The second (proverbial) Nail Yakupov sweepstakes has ended, and the St. Louis Blues are the winners.
He has been the subject of trade rumors for the better part of the last two seasons. The Edmonton Oilers had high hopes for the scoring winger back in 2012 when they used their first overall selection to take him at the draft. It was considered a coup at the time because they had to win the draft lottery to secure his services.
Four years later, and the team has soured on him to the point where they desperately wanted to move him. Edmonton tried to deal him away for as little as a third-round draft pick ahead of the deadline last season, but couldn’t find any takers for Yakupov. Now they’ve reportedly found a dance partner in the Blues.
St. Louis is said to be sending prospect Zach Pochiro and a conditional third-round pick in the 2017 draft for Yakupov.
The conditional third-round pick can turn into a second-round selection if Yakupov scores 15 or more goals for the Blues this season, according to Nick Kypreos.
In Pochiro, the Oilers add a former fourth-round draft pick (2013) that the Blues originally gave up some assets to acquire. They traded their seventh-round pick in 2013 and a fourth-round pick in the 2014 draft to acquire the native of St. Louis. Last season he played 44 games for the Quad City Mallards at the ECHL level.
He produced nine goals and added 17 assists while racking up 69 PIMs along the way.
Yakupov is clearly the more well-known of the players who were swapped today. He’ll get the fresh start he’s been looking for with the Blues, and it will be interesting to see what this trade looks like within the next few months.