The Oilers' No. 1 draft pick, Nail Yakupov, was barred temporarily from playing in the KHL because his international transfer card was not approved. (Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
Nail Yakupov, who was taken as the overall No. 1 pick by the Oilers in June, was temporarily barred from playing in the Kontinental Hockey League, according to USA Today. The International Ice Hockey Federation requires that an international transfer card (ITC) be signed by the original country, the new country and the player; Hockey Canada did not sign Yakupov's transfer card. The 18-year-old right winger had already played two games with Neftekhimik Nizhnekamsk, and the Russian federation was fined 5,000 Swiss francs (approximately $5,300).
"The ITC was not signed by Hockey Canada and was thus not approved by the IIHF. Playing without an approved ITC following an international transfer request is a breach of IIHF transfer regulations," the international federation said in a statement. "At this time, being that Hockey Canada did not approve Nail Yakupov's ITC, his case is in appeal procedures. Until appeal procedures are complete and a decision regarding his transfer to Russia is made, an ITC will not be approved or denied by the IIHF."
Yakupov is from Nizhnekamsk, a city in the Republic of Tatarstan, 500 miles east of Moscow. He played two season with the Sarnia Sting in Ontario to prepare for the NHL draft and signed an entry-level contract with the Oilers in July. Last season, Yakupov had 69 points and 31 goals in only 42 games with the Sting. He was the first Russian-born No. 1 draft pick since Alex Ovechkin was taken by the Capitals in 2004