Last year a 3rd round pick got you Zac Rinaldo. This year it gets you Nail Yakupov. What world we live in.
And even better is that Peter Chiarelli is the one making a deal with a lottery pick AGAIN. First Tyler Seguin, then Taylor Hall, now Yak. If you’re a top 2 draft pick in the NHL and Chiarelli is your GM then you might as well put your house on the market and have Travelocity on speed dial. I’m still not convinced Ryan Nugent-Hopkins survives the Chiarelli era either. Pete just LOVES trading the top picks like Tyrone Biggums loves the Colombian bam bam.
This was the market Edmonton created for Yakupov though. It was pretty clear by the end of his sophomore year they didn’t get what they hoped for when they drafted the kid first overall, and quite frankly they held onto him way too long. Now they’re left holding nickels in return instead of something much better. Statically Yakupov peaked his rookie year in the lockout shortened 2012-2013 season with a nice 17 goals in 48 games. But since then he hasn’t topped 14.
Yakupov’s only hope to generate a notable career is that the change of scenery, alongside his fellow Russian Vladimir Tarasenko, is just what he needs. It’s not like Edmonton is a recent hot bed for creating success stories anyway. In fact, it’s been a place allergic to success. Yak’s probably doing cartwheels up and down the aisle on the plane out of Alberta right now.
My only question after this deal; is it possible the guy who got hosed trading Tyler Seguin could actually top himself and get an even worse return, combined, from trading both Taylor Hall AND Nail Yakupov? The answer is yes.