Blues' Yakupov doesn't receive qualifying offer

Jeff Curry / USA Today Sports

The up-and-down career of former No. 1 overall draft pick Nail Yakupov took another downturn Monday, with the St. Louis Blues declining to extend him a qualifying offer before the 5 p.m. ET deadline, leading to the winger becoming an unrestricted free agent July 1.

To say that Yakupov has not lived up to expectations is a massive understatement.

Following two seasons with the OHL's Sarnia Sting in which he tallied 80 goals and 170 points in 107 games, Yakupov was pegged as a surefire NHL sniper with elite offensive upside and a lock for a top-three selection in the draft.

Fast forward six seasons - one spent in the KHL and five split between the Edmonton Oilers and Blues - and Yakupov has become one of the biggest draft busts in recent memory, leading to the Blues declining to offer him a qualifying deal.

The 23-year-old is coming off a 2016-17 campaign in which he totaled three goals and six assists in 40 games.

Blues' Yakupov doesn't receive qualifying offer
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