It began early this morning, and has ran rampant all day long:
Let’s not forget about Nail Yakupov. Oilers were busy yesterday moving out Purcell and Schultz. Seems to be developing interest in Yak.
— Darren Dreger (@DarrenDreger) February 28, 2016
Darren was the first I had seen talking about Yakupov today, despite the fact that his name has been out there before. Although his name has been out there in trade talks there seems to be some varying opinions on what Nail Yakupov’s value is on the trade market right now. ESPN’s Craig Custance felt there was optimism that the Oilers would be able to receive two second round picks like the Tampa Bay Lightning did last year when they moved Brett Connelly to the Boston Bruins at the trade deadline for two second round picks in 2015 and 2016.
Brett Connolly trade (two 2nd-round picks) from last year a comparable for possible Yakupov trade. May be optimistic though.
— Craig Custance (@CraigCustance) February 28, 2016
Sportsnet’s Mark Spector felt otherwise.
@CraigCustance Not sure EDM gets 1 second round pick for Yakupov. Two is hopeful.
— Mark Spector (@SportsnetSpec) February 28, 2016
None the less, it is apparent that the Oilers are at least considering moving Yakupov. During his time in Edmonton, his defensive struggles have been well noted. This season he has on average been playing nearly a minute per game than he did in 2014 – 2015. The adjustment for Yakupov to playing more games than not in the bottom six has been a difficult one. He isn’t much of a physical presence, and has never been a bottom six player at any point in his career.
For some guys, that is a difficult transition to make and obviously it is one Nail hasn’t been ready for. It’s difficult to say what will happen next, but if Peter Chiarelli and co. have already decided that moving on from Nail Yakupov is the best decision for the team moving forward then why wait for the summer to move him?
Although his value may be low now, I don’t see a scenario when we trade Nail Yakupov and are really happy with the turn out. If there is truth to being able to get two second round picks for Yakupov, then I would be all over that. From there, packaging up those acquired draft picks with more picks/prospects to acquire a defenceman or two is the path I think most logical to take.
Is there a chance to increase his value through the next 20 games? I’m not too sure about that. Judging by the fact that Todd McLellan put Yakupov on the fourth line to start Sunday night’s game against the Islanders might be a telling sign of how the team feels about Nail moving forward.
I am not advocating for the Oilers to move him if the value isn’t fair, but at the end of the day every player has his price.
Do you think the #Oilers should trade Nail Yakupov before Monday’s Trade Deadline?
— zach laing (@Loweded) February 29, 2016