It had been a difficult few years for Nail Yakupov since he broke into the NHL. Now 24 years old, he’s with his third team. He’s been injured. He’s been a healthy scratch. He so far hasn’t produced offensively like you’d expect from a No. 1 overall pick. His time in Edmonton was disappointing. He spent four seasons there before being moved on to St. Louis, where the struggle continued. We’ll preface this with the usual “It’s still early” line, but Yakupov is enjoying an impressive start to this young season with his newest team, the Colorado Avalanche. On Wednesday, he scored a beautiful goal to put Colorado ahead in the second period and then set up Matt Duchene later on to increase the Avalanche lead in a 6-3 victory over the Boston Bruins, giving Yakupov three goals and five points in four games and helping his team to a 3-1 record. It didn’t work out for Yakupov in Edmonton. Or in St. Louis, where he played in only 40 games, scored three times and recorded nine points. He wasn’t extended a qualifying offer this summer and became an unrestricted free agent. The Avalanche stepped in and took a chance on the once highly touted forward, signing him to a one-year deal worth just $875,000. For the Avalanche, it’s looking like a savvy bet early on. He’s been able to have success while playing on a line with the highly skilled Duchene and college free agent signing Alex Kerfoot. That’s quite a trio.
A fresh start with Avalanche is yielding promising results for Nail Yakupov
Pro Hockey Talk | Oct 12