A couple of comments on Lowetide last night regarding the painful progress of Nail Yakupov got me thinking about what a little hindsight would do to the draft rankings in 2012.
I was always in favour of taking Alex Galchenyuk first in the draft…mainly because he was a centre but also because his draft year injury left him undervalued. Obviously time has proved those to be correct assumptions but it also gives us a chance to re-assess that draft in the cold light on a March day in 2015…and the results are not kind to Yakupov at all.
I mentioned last night that I didn’t think Yakupov would go in the top 10 in a re-draft and after examining the evidence more closely this morning, I think that’s a reasonably safe assumption.
Galchenyuk, while being brought along slowly in his first couple of seasons, is on pace for a 25 goal 50 point season while Yakupov has only 11 goals and 25 points despite getting extreme Ozone starts and playing very soft competition. It’s also worth noting that, despite and that tender loving care from Oilers coaches, Yakupov also has the worst plus/minus in the league at -35.
Now, I’m not one to put too much stock in the plus/minus stat but when your are among the worst in the league for consecutive seasons, it does say something about your game.
But the misery for Yakupov and his supporters don’t end there.
These are the the PPG stats for some of the top players in that draft in my opinion. Let’s keep in mind it was a very D heavy draft but, even so, some of these results show you how poorly Yakupov has performed. (D in bold)
Forsberg – .678
Galchenyuk – .547
Hertl – .509
Yakupov – .446
Trouba – .419
Lindholm – .414
Girgensons – .397
Maata – .387
Rielly – .368
Some things become pretty obvious…Yakupov, despite his extreme sheltering is barely out producing defensemen taken lower in the draft and despite it still being early days on this draft class, I think an update at this juncture would seem to indicate the Oilers would like a mulligan.
It also should be noted that other teams have a different (read:more patient) development schedule for their rookies so a few others may soon leave Yakupov in the dust too.
I’m thinking of players like Teuvo Teravainen, Tanner Pearson, Derrick Pouliot, Jacob Trouba and Matt Dumba who is having a fantastic season in Minnesota.
Another provision is that Ryan Murray has been hampered by injuries so we don’t have a real read on him yet.
1) Alex Galchenyuk
2) Filip Forsberg
3) Morgan Rielly
4) Jacob Trouba
5) Tomas Hertl
6) Ollie Maata
7) Hampus Lindhom
8) Zemgus Girgensons
9) Matt Dumba
10) Nail Yakupov
I expect Tanner Pearson would also be in the top 10 if not injured as he had 12 goals in 42 games and that Cody Ceci also merits consideration but he’s being brought along slowly in Ottawa so we may not know his top end for a while.