Sportsnet’s Nick Kypreos and John Shannon confirm that Nail Yakupov has been traded to the St. Louis Blues for prospect Zach Pochiro and a conditional 2017 3rd round pick. Both Edmonton Journal’s Jim Matheson and Blues beatwriter Jeremy Rutherford reported earlier this evening that the St. Louis Blues were the front-runners for Edmonton Oilers’ much-maligned prospect.
The former first overall pick has not lived up to expectations in Edmonton, scoring only 50G and 61A in 252 career games. Last season was his worst statistically as he scored only 8G and 15A in 60 games. Yakupov is a RFA next summer as he plays out the final year of his $2.5MM a year contract. The move gives Edmonton over $11MM in cap space. Conversely, the Blues will only have just under $1.5MM in cap space after this trade.
The conditional 3rd rounder will become a 2nd in 2018 if Yakupov scored at least 15 goals, reports John Shannon. Forward Zach Pochiro, the prospect acquired by Edmonton, spent most of last season in the ECHL. He scored 9G and 17A in 44 games for the Quad City Mallards.
Yakupov was linked to the Chicago Blackhawks yesterday, and TSN’s Bob MacKenzie reported that Yakupov requested a trade. The Blues were not publically tied to Yakupov trade talks this offseason.