NHL Free Agency 2018: Former No. 1 pick Nail Yakupov signs in KHL, likely cements legacy as bust – CBSSports.com

Six seasons after being selected as the top overall pick in the NHL Draft, Nail Yakupov is heading to the KHL. 

The 24-year-old Yakupov, who was selected first by the Edmonton Oilers in 2012, is going back to his home country of Russia after signing a two-year contract with the KHL’s SKA St. Petersburg. Yakupov was an unrestricted NHL free agent.

Yakupov spent the first four season of his NHL career in Edmonton, where he tallied 50 goals and 111 points in 252 career regular season games. He was traded to the St. Louis Blues prior to the 2016-2017 season and had a very unspectacular one-year stay in St. Louis, scoring three goals and nine points in 40 games. 

Yakupov spent last season in Colorado, scoring nine goals and 16 points in 58 games. 

In total, Yakupov has played 350 NHL games with 62 goals and 136 points to show for it. 

Barring a return to the NHL and a major jump in performance, Yakupov will likely go down as one of the biggest draft busts in NHL history. As a prospect he was hyped as a huge offensive talent with an ability to score goals in bunches, but Yakupov never managed to hit the 20-goal mark in a single NHL season.

If Rick Nash decides to return to the NHL next season, Yakupov will be the only top overall pick since 2001 to not remain an active NHLer. 

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