Edmonton Oilers forward Nail Yakupov, the first pick of the 2012 NHL Draft, will play for Neftekhimik Nizhnekamsk in the Kontinental Hockey League, his agent told the Edmonton Journal on Tuesday.
Igor Larionov, Yakupov's agent, told the newspaper Yakupov could be in the lineup for his hometown team by Saturday.
Yakupov had 69 points in 42 games for the Sarnia Sting of the Ontario Hockey League last season, and could have returned there, but instead has opted to play in the KHL for the duration of the work stoppage.
You can be hyped all you want, but his game will speak for itself. He's obviously going to be a great player so we've got to make sure we keep an eye on him. Whether it's his first game or his 1,000th game, our job is to take care of business, shut him down.
— Blues defenseman Alex Pietrangelo on facing ballyhooed Oilers rookie Connor McDavid, who is making NHL debut in St. Louis
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