Oilers trade forward Nail Yakupov to Blues

Darren Millard, Nick Kypreos and John Shannon break down the trade of Nail Yakupov from the Edmonton Oilers to the St. Louis Blues plus the reported signing of defenceman Kris Russell.

The Edmonton Oilers have traded forward Nail Yakupov to the St. Louis Blues, the clubs announced Friday.

In return, the Oilers receive forward Zach Pochiro and a conditional third round pick in 2017.

That draft pick will become a second-round pick in 2018 if 23-year-old Yakupov scores 15 or more goals during the 2016-17 season with his new team.

Edmonton selected Yakupov first overall in 2012. Since then, the winger has registered 50 goals and 61 assists in 252 career regular season NHL games over the course of four seasons.

His best season was his rookie year, when he tallied 17 goals and 14 assist for 31 points in the lockout-shortened 48-game campaign.

According to reports last spring, the Russian forward requested a trade from the team prior to the deadline. And while he hasn’t lived up to his first-overall expectations, many have pondered if he would benefit from a change of scenery.

Yakupov signed a two-year, $5-million contract extension in April 2015. He’ll be a restricted free agent after this season.

Pochiro, 22, was a 2013 fourth-round pick (112nd overall) by the Blues. He spent last season in the ECHL, where he scored nine goals and added 17 assists in 44 games with Quad City.

As Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman pointed out just minutes after the trade went down, the Oilers might not be done making deals just yet. Friedman tweeted that a Kris Russell signing could go down soon, too.

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