The Colorado Avalanche have signed forward Nail Yakupov to a one-year, $875,000 deal.
Yakupov, the first overall pick by the Edmonton Oilers in the 2012 draft, has appeared in 292 career NHL games since while tallying 53 goals and 64 assists. He had nine points in 40 games with the St. Louis Blue last season.
During his rookie season in 2012-13 that was shortened to 48 games because of the NHL lockout, he led rookies with 17 goals and tied for most points (31).
“Nail is a young, skilled winger who will add depth to our lineup,” Avs general manager Joe Sakic said in a news release. “We look forward to seeing him at training camp.”
Yakupov should boost an Avalanche attacking corps that struggled to find the back of the net in 2016-17 — finishing last in the NHL in goals scored (165) and touting a lone 20-goal scorer (Miko Rantanen) — but features the likes of Nathan MacKinnon, Matt Duchene and Gabriel Landeskog. The Avs also acquired veteran winger Colin Wilson from Nashville in exchange for a 2019 fourth-round draft pick.
Along with MacKinnon and defenseman Erik Johnson, Yakupov is the third No. 1 overall pick on the Avs roster.