The consensus top prospect for this summer’s NHL Draft is having a rough season. Nail Yakupov has already missed time this season thanks to a knee injury and now he’s got a likely head injury to add to the list.
Yakupov took an illegal check to the head during his junior game in Ontario last night and was knocked out of the game from the hit. Yakupov was crushed illegally by Isles prospect Mike Halmo as he was cutting through the zone. Check out the video here.
With Yakupov’s two injuries just this year, the question now comes up as to how this will affect his draft stock in June, if at all. With the Columbus Blue Jackets in the driver’s seat for the No. 1 overall pick at the moment, seeing Yakupov take a hit like this on top of having a knee issue earlier in the year could give them pause when it comes time to pick.
As it is, Marc-Antoine Godin of La Presse in Montreal reports that three NHL executives he’s spoken to have told him the Blue Jackets are open to shopping the top overall pick should they get it and this news came down before Yakupov was hurt last night. With the Jackets out of the playoffs, let the postseason jockeying begin.