Arguably the biggest bust in the last decade, Nail Yakupov -- originally Edmonton's first overall draft selection in 2012 -- made his debut season with the Blues last year season only to stake out a second residence in the press box -- and later, a slew of injuries beset him, including a knee injury that required surgery during the playoffs when he was needed the most. Yak had dropped 101 points in 65 games for the OHL's Sarnia in his first junior season back in 2010-11, but the supposed sniper turned out to be less than half-point-per-game player through four campaigns with the Oilers and another with the Blues. Now, he finds himself in Colorado on a one-year pact. Considering the Avs experienced a franchise-worst record of 22-56-4 on top of an equally egregious minus-112 goal differential in 2016-17, there won't be a ton of pressure on the 23-year-old to live up to his first-round billing.
Yakupov (lower body) put pen to paper on a one-year deal with Colorado on Tuesday, Mike Chambers of The Denver Post reports. The 2016-17 campaign was supposed to provide Yakupov with a career resurgence after he was traded away from Edmonton and joined St. Louis. Unfortunately for the 23-year-old, he could never secure regular minutes with the Blues and suited up in a mere 40 contests. Even when the winger was in the lineup, he averaged a paltry 10:39 of ice time. Yakupov will look to see if the Mile High City is a better fit, but fantasy owners may want to take a wait-and-see approach on 2012's No. 1 overall pick, who's never exceeded 33 points or posted a positive rating in his five NHL seasons.
Yakupov (lower body) wasn't extended a qualifying offer from the Blues and will become an unrestricted free agent, Andy Strickland of Fox Sports Midwest reports. Yakupov made it known in May that he wasn't planning to return to Russia for the KHL and fully expects to be in the NHL for the 2017 season. However, he would've needed to be given a $2.5 million qualifying offer to remain with the Blues, which was out of their price range. He'll now head to free agency with the hope of latching on elsewhere prior to training camp. Playing in only 40 games for the Blues due to injury last season, Yakupov had just nine points (three goals).
Yakupov (knee) has "zero plans of returning to Russia" and fully expects to play in the NHL next season, Andy Strickland of Fox Sports Midwest reports. Yakupov is set to become a restricted free agent this offseason, but it remains to be seen whether the Blues will make him a qualifying offer or he'll receive an offer sheet from another club before free agency kicks off. The first overall pick from the 2012 draft has been a huge disappointment through the first five years of his NHL career, notching 120 points (53 goals, 67 points) in 292 games. To make matters worse, Yak had arguably his worst season yet in 2016-17, tallying a mere nine points (three goals, six assists) in 40 games with St. Louis. The Russian winger is also currently recovering from knee surgery, which further diminishes his value as a free agent. Yakupov's meager production and the questions surrounding his health will likely earn him a one-year, "prove-it" deal with an NHL club for the 2017-18 campaign.
Yakupov underwent knee surgery during Round 1 of the playoffs, Lou Korac of NHL.com reports. Yak had the ambiguous "undisclosed" and "lower body" designations during the postseason run, but with the team getting eliminated by the Predators on Sunday, GM Doug Armstrong can freely speak of the precise nature of the injuries that bogged down his players when it mattered most. The Russian tallied only nine points in 40 regular-season contests, and this knee operation helps explain why he wasn't available for the playoffs. The first overall pick from the 2012 draft, Yakupov has been a colossal bust, and even a change of scenery following four rough years in Edmonton failed to invigorate the winger. He's still only 23 years old, but the former top prospect has faded into fantasy oblivion already.
Yakupov (lower body) is still unavailable to suit up against the Blues on Tuesday, Robby Stanley of NHL.com reports. The Blues have not given any indication that Yakupov will be returning to the lineup anytime soon; the winger hasn't played since March 31 in Colorado. Even once cleared, the 23-year-old is probably a long shot to crack the lineup, as he was a frequent healthy scratch during the regular season.
Rank Among Leaders
Last 7 Games
|3 Year Avg||60||8||13||22||-17||2||0||1||0||1||4.7|