The Colorado Avalanche have added another goal-scoring option by signing former No. 1 overall pick Nail Yakupov to a one-year deal, while the Carolina Hurricanes have acquired Marcus Kruger from the Vegas Golden Knights, the forward’s second trade in three days.
Yakupov was the top pick by Edmonton in the 2012 draft and was traded to St. Louis before last season. The right winger scored three goals and dished out six assists in 40 games for the Blues.
The 23-year-old has appeared in 292 career NHL games with the Oilers and Blues. Colorado general manager Joe Sakic says Yakupov is a “skilled winger who will add depth to our lineup.”
The Avalanche, who announced the deal Tuesday, have been active this offseason. The team acquired Colin Wilson from Nashville for a fourth-round selection in the 2019 draft and brought in goaltender Jonathan Bernier on a one-year deal.
In the deal announced Tuesday, the Golden Knights picked up Carolina’s fifth-round pick in the 2018 draft. Chicago traded Kruger to Vegas on Sunday for undisclosed future considerations.
Used primarily as a checking-line forward, Kruger had five goals and 12 assists for 17 points in 70 games last season. Overall, he has 33 goals and 72 assists for 105 points in 398 games over seven seasons and helped the Blackhawks win the Stanley Cup twice, in 2013 and ‘15.
Carolina GM Ron Francis says the Hurricanes are “determined to bring in experienced players with winning pedigrees” and adds that Kruger “fits that mold.”