It seems possible that Nail Yakupov is in his final days as a member of the Edmonton Oilers. It’s far from a certainty that the first overall pick in the 2012 Draft is shipped off down the line, but if he were to be moved at this year’s trade deadline it also wouldn’t be a big surprise.
“I know the Edmonton Oilers have had discussions about the availability of Nail Yakupov with other teams,” TSN Darren Dreger reported recently. “I would describe it as somewhat unlikely between now and Monday’s trade deadline, perhaps more likely in the offseason.”
In this week’s edition of What Would You Do Wednesday, we ask our readers what they would do with the 22-year-old winger.
Although there may be a few diehards who think that under no circumstances should Yakupov ever leave and a handful on the other end of the spectrum who would ship him away for anything, immediately, I imagine most readers fall into the “it depends” category.
So what kind of deal would it take for it to make sense for Peter Chiarelli to make such a move?
The Filatov. This is the “we’ve given up on this player” portion of the list. In 2011, three years after drafting him, the Columbus Blue Jackets dealt Nikita Filatov to the Ottawa Senators in exchange for a third-round pick. Presumably Chiarelli wouldn’t have much trouble moving Yakupov for a mid-round pick.
The Paajarvi. The timeframe would be the same for Yakupov and Magnus Paajarvi if Yakupov was moved this summer, with four years separating draft date and trade date. Paajarvi was dealt by Edmonton along with second- (No. 33) and fourth-round picks to the St. Louis Blues for David Perron and a third-rounder. If we’re trying to find an equivalent move, it would be a high draft pick plus Yakupov for a veteran second-line forward.
The Niederreiter. People who feel very definite about the quality of young players should keep Nino Niederreiter in mind. The No. 5 pick in the 2010 Draft was dealt by the New York Islanders after first managing just one point in 55 games and then being banished to the AHL for an entire season. He brought back Cal Clutterbuck and a third-round pick. The Yakupov equivalent would be a bottom-six roster player (probably at comparable money) and a sweetener.
The van Riemsdyk. In the summer of 2012, five years after drafting him No. 2 overall, the Philadelphia Flyers traded a disappointing 23-year-old James van Riemsdyk to the Toronto Maple Leafs in exchange for a similarly disappointing 22-year-old Luke Schenn. This is a change-of-scenery deal; one prospect took off and the other never did. An equivalent deal would be Yakupov for a player of about the same age.
The Reinhart. A fellow alumnus of the 2012 Draft, where he went fourth overall, Reinhart was dealt to Edmonton this summer by the Islanders in exchange for first- (No. 16) and second-round (No. 33) draft picks. The equivalent here is pretty obvious: a middling first-round pick and a high second-round pick.
Obviously, the preference of Oilers fans is for the best possible deal. That’s not what we’re asking here; we’re asking how good the deal has to get before you the reader would be willing to move Yakupov. How sweet would the offer from a rival general manager be before you would accept it, and what kind of structure would you be looking for?
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