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.

      • Namudi

        I am a huge oilers fan, just frustrated yak is my favorite player. Where ever he goes, I just hope that he will be used properly.

        He never ever got a fair shake here in edmonton.

        You can’t blame the last 4 years on yak and justin shultz.

        The media bashes him day in and day out, guys like Robin Brownlee, Jason Gregor, Bob Stauffer, Rob Brown, made it there jobs to run this kid out of town.

        I hate how people say anyone that plays with Mcdavid would score, look at Hall, they couldn’t even produce a shot on net.

        Yak and Mcdavid had great chemistry were meshing really well, as soon as eberle came back yak automatically gets pushed down to 3rd and 4th line.

        Skilled players should play with skilled players, which is why I’m super frustrated with the handling of yakupov. If you read the full interview you will get a great insight on his situation, and I’ve been saying this for months.

        All people say is he is a defensive liability, blah blah blah. When he goes to a new team it will be a fresh start and I honestly think he will get a fair shake, he might end up on mtl, Pittsburgh, where ever he goes I’ll will support him.

        Anyways that’s all. Good night

  • 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.

  • Hockey Buddha

    I like Yak, but predicting his future as an NHL hockey player is beyond my fortune telling abilities. He’s 22, frustrated, and hates losing. I can see his career going in a lot of different directions, but if he wants a fresh start, he should have to earn it and play his way somewhere else.

    Depending on what position the Oilers draft, Jesse Puljujarvi looks like a potentially good option as a RWer. The Oilers need a second line RWer, and if Yak isn’t the guy…

    I also think Eberle’s name now needs to come off the table.

    • Namudi

      If we get pululvari or laine or austin. I feel really bad for them.

      Because obviously guys like korp and Letestu are better then them.

      “But yak is a defensive liability”.

      So is jordan Eberle taylor hall even Leon is a liability. You tell me this what singles out yak?

      McLellan is a great coach, but he can’t coach this team for the life of him. krueger actually believed in his players and he didnt throw them all under the bus midway through the season.

      “We need to get bigger stronger, deeper as an organization.”

      He likes coaching old responsible players hence Letestu korp getting more ice time then yak.

      I’m a huge oiler fan but the way they handled yak ever since the eakins Era was truly unfair, he will get a shot with a team where he is appreciated an he will gain confidence and become the player he was when he first came to edmonton in 2012

    • geeker99

      I knew this was going to happen, we own a hockey player so talented that playing with him boost value. Their is no doubt that Eberle is a talent in the “o” zone and has great hands. He is also 26 years old and doesn’t have a defensive or aggressive bone in his body. If their trade piece isn;t stapled to Conner then something is wrong.

      as for Yak I remember when he was playing with Roy and learning and smiling. If you have a leader (Yagr, Datsuyk) that could mentor this kid I feel this could be a steal. Seasoned vets have been missing since 07. our next captain is 19 and thats sad.

  • FireScorpion

    Another one who wants out of Deadmonton, don’t blame him one bit. Remember how happy Perron,Dubnyk, Petry, Schultz were to leave? Yeah even McFalseProphet isn’t enough to entice people to stay

    Yak woke up and smelled the coffee

  • S cottV

    Yak didn’t know how to play the game at an NHL level in his first year, for anyone who looked beyond a few goals and assists.

    He was and is atrocious – flying by the seat of his pants. I clearly remember looking closely at Yak back then, saying holy – that’s gonna be a big project, teaching that kid how to play the game. A plus / minus bad dream, that turned into a nightmare when the pluses dried up after his first year.

    I really think he is one of those guys who just can’t comprehend and process the requirements of the game, at an NHL pace. It’s never gonna happen.

    Either that – or he has failed to discipline himself to take a major weakness and turn it completely around. Sit down with the 100’s of qualified people that would be willing to help him, review game film and figure out where his game falls out with NHL Coaches – and fix it. He has had the time, but I suspect it’s been devoted to how do I score more goals and someone said shoot more – from anywhere.

    Please it’s just time.

    Sure – some woulda, coulda, shoulda’s but mostly it’s on Yak’s failure to adjust, work the problem and find a way to fit in.

    That all being said – I hope Yak finds a way in a new place to get it going.

    It’s not a fit for the bigger and or harder to play against direction, that the Oilers are hopefully proceeding with. In the here and now, it doesn’t work and the reasonable projections on his future are highly questionable.

    Do the deal and don’t look back.

  • Jiff

    I think he was another young mishandled player by the Oil. At this point though he’s just another question mark of a player that we won’t have to worry about anymore.

      • S cottV

        In retrospect – with 20:20 hindsight, the Oilers should have put him in the AHL for a couple of years.

        Would have played top 6 at a pace of play, where maybe with coaching – he could have built a base for understanding the flip side of the game – to build from.

        I really think that Yak is overwhelmed at an NHL pace of play – particularly in top 6.

        You can see his physical jerky actions on the ice and I really think the same thing happens in his mind, as he tries mentally processing both on offence and particularly on defence.

        As an example – McD can operate at light speed and still process.

        Yak can’t. It needs to slow down for him and be built up through practice, as much as may be possible.

        That being said – you cant explain the difference between McD and Yak at high speed processing – as just a matter of practice. A big chunk of it – is genetics. For the most part, you have it or you don’t.

  • Reg Dunlop

    So does this officially end the oil’s foray into Russian player acquisition? Hopefully not but the lesson to be learned is buyer beware. No more valuable 1st round picks on players from east of Helsinki.

    Does Yak dress for remaining games now this info has gone public? I suppose he should, it helps our lotto odds.

  • Jimmer

    I give it two seasons after he is traded to an organization that “appreciates” his talents he will be in the KHL or some Euro league that will allow him do whatever it is he wants….so basically play like he did in Sarnia.

    He is at about 250 NHL games right now. He will be out of the league before he hits 500 games.

    Too bad…some guys get it….some guys just never will.

  • Ty Guy

    some day Yak will have a column in his stats that reads 50G….i just hope it isn’t a career NHL total line. my money says he’s in the KHL in 3 years.

    sorry it did work out in Edmonton Nail..

    • hockey1099

      Dear god that is a tough read. Lol. It appears that yak wants a top 6 role where ever he is. Good luck with that. The one organization that might gift you top 6 minutes without earning it is Edmonton. Most other organizations will make earn your spot.

      After reading this I don’t even know if he will be in the nhl after next season.

  • crabman

    I have always been a Yak fan and still will be when he’s gone but the fit was never right in Edmonton. The Oilers never should have used that pick. The team was already full of young skilled forwards in the top 6 and there was no place for another. That pick could have brought in much needed help on the back end but the Oilers were too worried about missing out on the next Bure and losing the trade that they couldn’t help but make the pick. Now they are left with the same hole on the back end and a potential trade of a #1 pick for cents on the dollar.
    I hope Yak goes on and has himself a productive carrer wherever he ends up.

  • Serious Gord

    He’s on track to be the biggest number one bust ever. Uncoachable or unable to learn or adapt. His failure to develop into what is expected of a number one has had a profound effect on the team the past three years.

    Ambivalent about his moving on. 80% of the cause for his failure lies with him. Not necessarily because of his lack of effort – more likely he just doesn’t have the ability to be an elite player – one worthy of being a number one pick.

  • Max

    Yak has to EARN a place on an NHL team, it’s not his God given right. He plays well (at times) with better players, and plays badly (most of the rest of the time). His +/- is atrocious and his decisions to openly state he would not play in the AHL or KHL has done more harm than good. He cannot defend and does not seem to be able to follow instructions from the coaching staff. He should never have been taken as the #1, even tho it was a soft draft year. The Oilers should have picked something they NEEDED, not the best player available (questionable) He has never proved he was deserving of the #1 and it’s time to move on, both for him and the Oilers. Nice kid, but not a great player.

  • FireScorpion

    And swwwiiinggg and a missss on the Coilers taking Fail Yakupov. Don’t worry well give you Matthews and you can ruin his career too.

    Joke of a team and league laughingstock going on how many years now?

    • JimmyV1965

      What a stupid thing to say. Yes, the Oilers management sucked. That’s why we’ve had so many first picks. But we didn’t ruin his career. We picked four firsts. Two have been average to above average. One has been a home run and one was a bust. Law of averages. Our mngt was never smart enough to trade down in the Yak draft. That’s why they took the concensus pick every year. So I guess if we do get Mathews this year and win the Cup in two years, we are suddenly the best managed team in the league.

      • FireScorpion

        Incorrect. On the slim to none odds of that happening you would have succeeded on the backs of the league giving you almost every top pick for 7 years . (7 damn years!!! Let that sink in for a moment)

          • FireScorpion

            Pens and Hawks were able to win cups without taking every #1 selection for 5 out of 7 years .(imagine that? And the oil can’t even climb out of the basement. Just pathetic) They weren’t even close to such shameless failures and as a result they are respected. Something the Oilers will never be.
            And now as the initial lottery picks of Edmonton are failing and burning out to un reached potential they are still being used as trade chips for further gain. Something no other team in the league has at their advantage.A rule should have been put in years ago to prevent this garbage from happening

          • Ned

            It makes me happy that you’re so bothered by this. I sincerely hope this keeps you awake at night. People who know you must think you’re pretty boring, all you probably want to talk about is your obsession with the Oilers and their draft picks.

            Well I’m going to sleep and will dream positive thoughts about the Oilers next first overall pick!!! Good night.

          • Vic Venom

            They both at least started showing progress after there draft picks, its been over 6 years since Hall was drafted, and they have made 0 progress in the standings. Thats embarassing,

          • Seanaconda

            Eventually. Fleury was Pittsburghs first first overall three years later the year after they got crosby they finished bottom three again. If mcdavid is our crosby we are on track ha also Los Angeles took forever to get good too. Same with Chicago and Florida

          • Cageyvet

            I am not an Oilers fan, but it’s not with spite that I make this comment – nobody, and I mean nobody, has done less with more than the past Oilers management.

            PC is the best thing that the franchise has done in years. For once, I believe that the Oilers will be on the rise. Still, don’t try and equate a decade of futility with other franchises, it’s not just the length of the slide, it’s the number of first overall picks that leads to the criticism.

            When other teams would love to have a 1st overall pick or even two, and they often shape their franchises with those players, the Oilers have had more than their fair share and are contenders for the honour yet again.

            Let’s face it, the draft lottery exists because of the Oilers. End of story, whether you want to face that or not, it’s nothing against the team or city, it’s just the way it is.

          • Seanaconda

            Meh the oilers got super lucky.

            Florida and Pittsburgh could of gotten 4 first overalls too. And really the second overall Pitts got. Malkin was better than any of our firsts sans mcdavid and that not even a sure thing yet.

          • Namudi

            The fact that they changed the way the draft worked, is the reason we have so many firsts, last year we were 28th had no business drafting connor but we won the lottery and jumped 2 teams, also we jumped another team when we got Nugent-Hopkins

          • Seanaconda

            Nah the hopkins year the devils won the lottery but they couldn’t jump far enough to take the first. Yaks year we jumped. Same with mcdavids.

            But really if the oilers lost the lottery every year I would only be upset about losing mcdavid.

            We would have no drama and sequin landeskog and galchenyuk instead of hall rnh and yakupov. No big loss Gally is even am improvement. The other two are debatable. (assuming the players were picked in the same order)

        • Ned

          Doesn’t matter how you get there, just as long as you do….. Does anyone now mention how terrible LA or Chi were prior to their recent Stanley cup success? Nope.

          How about Florida and their recent surge in play? Nope, not at all (even though their the co-owner of the longest playoff-less streak in the NHL at 10 yrs).

          Your anger at this organization and it’s fan base is quite amazing (or perhaps should I say startling). You should really consider taking up another hobby that’s a bit more uplifting for your mental health. All of this bitterness (jealousy) cannot be good for you.

  • Connor McFly

    The fact Lowe, MacT and Howsen are corporately fire- proof is the reason the Oilers are a garbage organization. Garbage in garbage out. That is the Oiler way. They will find a way to screw up the 2016 draft and McD’s tenure here

    They will remain in position umtouched. I garontee.

  • bazmagoo

    I think it’s pretty obvious at this stage the Oilers should have drafted Ryan Murray. And for those who’ll say “but Trouba/Reilly is better” the only choice was between Murray and Yak. The Oil made the wrong choice.

    • Quicksilver ballet

      Not sure if this is accurate but some have claimed the decision to draft Yakupov came from Katz himself. There’s little the scouts can do if infact the boss decided to interfere.

    • Bringer_Of_Snow

      I mean Murray hasn’t exactly been too successful yet. Injured A LOT and hasn’t established himself as either an offensive dman or a shut down guy. In general, it was a very weak draft, but it’s pretty clear that Yak is easily not one of the top 10 players in hindsight. I wish him luck becuase I’ll always have a soft spot for him, but he just doesn’t seem to get the NHL game. Not finding open ice or making players around him better. Never looked comfortable or calm on the ice.

  • madjam

    Sounds like Oilers failed to get anyone/anything respectable to trade for Yakupov . Writing on wall might be he returns to Russia next year , and we retain his rights in case he ever gets better over there .

  • Acumen

    Always loved and cheered for the kid. Until now.

    He is tracking to be the biggest bust since Wickenheiser and has been since his rookie year ended with a hot streak. We have had coaches try to teach him, and contrary to popular belief have given him chances with every talented center we have had and he squandered almost all of them (where is Derek Roy again?).

    This is his second trade request in his time with the team, and the timing if this is dreadful and kills any leverage we may have had in a trade. He comes off as selfish, damaged goods, and a total bust.

    I always wanted him to succeed, but you never screw your team like that. It’s a business, but it’s also a band of brothers, and I have invested myself too heavily in them to watch someone who can’t or won’t learn the finer points of playing behind his own blue line spit on those loyalties.

    When the time comes, it’ll be good riddance in my books.

  • Acumen

    And to hell with the ‘unbridled love of the game’ narrative we’re going to see. Exposing the request how he has and when he has is gutless, and love of the game would indicate a desire to improve the parts of the game he is lacking in.

    He is a good human from all I can tell, but this is petulance. At least Souray played his heart out, led our D in every discernable way, and asked put because the team asked him to gamble his health from word go.

    This is a mark against Nail’s character, and when I read about people saying that his character has somehow set him apart from this team for the next decade I’ll be pissed off each and every time.

  • hags437

    Some of you are hilarious. Let’s blame Yakupov’s failures all at the feet of management. Seriously? The kid has zero hockey sense. End of story. The whining and crying about him playing on the third line is getting old. I would bet that Todd wants some of Letestus D awareness rub off on the kid. It never will because he’s a flaky Russian who only wants to score goals. The NHL has been, and is currently full of them. Datsyk is the exception. I would never draft a Russian. I for one wanted Murray in that draft and so did the Oiler brass. All of them except Bono. He called it and I guarantee that there are people mad as hell to this day that they were overruled. Sorry guys..Russians are a roll of the dice at best. See Nikushkin, Burmistrov, Kovalchuk, Radulov, Grabovski, the Kostitsyns. And yes I know that people will counter with Malkin, Ovie, etc. Yes there are some very good NHL players from mother Russia. But if
    I’m in playoff mode hockey, no thanks to Russians. The heart simply isn’t there. Look at the failure in international hockey from Russia. Save for some good WJ teams, they don’t get it done. Sail on Yak. We won’t miss you

      • hags437

        Racist? Really? Russians are flaky is racist? Try again bud. Guys like you would have no trouble describing Americans, perhaps even people from different regions across Canada. Newfies, Albertans, West coasters for example. People are people absolutely..but news flash. We ARE different based on how and where we were raised. Don’t forget..being politically correct doesn’t make you right

        • PandaBearJelly

          Look man, I get your frustration. I think we can all relate. But something that always bugs me is calling anyone’s personal character into question that you have never met, let alone know on a personal level well enough to understand their morals, desires and feelings etc.

          And yes, I know we all do it now and then, it’s human nature. But in your words, that doesn’t make you right.

          • hags437

            Okay I get it. To the hyper sensitive my sincere apologies. Let’s get back on track regarding Nails hockey ability. Yes, I’ve never met the kid but I’ll comment on his hockey playing ability and do my best not offend. Nail came in and he won the fans over even before his arrival. His post game interview blew up the ol Al Gore..he was funny, personable, a character and fan favourite AND he loved being in Edmonton. Because of this, his on ice follies were forgiven or overlooked. I was in that camp for awhile. Not anymore. A funny, personable, fan favorite character describes Munenori Kawasaki from the Jays and he can’t play RW for the Oilers either

  • Hockeyfan

    Just the start of the exodus delusional coil fans, They all want out while they have a chance to cure the coilitis. HAHAHEHE. Gonna be another rough 10 years.

    • hags437

      Honestly that’s an ignorant comment. There won’t be a mass exodus. There won’t. New arrivals like Maroon and Kassian are happy. Hall/Eberle/Nuge have never asked out and won’t any time soon. Some will be traded to improve the D which has been the Achilles Heal for a long time. It hasn’t been addressed and it shows in the standings year after year. No question about it, the D will be improved and the team will improve. Since McDavids arrival, people like you [Flames fan I’m guessing] are so afraid and insecure that jabs like this are simply a defence mechanism. McDavid is the real deal and you know it. He will be the best player in the NHL as soon as next year. Probably even better than Johnny Hockey. Honestly I chuckle when I read comments like yours. Keep em coming.

      • Hockeyfan

        The whole hockey world is sick and tired of the coil soiling there way to a #1 pick every year and nothing changes. It’s a disease. NOBODY outside of your fan base has any respect for your amateur pop gun franchise.

        • hags437

          Why the anger towards the Oiler fan? I’ll listen to your argument about mistakes from Oiler management. Point taken. But the fans don’t make the decisions pal. As an Oiler fan I’m angry. I don’t want to be at the bottom of the league again. But it is what it is. I’ve been a fan since 1979-80. What can I say man? I’ll always cheer for them and hopefully one day I’ll have something to cheer about again! Lol

        • HardBoiledOil 1.0

          the hockey world can kiss Oiler fans collective arses!! Chia and T-Mac and his staff were left a HUGE steaming pile of mess to clean up thanx to Lowe/MacT and it simply wasn’t going to be cleaned up in one season to make the Oilers winners. if you knew anything about hockey you’d know this and not give out knee jerk reactions. it’s mind boggling to me that an apparent Lames fan can spew crap like this about the Oilers after the season the Lames just had!

  • The Goalie 1976

    Yak has zero hockey sense. Seems like a nice kid but he’s had plenty of time with quality players and failed to improve.

    At this point I wouldn’t be surprised to see him in the KHL once his existing year is burned off. Some KHL team will throw big bucks at him, it seems unlikely a NHL team will do that.

    He’s never complained about living in Edmonton, and I respect that about him.

    I wish him the best of luck on his future team but it’s in everyone’s best interest to move on.

  • Oilers Coffey

    Wow lots of ignorance in this comments section and as usual the blogger RBL is right there taking his typical shots at this kid.

    I wish Nail all the best in his new nhl city. He’ll have his success with a fresh rejuvenated start.

  • Finnish Oiler fan in Edmonton89

    Seriously, what the hell is your problem with Lauri Korpikoski?

    he is both better by eye and on paper than yakupov..

    Solid move by Chia.

    • RJ

      From a posession perspective, Korpse is arguably the worst player in the NHL. If you follow the advanced stats at all, you realize he makes everyone around him worse.

      At the same time, Korpse was brought in by PC, while Yak was drafted by Tambo so from that perspective keeping him over Yak does make some sense.

      Don’t get mad at me for relaying the message. You asked.

  • Hockeyfan

    I remember seeing “trade him for a bag of pucks” so many times. Now it’s gonna be “we want Weber, Doughty, Burns or Karlsson for Yak”. Lucky if the coil get a third and a prospect. The hard times keep coming, good luck, you are gonna need it Oilers.

  • Oil_Thick

    Yakupov has been great at identifying who on this site knows jack schmitt about hockey, so I appreciate him for that at least?

    Good riddance, this experiment reach reached the maximum required number of trials to declare a conclusion about 150 games ago!