Toronto Maple Leafs Need to make a bid for Nail Yakupov

By Jeff Zeffer

The consensus top pick for this year 2012 NHL Entry Draft will indeed be Nail Yakupov of the Sarnia Sting. But by the time the Toronto Maple Leafs pick 5th overall Yakupov and other prospects such as Alex Galchenyuk could be both drafted already. But according to former Red Wing player Igor Larionov, who is the agent of these two top prospect, the Maple Leafs want to trade their fifth pick to move up in the draft and select both forwards. Meaning Brian Burke needs to make a trade with the Edmonton Oilers (#1), Columbus Blue Jackets (#2) or the Montreal Canadiens (#3).

“It is possible that the Leafs are going to trade their draft pick and get both of them,” Larionov said in an interview published on “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 General Manager Brian Burke.”

But will Steve Tambellini and Kevin Lowe trade away their 1st overall pick? Some have being saying that Edmonton should trade down, and draft a defenseman to meet the team’s needs, but some have said to draft Yakupov because he will easily make the Oilers offensive punch even better.

“Steve Tambellini and Kevin Lowe 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.

Nail Yakupov recorded 31 goals and 38 assists with the Sarnia Sting.

Alex Galchenyuk did not recorded a point this season after suffeing a knee injury during the pre-season, as he only ended up playing 2 gmae in the 2011/12 season.

Is there a chance that these two former OHL teammates, could end on the same NHL team?

What will Brian Burke and the Maple Leafs need to give up in order to move up in the draft? Leave a comment, send me a tweet or email and tell me what you think.

Rant Sports Toronto Maple Leafs Feature Writer
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