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[Speculation] Yakupov Is Worth A 3rd


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The Edmonton Oilers are likely to trade Nail Yakupov this summer, with one year left on his deal before restricted free agency. It’s been four years since he was taken first overall in the NHL Draft; it can be argued that his value has depreciated ever since. 

The Oilers have some areas of vital need, like the blue line, and there’s been some thought that Yakupov could bring help via trade. But after a season that saw him notch 23 points in 60 games, including a career-low eight goals, it appears his value has fallen off a cliff.

From TSN’s Ryan Rishaug:  

“The price on Yakupov, if and when he gets traded, and he’s not paired with something else, we’re talking a third-round pick right now. The value is just not there. I think they’re holding out, waiting and hoping, but that range of a low second-round pick or a third-round pick is what’s out there.”


That was echoed by a scout in the Edmonton Journal:

“Yakupov’s value has dropped significantly over the last two years … they may have to take somebody else’s failed prospect. I don’t think the Oilers will get a whole, big return for him,” said one long-time NHL pro scout who has watched the right-winger in person on a lot of nights.

“I’d describe him as a pond hockey player. He’s got NHL skills and the ability to create stuff and there’s times when he’s quite effective,” said the scout, “but he sees himself as one type of player when he’s really not. He can’t do things by himself. He has to learn to use the players around him better and become responsible (without the puck).”

“He’s not the first No. 1 pick who hasn’t panned out. How about the guy Ottawa took? (Alexandre) Daigle? In terms of ability, there’s similarities there.”

Double ouch.

To us, Yakupov remains a solid reclamation project. Stephen Burtch thinks getting him for a third is a steal, given his stats and his potential. And he’s right, which is probably why the Oilers are hoping the trade market somehow turns around on him.

All it takes is the right system and the right coach; but most importantly, it takes him getting out of the toxicity of Edmonton, where Yakupov has been treated like a pariah and had his confidence stripped from him systematically over his career.

There is hope for those wayward souls in Alberta – let Justin Schultz be your north star and follow him to freedom! 


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I don't see Yakupov having a place in this lineup.


Hansen, Virtanen, Boeser (future)....Possibly Brouwer or Eriksson or w.h.y.   


He wouldn't fit with the Sedins.

I don't like a 2nd line with Baertschi on one wing and Yakupov on the other = too small and soft, although dynamic.

3rd line RW?  Meh.  Too expensive and vacant for that role.

Even at a 3rd round pick, it's probably money better spent on a guy like Brouwer.


I think he's a reclamation project that likely lands in a place like Carolina - if they're going to take a serious hit and dump him for a mid round pick, my guess would be he's going to the Eastern Conference - and to a team that can eat risk-cap.


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The Oilers deserve this more than any other team in the NHL.


They have done an absolutely horrible job of developing their players.


Yakupov could be a decent NHLer - if he were to land in the right situation, with the right coach - and if he has the underlying hockey intelligence/maturity/potential to recover from the years of weak habits he's been enabled to 'develop' in Edmonton.

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7 minutes ago, b3. said:

...which is probably why the Oilers are hoping the trade market somehow turns around on him.

This sums up the Oilers for the past what, 5-6 years? They just have to accept the fact that the guy's value will continue to decrease. Either lose him in expansion for nothing, or get whatever you can for him now. But nobody is going to give up anything of value. At least, not the "value" that they believe he's worth.

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In fairness to Yakupov - this is what happens when you take a teenager whose game is not developed, who doesn't necessarily have the makeup of a self-made two way NHL player, throw him into the NHL surrounded by other kids, poor coaching and management - and expect him to swim.


Some teenagers simply need to be developed the right way.

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The Ottawa Senators paid a 3rd rounder for Nikita Filatov, 3 years after being drafted 6th overall in 2008.


Yakupov might be a higher profile prospect, but it's pretty much the same scenario, therefore it make a lot of sense that's where is value is.  Maybe after a little bidding war the Oilers could fetch a late 2nd.

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I think I would actually take a flyer on Yak. He has a crazy amount of untapped potential and skill. Maybe under the right circumstances  he could develop a worth ethic and become a top 6 forward. I do not see him ever becoming the elite player he was once projected, but I do think he could still become a effective scorer in the league. In my opinion, hes worth the risk of a 3rd round pick or a defensive project. Pedan if he can't find a spot in the lineup? I would make that trade and hope you can turn his career around, he is only 22.

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If all he costs is a 3rd I'd take him. We gave up a 2nd round pick for Linden Vey who has no where near the potential as Yakupov. We also just lost Shinkaruk. Yakupov would be a perfect replacement for him with a much higher ceiling. 

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3 minutes ago, Trebreh said:

"the next Bure" - oil fans


In fairness to Oiler fans, people here would've been saying the same thing if he was a Canuck pick.  If they're still saying that now... :unsure:

Just goes to show you, even the 1st overall isn't always a guarantee.

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