Report: Blackhawks, Oilers have discussed Yakupov trade
The Edmonton Oilers may be close to finding a new home for their embattled former No. 1 pick.
The Oilers had previously talked with the Chicago Blackhawks regarding a potential trade involving Nail Yakupov, reports TSN's Bob McKenzie. He said nothing's imminent in terms of a deal, and the Blackhawks are exploring options from within to fill holes in their lineup, but reiterated that Blackhawks general manager Stan Bowman may still have interest.
Edmonton would have to take back a portion of Yakupov's $2.5-million salary, McKenzie notes, as the Blackhawks remain up against the salary cap.
The teams are indeed talking, according to Sportsnet's Mark Spector, and the Oilers would reportedly receive minor-league assets in a potential deal.
Yakupov is a high-skill, low-risk forward who Chicago could likely employ at a fraction of his modest salary, and would have options with down the line. There's also familiarity on the roster, with countrymen Artemi Panarin and Artem Anisimov filling top-six roles for the Blackhawks.
The fifth-year professional's been squeezed from a prominent role in Edmonton, as the team has made a concerted effort to surround its other high draft picks with veterans who serve complementary functions.
Yakupov scored eight goals and 23 points in 60 games last season.
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