The St. Louis Blues have taken on Nail Yakupov in a trade that’s brought mixed reviews amongst Oilers fans.
This fan for one is actually pretty happy.
Say what you want about Yakupov’s possible unfair treatment and lack of opportunity. I defended Jonathan Drouin when he walked out on Tampa because I felt he got a raw deal from the franchise so I see that side. But Yakupov did nothing when he got the chance. Nothing.
Some people are upset that he didn’t go for a top defenceman or a higher pick but I don’t see what other teams are expected to do. Yakupov is a never was.
The Blues are actually being polite by giving a 3rd round pick based solely on potential and added in a considerate condition: if Yakupov gets 15 goals this season they’ll up it to a 2nd round pick. That’s a solid return for a first rounder who I remind you HAS DONE NOTHING and only has to get 15 goals. If he’s as good as some Oilers fans would have the league believe he’d be a 30 plus scorer easy so basically they should be looking at it as a guaranteed 2nd rounder coming back.
Plus there’s prospect Zach Pochiro who’s $633,000 cap hit is much easier to accept than 2.5 million for an 8 goal scorer.
Look at it from the other side. I’d love to see the reaction if Yakupov had played 3 years for Carolina or somebody and Chiarelli tried to convince fans to accept giving away a 2nd round pick and a prospect for Yakupov coming to us. Imagine him selling it on he’s got loads of potential, his team just didn’t use him right. I doubt that would fly. He’s a lost puppy who needs an owner and the Oilers haven’t had and still don’t have anybody on the roster capable of taking on that project. That’s why they had to name the youngest captain in history.
Any team who’s rebuilding wouldn’t take Yakupov and any team who would take him doesn’t really need him.
He was going nowhere in Edmonton and even if he did pick it up, the Oilers don’t need another skilled 15-20 goal scorer with no battle any more than the Montreal Canadiens do.
Whether Yak excels in St. Louis or not has no bearing on the success or failure of this trade. Whether the Oilers make the playoffs does.
Getting rid of this deadwood will prove to be a big help.