams. To join a franchise like the Oilers ... that's a really good feeling."

Nugent-Hopkins, who said he managed a good eight hours of sleep the night before the draft, has no problems going to a Canadian team where the heat will be on him more than if he'd been selected by the Panthers or Colorado Avalanche.