After years of rumors and speculation, Nail Yakupov’s career with the Oilers is over. Earlier tonight, the 23-year-old Nizhnekamsk native was dealt to the St. Louis Blues for a 2017 conditional third round pick. Just the third Russian in NHL history to be taken first overall, Yakupov’s time in Edmonton was rocky at best as he never quite lived up to the expectations of both fans and media.
In 252 games, a player which fans encouraged their team to fail for, only netted 50 goals as he never quite found the right chemistry as he was constantly shuffled on all four lines.
Being dealt to St. Louis and playing alongside Vladimir Tarasenko can hopefully bring out the scoring touch few have seen from Yak since his CHL days. Yakupov has one year left on a $2.5 million deal which could end up being a low risk, high reward for St. Louis.