It didn’t shock many NHL fans when former first overall pick Nail Yapukov was forced out of the league. The kid was a flop.
Yakupov played four years in Edmonton, one in St. Louis and one in Colorado. He recorded 62 goals and a total of 136 points in 350 games. Many people believe Yakupov was one of the the worst No. 1 NHL picks, however, the 25-year-old has managed to make a name for himself back home in Russia.
However, it seems like the word has come back to the NHL and that the forward could make a return to America sooner rather than later.
The Arizona Coyotes and “two other Western Conference teams” have expressed interest in bringing back Yakupov to the NHL next season according to a report from Russia’s AllHockey.
If the Coyotes are in the running for Yakupov’s services, the forward would be reunited with his friend Alex Galchenyuk, who was acquired from the Montreal Canadiens in exchange for Max Domi this summer.
The report does not mention if the other interested parties are teams that have already work with Yakupov, like the Oilers, Blues and Avalanche.
In July 2018, Yakupov signed a two-year deal with KHL powerhouse SKA St. Petersburg. He would have to terminate his contract with the team in order to pursue his career in the NHL.
We will definitely have to keep an eye on this…