Nail Yakupov is likely playing in his final season with the Edmonton Oilers.
As reported Sunday by Russian media outlet Sport-Express, Yakupov requested to be traded prior to this season's trade deadline and the Oilers had granted his agent, Igor Larionov, permission to speak with other teams to help facilitate a move.
TSN Hockey Insider Bob McKenzie said in an interview on TSN 1260 in Edmonton on Monday that the move isn't surprising, and the chances of him being traded this off-season are high.
"They really don't have a spot for him, long-term," McKenzie said. "He's part of the surplus that (Oilers GM) Peter Chiarelli is going to need to move to try and improve other areas."
TFP reported multiple times prior to, and after, the Feb. 29 trade deadline that the Oilers were actively trying to trade Yakupov, with the Montreal Canadiens and Winnipeg Jets being two of the teams in the hunt.
Trade talks are expected to pick up after the season and a deal could be made closer to the NHL Draft, which takes place in Buffalo in late-June.
McKenzie suggested Yakupov could even be moved in a larger, multi-player trade, if the Oilers can work on a bigger deal this off-season.