It has been a tough year for Nail Yakupov, and news today of a trade request should not have come as a surprise for anyone.

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Eronko routinely breaks these kinds of news items, so suggest we dispense with the ‘if true’ portion of the lecture and advance to what kind of return one could expect. During this season, Nail has been injured (just a noxious moment, ridiculous) and he has not been scoring, but his possession numbers are back to rookie level and he has done some reasonable offensive things when placed with a capable center.

  • With Letestu: 45.7 percent possession, one point in 215:51 (0.28/60 5×5)
  • With McDavid: 52.1 percent possession, eight points in 201:58 (2.38/60 5×5)

So, if there is a team out there who has a quality center but needs a $2.5 million winger, then maybe there is a market for Nail. You are not going to get a massive return, probably a player with some issues or a skill set that is repeated elsewhere on the roster. Damon Severson from New Jersey? That team hit a homer with Kyle Palmieri last summer and the Devils need forwards. Source


Hell if I know. Stuff happens. I suspect we will see this roll out in the summer, and none of us can be surprised. I love the kid based on all we have heard, but can understand being a square peg in a round hole (it has happened to me, maybe you, too) and sometimes a man needs to find his own place in life.

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One final thing: If you are going to try to convince me that Nail Yakupov is the guy who has to leave, then you better tell me Lauri Korpikoski is already gone. Bah! Oilers.

  • Bills Bills

    I still hope they don’t trade him. We trade him it means we have to replace him. I believe Ebs will be gone this summer in order to acquire a legitimate d man. Nuge may be gone too if the return on the blue line warrants it. Nail will never be what people had hoped. But he can be a forechecking top 6 winger in this league with a great shot.

    I don’t give Nail a pass as he has lacked a bit in his ability to grow with his coaches. But I also think he has felt like the outsider a lot of times. Are there any other Russian speaking people on the oilers team or staff? Has there been? It may not seem like a big deal to you but I know my amazing fiancée is Spanish and while she also speaks English and French very well, she doesn’t understand much once more than one person is talking or if people talk too fast. He needs to be more up front if that’s the case. But remember that he’s still essentially a kid. I hope the best for you Nail. I will always be a fan of your effort.

    • Vic Venom

      He is a bust, he has done very little the last 2 season, and he is just not suited for a bottom 6 role in edmonton. He just hasnt produced enought to justify a top 6 role. Blaming the lack of russian staff on the team is an excuse, he just hasnt produced.

  • Oilerz4life

    I can only really see Yak fitting in in the KHL at this point. That’s the problem with Russians, they are a risky investment. I’m with Don Cherry on that one.

    I mean he needs a top six role with the right guy, like Roy, kind of a drama queen that way. He’s not a bottom six guy. I don’t really see Yakupov fitting anywhere in the NHL but maybe I’m wrong.

    Best just package him up and try to get something back in return. Wasted investment. Draft bust.

  • IMO if you can’t split the fault 50/50 between Yak and the Oilers organization, there are some bias issues you have to address.

    Yak was stunted with poor linemates, not put into positions where he’s excelled at (half wall on the PP, for example), and never had the same development path as the other Oilers young talent.

    Despite being on the 3rd line, he could have shines against 3rd line opponents. If linemates weren’t helping his offense, he could have at least shown a proficiency in defending (if he can’t defend against 3rd liners, he can’t against the NHL’s best), and when facing the other team’s weaker players could have done more in stripping pucks, more in causing turnovers, and demonstrated some speed against these weaker opponents.

    Putting too much blame on Yak absolves the Oilers of having a poor player development program (I can think of many young Oilers that were wasted away in this manner) and putting too much blame on the Oilers absolves Yakupov of failing to take some initiative on his own development (I’d put some of the blame on Larionov as well, if you ask me).

    By putting our own biases into play, we’re not going to learn any lessons here. And IMO in this scenario, there are a few valuable lessons. If the only lesson you’ve derived is “don’t draft Russians”, you’re a bonehead.

  • Poke Check

    Can anyone explain why Nail’s agent would be given the go ahead to lead the trade talks with other teams? Nail’s not a UFA, nor will he be one at the end of his present contract, so I can’t see there being any need to negotiate an extension in order to facilitate something.

    • Curcro

      There are a few reason aside from contract that an agent would want in.

      1) Sell the team on the player. The agent’s job is to make his player look good. So by going directly to the GM, and selling the upside, and then downplaying any concerns.

      2) Also can act as a mediator between the two GMs. Much like a real estate agent does during a house sale. e.g. Boston may not want to deal with PC directly, but a deal may happen through a 3rd party.

      3) Influence the current teams GM. So after having discussions with other GMs about where he will fit in. The agent might try to push for the team that is the best situation for his guy.

    • Oil drop

      The team did not need to do anything. They were asked for a trade. They said okay agent you go out and Guage interest for your client.

      Basically the g.m. passed of much of the leg work to the agent. It was respectful of the players ask. It is how nhl teams get good reputations.

      Down the road a potential free agent may have said I won’t sign there becuase they didn’t trade so and so.

      The g.m. saved effort and time to focus on other things like the maroon trade. If this had related in a deal great. It did not so we will see this summer

    • pkam

      Why not?

      Do you really want a player who wants out in your roster?

      Let the player and his agent get an idea of how easy it is to get a deal done for them so they won’t be holding grudge towards the team if a deal was not made as soon as they want.


    this is the end…. in adele’s voice in james bond’s movie. tbh I am not very happy about this but I am not surprised. I don’t know what to say except SCREW YOU you yak haters. I guess Mr. terry jones was almost right when he said yak was going to get traded… yak will score and he will prove many people wrong like spector etc. btw i think he’s been treated a lil bit unfairly by the media. I saw schultz play for the penguins a week ago and he seemed 3 inches taller I expect the same to happen with nail. after we clear out the so called “dead wood” what’s next?

  • madjam

    It is not easy to get good/reasonable value for Nail once they go public in their demands , or he would have been traded by now . Harmonic in much the same situation for Isles management . Going public just complicates things and brings about a lesser return for club . Many players request a trade , but few do it publicly .

    • camdog

      PC told the entire league that Yak was on the market at the trade deadline. Playing Yak with Letestu was the coach telling the league that Yak wasn’t going to be here next season. The media knows he won’t be here next season. Every fan on this blog site knew Yak wasn’t going to be here next here. Yak going public changes nothing. The organisation has already told everybody that he won’t be here!

  • ponokanocker

    Good luck Yak, wherever you end up. Your passion will be missed.

    I do have to wonder about his ability to be an effective player in the NHL though. We all want to blame Eakins for his demise, but the player has to take credit for failures as well. Considering a competent NHL coach, McLellan, wasn’t willing to put him on the top 2 lines for a lot of games, makes me wonder if there aren’t larger issues here. Hopefully Yakupov can work on those and have success in his career.

  • Zarny

    It’s certainly the opposite of surprising that Yakupov would request a change of scenery. It’s a crowded house and he’s odd man out. The logic is sound, if he doesn’t fit in the top 6 it makes sense to move him.

    It’s sad how many comments feel the need to personally disparage Yakupov, or any player for that matter. How small and insecure you must be. By all accounts, he’s a great kid with a good attitude. Whether in Edm or elsewhere there is no need to wish him anything but the best.

  • TKB2677

    If Yak is as great as all the Yak lovers or people who stick up for him say he is and the Oilers are screwing him over and being stupid, why hasn’t a rival GM stepped up to get him? If it costs you a 2nd rounder or a 3rd liner with some size, if Yak is a true top 6 player, a GM should be jumping at that because you are immediately improving your team and “winning” the trade.

    It was reported at 8 teams had interest in Yak. The fact no one stepped up to get him if he really is that good, tells me those 8 teams had “interest” as long as it cost them nothing. The Ducks traded Maroon who they thought was a 3rd/4th liner for a 4th rounder and a D prospect that probably isn’t an NHLer PLUS they picked up 25% of his salary. If that’s all it cost to get Maroon and Yak is better than Maroon according to some, it should be a slam dunk to trade the Oilers a player you call a “3rd liner” and the other team should be laughing the whole time because they schooled the Oilers. Yet no team is willing to give Chia even CLOSE to what he wants. Who knows, maybe Chia wants a 1st rounder. I doubt it.

    • MorningOwl

      what on earth has Yak EVER shown that suggests to you he would be even an average third liner? he is eith a top six scorer, or he is back in the KHL. he is not hard on the puck, is not a strong defensive player, is not able to shut others down. third liners aren’t judged on goal potential first, but on ability to check other’s top-lines without being scored on. Yakipov? seriously?

    • #1 overall waivers pick

      Chia was asking for 2 second round picks for Yak but no takers.

      Both Pat Falloon and Yak were very high picks who played 4 years before being traded.

      Falloon is a good example of what Yak should be worth.

      After playing in San Jose for four years, Falloon was traded November 16, 1995 to the Philadelphia Flyers in exchange for LW Martin Spanhel, a first round draft choice in the 1996 Entry Draft and a third round draft choice.

      Chia would do cart wheels he could get a similar return for Yak.

      Just shows how the mighty has fallen.

  • madjam

    Sounds like Nail may want a trade, but Oilers may keep him even into next season to get more trade value out of him . They are playing him more to up his value at end of season , but will it be enough to let him go in off season ?

  • K.Pal

    OK let me get this straight……Yak to whoever for the preverbal bag of pucks….. Eberle to NY for Harmonik …. 1st round pick for another defenceman…. and our first line right wing is………………..Hmmmmmmmmmm. What’s wrong with this picture?