Nail Yakupov‘s agent agrees that his client needs a change of scenery.
“Nail loves the city of Edmonton, he loves the fans, and would obviously would love to stay there. But I guess at some point he needs a fresh start and fresh air to move on,” said Larionov.
Yakupov, 22, has struggled in Edmonton since being drafted first overall by the Oilers at the 2012 NHL draft. The Russian right winger has six goals and 13 assists in 56 games this season.
Igor Erenko of the Russian newspaper Sport-Express reported on Sunday that Yakupov had requested a move out of Edmonton.
Larionov clarified those reports on Monday and said that he’s been in touch with six or seven teams to talk about his client.
“We’ve been in talk before deadline so they’re (Oilers) trying to find him a new spot, they’re trying to find him a new team,” he said. “I asked for permission to talk to a couple of other teams and I did actually talk and we’ve been talking and a few other teams have kind of shown some interest.”
Larionov pointed to the fact that Yakupov has had four different coaches (Ralph Krueger, Dallas Eakins, Todd Nelson and now Todd MacLellan) in his first four NHL seasons who have all mixed in different ideas and philosophies.
Larionov, who played 921 career NHL games, believes that it can be tough for a player to juggle all the different coaches at a young age.
“He needs to be guided by a skilled centre so that’s very important for a young player to play with somebody that can deliver the pucks and obviously use his strength,” said Larionov.
“At the end of the day, Edmonton has to make a decision and who they’re going to get in return, so that’s out of my hands.”