Nail Yakupov

Yakupov: “I definitely want to go to Edmonton and play for the Oilers”


We linked to this in the Morning Skate, but if you missed it, likely first overall pick Nail Yakupov would be more than happy to get drafted by the Oilers this summer.

“I definitely want to go to Edmonton and play for the Oilers, for sure,” Yakupov told the Edmonton Sun.

“I’ve played in Canada, in Sarnia, for the last two years. I love the people. I very much want to play for a Canadian team like Edmonton. I want to play for those guys!

“If they draft me, I will work very hard to make the team, give it everything I’ve got to work hard and play for the Oilers.

“I want to be No. 1. No. 1 is No. 1. I don’t want to be second or third.”

Of course, Yakupov could still go first overall and end up somewhere else if the Oilers trade the pick, an option GM Steve Tambellini has said he’ll explore.

Or, Edmonton could draft Yakupov and trade a young forward like Sam Gagner, or maybe Ales Hemsky, for help on the back end.

At this point, all options are on the table, which should make things interesting this summer.

Memorial Cup champion goalie Appleby signs with Devils

Ken Appleby
The Canadian Press via AP
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Ken Appleby never got drafted, but his efforts during the New Jersey Devils’ training camp have earned him an entry-level contract, per the Bergen Record.

Although no team saw it fit to take him before the preseason, the 20-year-old is coming off of a very strong season. He had a 2.08 GAA and .924 save percentage in 50 games with the OHL’s Oshawa Generals. He went on to lead them to a Memorial Cup championship and earned the the Hap Emms Memorial Trophy as the tournament’s top goalie.

Appleby is the fifth goaltender the Devils have under contract after Cory Schneider, Keith Kinkaid, Scott Wedgewood, and Yann Danis. He’ll likely begin the season in the ECHL.

Alexandre Goulet and Jacob Sweeney also participated in the Devils’ training camp on an amateur tryout basis, but both of them have been released.

PHT Morning Skate: NHL stars weigh in on McDavid

Connor McDavid
The Canadian Press via AP
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PHT’s Morning Skate takes a look around the world of hockey to see what’s happening and what we’ll be talking about around the NHL world and beyond.

Some of the NHL’s top players discuss Connor McDavid‘s potential and the hype surrounding him. (Toronto Sun)

While we’re on the subject, Wayne Gretzky recalls what it was like for him going into the NHL and what’s in store for McDavid. (Edmonton Sun)

Sam Gagner is about to start a key season in his career. (Philadelphia Inquirer)

It’s time for the Washington Capitals to make some tough calls, particularly when it comes to Derek Roy. (CSN Mid-Atlantic)

With Raffi Torres hearing scheduled for today, here’s a look back at his suspension history. (San Jose Mercury News)

The Chicago Blackhawks have gotten their championship rings. (