Nail Yakupov traded to St. Louis for Pochiro, conditional draft pick

After what felt like years of speculation, Nail Yakupov was finally freed from traded out of Edmonton. The 23-year-old forward was sent to the St. Louis Blues in exchange for prospect Zach Pochiro and a conditional third round 2017 draft pick.

In his four year NHL career Yakupov has 50 goals, 111 points in 252 games played. He missed 22 games last season due to an ankle injury.

Yakupov never really found his place in Edmonton, thus making him a constant target of trade rumors. When speaking to Gene Pricincipe of Sportsnet after the trade, Yakupov said simply, “It’s over.”

He is currently entering the second year of a two-year, RFA contract carrying a cap hit of $2.5-million. Per Pierre LeBrun, the Oilers retain no salary as part of the trade. St. Louis is now scraping the top of the salary cap with only about $820K in breathing room, and that’s with the benefit from putting Jaden Schwartz (and his $5.3-million cap hit) on long-term IR.

The trade feels like a win for St. Louis.

With Schwartz out for a while and Vladimir Sobotka unable to get out of his KHL obligations, the team could take a chance on veteran free agents, their own prospects, or upgrade. Yakupov is only 23, by no means is he past his prime. He may have hit his ceiling with the Oilers, but c’mon son, it’s Edmonton. As cliche as it is to say, a fresh start could be all that Yak needs to return to the player that earned the spot as the No. 1 draft pick in 2012.

This is the second of the Oilers bevy of first round picks collected over the years that Peter Chiarelli decided to ship out of Edmonton. The Taylor Hall for Adam Larsson trade was seen as a steal for the New Jersey Devils. How about this trade off for the Oilers?

Might be time to look away if you’re a fan of Edmonton.

Prospect Zach Pochiro was drafted by the Blues in the fourth round of the 2013 draft. , the Oilers are getting a forward who has spent most of his career in the WHL and ECHL.

The other part of the trade is a conditional draft pick in the third round of 2017. According to Nick Kypreos, the draft pick turns into a second rounder in 2018 if Yak scores 15 goals this season.

Hey, look on the bright side, Oilers fans. There is a chance you could be getting Kris Russell in the near future.



Too soon?