Tag: Nail Yakupov

Edmonton Oilers v Pittsburgh Penguins

‘Very quiet’ on Derek Roy-Edmonton front, says agent


Not a huge surprise, but there hasn’t been much contract talk between Derek Roy and the Edmonton Oilers.

“Nothing to report,” Roy’s agent, Rob Hooper, told PHT on Wednesday. “Very quiet to date.”

It’s easy to understand why. Few teams have undergone more front office changes than Edmonton this offseason — Bob Nicholson was brought in as CEO, Peter Chiarelli was hired as GM and former Sharks bench boss Todd McLellan became the team’s new head coach.

So it stands to reason that, with all this changeover, Edmonton’s decision-makers haven’t had a ton of time to reach out to free agents. With that said, it’ll be interesting to see how the conversation goes once — or, if — they reach out to Roy.

The 32-year-old did enjoy a bounce-back campaign after getting traded to the Oilers in late December. Roy scored 11 goals and 22 points in 46 games, averaged nearly 17 minutes per night and developed some good chemistry with Nail Yakupov, who assisted on eight of Roy’s markers.

“I was waiting for a center for three years,” Yakupov said of playing with Roy, per the Edmonton Sun. “It’s the first time I’ve had a really good center and I’m really happy for it.

“It took us a couple of games to get used to each other and now we’re pretty comfortable. It’s easy to play with him. He can move the puck and he’s really smart. All I have to do is try to get open for a shot.”

Of course, all of this occurred under the Oilers’ old regime. Roy was acquired by now-assistant GM Craig MacTavish — it’s still unclear how big a role he’ll have under Chiarelli — and thrived playing for interim head coach Todd Nelson, who will reportedly explore other head coaching gigs now that McLellan is aboard.

Roy’s efforts also came prior to Edmonton winning the 2015 NHL Draft Lottery, which meant winning the rights to OHL Erie superstar Connor McDavid — who, like Roy, plays center. Edmonton also has 19-year-old center Leon Draisaitl, currently starring with WHL Kelowna at the Memorial Cup, looking to get back to the NHL next year.

Should he head to free agency, Roy would be in a class loaded with veterans. It would be curious to see how much his mini-revival with Edmonton sparked interest league-wide, especially after disappointing stints in St. Louis and Nashville.

Yakupov’s KHL rights acquired by powerhouse CSKA (Updated)


Bit of interesting news out of Russia — per the KHL website, the rights to Oilers forward Nail Yakupov have been acquired by one of the league’s biggest clubs, CSKA Moscow.

Yakupov’s rights were acquired from Nizhnekamsk Neftekhimik, the team he played for during the lockout-shortened ’13 campaign. Since then, the 21-year-old has spent three seasons in Edmonton and recently inked a two-year, $5 million extension with the Oilers that runs through 2017.

The first overall pick at the 2012 NHL Entry Draft, Yakupov’s had some difficult times in Edmonton but seemed to turn a corner at the end of last season (which coincided with the coaching change from Dallas Eakins to Todd Nelson). He scored 21 points over his final 31 games of the season, and earned praise from both Edmonton’s coaching staff and upper management.

Since then, though, the Oilers have undergone some significant changes. Peter Chiarelli has replaced Craig MacTavish as GM and, last month, the club won the draft lottery — and the subsequent right to select Connor McDavid first overall in June.

As for the club acquiring Yakupov’s KHL rights, CSKA is home to the likes of ex-NHLers Alex Radulov, Stephane Da Costa, Evgeny Artyukhin and Andreas Engqvist, and rolled through the regular season this year with a league-high 139 points.

Updated: Replying to our inquiry, Yakupov’s agent Igor Larionov called the move a “standard rights transaction,” adding he was unaware the transaction had been made.

Malkin, Tarasenko to play for Russia at Worlds

Evgeni Malkin

Russia has significantly bolstered its lineup for the upcoming World Hockey Championships.

On Tuesday, Pittsburgh forward Evgeni Malkin and Blues sniper Vladimir Tarasenko were both locked in to represent their country when the tourney gets underway in the Czech Republic on May 1:

These are pretty significant adds for a Russian team looking to win back-to-back gold medals for the first time since 2008 and ’09. The Russians captured last year’s tournament on the strength of three KHL-based players — Viktor Tihkonov, Danis Zaripov and Sergei Plotnikov — but will be loaded with NHL talent this year; in addition to Malkin and Tarasenko, Team Russia will also feature the likes of Sergei Bobrovsky, Anton Khudobin, Nail Yakupov and, reportedly, Nikolai Kulemin.