The Edmonton Oilers have given up on Nail Yakupov, a former first overall pick and have traded him to the St. Louis Blues making an official NHL trade last Friday. This comes months after they also gave up on a former first overall pick after dealing Taylor Hall to the New Jersey Devils last June.
Both Yakupov, who was the No. 1 pick in 2012 and Hall, who was the top pick in 2010, did not live up to the potential and had disappointing stints with the Oilers. Edmonton also has not made the playoffs since making the Stanley Cup finals in 2005-2006 and the top picks would have turned around the franchise but failed.
Edmonton got a prospect Zach Pochiro plus a third round pick in the 2017 draft for Yakupov, a very low-value deal for giving up a first overall draftee. The Oilers received defenseman Adam Larsson in the Hall deal earlier this year.
“I think it’s going to be a good thing for (Yakupov). He needed a fresh start, and he’ll make good on it. He’s going to get an opportunity perhaps to play in the top six there, who knows?” Oilers head coach Todd McLellan stated on the team website.
“And he will take advantage of it. That’s something that needed to happen. It wasn’t working for him. I think it came to a head last year when he made the comment about not wanting to be here anymore and that’s a hard thing to say and then re-enter a locker room with your teammates, and it will be good for him and it will be good for us.”
Edmonton opens the season with back to back games against the Calgary Flames starting October 12.
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