Skip to content

Nail Yakupov will reportedly play in KHL if there’s a lockout

Aug 21, 2012, 4:37 PM EDT

Nail Yakupov Getty Images

One of the down sides to a possible lockout is that we’ll be denied seeing some of the great young talent drafted this summer. In Nail Yakupov‘s case, the Edmonton Oilers’ loss would seem to be the Sarnia Sting’s (his junior team) gain.

Not so fast.

IIHF Communications Director Szymon Szemberg reports Yakupov’s agent, Igor Larionov, says his client will take his talents to Russia and the KHL for the year if the NHL lockout ends up cutting into the regular season. Rather than suit up for the Sting, Yakupov will play for Neftekhimik Nizhnekamsk.

Provided this is true, it won’t do much to calm the nerves of people worried Yakupov would jump ship full-time to play back home in Russia, but he’s made it known from the outset that playing in the NHL is what he wants to do. If there’s no games being played in the NHL, you have to play somewhere and doing it at home makes for a comforting option.

  1. Vintage Hockey Barn - Aug 21, 2012 at 4:48 PM

    Reblogged this on and commented:
    Are we really concerned about Nail Yakupov if there is a lockout

  2. ray2013 - Aug 21, 2012 at 5:37 PM

    Well I’m sure if you’re an Oilers fan you’re concerned. Despite their recent luck, you don’t get first overall draft picks very often, and you don’t want to lose the consensus top prospect for this year to a major injury or a change of heart.

    • hockeyflow33 - Aug 21, 2012 at 6:12 PM

      If you’re the Oilers, you get them all the time

    • atwatercrushesokoye - Aug 21, 2012 at 6:31 PM

      Or to the Russian mob “suggesting” that it’s in his family’s best interests if he stays in the K.

    • violettdesire - Aug 21, 2012 at 11:22 PM

      Not to concerned. It’s obvious the kid is serious about playing in the NHL. He and his family moved to Edmonton just last week. He, like plenty of other Russian-born NHLers will probably take refuge in the KHL should there be a lockout.

Top 10 NHL Player Searches
  1. P. Kessel (1803)
  2. P. Kane (1287)
  3. P. Datsyuk (1264)
  4. M. Richards (1115)
  5. M. Giordano (1108)