It hasn’t been the best of times for the Edmonton Oilers and forward Nail Yakupov.
After being selected with the first overall pick in the 2012 NHL Entry Draft, Yakupov hasn’t fully lived up to the high expectations that were bestowed upon. With rumors of him being disgruntled with his situation in Edmonton, Yakupov has been the subject of trade talk since the beginning of this, his second, season.
And now, according to TSN’s Darren Dreger, it appears as if Yakupov’s time in Alberta, Canada is coming to an end.
“I would say it’s unlikely that he’s an Edmonton Oiler next season,” Dreger told the Edmonton Journal. “So it makes sense that they’ll try and move him. They were trying to move him at various points this season. Word is out that Nail Yakupov is available.”
While it isn’t known for sure if Yakupov will end up elsewhere, it wouldn’t be surprising in the least should he be dealt at, or around, the NHL Draft. That being said, it takes two to tango when it comes to a deal, and right now, Dreger says that there is a big problem standing in the way from a deal being made.
“The problem is, no one really wants him. Certainly not for the value that the Edmonton Oilers are going to need to get back in return,” he said. “And you can see why. He had opportunities in this game early on. He scored one goal in his last 11 games. He was on the ice late in the game when the Blues scored to tie the hockey game.
“He’s an NHL worst -30. He lacks commitment. He thinks that skill is enough to be an NHL player. And the unfortunate reality for Nail Yakupov is that, yes, he’s a skilled player, but not an elite level skill player. And until he finds a way to absorb the message, the market on Nail Yakupov isn’t going to be great. They might have to package him with a collection of assets to get something better in return.”