Report: Blackhawks Interested In Nail Yakupov?

A funny thing happened on the way to the weekend: TSN’s Bob McKenzie tweeted about a potential Nail Yakupov-to-the-Blackhawks discussion.

Yakupov, who is celebrating his 23rd birthday on Thursday, was the number one overall pick in the 2012 NHL Draft. In four seasons with Edmonton, Yakupov has scored 50 goals with 61 assists in 252 regular season games. Over 144 games between 2013-14 and 2014-15, Yakupov was minus-68.

In 60 games last season, Yakupov had eight goals, 15 assists, a 49.48 SAT% with 27 takeaways and 21 hits.

He is entering the final season of a two-year bridge deal that carries a $2.5M cap hit. A left-handed shot, he is listed at 5-11 and 195 pounds and has primarily played right wing in the NHL.

With Gustav Forsling looking more and more like a roster lock for the Blackhawks, one would have to think Trevor van Riemsdyk could be included in a deal to get Yakupov from the defensively-needy Oilers. Another candidate to go would be veteran forward Andrew Desjardins, whose $800k cap hit would help offset to afford Yakupov – especially with Desjardins’ role in Chicago quickly shrinking because of the emergence of prospects like Tyler Motte.

50 thoughts on “Report: Blackhawks Interested In Nail Yakupov?

  1. McKenzie sent out his tweet mainly due to barstool chief tweeting the hawks were going to make a trade. A few minutes later he said it was Yakupov.

  2. Couple of spare parts players for a guy in need of a serious change of scenery. Low-risk high reward. TVR undrafted(825k), Desi (800k) a trade, and toss in McNeil 600K (who will clearly NEVER be a Hawks regular).

    I would run to trade TVR but I think the Hawks could live without him.

  3. If the Hawks could get the Oilers to retain some of his salary and take TVR, then it would be worth taking a risk on a former number one pick.

    The big challenge for Bowman is to turn some of the apparent depth on defense into scoring depth up front while managing the cap and keeping an eye out for the expansion draft. Easy.

  4. For a former number 1 in exchange for TVR, Desi & McNeil, I would make that trade. I can’t see it happening because I don’t see the Oilers getting the return they would like and because of the salary implications to the Hawks.

    If it was made, I see him replacing Hossa on the top line at right wing. Tab said his time in EDM was primarily on right wing. I certainly would not want to see the Hawks making him a left winger unless that is what Yak is most comfortable with doing. If Yak has any defensive deficiencies, they may be offset by Toews’ defensive prowess. This trade, if it happened, would further the excitement I am feeling about this season.

  5. Pucklogic your key words there apparent depth on defense we really don’t know for sure what is there yet do we.

  6. Stan will probably get them to retain a large chunk of his salary and give him virtually nothing back in return. Typical sly Stan move. On a line with Panarin and Toews he might score 30 goals. It all depends on how desperate the Oilers are to rid themselves of the selfish Russian. Stan is banking on the locker room altering his selfishness and him realizing what an great opportunity this will provide him for a real chance at a Stanley Cup and a big contract come free agency.

  7. For everyone wanting them to trade McNeil. The Oilers would be foolish to take McNeil in a trade unless they absolutely want to dump Yakupov. McNeil won’t make this team and must pass through waivers. The oilers are pretty high up the list in order of waiver claim.

  8. “”This trade, if it happened, would further the excitement I am feeling about this season.””

    You and I are polar opposites. If this trade happened I’d be sick to my stomach. Yakupov is garbage. Dumber than a post and helter skelter when on the ice.

    Allow me to add more clarity if you will. Right now he can’t beat out Kris Versteeg, Zack Kassian, and a raw rook, Jesse Puljujarvi, on the Oilers right side.

  9. I was listening to TSN Edmonton this afternoon and 2 things I took away from their discussion was 1. The Oilers are absolutely ready to move on from Yakupov. As a matter of fact the media was expecting him to be scratched tonight, and dont feel he has a spot on this roster or moving forward with the team. 2. They dont think this move is something thats going to happen now but possibly around the trade deadline. They were reporting the Oilers have spoken to atleast 15 GMs about Yak. and the Hawks are a name that keeps coming up. They aren’t expecting much of a return on him either. Bottom line if the Hawks want Yak he can be had for pennies on the dollar.

  10. if cost minimal worth the chance don t exppect alot but new team with anisimov and pinarin might get lucky


    There are still some in these parts that can’t get over a first OV being a bust and think he’ll come around. I’m obviously not in that camp.

    To cap it off his agent, Igor Larionov, has been beaking for the last two years.

  12. Oilers are weak on RD. I’d be willing to bet they’d take TVR or even Pokka for Yakupov in a heartbeat and happily retain the difference in salaries.

    Do the Hawks really want to give up on TVR at this point though?

  13. Trade prob not for awhile if at all according to bob mckenzie so i doubt they ll trade anybody wbo is in teams future plans on the ice or to be draft eligible

  14. Yakupov is a very talented head case. If anybody can get his head right it would be Q and Toews.

  15. “Stan will probably get them to retain a large chunk of his salary and give him virtually nothing back in return. Typical sly Stan move.”

    That’s right STANISTHEMAN. Stan will fleece them just like he did with Dallas, when he traded Sharp and Johns for two nobodies and hardly reduced the cap. The nobodies were traded for other nobodies and they’re all gone. Score: Dallas 2, Hawks 0. Or, how about Saad for Anisimov and Dano (and Morin). The much younger Saad had 53 points with an offensively-challenged team, while Anisimov had just 42 points, centering the Hart and Calder trophy winners. Dano was sent, along with a first round pick, for Ladd, a very expensive rental. At least the Hawks made a good trade: Morin for Panik.

    Yakupov plays soft and cannot backcheck. This is the last thing the Hawks need: more softness up front, especially with the departure of Shaw.

  16. Original6Hawkey. You’re an idiot. Stan was in no position to fleece Dallas. He was lucky to get what he got for Sharp and Johns who didn’t exactly light it up for Dallas. The current d would have made Johns obsolete. Saad never was no ever will be a star and Stan couldn’t meet his agent’s price. A 2nd line center is a very good return for a GM backed into a corner. Ladd was an attempt at another cup which is what you want your GM to do. So get a clue buddy and shut the #%#%^^ up.

  17. Original Six: Stan can’t hear you. He’s got two stanley cup rings in each ear and one left to shove up your ass.

    I like the idea of this trade. EDM has been a disaster of an organization. None of their top picks have achieved there. Putting Yak in a good system with vets could be just what he needs.

    EDM has been a disaster of an organization. None of their top picks have achieved there. Putting Yak in a good system with vets could be just what he needs””

    Are you smoking the drapes buddy or do you just not have a clue? None of their top picks has turned out? Really? Taylor Hall? Only a top 5 scoring LW over the past few years. Only the third highest PPG for ALL LW’s over the same time frame. In 2013 he WAS the top LW. 80 points in 75 games. A point ahead of Ovechkin in 3 fewer games. On a shitty team to boot.

    If you didn’t watch team North America recently Nugent Hopkins outplayed Brandon Saad by a wide margin…against tougher comp. Very good 2 way player thats quite capable of scoring 55-65 per season.

    Yeah Jordan Eberle is the shits too isn’t he? And that bum McDavid? He’s only going to be the top player in the league for the next dozen years or so. Not that there was a whole lot of skill involved in aquiring him.

    Still….You’re an idiot.

    As for Quenneville unlocking him…yeah maybe he could. Pretty doubtful but dare to dream. Similar odds you’d have of turning a plowhorse into a Kentucky Derby winner most likely. Yakupov has had decent coaching and been on good lines. He’s a freelancer that doesn’t know how to backcheck and won’t follow a system. He needs to be fed the puck continuously in prime scoring position to rack points and the only time he’s shown an inkling of being able to do that was in his rookie year.

  19. With all that talent and those first round picks, when was the last time the Oil made the playoffs, never mind being a contender. I think that I read somewhere that in the last 10 drafts they had a top 10 pick in 9 of them. In 4 of the last 7 drafts they took number 1 overall. Still didn’t make the playoffs. How else do you define a disaster of an organization? They may have some good players but they don’t know what to do with them or don’t know how to develop them.

    If you can’t even make the playoffs in 10 years with those great picks – you are a disaster.

  20. I would not consider this trade unless it was for Rockford personnel and a 4th or later draft pick with EDM picking up substantial salary. As others have noted Yak has played with some high level talent even though the teams have sucked. In recent years he seems like he has been a dumpster fire. I also seem to be in the minority in thinking that TVR can be a solid depth guy. How quickly everyone forgets how little depth we have had the last couple of years. Lastly I watched the Rangers tonight and you barely noticed that Vesey was playing. Don’t think he has any chance to be a top 6 guy this year.


    He made the point that none of the top picks has achieved which is ridiculous.

    Yep the org is a disaster. Run by an old boys club for far too long much like the Hawks were for a multitude of years. They drafted a lot of very good kids, with the exception of Yakupov, and threw them to the wolves with no supporting cast. Can’t expect much in those cases but if someone wants to argue that Hall in particular, Eberle, and Nugent Hopkins aren’t good players then they really don’t know that much about the game.

  22. Remember when Frolik was acquired. Former 20 goal scorer on a bad team…those totals have to go up right? nope.

    Lets look at this in the big picture. Youre giving up nothing to get a guy. This guy had solid numbers as a rookie under a good coach. Coach was canned and the player has struggled ever since. Sure he’s one dimensional. If it truly is just an attitude adjustment he has 2 choices. Carry on. Or adjust. What better place than with a couple guys that speak your native tongue.

    Say this experiment fails like it very well could. YOu have almost nothing invested so you waive him. All but 300k comes off the books if he’s unclaimed. Entire salary is gone if he is and he probably would be. So why not? Keep him on a short leash. Produce or waive him.

  23. @Alberta you know what McDavid, Hopkins, Eberle, Hall, and I all have in common? We’ve never played in an NHL playoff game.

    Hall isn’t on the Oilers any more.

    And yes, I am an idiot.


    Hall is a good player, but not great (couldn’t make Team Canada). The rest are okay.

    McDavid on the other hand will probably get them into the playoffs because he will be one of the best. End of the 10 year drought. Finally.

    Yakupov has a chance to be a decent second line winger if he buys into the 200 foot game. He just might under Q and he has the added incentive of playing for a contract next year.

  25. Glad i was at work to miss out on all the slander ,cheap shots and put downs .
    This not a place where folks can voice an opinion and not be bad mouthed ?
    Bunch of over weight ,arm chair loving lazy sacks of salad dressing ,.,don,t forget the salad dressing for the big supper this weekend !!! Well YAK is a puzzle piece that the Hawks sure do not need what so ever ,.,.like never ever ,ever . An Enigma one could say ,selfish perhaps ,misguided according to some ,lacking hustle ,motivation others say ,,,,Mmmmmm . Sounds like a real fit . But the Hawks can fix him ,.,like a co-dependent can fix their disjointed lover , P .S . Mckenzie has been known to pass along a little B.S every now and then . Keeps his pay check rolling in . Nuff Said.

  26. I do not believe its happening boys. So, how ’bout those youngsters kicking ass in that game Sunday? Go Hawks!!!!

  27. The most meaningless words in hockey: “former first overall pick.” Who but a fool cares what you were at 18. The only thing that matters is what you can do for me now and in the future. Yak has proven not to be of much value to one of the consistently worst teams in the league. Putting any stock in a failed GM’s mistaken opinion is foolish. TVR has more upside than Yak. Who cares that he wasn’t drafted. Hartman is a first rounder. Shaw is a fifth rounder. Who would you rather have?

  28. I would imagine Stan is getting a lot of calls about his surplus of NHL capable defensemen.

    The question is whether Yak can be coached into Blackhawks puck possession hockey or if he still has a Junior hockey individual effort attitude that is too ingrained and cannot be fixed.

  29. Agree completely with Alberta’s take on Yak (and the oiler draft picks that did turn into real good players with still yet to be reached ceilings). If this trade was for Eberle to play alongside Toews and Panarin on the top line or anywhere in top 6, I’m all for it. Draisaitl I’d take in a heartbeat! You couldn’t give me Lucic or Yak for a set of waterbottles let alone a serviceable 3rd pairing d-man (so far) like TVR or a reasonably solid depth player like Desjardins. I have watched a lot of Oilers games over the past decades and followed their prospects and organization almost as close as I follow my beloved Hawks. Yak is the penultimate do it yourself, puck hog, over-rated 1/2 dimensional player. I was stunned that Edm drafted him let alone at number 1–still in disbelief–after watching him try to go 1 on 4 regularly in junior and world juniors (and most of the time give away the puck easily leaving his teammates stuck going the wrong way–sound familiar those of you who watched his awful plus minuses in edm?). He has his head down most of the time dipsy doodling around making weird circles that encroach on his teammates skating lanes. His halfhearted backchecks and being last one back when the puck is turned over even if it wasnt by him are lengendary in the worst way. Yes he’s worse than Ovechkin was before OV learned a bit about playing both sides of the puck. The worst part of Yak isnt his complete cluelessness in his own zone or his ridiculous goal celebrations when his team is down by four goals–ie team cancer and clueless about what it takes to win– it’s that he isn’t even a top player in the half dimension where he actually can play a little. He takes way too long to get his slapper off and although he has a pretty strong shot he doesnt know how to receive a pass properly and often takes off before he has complete control and rarely does he take any notice or even seem to care where his pass options are until its way too late and he has been surrounded. Then he might look up and try to pass the puck. He has no understanding that the fastest and most efficient way to get the puck from one end to the other is passing, moving the puck to your teammates rather than trying to skate it into your teammates lanes and around the obstacles of 4 opposition players. He is speedy but gets knocked off the puck easily because he doesnt protect it well and is weak on his skates. I could go on but those of you without a clue because you havent actually watched this former 1st overall joke, wouldn’t get any more enlightened likely so I’ll leave it at that. He is like Alexei Kovalev in his later years with mtl but not remotely as good offensively. Like Kovalev he would skate with his head down right up the middle in a crucial playoff game if with the Hawks and he actually made it to the playoffs and after being tapped on the wrist with a stick, he would turn over the puck leaving odd man rushes or breakaways while he made histrionics shaking his wrist or whining at the ref. He is not what playoff winners are made of. He is the opposite. Those who can’t see the difference have no business making comments on hockey. He who would burden a winner like Toews with a guy that has so unearned a top line spot with a good team have a warped sense of justice and merit and no clue how to build a championship team. Say no to Trum– I mean to Yak. Trump is the better choice than both Yak and Hilary. Bring on the hate. One goal–number 4 Cup– Go Hawks!!

  30. We have a good group now …why try to bring a guy who like to play is game is style and with himself…we need the kids we have now in the system we need Tvr because he plays IQ style game Tvr is not the best dman but he always do is best and he is a team player still have a bit upside in him ….Yak will just disturb the system in place and will probably not fit the Hawks system
    Are we really missing someting here with the Hawks ? No…. really not …the kids will make the difference this year ..Motte , Schmaltz ,Hino ,Forsling , maybe Hartman and Fortin ….WOW …do we really need to Yak with is poor way of playing the game ? No ….please dont bring this guy in the mix Noooooooo.

  31. I attended the Open Practice at Johnny’s yesterday…

    I have been “off the grid” – so have not watched pre-season games…

    thoughts from practice-

    Motte and Hino – were way better/ready than Schmaltz overall… Schmaltz did have a “weaker” line to center- But Schmaltz was pretty invisible.

    Forsling- is gonna be real good

    Kane looked bored/pissed not playing with 72

    They played a 5/5 possession drill (Never seen Q run it before)… the standouts were Kruger on His line
    and Dezi on his own line- with bums- Dezi played real hard- like he is worried about losing his job!!!

    Kruger’s shot seemed to have a little more bite- than in past.

    I saw a lot of sloppy passing into the feet of players-

    Panik- looked good on right wing
    Moose also sniped a few goals

  32. I’ll never understand the trade Desi comments. He is cheap, reliable, proven, versatile, and nails. In other words, he is exactly the kind of guy you need to fill out your roster when it’s top heavy with big salaries. Keeper.

  33. Walt- Hinostroza in games has been tough to evaluate. His speed is noticeable, kid flies throu the neutral zone. He’s had a couple of good defensive plays. He’s tough to contain. But it’s like his hands can’t keep up with his skates. He’ll gain the blue line then get pressured and tries to dangle and loses the puck. Or have a breakaway try to make a move and can’t get a shot off because he’s in too tight. Was noted on a broadcast that you can’t get away with some of that stuff at the NHL level.

    They had Schmaltz at right wing. Looked ok there. Nothing spectacular. Decent skating. Had him at left wing and he was completely lost. Then they moved him to center and you could tell he was more comfortable. But his faceoff numbers are a concern. Keep him in Rockford and try him at 2c next year if Anisimov is moved.

  34. Ernie- kinda agree on both…

    Hino- fun to watch, faster than most… but doesn’t usually translate to much…

    Schmaltz- did skate with “lower” end guys in this practice… what was really noticeable by me… in the “puck possession 5 on 5” Schmaltz was man handled on boards… then again- Toews didn’t get much going either… it was really Kruger’s line and Dezi’s misfit line that did best… I love Kruger- the guy has IQ/hustle/motor and is still improving.

    Motte- appeared to be the “Swiss Knife” guy… can do a little of everything… he looked to be the most ready to play NHL..

    Hartman- also looked really good- which makes me wonder about his drive- I watched him/Hogs several times… and Hartman really didn’t do much for me last year… He did fall on his ass one time – and whiffed on a one timer drill…

  35. In games Motte has looked like the best forward. Even had a shorty. Hartman has looked better the last 2 games. He got under Edmundson’s skin and got him to take a few penalties. He was Hartman Motte and Hinostroza were on a line for a bit and it was exciting to watch. Motte and Hartman then played with Kruger and it was just as nice.

    It’s tough to evaluate with teams being on different agendas.

  36. Also with Kempny he needs to stay home at both ends of the ice more. He’s gotten better…or at least it’s been less noticeable.

  37. Wall – thanks for the practice observations. Any comment regarding Kempny? I have a good feeling that Kruger is going to have a real strong season. Regarding Desi – at yesterday’s press conference Q was asked about Desi and gave a typical middle of the road response. I am a fan of Desi but it sounded like he was no sure lock. Hope I am wrong.

  38. Who would you replace Desjardins with? Do you play him at center or wing?

    If it comes down to Mashinter, Tootoo, and Desjardins….Desjardins all day long. He has actual value as a hockey player. Can skate every night and provide more than an enforcer…but will actually do a bit of the enforcer job, He had 10 fights in 13/14 and 7 in 14/15. Then joins the Hawks and has 2. No wonder he took less to play here. He doesnt have to fight 10 times a year. He did have the third most hits on the team as well. No issues with him being the 13th forward.

  39. Ernie – I completely agree with you on Desi which is why I was surprised by Q’s answer. The press conference should be on the Hawks web site. Hopefully I misread his response.

  40. I love dez too…

    Does everything well except score…

    Perhaps Q is looking to push new guys, with the hopes one of them can net 12 to 15 goals on low line… Q knows Dez… aint gonna score that much…

    Even when Dez was given 1st lw early last year… he helped with great possession numbers… but of course no scoring.

  41. Ouffff…… lucky for us ….the Blues will give yak a chance ….we will give a chance to the kids in the system ..

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