The Edmonton Oilers have signed forward Nail Yakupov to a two-year, $5 million contract extension.
The 21-year-old Russian winger has come under fire for not producing as much as expected thus far in his NHL career, but managed this season to put up 21 points in 34 games following the All-Star break.
The deal doesn’t guarantee Yakupov will be part of Edmonton’s long-term core, but it shows the team has not given up on their former No. 1 pick.
Image from 5of7 via Wikimedia Commons
From TSN’s Insider Trading – December 16th, 2014
Pierre Lebrun reports that most GMs around the league think that a Taylor Hall trade would be more likely to happen in the off-season as opposed to mid-season. He says the Boston Bruins and Pittsburgh Penguins would be very interested.
Darren Dreger lists Nail Yakupov and Justin Schultz, two players that have failed to meet their pre-NHL expectations, as two other players in players available in the Oilers’ rebuild, which he characterizes as “fully in play”.
Dreger also reports that the Coyotes’ Antoine Vermette is drawing a lot of interest from around the league, with Boston and Pittsburgh in the mix on him as well. He suggests it’s unlikely Vermette would be moved prior to Friday’s Holiday Roster Freeze.
Bob McKenzie reports the Chicago Blackhawks are dangling some of their prospects (not Teuvo Teravainen) for some NHL-level depth at center behind Jonathan Toews, Brad Richards and Andrew Shaw.
Pierre Lebrun reports that the Winnipeg Jets, now down three of their top four defenseman with the injury to Jacob Trouba, are searching for some help on the back end with some urgency.
Bob McKenzie says that there’s lots of talk that Pete DeBoer may be on the thinnest of ice in New Jersey, although Jaromir Jagr gave his coach a ringing endorsement.
The Fourth Period reports that, despite Craig MacTavish‘s call for patience, Jordan Eberle‘s future with the club remains up in the air. Though the Oilers would expect a significant for Eberle, he’s still “very much in play” according to TFP’s source.
The Oilers are not expect to trade either Taylor Hall or Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, however.
The report says the Oilers are looking for a top-two centerman, a top pairing defenseman and a starting goaltender. It is also noted that Nail Yakupov, Jeff Petry, David Perron, Teddy Purcell and Justin Schultz are in play. Yakupov, like Eberle, would only be traded for a like asset, however.
According to Keith Allen of USA Today, the Pittsburgh Penguins may be interested in Nail Yakupov. If a trade were to occur, he believes that the Penguins would trade Olli Maatta to the Edmonton Oilers, a team that is in desperate need of an identity on their defense.
Still, he is skeptical that a deal will take place. Yakupov could become a new player playing alongside fellow countryman Evgeni Malkin, but there is certainly a high element of risk for the Penguins if they were to take part in such a trade.
“The Penguins are a Stanley Cup contender, and they want a scorer with a track record. What if Yakupov is another Alexandre Daigle? This kind of trade involves risk, and the Penguins probably want a safer bet,” wrote Allen.