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Fresh start for Yakupov

by Chris Wescott @TheChrisWescott / Head Writer

On Friday evening, the Oilers traded former first-overall pick Nail Yakupov to the St. Louis Blues in exchange for a conditional third-round pick - that could become a second rounder - and Zach Pochiro.

On Saturday morning, Oilers Head Coach Todd McLellan and General Manager Peter Chiarelli were able to give their thoughts on the transaction.

"I think it's going to be a good thing for (Yakupov)," said McLellan. "He needed a fresh start, and he'll make good on it. He's going to get an opportunity perhaps to play in the top six there, who knows? And he will take advantage of it. That's something that needed to happen. It wasn't working for him. I think it came to a head last year when he made the comment about not wanting to be here anymore and that's a hard thing to say and then re-enter a locker room with your teammates, and it will be good for him and it will be good for us."

Chiarelli echoed McLellan's thoughts on Yakupov getting a fresh start with a new club.

"We talked to Nail yesterday, and that's pretty much the message gave him that maybe it's time for a fresh start, here," said Chiarelli. 

"'You're a good kid. It didn't work out here,"" Chiarelli says he told Yakupov.

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