Just eight years ago, Nail Yakupov was the first overall pick of the 2012 NHL Draft and was one of the most coveted players making his way into the big league.
However, this week, the former first overall pick hit rock bottom.
After he was selected by the Edmonton Oilers in 2012, everyone expected Yakupov to become one of the top stars in the league and to help the team become a contender. Unfortunately, after a rookie season of 17 goals and 31 points in 48 games, Yakupov failed to improve his defensive game and was traded out of Edmonton four years after becoming the expected saviour of the club. He was traded to the St. Louis Blues, who let him go as a free agent once his contract come to an end.
He signed a deal as a free agent with the Colorado Avalanche, hoping to get his NHL career back on track, but he left for the KHL where he has spent the last two seasons.
This year, he was part of the third line for the St. Petersburg SKA, recording just 10 goals and 20 points in 46 contests. Now according to Andrew Zadarnowski of Habs Eyes On The Prize and TSN, the team has asked him to renegotiate his deal. Yakupov reportedly refused to do so and was traded.
He landed with Vityaz, who has now demanded he renegotiates his contract as well! If he refuses once again, they have threaten to trade him or simply put an end to his deal.
Yakupov is just 26 years old, but he is not the hockey star everyone expected him to be back in 2012.
What a way to hit rock bottom - and fast!