St. Louis Blues acquire Nail Yakupov from Edmonton Oilers

The Edmonton Oilers have traded former number one overall draft pick Nail Yakupov to the St. Louis Blues in exchange for a conditional draft pick and a prospect.

“I think it’s a good thing for me,” the 23-year-old forward said. “For the last couple days, there were a lot of rumors and I was expecting something, but I didn’t expect it was going to be St. Louis. I didn’t want any thoughts in my head, and I play for my team, but now that it’s happened, it’s a really good move for me. I’m going to be playing for one of the best teams in the League. When I played against St. Louis, it was always hard. They had some big bodies and it was really, really tough to play against that team. I’m really looking forward for it.”

In exchange for Yakupov, the Oilers received forward prospect Zach Pochiro and a conditional third-round pick in the 2017 NHL Draft. If Yakupov scores at least 15 goals for the Blues—a mark he has only once surpassed in his four-year NHL career—then the draft pick will become a second-round pick in the 2018 NHL draft.

Yakupov has largely failed to live up to the hype of a first overall draft pick. Last year he only managed eight goals and 15 assists in 60 games.

“I don’t want to call it a gamble, because it’s a former first overall pick that probably needs a change of scenery,” said St. Louis Blues General Manager Doug Armstrong. “He’s excited to be here. We’re excited to have him.”

This is the second former first overall draft pick that the Edmonton Oilers have traded in the offseason. The team previously sent forward Taylor Hall to the New Jersey Devils in exchange for defenseman Adam Larsson.

Pochiro was a fourth-round pick (No. 112) by the Blues in the 2013 NHL Draft. He has not played an NHL game. The 22-year-old had nine goals and 17 assists (26 points) inn 44 games with Quad City of the ECHL last season.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *