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Yakupov: “I definitely want to go to Edmonton and play for the Oilers”

Apr 16, 2012, 2:27 PM EST

Nail Yakupov

We linked to this in the Morning Skate, but if you missed it, likely first overall pick Nail Yakupov would be more than happy to get drafted by the Oilers this summer.

“I definitely want to go to Edmonton and play for the Oilers, for sure,” Yakupov told the Edmonton Sun.

“I’ve played in Canada, in Sarnia, for the last two years. I love the people. I very much want to play for a Canadian team like Edmonton. I want to play for those guys!

“If they draft me, I will work very hard to make the team, give it everything I’ve got to work hard and play for the Oilers.

“I want to be No. 1. No. 1 is No. 1. I don’t want to be second or third.”

Of course, Yakupov could still go first overall and end up somewhere else if the Oilers trade the pick, an option GM Steve Tambellini has said he’ll explore.

Or, Edmonton could draft Yakupov and trade a young forward like Sam Gagner, or maybe Ales Hemsky, for help on the back end.

At this point, all options are on the table, which should make things interesting this summer.

  1. east96st - Apr 16, 2012 at 2:36 PM

    “I want to be No. 1. No. 1 is No. 1. I don’t want to be second or third.”

    Translation – For the love of God, don’t give Columbus the opportunity to draft me!

    • cincycbjfan - Apr 16, 2012 at 3:29 PM

      Agreed! Goes like this…

      “Russian Player + First Round + Columbus Blue Jackets = End of Russian’s NHL Career!”

      ala Zherdev, Filatov…

      It’s unfortunate, but true… and I say this as a CBJ fan!

      • east96st - Apr 16, 2012 at 4:32 PM

        I feel for you cincycbjfan. I’m 25 minutes, door to door, to Nationwide when there’s no construction delays. You have drive 2 hours to watch the misery.

  2. nobandwagoners - Apr 16, 2012 at 2:38 PM

    That’s cool. Saying all the right things at least.

    Edmonton has a bright future. Hard to manage in the salary cap era but, still, hope. Any team would be jealous for the young talent there.

  3. cweez2 - Apr 16, 2012 at 2:38 PM

    “There’s nothing like playing in Alberta. Passionate fans, and you’re done by April!”

    – Jarome Iginla

  4. govtminion - Apr 16, 2012 at 2:55 PM

    “I look forward to going to Edmonton, where I hope to play alongside greats like Mark Messier, Wayne Gretzky, Paul Coff- huh? Really? 1988, you say? Hmmmm… I, ah, hope Edmonton does the right thing and trades the first pick to a team like Boston or Pittsburgh…”

  5. tcclark - Apr 16, 2012 at 4:36 PM

    they should draft him. I know their talent is at the forward position, but when your team is that bad, you draft the best player available. Plus it’s not like they were putting up a ton of goals this year or anything

  6. cactusranger71 - Apr 16, 2012 at 5:31 PM

    Jeez he was so over enthused the writer put an exclamation point in his quote.

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