Nail Yakupov



On a personal level, there’s a lot to like about Nail Yakupov.

The kid wants to succeed in the worst way, he’s affable, helps the homeless and seems to have toned down his showboating.

But, today, the Oilers extended Yakupov for 2 years at $2.5M despite him being the worst #1 overall pick since Patrik Stefan in 1999.

Yakupov just completed his 3rd NHL season lets take a look at how the first forwards chosen since 1999 have fared in PP/G in their 3rd seasons.

Stefan – .389

Heatley – .806

Kovalchuk – 1.07

Nash – 1.00

E. Staal – 1.22

Ovechkin – 1.37

Crosby – 1.36

J. Staal – .598

Kane – 1.07

Stamkos – 1.11

Tavares – .988

Hall – 1.11

Nugent – Hopkins – .700

Yakupov – .407

That’s pretty damning especially when you consider Jordan Staal was assigned a 3rd line shut down role in Pittsburgh and still managed to outscore Yakupov by a considerable margin.

I can understand the Oilers trying to salvage Yakupov considering they used a #1 overall pick to get him but the reality is he is a marginal NHL player at this point.

I don’t put a lot of stock in plus/minus but it’s also worth noting that Yakupov just won the NHL Green Jacket with a -35 following on the heels of his -33 last season.

You can’t put too much stock in the stat but a career -72 does tell you this player cannot play defensively in the NHL.

Yakupov has two more years to prove he can play in the NHL but, based on his performance thus far…I wouldn’t bet on it.

And, it’s worth noting that Alex Galchenyuk, picked 2 spots after Yakupov, just posted a 20G 46P season (.575 PPG).



7 thoughts on “Nail Yakupov

      1. But if we take Yakupov’ points per game since Nelson took over (Dec. 30), it would be similar to Galchenyuk’s.

        Maybe Eakins was one of Yakupov’s biggest problems?


        1. Better…but still bad.

          25 points in 51 games post Eakins.

          .490 PPG.

          In the same time frame, (Dec. 16 onward) Galchenyuk scored .580 PPG.

          You could certainly argue Galchenyuk plays for a better team but the Canadiens didn’t score much either and Yakupov got extreme Ozone stars (63.6%) and sheltering.


  1. Watch out! The Oiler cultists will go to any delusional lengths to defend their sweetheart.

    Did you happen catch the comedic style of MacT at his press conference Monday? If he meant half of what he was saying, the management problems are deeper than I had thought.


  2. Hey all,

    Nice post, sum’s it up pretty well IMO.

    Sorry for the late post but just got back from South Africa and wanted to add a few things.

    I have to think Eakins was a big deterant in Yakupov’s development, I honestly think Eakins came in and tried to break Yakupov down military style much like he did with Kadri.

    I also think Yakupov was brutally miss cast, playing him with a rookie who had no buisness being in the NHL is so Oilers, Yakupov needed…….I hate to say this but a Horcoff type teacher, Roy really brought Yakupov’s game around.

    I can’t say enough about having a seasoned pro to learn from.

    Not using him on the PP was also a huge issue, miss used and miss placed on the PP.

    Yakupov’s game visually looks better, he’s hitting, going into corners, batteling and being hard on ther puck, with Eakins it was pull back, get back into the zone and dont make a mistake.

    I don’t think he’s going to be super nova, I like his last half of the seasons, now its up to the Oilers to surround the kid with better players and see what he can do with a good team.


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