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.

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below

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.

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below

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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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…..

  • 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..

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

    • madjam

      Why trade away Eberle , our best player beyond McDavid ? Pouliot , Hall and Hopkins have all done their best with Eberle on their line riding his coattails . McDavid also doing his best with Eberle on his line . Eberle vastly under appreciated here , and has a very high offensive I.Q. that works very well with star players . Hamonic for Eberle trade we lose big time -nonsense !

      • Word to the Bird

        Huh? Eberle might put up nice boxcar numbers but its blatantly obvious to anyone who watches hockey that he isn’t the driving force on a line. He needs skilled linemates to succeed. Think of Jonathan Cheechoo and Joe Thornton when Joe had his Hart year. Cheechoo scored over 50 goals but nobody is gonna tell you that he was carrying that line.

  • Bringer_Of_Snow

    My opinion would be to ship out Ebs, Yak and Korpi this summer, replacing them with Troy Bouwer, Laine/Pulijaarvi, and McGinn.

    Hall-Drai-Brouwer ($12mil)
    Maroon-McD-Laine ($9mil)
    Pouliot-Nuge-McGinn ($14mil)
    Hendo-Letestu-Kass ($5mil)

    Klefbom-Hamonic ($8mil)
    Sekera-Demers ($9.5mil)
    Davidson-Gryba ($3.5mil)

    Talbot/Broissoit ($5.2mil)

    Ebs for Hamonic (Small + to get it done)
    Yak for anything (possibly Bowey from WSH)
    Korpi for anything

    Keep pick if its a top 3(unless team is willing to give top pairing Dman for Matthews), trade if not outside
    Give Brouwer 2 years $3.5-4.5 mil
    McGinn gets 3 yeas $4mil per
    Demers get 4 years $4mil per
    Resign Kass and Gryba

  • Ol_OneNut

    Yak is getting only $2.5 next year. A very reasonable amount. If they trade him in the off season, they won’t get much back for him.
    I believe they will give him another year and if he hasn’t improved on his overall game, he will be gone at the trade deadline or more likely, next summer.

  • shaner

    yakabust is a bust….thats 99% on him. Don’t start blaming the organization for his failure….when you have one point in something like 27 games, you are brutal and selfish (unless your a defensive specialist)….

    Good Riddance, wish I could say we would be worse off without you but the truth is we can get any player in any league and they would have done as much as you did

  • .

    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.

  • bazmagoo

    I think the Jets, Isles, and Oilers complete an old school 3 way deal in the off season. Nuge to the Jets, Hamonic to the Oilers, and Trouba to the Isles would make sense as the primary pieces. Wouldn’t be surprised if Yak is involved and other players/picks. I think Brock Nelson would be a good fit for the Oil, he’s a similar age to Yak, has some size to him, and has the same cap hit/salary but is signed for 1 more year.

    • Wintoon

      I certainly have nothing against a three way trade. My problem is that in the scenario you have outlined, the Oilers are getting fleeced.

      Nuge is the best player of the three and, if Nuge is involved, the Oilers should be expanding the breadth of this deal and getting an additional asset. This would have to be a competent centre.

      I would not be willing to sacrifice the recently acquired strength at centre to fill a hole on the blue line. We would just end up out of balance once again.

  • OilCan2

    Straight across for a roster D man could be a win based on the next season.

    Yak could really bloom in a second line scoring role with a steady number of minutes and a decent center.

    I wish him well.

  • McRaj

    Yak definitely has not panned out but no one should blame him for wanting to be traded. The oilers organization is a s*it show and I’m surprised more players haven’t asked to be traded. Hopefully this wakes Katz up. And secondly before we jump on yak (which I have in the past) dont forget how much oilers fans wanted him in 2012. Katz took him largely due to pressure from oilers fans. Don’t be hypocrites now and say we shoulda taken x player or y player.

  • bazmagoo

    Does Nuge and Yak to the Islanders for Hamonic and Nelson make sense to anyone else? I think that’s a pretty logical move for Chiarelli to make if he has a trading partner. Nuge is the best player in the deal, Yakupov is the worst. #YakCity could definitely turn his game around, but it’s not happening in Edmonton.

    • JimmyV1965

      I’m not doing that deal if I’m Snow. Nuge might be the best player in the deal, but the gap between Yak and the other players is way too big. The Isles would probably want Ebs anyway. They’re got centres. They will need a sniper.

        • JimmyV1965

          I wouldn’t say he’s a game changer at all. He’s a piece Edmonton desperately needs though. I don’t care if the Oil get Hamonic. But we definitely need a dman like him.

        • The Whispererer

          Hamonic is a shutdown type defender who is often near the top of the league in hits. But he is not the all-around guy including PP QB that we need. He is usually in the 20 to 30 point per year range.
          He would absolutely be a good acquisition but we also need to find a Pietrangelo/Shattenkirk type if we hope to be a contender next year.

          • Sorensenator

            Thank you I have been waiting for someone else to say this about Hamonic. He is a good d man but we definitely need a game changer on the back end, we have not seen that in ten years. ………..sigh

      • bazmagoo

        I think the Isles flip Nuge to the Jets for Trouba. They’d get a potential sniper in Yak and fill the hole left by Hamonic’s departure. I think if the Jets wanted to do Hamonic for Trouba it’d be done. They need offence.

  • Oiler Al

    Sorry,time to move on from this gong show.

    It was everyone elses fault but Yaks. Cant play with this guy, or that guy .Only with
    cDavid. Guess what, my dog could play with #97 and pop a few goals.

    Eakins, Mamgt. screwed him over. Well it was the same Mgmt./coach that Nuge, Eberle, Hall,Schultz etc that played for, and they still seem to be scoring points etc.

    It was dumb to go public with this, typical , ignorant Larianov.Let him rot for a while.He may jump to the KHL,no loss, you wont get anything for him anyway at this point …. 7 th rounder.

    Yak nice guy,bad agent.See Ya. and Good Luck you will need it.

  • hockey1099

    Yak will get one more two year contract at most. After that it’s time for the khl. Yak was not ruined by the organization they can’t make the kid learn how to play he has to do that on his own. He is just a terrible hockey player. Where the oilers failed was in drafting him. One of the reasons we suck so bad is because we can not draft worth a damn. Yak is further proof of this. We should have identified that it was a weak draft and moved the pick for a roster player. Hopefully we improve at player procurement from this point forward.