Leafs eyeing trade up for Yakupov


One of the NHL’s top offensive draft prospects, Nail Yakupov or Alex Galchenyuk, could become Toronto Maple Leafs, according to the Sarnia Sting stars’ agent Igor Larionov. Or possibly both of them.

In an interview conducted by Russian hockey reporter Andrey Osadchenko and published on OilersNation.com Tuesday night, Larionov said that three Canadian teams — the Edmonton Oilers, Montreal Canadiens and Toronto Maple Leafs — are interested in his talented clients.

“(Oilers GM Steve) Tambellini told me: ‘We like him (Yakupov). We want him. But we’re going to make a decision the day before the draft.’ I also know the Habs want to get one of my guys — either Nail or Alex,” Larionov, a Hockey Hall of Famer, told the site.

“So do the Leafs. It is possible that the Leafs are going to trade their draft pick and get both of them. There is a possibility like that. Nail and Alex went to New Jersey for Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Finals. After this they met Leafs GM Brian Burke. Then Nail met with the Habs.”

The Leafs currently hold the fifth pick in the NHL Entry Draft, which begins June 22 in Pittsburgh. The Canadiens pick third, and the Oilers won the lottery and the No. 1 pick.

“The day before this interview I talked to Steve Tambellini and Kevin Lowe. They really like Nail. However, at this point they can’t promise anything,” Larionov said. “The same goes for Columbus. (Blue Jackets GM) Scott Howson, Craig Patrick and Tyler Wright spent two days in Sarnia with Yakupov and his family. It’s a serious indication they really want him.



38 Responses to Leafs eyeing trade up for Yakupov

  1. mojo19 says:

    What could we possibly move to get both?

    But let’s pretend we could for a second, just musing of course. Any plan for an nhl franchise is a gamble and comes with some risk but building around 2 high end prospects who tore it up together in junior is a plan I could really get behind.

  2. toronto77 says:

    Doubt this happens. The trade would have to be

    To Tor: 3rd overall pick(Galchenyuk)
    To Mtl: 5th overall pick(Forsberg/Terrevainen), Colborne/Kadri

    To Tor: 1st overall pick(Yakupov), a little something extra
    To Edm: Gardiner, Kulemin, Colborne/Kadri

    I am a HUGE fan of Gardiner and noooooo chance in hell Edmonton considers trading the first overall pick the leafs without Gardiner being somehow involved.

    I would love to have Yakupov, but a player like Gardiner does not come along very often. The only way as a leaf fan that I would consider trading Gardiner is if we were sure to sign Schultz.

    If Edmonton were smart, they’d just select Yakupov and try and sign Schultz themselves.

    I keep saying this, this draft was soooo much more simpler before edmonton won the lottery. before that, CLB was sure to take Yakupov at 1st, EDM was sure to take a much needed Murray at 2nd, MTL was sure to take a much needed Grig/Gal, NYI was and is still sure to take a d-man and Tor was sure to take a very much needed Grig/Gal.


    No one knows if edmonto will:
    1. Select Yakupov
    2. Drop down to select Murray
    3. Or trade away that pick for much more NHL ready young players.

    CLB is a huge wild card depending on what Edmonton does

    MTL isn’t really affected because they are still guaranteed to select one of Gri/Gal

    NYI isn’t strongly affected because after Murray, they have a hand full of talented d-man to pick from

    Tor is strongly affected because if Grig/Gal are selected by CLB and MTL, than Toronto does not get the big no.1 centremen they wanted. Forsberg is probably the next best thing and even though he is a winger, he can also play centre, but I doubt he will ever play centre a well as Grig or Gal.

    If we did do that trade than Lupul-Galchenyuk-Yakupov would look nice next season.

    We might be able to pull of the edmonton trade even though I wouldn’t want to because of Gardiner, but no way the MTL trade gets done because who’s to say that MTL doesn’t need a no.1 centremen as bad a Tor? Why give one of your biggest divisional rivals a chance to select a centremen that will haunt you for 15+ years?

    What does everyone else think will happen 1-5?

  3. blaze says:

    I think it could be done but what a costly bold move. Would be the biggest move of Burkes career, trumping his play for the Sedins. It would be expansive and likely a short term step backwards but it seems possible and maybe it’s the right bold long term move that needs to be made.

    Use the 5th overall to move up to first. Perhaps flip with NYI first for the 4th to assure Edmonton lands Ryan Murray. Package the 5th (or 4th) with Schenn and Colborne (Kadri, someone else or +?). That’s Yakupov.

    As for Galenchyuk, Columbus is one of if not the only team in the top 5 that would move the pick out right without a first coming back. Regardless of what happens with Rick Nash the team will not be blown up and rebuilt. The goal next year is still to make the playoffs. This is not only to save Howsons job but the future of the Blue Jackets themselves. This doesn’t mean they’ll sacrifice the future but they want to compete now.

    Something involving both Grabovski and Reimer as the core pieces to the deal I think would get Howsons interest.

    This would mean the goaltending would need even more attention. I know you in particular would hate it but maybe that makes Luongo the best option. Or maybe tank for one more year. Snagging the top 2 picks in this draft I’m sure would buy Burke another year of no playoffs.

  4. Steven_Leafs0 says:

    The only way it could get done is if Columbus is willing to trade down to 5th overall and Edmonton is somehow willing to flip the 1st overall for a huge package of players.

    to TOR: 2nd overall
    to CLB: 5th overall, Frattin, Rynass

    to TOR: 1st overall
    to EDM: Gardiner, Colborne, Kulemin

    Obviously it would never happen, and these deals likely are not even close to enough to get the top 2 picks but you all get the idea.

    I doubt Columbus would downgrade for Frattin and Rynass but I’m sure there is a deal that is acceptable to Toronto to make, but I doubt Toronto would pay the price for Yakupov which must include Gardiner for obvious reasons and IMO must involve Colborne so that Edmonton would have a potential big top 6 centerman and some other asset(s) to even out the deal.

    What do you guys think the Leafs would have to pay to get the 1st and 2nd overall picks?

  5. reinjosh says:

    To move up two spots the Leafs give up a top prospect? Come on, that’s ridiculous.

    If that’s what Bergevin is asking, while I don’t blame him, he’s nuts if he thinks he can get it. I’m not paying anything more than our 2nd round pick (which is a pretty damn high price as it is).

    If that won’t cut, I’ll take whoever’s left. Kadri/Colborne and the 5th pick is better than just the 3rd.

  6. reinjosh says:

    It’s just Larionov musing too I think.

    I think it would be much more likely that Burke makes a move for a 2nd top 10 pick than a 2nd top 5 pick.

  7. reinjosh says:

    So my comments aren’t posting correctly. It seems to be an issue that happens to a lot of people so far. Trade man, check it out?

  8. reinjosh says:

    To move up two spots the Leafs give up a top prospect? Come on, that’s ridiculous. If that’s what Bergevin is asking, while I don’t blame him, he’s nuts if he thinks he can get it. I’m not paying anything more than our 2nd round pick (which is a pretty damn high price as it is). If that won’t cut, I’ll take whoever’s left. Kadri/Colborne and the 5th pick is better than just the 3rd.

  9. reinjosh says:

    I have a feeling the Leafs do nothing on draft day but draft a player with the 5th overall pick. I think people are expecting a lot but I just have a gut feeling nothing happens. Or rather a gut feeling someone takes Galchenyuk and Forsberg before us, and Burke/Morrison pass on Grigorenko for a Dumba/Reinhart/Murray. It’s just building up to be a disapointing day I think

  10. TimTheBone says:

    It would be ridiculous to ask for that much and its why I think the top five picks remain with their respective owners… MTL does not swap picks with TO unless a significant established piece comes back… The bit about divisional rivals and a 15 year haunting is exactly why the price would be higher…

    Giving up a second in order to move two spots to grab the guy you really want is peanuts in my mind…

    Just not gonna happen….

    Oh also gardiner kulemin and Kadri I still think doesn’t get a trade to the number one pick done….

    I’m thinking more like gardiner, Kadri, gunner/schenn, (maybe a second this year)

    It would be a defense heavy deal… Not forwards

  11. Steven_Leafs0 says:

    The only way it could get done is if Columbus is willing to trade down to 5th overall and Edmonton is somehow willing to flip the 1st overall for a huge package of players.

    to TOR: 2nd overall
    to CLB: 5th overall, Frattin, Rynass

    to TOR: 1st overall
    to EDM: Gardiner, Colborne, Kulemin

    Obviously it would never happen, and these deals likely are not even close to enough to get the top 2 picks but you all get the idea.

    I doubt Columbus would downgrade for Frattin and Rynass but I’m sure there is a deal that is acceptable to Toronto to make, but I doubt Toronto would pay the price for Yakupov which must include Gardiner for obvious reasons and IMO must involve Colborne so that Edmonton would have a potential big top 6 centerman and some other asset(s) to even out the deal.

    What do you guys think the Maple Leafs would have to pay to get the 1st and 2nd overall picks?

  12. TheLeafsNation91 says:

    I disagree completely.

    I would trade the 5th pick and one of Kadri, Colborne, or Schenn for the 2nd overall pick from Columbus. Those three are solid prospects, but none of them are “blue-chip” talents and none of them wukk take Toronto to the next level.

    Galchenyuk’s strong combine is taking him to blue chip status and that is what Toronto is missing in their lineup and in their prospect pool, elite talent. Right now, besides Kessel, its a bunch of second-line to third-line talent.

    With the depth that Toronto does have, losing one of those three is not a tragic loss as you’re making it out to be. Especially if Galchenyuk, which is Burke’s probable #1 besides Faksa, is coming back as the return.

  13. TheLeafsNation91 says:

    They might be avle to trade with CLB

  14. mojo19 says:

    Just as a comparable situation, in 2008 Cliffy traded the 7th overall pick, along with a 2nd and 3rd to move up to the 5th spot.

    This move from 5 to 3 would be similar. Some years, a move from 5 to 3 would be huge (i.e. the year it was Tavares-Hedman-Duchene, and 2-3 were getting tons of hype.) But this year, depending on who you talk to, what you read, and where, everyone seems to have a different opinion of who is the 2nd, 3rd, 4th best, etc.

    Yakupov is the only concencus, then Grigs was the guy for a while, now they’re all saying Gally. Forsberg has been a hot name, now this Teirovenen kid is popping up. Ryan Murray is the best d-man, but Dumba was a hot name for a while, then Griffen Reinhart, now Morgan Reilly.

    So there seems to be about 4 big d-men, and 4 or 5 big forwards. So it is possible that Montreal could get there guy a couple spots lower, and maybe a 2nd would be enough if its this years, 35th overall.

  15. TheLeafsNation91 says:

    I think Columbus is an easier target.

    They lack picks and prospects

  16. toronto77 says:

    If montreal really wants Grigorenko and not Galchenyuk for some reason. Then I say it’s a smart deal for Montreal im sure they can get him at 5th and toronto will take galchenyuk at 3rd, but i don’t see the point in this unless toronto fears that NYI will take one of the two and not a d-man.

  17. TimTheBone says:

    I tried posting this but it didn’t work yesterday…

    Would leaf fans be opposed to move down if let’s say all forwards are grabbed before #5…. For example

    #1 yakupov
    #2 galchenyuk
    #3 grigorenko
    #4 Murray

    Now my question becomes why not load up on picks and move down and select either the terivaneno kid of whatever his name is (can’t spell it for the life of me) or Faksa…. Both are general wildcards and could end up anywhere from 5-12…. Both solid centerman picks …. I think you could make a deal like moving down to the 7 or 8 spot and select one of those guys… Trade based on the idea the team you’re trading with wants a defenseman… Then you could still get that center, and another high second rounder, and maybe a fouth or fifth to fill in your draft more…

    TO: 5th overall

    CAR: 8th overall, 2nd round, 5th round

    I think you could land one of those guys with number 8…

  18. mojo19 says:

    to Timmy – Murray is D. I would expect the Leafs to pick Forsberg in this scenario. However if Forsberg is picked at 4 and all fwd’s are gone, I wouldn’t wanna move down, I would hope to land Murray.

  19. TimTheBone says:

    Yes I’m fully aware Murray is d.. haha

    I wrote this with forsberg being a non issue considering he’s more predominantly a winger and more than likely translates that skillset to the nhl rather than center… Given that situation.. if burke and fans reeeeeally want the centerman… Move down two spots and you’re all but guaranteed one of faksa or the tera whatever his name is… Carolina most likely picks forsberg maybe a dman… Anaheim I see selecting dumba or reinhart… Minnesota selects most likely a dman.. they don’t need centerman…. Toronto then picks a solid center while loading up on other picks in the draft

  20. mojo19 says:

    Timmy –

    Fair enough. And ya I like looks of Radek Faksa. Wouldn’t hate that, but I’d prefer Forsberg. Best available talent, not needs. That’s how I would draft, but one guy’s opinion.

  21. LeafsFTW13 says:

    Faksa comes from the same programs that help build players like Skinner and Richards. He probably had the most hype out of the three in their draft eyars.

    He’s a safe pick, will be a solid NHLer but there could be some hidden upside to his game since he has only been playing North American hockey for one season, a very impressive season at that.

    Who knows? As he continues to grow in NA he could become maybe one of the best players in thsi draft.

  22. LeafsFTW13 says:

    I’ve mentioned this already and I still believe it. Burke will look to trade up with Columbus, and due to their lack of prospects, they might do it if one of Schenn, Colborne, or Kadri comes back.

    Is it real loss? These are solid NHL talents, but none of them are considered blue chip or elite talents while a player like Galchenyuk, who I assume Burke would trade up for, is.

  23. LeafsFTW13 says:


  24. mojo19 says:

    I would love to draft 2 of Yakupov, Grigorenko, Galchenyuk, and Faksa. That would be sweet. Even though none of them are Canadian.

  25. mojo19 says:

    I just went to write how I never get Grapes, and guess what? Yep…. Grapes.

  26. leemon says:

    I highly doubt that the leafs would give up a rick nash package to in order to trade up to tkae Yakupov.BB has already stated that he’s not going to give away the farm just to add one player,Like Ive been reading from alot of you so far.

    The fact that see names like Gardiner/Kadri/Colborne/Ashton and maybe even Scrivens and draft picks being parts of packages along with one of our top 4 D-men used to get Yakupov and still not be enough is complete hogwash.

    Just the fact that those players are still playing in the CALDER CUP finals,has improved the value incredibly.Also People should just get the fact that Gardiner is NOT going anywhere. And if he was used in a deal to get Yakupov it would be our 5th over all pick and Gardiner and THAT IS IT !!!

    And besides if rumors are true that Shultz is going to sign here because he wants to play with Gardiner then i highly doubt BB is going to do anything that puts that in jepardy.

    If Edmonton trades down there still going to get a top 5 pick which still carries alot of value. The only way i see them getting a overloaded package would have to come from the other teams drafting on the other end of the first round cause it would take as much to trade that far up. Not from a team drafting in the top 5 cause we already are going to get a good play in that spot.

    But if BB somehow pulls it off and lands yakupov and galcheyuk i have to believe that Lupol and or Kessel would be used to get into a the top 3 which would be a perfect fit if he goes to Columbus. We have the pieces to get it done, its just not going cost as much as some may think or at least cost us nearly all of our high end prospects as some would have us believe!!!

  27. TimTheBone says:

    But that’s the point… Tambo isn’t trading the 1st overall pick for gardiner and move down…. That’s not enough to TAMBELLINI… Even then… If Im Edmonton I don’t do that deal either…. I think I’d do gardiner, frattin, and the 5th… I don’t think Tambo would… But I would… I just don’t believe he moves that pick for anything less than a ridiculous overpayment… That’s where all the suggestions are coming from… It’s a thought process on what Tambo would make the deal for… Not what burke would or what burke would offer

  28. TimTheBone says:

    And also that’s why I think the top five picks stay with their respective teams… I said it somewhere before…

  29. razer1818 says:

    What i am seeing here is all a mistake. There is no way that the order of the draft stays the same. This is how I see the draft playing out.

    1. Columbus (from Edm)…. Yakupov
    2. Edmonton (from Cbs)…. Murray
    3. Montreal ………….. Grigorenko
    4. NY Islanders ………. Bumba
    5. Washington ………… Foresburg
    6. Anahiem …………… Galchenyuk

    Edmonton will trade down to the 2nd overall pic for 31st overall pick (rd.2)

    Columbus then will trade the 5th overall pick (Tor) to the Washington Capitals for the 11th and 16th overall picks

    Toronto will Trade the 5th overall pick along with Luke Schenn, Kulemin, Armstrong (Salary Dump) to Columbus for Rick Nash

  30. TimTheBone says:

    Well razor… That’s an interesting scenario… But the things I see wrong with it are this…. Tambellini won the lottery for the first pick… He won’t trade back down to his original spot for simply one more high second round pick… Especially when he’s stated only a significant offer would make him THINK about moving the pick… That’s the first thing…

    Second thing is that package for Rick nash won’t work… It’s not even close to howson’s asking price… And while howson may not actually get what he’s asking for based on its ludicrousy… Schenn and kulimen and the 5th ( which according to your scenario is flipped for two mid first rounders) isn’t close to a viable counter offer… Kulimen can’t re-coup nashs impact on the team… Schenn is a solid mid pairing dman… Armstrong is third line winger with grit and the ability to move up the lineup invade of injury but its most likely him to be injured and his contract isn’t a great one…

    Also I just don’t see CLB wanting that first overall pick.. they are free from the pressure of selecting another Russian… 2nd is a much nicer place for them

  31. Steven_Leafs0 says:

    2nd overall is definitely not a nicer place for them since Yakupov would have replaced Nash nicely and kicked off product sales and interest in the team similar to the way Ovechkin did to Washington.

    But I do agree that Columbus will not be trading to 1st overall, and if they wanted to they sure as hell would have to offer more than the 31st overall pick. Last thing Columbus wants to do is give up a major asset like Johansen just because they lost the lottery IMO.

    And your right, that deal from the Leafs is missing a key piece, despite the fact that the 5th and 2nd overall picks could really help Columbus, the Leafs need to offer more.

    That being said if I am Columbus I would try hard to get the 5th overall pick from Toronto, if most of the talk is correct and the Islanders are 100% drafting a defenseman then Columbus can draft Murray with the 2nd overall, Montreal likely picks Galchenyuk, the Islanders then pick one of Reinhart, Reilly, or Dumba, and Columbus gets Forsberg with the 5th overall (the player I believe they would draft 2nd overall if they don’t trade for the 5th pick).

    So lets say the deal end up being Nash for Kulemin, Schenn, 5th overall, Armstrong (like raser posted), then add: Colborne and Rynass, and with the 2nd and 5th picks Columbus picks Murray & Forsberg respectively that means Columbus ends up with:

    Kulemin (decent PWF, no where near Nash but they cannot get a Nash like player back anyway)
    Schenn (solid 3/4 defensive D-man, if he returns to the potential we saw in season 1 then a possible 2/3 D-man)
    Forsberg/Murray (depending how you look at it, getting the 5th pick allows Columbus to pick Murray earlier and still end up with Forsberg the guy they were picking anyway)
    Colborne (excellent big no.1 center prospect, Columbus needs one and this is a good way to potentially get one)
    Rynass (cannot have too many goalie prospects, especially if you are Columbus)

    If for some reason the Islanders pick Forsberg because he is the best player available, then Columbus can think about trading down the 5th overall pick for the 7th-10th pick and a nice asset.

  32. leemon says:

    Tambo is not exactly dealing from a position strength,It just looks that way.

    Gm’s around the league know that Tambo can’t afford to keep all his first round picks, And all th gm’s know that he’s desperate for top 4 D-men.

    While it is a nice postion to be in,because he will get that guy should he make the deal to trade down,I just don’t see Tambo getting what he’s asking for, And when has you ever seen a Gm throw away the organizations top young player or prospect just for the first overall pick, it doesn’t happen. especailly since Yakupov has yet to even play in the NHL. Now we all know he probably will,But not all 1st overall picks live up to the hype so its a gamble for any Gm to give up that much.Only Franchise player ie. Stamkos,Crosby,Ovechikin,Weber,Doughty will get those kinds of top prospects/players in a deal cause you know what your getting return.

    Besides i believe the path to the first overall pick would be made in seperate deals. Now after the first overall pick the next 4 players Grigerenko,Forsberg,Murray and Galchenyuk can go anywhere from 2 to 5 (which is kinda like picking 2nd anyways since you going to get a good player anyways).But what i believe could be a possiblity is BB using that 5th pick and possibly Franson or Gunnarson and/or our 2nd pick moving up to the 2nd overall pick.

    Now the we would have the 2nd pick we could use to move up to the 1st probably 2nd and Shenn as it wouldn’t cost as much and Edmonton could either move down and pick Ryan Murray or the could use that to move down further and possibly trade for another top 4 D-man. If Burke is truly trying to hit a home run and getting these players i haveto believethe Kessel or Lupol would also have to be involved in another seperate deal but that’s another senario altogether.

    So unless BB has a Milbury moment (see Yasin draft day trade)your right I don’t see Tambo Getting what he wants and i don’t BB setting back the leafs another 5 years to get the 1st overall pick.

  33. TimTheBone says:

    Whether he’s dealing from strength or not makes no difference because I don’t believe he’s desperate for anything… I sense no desperation from him at all… He’s going to have eberle and hall to resign… Both likely to get 5-6 million dollar contracts… Possibly on a 4-5 year term so they can reevaluate after those years… In between that is Hopkins and yakupov…. There’s no telling what these guys command just yet… But its likely to be similar to eberle and hall…. They’ll be able to afford three no problem as other large contracts will have left the books in this time…. I think with all the depth tambellini has accumulated at forward he’s in fine position to makes strong deals for any needs he sees with no urgency…. Omark and paajarvi are quickly becoming the outsiders on this oiler team and must be good looking pieces for trades…

    I’ll say it again for many reasons I just don’t see any deals being made for the top 5 picks…. Everyone selects in their current position..

  34. leemon says:

    with Eberle and Hall due to make a substancail increase hopkins is only a year behind them and he’s hitting his bonus targets that bring him up to the 3.75 million any ways same as hall and eberle is due to make a huge increase after the 2012-13 season and we’re not even talking about what Horcoff and hemsky 5.5 and 5 million respectively being in the mix. And if Edmonton drafts Yakupov and he hits all his targets, it could be up wards of 4 million as well.and we even havent talked about ryan smyth,coming back probably at 2-3 million a year.
    Thats alot of money for just those players even without Yakupov.

    And you think Tambo’s not desperate for defense thier best defensemen Ryan Whitney who only played 51 games and is a -16 is making 4million and the next best guy after that Shultz and his -12 and 7pts. Yep no reason to worry. Beacuse after those to you have Smid and his 15 pts (+5) and petry 25(-7)and barker who’s a UFA Tuebert is still green and after that there’s nobody coming up in there system.

    The oilers have no Organizatinal depth other then hall, eberle,hopkins, hemsky, paarjarvi who’s still only 2o years old. At this point Omark is a complete bust who at a smallish 5’9 is 25,26 years old, i don’t think he’ll be lighting it up any time soon unless they now award points for shoot outs. haha!

    so unless Tambo is willing to part with any of the above to land a top 4 then i’d say hes pretty desperate.And with ganger also a UFA and the UFA Market being really thin this year. It makes all the diiference in the world.

    So while i agree that he’ll likely keep his pick I’m not so sure he can unless he wants to pick first overall again this time next year.

    Thanks for the debate TimTheBone been pretty good no matter what happens at the draft i’ll deffinitly be looking forward to it and the Aftermath 😉


    • Steven_Leafs0 says:

      the Oilers have 26M in cap space right now so fitting Yakupov on their team is not hard, and next year Eberle will be the only significant raise to the cap, Hall’s cap hit is 3.75M, being an RFA he should make less than 6M easy, not really breaking the bank.

      While I agree that they need defense much more than offense, they have to draft Yakupov unless of course they get a massive overpayment.

      Also Gagner is a RFA not UFA, big difference for negotiations.

      • TimTheBone says:

        Ya beat me to it Steve….

        Yeah gagner is rfa… And by the time Hopkins is rfa and time comes for a raise smyth is likely gone… As is hemsky and horcoff…. And with hemsky you can create a package worth a decent top four defenseman… Horcoff will most likely be a deadline trade or offseason trade to a team looking to reach cap floor… Still a good player with a slightly inflated cap hit….

        Also I’m pretty sure the limit for rookie bonuses caps out at the 3.75 mil range… So yakupov making over 4 seems out of the question to me… I really see no need for desperation from him…. He’s got decent defensive depth but the problem becomes he has no offensive types making the difference… Barker is decent as is petry and peckham… Sitting is a Hal gill type… Teubert is slowly coming along … They only need to add one or two top 4 guys… A trade with Toronto might be worth looking at…throw hemsky maybe omark as well and take back lombardi and say schenn……something along those lines… Work out any fine details…

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