photo

CAREER OF FORMER NO. 1 DRAFT PICK HITS NEW LOW

The downward trajectory of the career of the former #1 NHL draft pick continues to find new depths. The 26-year-old Nail Yakupov, once the top prize of the 2012 NHL Draft, has suffered another ignominious moment, as he was traded by perennial KHL contender SKA St. Petersburg to the ne'er-do-well Vityaz Podolsk.

Yakupov said that he was told about the trade via a phone call from club VP Roman Rotenberg. He claims he was unaware of any trade talks or negotiations and was preparing for the next season. According to Yakupov, Rotenberg blamed the KHL salary cap for the trade and wished him well.

Though there had been rumours in the Russian press that SKA was going to ask Yakupov to restructure his contract and take a pay cut, he says he was not approached about the possibility. Had he been asked to do so, he says he would have complied to remain in St. Petersburg.

The difference in the history of the two teams is enormous. SKA has made the playoffs each year of its KHL existence (starting in 2008), winning the Gagarin Cup in 2015 and 2017. It has been a home to multiple NHL stars, including Artemi Panarin and Ilya Kovalchuk. Vityaz, meanwhile, did not make the playoff until the 9th KHL season in 2017, and has made two more playoff appearances. They have never won a playoff game, getting swept each time.



Yakupov was once a star forward for the Sarnia Sting of the OHL, averaging 1.59 points-per-game in two seasons there. But after four seasons with the Oilers, he proved to be a bust, averaging only 0.39 points-per-game and being frequently criticized for his lack of a two-way game. After brief stints in St. Louis and Colorado, Yakupov signed with the KHL in 2018 and played the last two seasons with SKA, putting up decent, but not spectacular numbers.

Source: Sport Business Gazeta
MIKE OLIVSON
JUNE 3, 2020  (12H01)
QUIZ ON TRADERUMOURS
image
Who painted Orange Marilyn, which sold for $ 18 million in 1998?
ANDY WARHOL
CLAUDE MONET
EDWARD MANET
SALVADOR DALI
SURVEY
Which scenario would you prefer if the NHL season restart?
END OF REGULAR SEASON + PLAYOFFS
IMMEDIATELY PLAYOFFS WITH 16 TEAMS
IMMEDIATELY PLAYOFFS WITH MORE TEAMS
IT'S BETTER TO CANCEL THE SEASON