Nail Yakupov’s time in the NHL may be at an end after six seasons.
The Colorado Avalanche winger is set to become a restricted free agent this summer after completing a one-year, $875,000 contract.
When asked by BSN Denver's Adrian Dater if Yakupov would be returning to Russia to play in the KHL next season, Yakupov’s agent stopped well short of saying no.
“He’s a grown man, and he will decide what’s best for him,” Yakupov's agent, Igor Larionov, told Dater.
Yakupov has failed to meet expectations since being selected first overall by the Edmonton Oilers in the 2012 NHL Draft.
The 24-year-old scored nine goals and added seven assists in 58 games with the Avalanche this season. He did not dress in any of the team's six playoff games.
He signed with the Avalanche in July after he was not qualified as a restricted free agent by the St. Louis Blues last year.
A veteran of 350 NHL games with the Oilers, Blues and Avalanche, Yakupov has 62 goals and 136 points in his career.
Yakupov played in 22 games with the KHL's Nizhnekamsk Neftekhimik during the 2012-13 season, before joining the Oilers for the lockout-shortened campaign.