Report: Oilers to trade Yakupov to Chicago?

According to Barstool Sports, the Oilers could be moving Nail Yakupov to the Chicago Blackhawks. 

As of right now, there is no official confirmation of the trade but the chatter between Chicago and Edmonton has been confirmed by more than one source, including TSN’s Bob McKenzie. Although the trade does not appear to be imminent there has been discussion between the two teams. 

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After being drafted first overall in 2012, the Nail Yakupov era in Edmonton never quite came to fruition. The enigmatic winger showed promise in his first season in Edmonton under then head coach Ralph Kruger during a lockout-shortened season that saw him score 17 goals and 14 assists for 31 points in 48 games. 

Since then, Yakupov has had issues matching the production he had in his rookie season and has been a highly-controversial topic in Edmonton ever since. His issues with playing a two-way game landed him in the doghouse more often than not. That said, some believe that Yakupov has never been given a chance to perform with skilled linemates, thus limiting his ability to be effective. 

The potential departure of Yakupov is one that has been talked about for some time, with TSN’s Ryan Rishaug stating that the team will be looking to move Yakupov “when the opportunity comes.”

As for potential return, it is unknown as to what the Oilers would look at from Chicago. Mark McNeil is a name that has been thrown around by Bob Stauffer some time and could be a possibility.

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Experts weigh in

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Battle of alberta graphic-01 

After a long summer of arguing and waiting, the NHL season is right around the corner and that means it’s time for us to throw another party. We wanted a second take on last year’s season and decided that we would celebrate the start of the second year of Connor’s reign over Oil Country. Thanks to our friends at AMA Travel, Cornerstone Insurance, the Pint, Oodle Noodle, and United Cycle we’ve got a big night planned for you complete with raffles, swag bags, and two trips (valued at $5000 each) for two to the outdoor game in Winnipeg courtesy of AMA Travel.

Here’s what you need to know:

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  • Where: The Pint Downtown
  • When: Friday, October 14th at 5pm
  • Why: Because we’ve got a hankerin’ for some partyin’ 
  • How: Tickets are available here

See you on October 14th!

  • Mangiant

    I hope what happens here is what happens when I sometimes list things on Kijiji.

    The process of describing and playing up the item makes me realize that it is indeed valuable to me and I shouldn’t get rid of it after all.

  • TheRazzleDazzle

    How people are even remotely happy about getting Mark McNeill for Yakupov is astonishing.

    We’re talking about trading a player who has decent stats when playing with skilled centers, has over 250 NHL games played, and who has shown chemistry with McDavid, for a guy who hasn’t cracked an NHL roster since he was drafted, and isn’t even the top center on his AHL team.

    Center, a position where we currently have a huge list of people who could push for 4C.

    AND retain salary?


    • MrBung

      No one is happy about it. I think the team and fans believe it is time to move on. The fact that this is even a return tells us how low Yak’s value is across the league and how the league sees him as a player – even with his occasional streaks. Some fans have heavily inflated what Yak can get as a return. And almost every player will show chemistry with McDavid – it’s freaking McDavid.

      • TheRazzleDazzle

        There’s two ways you can move, you can move forward, and you can move backwards.

        This is a huge leap backwards.

        If his value is indeed that low, why trade him? His salary is low, he can play here until Puli is ready to make the leap to the NHL. Or you know, you could actually let him be the player he’s supposed to be (who would think of that??)

        As for having chemistry with McDavid, no, not everybody has chemistry with McDavid. Did Hall? Has Crosby made every winger he’s ever had an all-star? No.

        This team’s fan base is quickly resembling the Maple Leafs because we run people out of town because we have some ridiculous view of who a player HAS to be from the second he gets here.

        Speaking of the Maple Leafs, weren’t they playing Marincin on the first pair? You know, the guy who apparently wasn’t working and needed to move on, who we traded for peanuts as well.

        These moves will get the Oilers no where. I’m amazed this is even a real topic.

        • MrBung

          Eberle has arguably had better chemistry with McDavid than Yak has. Why play Yak with McDavid over Eberle?

          Everyone is blaming everyone else for Yak’s problems. At the end of the day, Yak is the source of Yak’s problems. There is no Russian hating or anything of the sort. Some players have it and some don’t. The fans have NO IMPACT on the team’s decision. I laugh every time I hear this BS about the fans running someone out of town. Hardly.

          Yak will end up in the KHL.

          • TheRazzleDazzle

            Your right.

            Eberle P/60 w McDavid 2.636
            Yakupov P/60 w McDavid 2.630

            Quick better trade him for a 2nd line AHL center!

            Yak has responsibility for where he is, but if you don’t think the team has failed him give your head a shake. If you put eberle on a line with Letestu his stats would fall through the floor.

            I also don’t believe there is as big of a disconnect between the team and the fans as you do.

          • MrBung

            Until recently, I think the team has failed many, if not most of the players over the last number of years, not just Yakupov.

            I reiterate, the team is not making player decisions based on the fans.

            If Yak had something to offer, then teams would not be offering 2nd line AHL centers for him.

          • TheRazzleDazzle

            You honestly don’t think the fans can impact the way a player plays? You don’t think Yak waking up this morning to celebrate his Birthday just to read people trash his career will affect how he plays? Kessel being called a fat cheeseburger loving player didn’t effect his mood and play?

            Give me a break.

          • MrBung

            Oh please.

            No, I don’t. At least players that are successful. You have to be mentally tough to be a pro athlete. Sorry, it comes with the territory. All pro sports players have to deal with heckling fans, media criticism, etc. Most players don’t even read or pay attention to social media, sports pages, etc. Yak’s current situation has nothing to do with this. I doubt Yak has spent his birthday morning reading social media.

  • You just got LITT up!

    If true and this trade happens, the Oilers would have turned 2 first overall picks into: Adam Larrson and some AHL players?

    WTF? I must be on crazy pills!

    • MrBung

      That is what you get with a poorly run team. Tambo, MacT, Howson and Lowe backed this team into a corner with bad signings, poor prospects, and just made more bad decisions than good one’s. Cleaning up the mess left by these clowns was going to require some bitter pills to swallow.

  • OilBlood

    Too bad.

    I don’t care what the haters say. The kid was never given a fair shake in Edmonton aside from Krueger and Nelson.

    It was a Russian thing. Whether people want to admit t or not, our Canadian treasures Eberle, Hall, Nuge and McDavid were never relegated to play with checkers and grinders for dozens of games at a time and expected to make career 4th and 3rd liners better.

    He was never treated the same as the other young guys were at the same points in there careers.

    Good luck to Yak. It is time to move on and it’s best for him because it’s just not happening for him here. I hope he gets traded to Hawks and reaches his full potential.

  • VvV

    Majority of people have already made up their minds on Yakupov, even those who rarely watch him play. Hypothetically, if he wasn’t on the ice for a goal for 3/4 of a week and then he was on the ice for 1 goal the last game of that week, he would still be rated as the worst defensive player in that week.

    • MrBung

      Doesn’t matter what the majority of fans/people think. It matters what TMac and Chia think. I guarantee you that they are not basing their decisions on the fans.

  • A-Mc

    Oiler fans are not going to like what the return is for Yak, regardless of if they like Yak as a player or not. If there is an AHL prospect coming the other way, then i hope there is atleast a 3rd round pick as well. History has shown that you can turn a 3rd round pick into something useful during select times of the year.

    I’d love to see a promising RD coming back but something tells me that isn’t going to happen or it’d be done already.

  • Joy S. Lee

    My favorite prospects on the Hawks include: DeBrincat, Hartmann, Pokka, and Forsling.

    I think Forsling has tremendous potential, he’s probably my favorite of that group, but he’s also a Lefty. The Hawks fleeced Vancouver in getting him, but I can see how that won’t happen because of the Oilers left-side backlog.

    As a RD, Pokka would make a lot of sense, and he even comes with NHL playoff experience.

    Hartmann would be a great addition who brings PC’s desire for a good mix of nastiness and skill. Like Caggiula, I think he can play center, too.

    DeBrincat has a history with McDavid, heart, and obvious skill, and was just drafted.

    Among established pros, Kruger could be a valuable (but relatively expensive) checking/PK option. Tremendous work ethic, and above all, reliable.

    If even one of those players comes back in return, I’ll probably be okay with it. Yakupov has unreal potential – that’s why he went #1 – but can’t seem to translate it to the NHL game. Maybe in Chicago. But, I’d hope the Oilers would at least get one from the above group, and would be ecstatic if they secured two.

  • Ron Burgundy

    I don’t see anything on Chicago’s roster that makes sense for us to take on.

    They have a number of elite players that are unlikely to be part of the deal, but even if they were to offer a guy like Hossa do we really want to pay him $5.75MM for the next 5 years until he’s 41? Then the rest of their roster players are scrubs. Similarly, their prospect group is quite weak – anybody good won’t be in the deal and the rest of them are not NHLers. (as as side note, I predict Chicago goes off a cliff in the next couple years, so they better win while they can…).

    So if the option is to get a scrub or keep Yak around and wait for something better, I’m firmly in the waiting camp. We have our own scrubs already.

  • hags437

    Yak is a bust. Why are we so angry about this? And before I get accused of trolling I’m an Oiler fan since 1979. Look, find me a fan of this team that would take Yak again in that draft. There wouldn’t be one and we all know it. Patrik Stefan, Alex Daigle, Rick DiPietro, Gord Kluzak. Sometimes it happens folks. Yak ran through the OHL against 16-17 yr olds and his game isn’t translating to the NHL. How did this kid become the face of the TEAM’S failure? Yak isn’t to blame at all in this? I chuckle at the argument that ..well play him with good players, play him with Connor. He’s a 1st overall pick for %$#*)@ sake…shouldn’t he be able to play with anyone and at least be good? I like the kid, I like his passion. But what does he do well? He can shoot I guess..and miss the net. Move on

    • RJ

      This is humorous.

      If you read multiple Oiler blogs, you’ll see that the anti-Yak sentiment isn’t as one-sided as it is at ON.

      A lot of fans like yourself note he didnt perform well with Letestu so somehow that is a scarlet letter of shame Yak has to wear. But not even McDavid was able to produce with Letestu at 5×5. Does that make McDavid a bust as well? Of course not.

  • fran huckzky

    I can’t understand why Chia can’t get a lot more for Yak. Look how many teams are lining up to try and obtain our enigmatic winger. With all these suitors wanting to deal we must have a highly valuable commodity. Yak is a real good guy so are dozens of other players who couldn’t quite make it in the show.

  • BlazingSaitls

    I figured sacrificing Hall would appease the Hockey Gods and the Oilers would no longer be subjected to ridiculous low-ball trade offers, or an “Oilers Tax”. I guess I was wrong.

    Yak for an AHLer while retaining salary?!? OILERS TAX is alive and well.

  • Zamboni Driver

    The most hilarious fans are those who will feel it’s a personal affront to their hockey acumen if/when Yakupov is traded for the box that a bag of pucks come in – AND when the Oilers have to keep paying him on top of that.

    It’s okay to admit it. He can’t play. No one in the NHL thinks he can. But really, by all means, keep quoting CF% (because I’m sure that’s a thing that you count during hockey games, then use a spreadsheet to ‘prove’ things you already believe)

    Except, Nail Yakupov….

    Can’t skate. Can’t shoot (though really really really thinks he can). Has no clue what to do if he doesn’t have the puck. Has no ability to do anything with it when he does.

    It doesn’t mean you know nothing about hockey to say “okay, it’s true. He’s terrible, the Oilers made a mistake.” I mean, good lord, this was Tambellini/Lowe/MacTavish…and we’re somehow surprised they tossed more tires into the dumpster fire they created?

    Oh yeah. I forgot.


  • whateverhappenedtoearledwards

    The Yak city people can cry, stop their feet and cherry pick stats all they want. But the market is speaking loud and clear on Yak.

    • Seanaconda

      How ? We are getting trade rumours not Noone wants him we have to waive him because he’s untradable.

      And it’s the blackhawks they are gonna buy low and turn him around.

      • whateverhappenedtoearledwards

        Sometimes high draft picks do better after a trade, when they are no longer expected to be a star, but just a player who can contribute. Jason Smith an example that worked that way for the Oil. Usually this required the player to “reinvent himself” as a blue collar guy and not a star. Does that sound like Yak?

        • Seanaconda

          Idk how yak will turn out but trade rumours doesn’t exactly scream the market has spoken that yak is a bust.

          Him being waived and making it to the ahl would be the market has spoken. We might not get much for him but teams have interest.

          • whateverhappenedtoearledwards

            If the Oil are considering an AHLer and retaining salary as the best they can get for Yak then how much clearer can the market speak. Granted, we won’t know for sure until something happens.

            Alternately the Hawks could do nothing and see if they can get Yak on the waiver wire, but then they need to pick up 100% of salary and the Hawks are close to the cap.

          • Seanaconda

            I think they would make the trade more cuz they don’t think yak would make it to them if he went on waivers.

            The oilers would be stupid to lose him for nothing tho so I hope they don’t waive him. But anyways if teams want him they think he can turn it around.

            someone on hf boards said they have around 2 mill in cap sending one guy down clears 950 they could easily fit him

            But anyways yak supporters know he doesn’t have much value but think he could work given a chance. And Chicago wanting him means they think the same way soo

  • @Hallsy4

    Trade the Man. I like Yak, but he’s in the way…. He makes us a worse team when he plays, I don’t see any way around it. If any team can turn him around, I’d guess it’s chicago (or Detroit). Cut the bait, I’d be estatic if we got Debrincat back, or any of the other prospects or Kruger back. Getting Yak away from Edmonton will help the Oilers and Yak himself.

  • hockey1099

    Getting rid of yak is addition by subtraction. Bye bye cry baby.

    I want more more ice time I deserve it despite doing nothing to earn it. If you don’t give it to me my agent will yell at you and request a trade. I won’t practice hard or do the little things my coach asks for but I’ll still cry when he doesn’t give me 97 as my center. My supporters will cry I never got the right chance. It totally makes sense to give me ice time with mcDavid because I was drafted #1. Sure other guys worker harder in practice, score more goals on the ice and do what the coach asks, but giving me ice time will totally help the room. When the other guys see that not working hard in practice and not doing what the coach asks pays off with first line minutes it’s totally going to make the culture in our room better.

    Retain all of his salary but $1.00. That cap savings is vastly better than having yak on this team.

  • RJ

    You know what’s also interesting?

    Yak is KHL bound, according to many on ON. He should be moved for a bag of pucks. He’s a bust. Chiarelli doesn’t want him. (The same GM that gave up 16 and 33 for Griffin Freaking Reinhart and Taylor Hall for the 30th best defenceman in the NHL).

    So why would Stan Bowman, multiple Cup-winning GM, want Yak? Isn’t he an astute hockey mind?