As far as the Canadian Hockey League is concerned, top NHL draft pick Nail Yakupov still belongs to them.
The first-overall pick of the Edmonton Oilers had been hoping to spend his time locked out of the NHL at home in Russia playing for his hometown team, Neftekhimik Nizhnekamsk, in the KHL. But the CHL and Hockey Canada see it differently, since he’s still under contract to the Ontario Hockey League’s Sarnia Sting.
“He hasn’t been released,” said CHL president and OHL commissioner David Branch. “It certainly caught those of us in the league office off guard because he suddenly was reported as playing in the KHL. We had no knowledge of that.”
Yakupov spent all summer telling reporters he wasn’t sure what his plans were, except that he wouldn’t go back to junior. In August at a press event in Toronto, he was directly asked if he would return to Sarnia.
"No,” he said. “Yeah, but just for a visit ... go to the rink and see my GM and coaches who have helped me and supported me forRead More »from Nail Yakupov still under contract with Sarnia says CHL