Vancouver Canucks: Top 15 unrestricted free-agent targets

MONTREAL, QC - MARCH 14: Dwight King
MONTREAL, QC - MARCH 14: Dwight King /
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vancouver canucks
EDMONTON, AB – APRIL 2: Nail Yakupov /

No. 3: Nail Yakupov

Another long-time Oiler now looking for a new home after a shaky season is Nail Yakupov. The former first overall draft pick is now a fringe NHL player and looking to prove himself worthy of the NHL.

Age: 23
Height: 5-foot-11
Weight: 195 pounds
2016-17 Stats: 40 GP – 3G – 9PTS
2016-17 Salary: $2.75 million

As one of the youngest players available, Yakupov is likely going to come dirt-cheap. His offensive instincts are undeniably good but his ability to think the game at the NHL level and be responsible defensively have been questionable.

But as everyone says, if Yakupov and Travis Green find magical chemistry and find ways to get Yakupov playing at the level everyone knows he can, there is nothing stopping me from projecting Yakupov as a future top-six forward with much offense and little defensive weaknesses.

For those reasons, a rebuild may welcome a Yakupov or two to develop into steals.