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Oilers move on from Nail Yakupov in trade with Blues

Edmonton gets a pick and a prospect in the deal for the former first overall pick.

NHL: Arizona Coyotes at Edmonton Oilers Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports

Nail Yakupov’s fall from grace in Edmonton is now complete.

The Oilers finally moved on from their disappointing former top prospect on Friday, trading the left winger to the St. Louis Blues for a conditional 2017 third-round draft pick and prospect Zach Pochiro.

If Yakupov scores 15 goals this season for the Blues, the third-round pick becomes a second-round pick. He has only reached that threshold once, with 17 goals in his rookie season.

Yakupov’s trade comes just days after the Oilers named 2015 first overall draft pick Connor McDavid as the next captain of the franchise. The timing of the two moves is almost poetic; Yakupov was selected first overall by the Oilers in the 2012 draft.

Since then, the young Russian winger has struggled to earn ice time or show a consistent scoring touch. He’s never scored 20 goals or exceeded 33 points in a season, including a highly disappointing 2015-16 campaign in which he registered just eight goals and 23 points in 60 games.

For a first overall pick, Yakupov’s performance doesn’t match that of his peers:

Yakupov becomes the second former first overall pick traded away by Edmonton this year. This past summer, the team traded Taylor Hall to the New Jersey Devils for Adam Larsson.

The Blues have one final preseason game at home on Saturday against the Blackhawks. Whether Yakupov suits up is unknown at this point, though you’d expect St. Louis wants to get him some ice time before the season starts next Wednesday.