After being taken by the Edmonton Oilers with the first overall pick of the 2012 NHL Entry Draft, it’s no surprise that Nail Yakupov doesn’t want to return to OHL Sarnia. However, as the National Post reported, Yakupov doesn’t plan to play there even if the NHL season is delayed because of a lockout.
“Just for a visit, you know?” Yakupov said when pressed after flatly stating that he wouldn’t go back to Sarnia. “I have a lot of friends there, and I have my second family. I want to see (them) … I’ll go have a couple days with the family, and go to the rink and see my GM, my coaches, who helped me, who supported me for two years. The fans in Sarnia, they’re amazing, you know? I loved the fans. And probably, they loved me, too.”
That being said, when it comes to his alternate options, Yakupov is keeping his cards close to his chest. His agent suggested that he’d play in the KHL if there’s no NHL season, but Yakupov wouldn’t confirm that.
“Nobody knows,” Yakupov said. “Nobody knows. And I don’t know, too.”
For now, Yakupov is focused on getting ready for Edmonton’s training camp. When a new CBA is signed, Yakupov will be joining a talented group of young forwards that includes fellow first overall picks Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Taylor Hall.
Report: Islanders cut first-rounder Barzal from camp
It seems Mathew Barzal has played in his last game in a New York Islanders’ uniform for a little while.
Barzal took part in the Islanders’ preseason finale against the Washington Capitals on Sunday, but after that contest the Islanders decided to return him to WHL Seattle, per Newsday’s Arthur Staple.
He was taken with the 16th overall pick in 2015 NHL Entry Draft. That selection was well-traveled as it originally belonged to the Pittsburgh Penguins, but was involved in the David Perron trade and then moved to the Islanders as part of Edmonton’s deal to get Griffin Reinhart.
Barzal is noteworthy for his skill and speed, but he may have slipped in the draft due to a knee injury he sustained during the 2014-15 campaign.
The Islanders also reassigned Kirill Petrov, Kevin Czuczman, Scott Mayfield, and Adam Pelech to the AHL’s Bridgeport Sound Tigers.
Torres offered in-person hearing, potentially setting up long suspension
The 33-year-old forward that has become known primarily for his controversial hits has once again put himself in the sights of the NHL’s Department of Players Safety. They confirmed that he was offered an in-person hearing following his hit on Jakub Silfverberg Saturday night. He declined the opportunity to meet with them face-to-face, but the offer itself is an important detail because it gives the league the option to suspend him for more than five games.
It certainly seems like the stage is set for a lengthy suspension. While Torres is not considered a repeat offender as his last suspension came more than 18 months ago, the NHL still retains the right to consider his history when deciding on this matter.
Among other incidents, he was once was banned from 25 games for his hit on Marian Hossa in 2012, although it was later reduced to 21 contests after an appeal. The NHL found that Torres was guilty of breaking three rules for that hit; namely interference, charging, and illegally hitting the head. The NHL is reviewing Torres’ latest incident for the same three violations.