Edmonton Oilers forward Nail Yakupov asked for a trade ahead of this year’s trade deadline, according to Igor Erenko of Sport-Express, a Russian newspaper.
Reportedly eight teams were interested in the former first-overall pick, who has six goals and 19 points in 56 games this season. Yakupov told Erenko something went wrong and a deal could not be made.
Yakupov’s name has come up in trade rumours more than once, as the Oilers have many quality young forwards but are lacking in talent on the blue-line.
It does not appear as though Yakupov would consider leaving for the KHL if he is not moved.
The speedy Russian, while not having lived up to being a No. 1 pick, could perhaps use a change of scenery to kickstart his career.
He’s only 22 years old, and did manage to put up 31 points (17 goals, 14 assists) in 48 games in his lockout-shortened rookie season three years ago – nearly a 30-goal pace in a full season.