|To St. Louis||Pos||Age||GP||G/W||P||Years||Cap|
|Nail Yakupov||F||23||60||8||23||1||$2.5 mil|
|Conditional 2017 3rd Round Draft Pick|
The 1st overall pick in the 2012 entry draft has been a bust, no question. You had to believe, however, that there was going to be a team out there that was willing to take the risk on Russian forward Nail Yakupov and in the last few days, the Central Division has been echoing his name. On Friday night, the eve before the hockey pool draft, the St. Louis Blues pull the trigger on the deal that sends the underachieving Russian to St. Louis for a former 2013 4th round pick and a conditional 3rd round pick in next summer's draft. The condition of the pick will be whether or not Yakupov can score 15 goals in the 2017 season, if so, the pick will move up to the 2nd round.
The Blues are going to start the season without Jaden Schwartz and that may have something to do with this risk-free acquisition, but it is one that the Blues are almost forced to do, because the firepower in their division will be so impressive, that they won't want to be left behind when the season starts. So, if Yakupov can add 15+ goals to this team in the season, they may have added a very cost effective winger and if not, a mid-round pick doesn't seem so bad.
For the Oilers, the open up a little bit more cap space with this deal and another roster spot for some new, more exciting youthful players can step in and try to thrive in their system. Jesse Puljujarvi, Drake Caggiula and Anton Slepyshev are all vying for an opening night spot still and there's now an extra spot to be had.
As camps wind down, both teams are looking to make sure their math works and between these two sides, there doesn't seem to be much concern. The Oilers have 29 players on their current camp roster and they are $7 million clear of the ceiling, while the Blues have 30 players on their camp roster and are only over by $2.4 million. Both are adding up well, so no salary was retained either way.