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.

  • Slapshot

    Don’t blame YAKOPOV for wanting out of Edmonton ,he had his best year his rookie campaign with Krueger ,then Mac T decides to hire Eakins who sucked the life out of this kid and a lot of other players on this team,bring in Nelson for half a season and Yak starts to get his game going again ,he was playing well with McDavid until they both got hurt,he will move from the Oilers and have success with another NHL team . It always seemed like he wasn’t the consensus pick when the Oilers drafted him,I wish him luck wherever he ends up.

  • Explicit

    This makes me sad, I’m a huge #Yakcity fan!! The kid is going to score 30 one year and I will mock the oilers when it happens!!

    Someone’s going to get a good player for pennies on the dollar

    • Señor Frijoles

      I am a big fan of Yak as well, but I’m no longer convinced of him being a 30 goal guy in the NHL. I hope he does and I wish him nothing but success because he seems like a really great kid and because he has been terribly mismanaged in Edmonton. Sad to see him go. We are clearly selling low on this player, but if Chia can only scrounge up a 2nd round pick for him (as someone else mentioned), then he’s terrible at his job.

      • Sorensenator

        A 2nd is an overpay for a kid with 6 goals. He doesn’t have a brain to navigate the NHL, he will be in the KHL or Swiss League in 2 years.

        If Chia mananges somehow to get more then a 2nd round pick for Nail then the other GM who makes the deal is an idiot.

    • I hope you’re right. In a perfect world, he goes to the Capitals to play with Ovechkin on the other wing. Then the Capitals play the Oilers on game 82, with the Oilers needing the win to make the playoffs. Yakupov pots the winner in OT to eliminate the Oilers from the playoffs.

      I laugh for 3 straight days. Then get sad because the Oilers set an NHL record for ineptitude. Wherever he ends up, will be my second favourite team, and I will be following his progress for the rest of his career. I can’t wait to see what this guy can do on a real actual hockey team that doesn’t play favourites and hold grudges.

  • Time Travelling Sean

    Remember when Eakins’ rep was being a good teacher for young players? My god he sewered Yak’s career in a bad bad way.

    And I know Yak has to take most of the blame-it is his career- but man Eakins just makes me mad to think about him.

  • YakCity1039

    Sh!t just got real. I don’t blame Nail either. The fact he’s playing with Letestu is a joke. Even with the injury to Eberle, he was still playing with Letestu, Hendricks, etc. Also, with at least 8 teams showing interest, shows that he has value. I wish Nail luck in his career moving forward.

    • Bringer_Of_Snow

      Thats what i used to think, but Letestu has 3 times as many goals that Yak has. Not to mention that he literally wasn’t successful with any line besides McDavid. A line in which Eric Belanger could become a 30 goal scorer. I wanted Yak to succeed but his play this season has removed any home i had. He skates around like there are bee’s swarming him, can’t control the puck. I think it’s definitely tie to move on from this disaster.

  • .

    Anyone hear McLellan’s post-game comments ostensibly about Maroon?

    Almost sounded like he was talking about Yak (and Hall) directly:

    Reporter [Maroon] doesn’t seem to have any trouble keeping up, I mean he’s a big guy . . .

    T-Mac: . . . Well, he’s got good hands and he’s smart. There are some really fast guys who go all over the place and really don’t get anything done . . . [Maroon] knows where to go and how to get there and he’s effective when he does.

    As much as one might like Yak, this sounds like a fair comparison with Maroon and says in a nutshell why Yak’s not playing with McD and Maroon is.

  • Harry2

    Can someone please explain to me what Yakupov has done to warrant such blind support from fans? Cause it clearly isn’t his on ice numbers and it clearly isn’t his hockey sense. So what is it?

    • HardBoiledOil 1.0

      yup, the fans undying love for this guy is baffling. he’s done very little on the ice, scoring at a 3rd line level since his rookie year and for a 1st overall it just isn’t anywhere near good enough and that has hurt the Oilers all these years.

      • camdog

        The Oilers hurt themselves by drafting another winger when they didn’t need another young winger. That’s a self inflicted wound by the organisation just like trading 2 high picks for a left d-man when they already had about 4 young Left d-man in the system. It would be nice to see the Oilers learning from their mistakes, unfortunately this season they did the same thing over again.

  • McDaddy

    I think a logical return is chicagos Mark McNeill. Young, can’t crack the Hawks roster, has good size which chia obviously wants. Thinking of Yak playing on the Hawks scares me though..

  • 99 NOW 97

    No surprise , he was going to get traded anyway. The return will not be great but he cannot be given away either. So he could sit for all i care.

    Nail will never come back to haunt us in the fact he turned into everything we thought we would get with a number #1. He is lost out there more often than not. This is the NHL , not juniors or the KHL and he
    did not adapt. He had chances , do not tell me he didnt.

    But as with Hamonic Nail , you will wait till we get what we deem fair value. May not be much but the Oilers will decide, not you.

    Good Luck , good guy but hey…..

  • Oil City Roller

    I’m guessing his agent leaked this in yet another classic Ruski bull crap move. Stankapov said there were eight teams interested and something went wrong? I’ll tell you what went wrong. They all came to their senses and realized they didn’t want some clown who was going to constantly demand a trade or threaten to go to the KHL if things didn’t go his way. Just an outright bust of a draft pick and I say good riddance. Send us a line from Siberia when you get there.

      • Stud Puffin

        He is actually 3rd behind Galchenyuk (154) and Forsberg (125). Lindholm, Reilley, Hertl not far behind. Actually pretty good company to be in the middle of.

      • .

        That’s a little disingenuous. The 2012 draft cohort has eight defensemen in the top ten picks. You’d hope that Yak could outscore 8 defensemen. He can’t outscore the other forward, but it’s not even close: Galchenyuk scored 45% more points than Yak and is a -4, while Yak is a -88.

      • Oil City Roller

        Eight of the top ten drafted were defence. The only other forward drafted in the top ten has more points than Yak. You would ave to go back to 1999 or maybe even 1993 to find a first overall as bad as Yak.

        *drinks too muck Kool-Aid and pees his jeanshorts*

    • Craig1981

      I’m pretty sure he has never threatened to go to the KHL and his trade request was done quietly, respectfully and professionally.

      Nail has shown to be very passionate, yet team oriented. Slandering him because he is Russian isn’t fair and also disrespectful.

  • Enjoyed cheering for him, but he has a very… unique style that doesn’t look like NHL hockey and often doesn’t translate to NHL success.

    He never did seem to get the same benefit of a doubt as some North American players though.

    Would like to see a Ritalin-ed version of him. I think he’s got some great tools if he can slow the game down a little.