RE 15-16 NAIL YAKUPOV: DAMAGED GOODS

It is impossible for a fan to cheer against Nail Yakupov. His child-like enthusiasm for the game and life in general is intoxicating, and stories of his genuine goodness pop up with increasing frequency. As much as we love Nail, and as hard as we try, finding a place for him among the gifted kids remains an issue. Why can’t this work?

NAIL YAKUPOV 12-13

  • 5×5 points per 60: 2.20 (3rd among regular forwards)
  • 5×4 points per 60: 4.20 (5th among regular forwards)
  • Qual Comp: 7th toughest among regular forwards (second-third line opp)
  • Qual Team: 7th best teammates among regular forwards
  • Corsi Rel: -5.1(11th best among regular forwards, -15.22 CorsiON)
  • Zone Start: 51.1% (6th easiest among regular forwards)
  • Zone Finish: 51.0% (6th best among regular forwards)
  • Shots on goal/percentage: 81/20.99% (1st among F’s>70 shots)
  • Boxcars: 48, 17-14-31

NAIL YAKUPOV 13-14

  • 5×5 points per 60: 1.45 (5th among regular forwards)
  • 5×4 points per 60: 2.68 (7th among regular forwards)
  • Qual Comp: 7th toughest among regular forwards (second-third line opp)
  • Qual Team: 4th best teammates among regular forwards (second-line teammates)
  • Corsi Rel: 0.6 (9th best among regular forwards)
  • Corsi for % 5×5: 44.9
  • Corsi for % Rel 5×5: +0.8
  • Zone Start: 64.2% (easiest among regular forwards)
  • Zone Finish: 52.0% (best among regular forwards)
  • Shots on goal/percentage: 122/9% (5th among F’s>100 shots)
  • Boxcars: 63, 11-13-24

NAIL YAKUPOV 14-15

  • 5×5 points per 60: 1.23 (6th among regular forwards)
  • 5×4 points per 60: 3.55 (6th among regular forwards)
  • Qual Comp: 9th toughest among regular forwards (third-third line opp)
  • Qual Team: 11th best teammates among regular forwards (fourth-line teammates)
  • Corsi for % 5×5: 46.3
  • Corsi for % Rel 5×5: -6.0
  • Zone Start: 61.0%
  • Zone Finish: 49.3%
  • Shots on goal/percentage: 191/7.3%
  • Boxcars: 81GP, 14-19-33

 VOLLMAN SLEDGEHAMMER

oilers f 1415 vollman

RE 14-15 REVIEW

yakupov black

RE 15-16: 77GP, 20-18-38 .494

  1. What’s this? This is the Nail Yakupov preview for next season.
  2. Its, uh, better than I thought it would be. I think Nail will recover a bit this season—call it the McLellan factor married to talent and desire. A change is as good as a rest. It isn’t a major jump and it may not be enough to keep him here but if the Oilers are going to play the man he’ll score some. He was tied for No. 168 among NHL scorers last season—right at the end of the second line scorers—and my estimate puts him at No. 140. That’s about midway through second-line scorers (who, logically, begin at No. 91 and go through No. 180).
  3. You just bloody hammered all damn week that he didn’t fit in!!! Oh, I don’t know that he will but I imagine we’ll see him have some success and recover a little. There’s a chance the Oilers pump and dump here, although if he starts filling the net his price point will make him tough to move. Nail is a tough damn subject, he really is.
  4. Left Wing? No. I think you keep him on his natural wing.
  5. Sticks on the boards! I think the Oilers need to put him in a position to succeed and he’s far more comfortable on RW. I saw him extremely bad LW this season, it isn’t good. Also, the Oilers have a nice group of LW’s, it’s less stable on the right side up front. We’ll see, Todd McLellan will surely have something to say about it.
  6. What was that trick with Eakins again? Do you mean Yakupov’s splits before and after?
  7. Yeah, scored more with Nelson but possession went down? In October-December, Yakupov was 0.8 5×5/60 and 2.4 5×4/60. January+, he was 1.53 5×5/60 and 5.38 5×4/60. Yakupov’s Corsi for % 5×5 before New Year’s was 47.59%, and after it was 45.48%. Basically underperformed offensively under Eakins, but had pretty decent (for Yak) possession numbers. After Nelson arrived, his scoring rates doubled (more than on the PP) and we are here.
  8. Voodoo! Well, it was a bad year all around but he did score better in the second half. The entire team was bleeding possession in the second half so that’s not specifically on our guy.
  9. Why can’t Yakupov just learn to play responsibly? Look, we knew what he was draft day. Yakupov’s cannons are all pointed toward offense and if the Oilers become a better possession team that helps Yak’s defense. Scoring goals is a tough damn thing to do, this isn’t an asset you just flush or break down into a failed scorer and a subpar checker. This is damn serious business here.
  10. Playing well defensively is a big part of the NHL game. No. Wrong. It’s possession. “They think there’s defending in today’s game. Nah, it’s how much you have the puck. Teams that play around in their own zone think they’re defending but they’re generally getting scored on or taking face-offs and they need a goalie to stand on his head if that’s the way they play.” Darryl Sutter.
  11. Well then what’s the answer? I think McLellan may try Korpikoski on LW and Lander at center, or maybe Korpikoski and Letestu. Veteran wingers who can mentor and do the dirty work while Yakupov riffs.
  12. Why did Roy work? Well, their possession stats weren’t great but I did see them good in the offensive zone with the puck. There was still a lot of chaos there to my eye but Roy found B flat and followed the changes.
  13. What is Yakupov’s outer marker as a player? I think he should be a consistent 25-goal scorer if he can find a groove, maybe higher in his peak seasons. This and next year are really important to him. If Nail can find a way to score goals while playing on a responsible line, he should have a significant career. We should prepare ourselves for less, though. The new coach is probably his last chance Texaco.
  14. So, he could score like Eberle? Yes. Eberle’s career high is 34,  I’d say that’s a reasonable outer marker for Yakupov. If he beats it, I’ll be glad to say I’m wrong. As it is, despite terrific talent (he has a great release and like all scorers has a nose for the net) Nail isn’t close to being a guy you can count on for 20 goals in a season.
  15. If this doesn’t work, who do we blame? Let’s say the Oilers and hope we never have to dig deeper and point the finger. Edmonton wasted a lot of talent along the way, let’s hope this young man can rise above the madness.
  16. Why wouldn’t McLellan just put him on the Hall—McDavid line? Maybe he will, but you have to ask yourself what happens when the puck turns over. Who is coming back? In that trio, who decided to break off pursuit and become the high forward? That’s why I think McLellan uses Purcell, a veteran player who can read and react.
  17. Why this song? “The change will do you good, I always knew it would” fits on several levels. People remember Yakupov under Ralph Krueger and I think there’s a sense he’d spike sans Eakins. That happened, but only in a narrow view (Yak’s scoring increased but the offense went both ways). I think the change WILL do Yakupov good, but we shouldn’t forget about the lessons unlearned.
  18. So it’s partly Yakupov’s fault? I don’t know how to answer that one. Hall and Eberle were gifted Shawn Horcoff, Yak played with Sam Gagner. That’s not similar mentoring, not at all. I’d say the Oilers misread the situation in two ways: They felt the best way to handle Nail in year two was that ghastly ‘tear him down, build him back up’ crap that they employed during the MacT regime.
  19. And? And I think they focused on what he wasn’t able to do instead of what he’s able to do. Good teams put young players in a position to succeed, Edmonton didn’t do that—the past two seasons have been focused on what he’s not good at, what doesn’t come natural to him.
  20. Why would they do that? There’s only one answer that fits. They didn’t value him, not like they should have. Nail Yakupov has always been the redheaded step-child and hasn’t ever been regarded as a full-fledged part of the future. No credit, all the blame and oh by the way you don’t get the feature minutes. I don’t blame Eakins, for me this is an organizational flaw that somehow blames these kids before their sins and disregards real and obvious deployment flaws. There is no player on this roster that needs a veteran hand at the coaching wheel more than Nail Yakupov. I hope he and Nail hit it off and this thing gets traction in October.
  21. Do you think it will happen? Too soon to know.
  22. A change will do him good? One way or another.

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87 Responses to "RE 15-16 NAIL YAKUPOV: DAMAGED GOODS"

  1. Lowetide says:

    At 10 on the Lowdown:

    10:05 Bruce McCurdy, Cult of Hockey
    10:25 Andrew Bucholtz, 55-Yard Line
    11:05 Scott Cullen, TSN

    10-1260 text @Lowetide twitter.

  2. Jaxon says:

    I really hope Yakupov finds the scoring touch he had during that 17 game span last season (Feb.9- Mar.18) when he got 15 points. That’s a 72 point pace. I don’t expect that, but if he could find that more often this season, it would go along way to building him back up as a #1. Personally, I’d like to see him play with Nugent-Hopkins and Pouliot. They would be a great mentoring line and be able to cover his weaknesses to some extent while feeding him the puck in dangerous areas. It’s weird to call Nuge a mentor to Yak as they’ll both be 22 on opening night, so let’s call Pouliot the mentor and Nuge the coverer/feeder. That would leave Hall and Eberle to play with McDavid and, wow, talk about setting your franchise player up to succeed! I think they could be lethal.

  3. mujidog says:

    Lowetide may not blame Eakins.
    But I sorta do.

  4. dangilitis says:

    I think this is very reasonable as far as expectations go. Doing the RE series must be really challenging for the Oilers this year because of all the line possibilities. Only so many goals to go around and the talent of the player will have to be married to TOI 5×5 and especially 5×4 if we want to see a direct correlation. If McLellan starts Yak on 2nd line and PP1 then I would want to see at least 50 pts this season from him. If Lander is his C and they’re rolling 3-4 lines and the PP time is “earned” on the team, then I would expect Lander-like numbers from Yak.

    Personally, I completely agree with the point about putting players in a position to succeed.

    That doesn’t mean abandoning D responsibilities, but to Yak that should start and end with PP time as a certainty. He derives a lot of confidence from points of any kind – he genuinely seems to be just as excited about a goal that he assists on than one he scores, and I have not seen that often from any player, let alone a young one. PP will give him some assists and chances to celebrate offensive success, and he won’t be the one having to keep the puck in at the blue line like Schultz (who may have lost confidence last year from those experiences and misadventures).

    He also has to play 5×5 with skilled players and while Lander is defensively responsible and I am rooting for him like mad, I still have my doubts about his scoring abilities. Also, I would never compare Yak to Kane’s abilities at this point, but I would think he should be looking to him as a player he would like to become, rather than a Toews. Eakins’ biggest mistake was trying to turn the young Oilers’ forwards into 12 Jonathan Toews using a system that differed substantially from what they had been accustomed to.

    Yak will never be a Toews like player, and likely won’t reach Kane like numbers offensively. But if the best we are hoping for is a complimentary player (e.g. top 9F who can play up and down) on a good team, I think that is giving up on him too early and is an attitude that will only hinder his development further. This is year 4, and the issue here is the discrepancy between his future potential as being a consensus #1 pick (which I don’t think has changed, remembering weaker year) and the speed in which such picks are expected to arrive (well before year 5, despite applying such rules and patience to players like Lander).

    A simpler conclusion restated is that he should not be pumped to be dumped, he should be pumped to develop and succeed (and then dumped only if his departure means dealing from position of strength to address weakness, like any other player)

  5. Remote says:

    Another possible song:

    Damaged Goods by The Bluerunners (cajun/swamp/something).

    https://youtu.be/s0qDnRWFxjw

    Apropos lyrics: “… Change it up? You know I’d do it if I could–don’t it sound like damaged goods? Yeah.”

    Here’s hoping Nail can change it up with the new coach.

  6. hunter1909 says:

    Too bad these Russians aren’t able to cope with playing for Kevin Lowe and his cronies.

    Too bad Kevin Lowe and his cronies don’t simply draft from the WHL / BCHL exclusively.

    Let’s blame a 20 year old from another continent for everything that’s gone wrong to date. (Dallas Eakins is a very good coach).

    Where’s my Vitamin B?

  7. LMHF#1 says:

    I know this is RE, but damn would that ever be a disappointing season. It would crush him. He needs a bounce-back and likely gets it.

    I’m struggling with how this “not a fit” – you need a trigger man. He’s the only one they’ve got. Eberle is kind of that sort of player, but not in a “skate to the spot and look dangerous” way that Yakupov is.

    Anything short of 30 (unless the new coach is meddling and trying to turn him into a different player) is sad given who he’ll have passing him the puck.

  8. 36 percent body fat says:

    Gagner and Yak were dynamite together under Krueger.

    THAN ALONG COMES EAKINS. Eakins destroyed all momentum these two had. Gagner was a right handed passer who put the puck on the Tsar Bombas stick. Results; top scoring rookie and oiler that season in Yakupov.

    What happened? Eakins wrecked both, and when Yaks veteran center couldnt make his zone coverages and couldnt put the puck on his stick, both his and Sams defensive and offensive numbers went down.

    Hmm come to think of it, the whole teams did.

    You can say their possession numbers were better, but eakins played to get good possession numbers, instead of good possession numbers being a result of good play.

    Corsi\Fenwick is a performance measurement, not a strategy to implement.

    @#$@#$%^! Eakins.

  9. hunter1909 says:

    dangilitis: Eakins’ biggest mistake was trying to turn the young Oilers’ forwards into 12 Jonathan Toews using a system that differed substantially from what they had been accustomed to.

    I’d say: Eakin’s biggest mistake was thinking that MacT + Lowe were anything other than Hillbilly morons.

  10. Ducey says:

    I’m sorry, but the “blame the Oilers” analysis doesn’t cut it with me.

    Hall, Nuge, Eberle, and even Lander all figured it out.

    Nail has played with everyone and mostly in very soft situations, and he still has not produced.

    When he got to EDM Nail’s ideal deployment consisted of 4 teammates working their balls off to put the puck on a tee in front of the net, so Nail could miss the net with it. He didn’t forecheck, couldn’t backcheck, couldn’t play defense in his own end, and didn’t even seem to be able to skate for a whole shift. He loved to gather up the puck and wind it up into his own end, only to get checked along the way. He still can’t beat anyone 1 on 1.

    You can look at the fact he scored 31 points in his fist year and say I am full of crap, but I look at his 20% shooting percentage (if he was shooting 10% he would have had about 22 points) and his terrible possession numbers. He was a liability.

    This last year, I think he improved in a lot of those areas. I know its not a popular position, but I think Eakins is responsible for that. Nail was backchecking, he could get in on the forecheck, he was cycling, and he was playing much more physical. He was passing very well (something he doesn’t get much credit for) and doing his jitterbug, switch direction thing. There were a few times a game he was quite a positive force.

    I think there is a decent chance he is a bust (I hope I am wrong) and if he is, it won’t really be on anyone – just circumstances. For example, its clear the best thing for him would have been to spend a year or so in the AHL. But being the #1 overall and a Russian who likely would have instead played in the KHL prevented that.

    I actually think McDavid might be the key to unlocking Nail. Not because McDavid will set up Nail, but because Nail will be able to find McDavid and spring him for breaks thru the neutral zone. This is what Roy did. McDavid might just have enough creativity to figure out how to play with Nail.

  11. Ca$h-McMoney! says:

    It’s like Godot hacked everyone’s account.

    Not that I disagree or anything.

    I’m waiting for Godot to chime in here.

  12. hunter1909 says:

    Ducey: I actually think McDavid might be the key to unlocking Nail. Not because McDavid will set up Nail, but because Nail will be able to find McDavid and spring him for breaks thru the neutral zone. This is what Roy did. McDavid might just have enough creativity to figure out how to play with Nail.

    McDavid’s a freak of hockey nature. There’s nothing he can’t do in any hockey situation.

    Yaks get hammered for being too cerebral a player for Eakins/MacT’s “Crucifixion Style” hockey system. With Disraitl it was apparent that Yaks is a special player.

    If Yaks gets to start the season with McDavid, he’s going to score like a 1OA pick.

  13. kinger_OIL says:

    – LT alluded to it, and it’s one of MacT things I’ve disliked about him strongly since forever. The old boys network, they all thought the way to win was to grind, and be responsible in the D zone first: because that is what they did.

    – Grind doesn’t win Cups: talented teams with well coached role players wins cups, not the other way around.

    – MacT and Lowe were along for the ride with the Cups winners: they don’t win without Gretz, Mess, Kurri, Coffey, etc.

    – There were/are many MacT’s and Lowe’s in the league: they just happened to play for Cup winners, and therefore have inflated views on themselves and their roles in winning

    – There are very few with Yaks skill set: think “Brett Hall-lite”.. The good coaches didn’t make Brett Hall a 200-foot player, or focus on strong D: they set him and his lines up to rip his cannon

  14. hunter1909 says:

    Ca$h-McMoney!:
    It’s like Godot hacked everyone’s account.

    Not that I disagree or anything.

    I’m waiting for Godot to chime in here.

    In Godot we trust.

  15. hunter1909 says:

    kinger_OIL: MacT and Lowe were along for the ride with the Cups winners: they don’t win without Gretz, Mess, Kurri, Coffey, etc.
    There were/are many MacT’s and Lowe’s in the league: they just happened to play for Cup winners, and therefore have inflated views on themselves and their roles in winning

    Lowe+MacT are like servants who take over a Manor House then put on airs to everyone.

    They’re like drunk sailors on shore leave.

    15 or so years with a single fluke Cup final appearance interspersed with 15 years of total futility and the death of many young hockey careers.

    A pair of dickheads.

  16. Woodguy says:

    And? And I think they focused on what he wasn’t able to do instead of what he’s able to do. Good teams put young players in a position to succeed, Edmonton didn’t do that—the past two seasons have been focused on what he’s not good at, what doesn’t come natural to him.

    This statement doesn’t jibe with this fact:

    Zone Start: 61.0%

    Here;s every forward Yak played over 100min :

    ROY, DEREK – 534MIN
    PURCELL, TEDDY – 407MIN
    ARCOBELLO, MARK – 193MIN
    DRAISAITL, LEON – 180 MIN
    POULIOT, BENOIT – 180 MIN
    EBERLE, JORDAN – 112MIN
    PERRON, DAVID – 109MIN

    He scored poorly when his C’s were Arco ((1.55GF/60) and DrySaddle (1.00GF/60)

    He scored better when his C was Roy (2.13GF/60)

    2.13 GF/60 would have placed him 215 in the NHL last year among forwards who played at least 500min.

    So just under a 2nd line scoring rate.

    I think his coaches tried to put him in a position to succeed (heavy, heavy ozs) but the C’s were too green to help the excitable puppy who has trouble exiting his zone with possession.

    Giving Yak the forwards lists above with +60% OZS (!) isn’t “not putting him in a position to succeed”

    I can’t think of an easier spot on the roster for him.

    Problem was he needed vet help and until Roy arrived he didn’t get it.

    This year his C’s will be CMD or Lander.

    Not sure Lander can help him as much as Roy in the ozone.

    Pretty sure CMD would help him score more.

    NOTE: This doesn’t address the relationship he had with Eakins. I can’t comment on that.

  17. Stud Muffin says:

    20 points in last 28 games.

    LT you don’t give Eakins credit for just how bad of a coach he really was.

  18. SwedishPoster says:

    Yak has already shown he can score at this level even if it is for stretches. He also is a hard worker, his reaction time defensively is so so which can make him seem lazy at times but imo it’s more a lack of defensive development/schooling and not a lack of caring. He needs to become more consistent offensively but that has a lot to do with confidence and having a set position on the team.

    He’ll likely never be a good defensive player though with his quick first steps, brilliant edge work and his physical ability to actually deliver a hit and hit hard he has some tools to become a pretty efficient defensive player if he can understand the positioning and defensive lanes, at least at a basic level. He’s a hard worker and he doesn’t seem unintelligent so he should be able to learn with some proper coaching. Someone might say he should have learned by now, but his first year he was a rookie, his second and start of his third year he played in a pretty toxic enviroment with a coach who clearly couldn’t communicate with him in a good way(that’s on both but from other players comments Yak wasn’t alone in having this issue though it seemed to affect him the most) and then Todd Nelson came in without a training camp. Under Nelson his scoring got better and imo he started doing better things at the other end of the ice though it didn’t really show up statistically yet.
    I think, if we strictly consider his physical skill set, he has a lot of the tools needed to be a good PKer, the sequence last year when he lost his stick and moved back and forth like a wasp on extacy using his quick feet and edges to eventually break up the play is an ability that’s very useful on the PK. Now, he doesn’t have nearly the defensive smarts or defensive stick to be any good at it as things stand, just saying if he can improve some of those areas he could be efficient in that role.

    A lot of Yaks issues are things that gets better with maturity and experience. Basic D, positioning, both offensively and defensively, confidence, consistency.
    That’s why I still have very high hopes for him. When Yak first came into the league I wrote on some other internet forum that I thought Yak might be an ok/good NHLer by 22 but an elite one at 24 due to him being so raw. I stand by that statement. I think giving up on him before this two year contract could be very costly imo.

  19. Snowman says:

    20 goals would be a pretty decent season for Yak. A good step in the right direction.

    It does get tougher to see where he fits in the long term though. He may be the odd man out in the long term unless he really starts to fill the net and forces the issue.

    Can’t help but cheer for Yakcity.

  20. Woogie63 says:

    Yaks role on this team is not clear to me?

    Is he a key piece within the top 6?

    Is he the key piece on a third scoring line?

    Is he a key piece on PP1?

    Who is his pair … Nuge/Eberle; Hall/McDavid; Yak/????

  21. admiralmark says:

    I look at this team and think major improvements but likely not enough to push this team into a playoff berth. UNLESS some of the forgotten players bust through. In my mind if 3 out of Draisaitl, Klefbom, Yakupov, Reinhart and Nurse become a force, then coupled with the rest of the improvements this team could do the unthinkeable and see playoffs. Particularly Yak and Draisaitl need to be put in a position to succeed if they want to see playoffs. The rest of the team I am confident can produce at the necessary rate.

  22. CofC says:

    Thx for article;

    I definitely don’t think Nail was neglected at any time during his years in Edmonton – quite the opposite; This was a young man whose offence was taken for granted (consistent with his 1st overall selection), and from the time Dallas came on board, there was a significant emphasis on defensive accountability, even to the point of benching him to improve on this; While I agree he needed to improve here, I think he’s a special case that required special consideration – let him run offensively (without completely neglecting defence) and learn form the inevitable mistakes; This is a key principle in developing young players with star potential.

    Unfortunately, Edmonton had neither the Goalie nor the defensive prowess to allow the occasional mistake – the puck always ended up in the net and we then saw the subsequent crumbling of a young team’s confidence, along with a tumble in the standings.

    True re: mentorship, although he came out guns blazing in his first year under a different coaching style than he subsequently endured.

    Fingers crossed for this guy; Improvement in team play will only benefit him, as will a tighter back end and stronger line mates.

  23. Lowetide says:

    Woodguy:

    Problem was he needed vet help and until Roy arrived he didn’t get it.

    It wasn’t enough and they didn’t have the puck enough. Agree they were very good in the offensive zone, which tells me Yak, Roy and Korpikoski might make a nice line.

  24. LMHF#1 says:

    Woogie63:

    Is he a key piece within the top 6?

    Is he a key piece on PP1?

    Yes X2

    One of the early tells on McLellan’s talent evaluation skills will be where Yakupov ends up on the powerplay.

  25. LadiesloveSmid says:

    Woodguy,

    I’d like to see his total 5v5 P/60 splits with Gagner and Roy versus everyone else. I think he was at around 2 with Gagner, and 1.7 with Roy which are fine numbers.

    Is Lander that guy? RNH and McDavid not going anywhere, ever. Can you trust him with a rookie centre?

    Could Letestu be that guy for him?

    If it comes down to it, do you sell Lander in hopes of finding a centre that meshes with Yak or do you sell Yak?

  26. bendelson says:

    I’ll leave the Eakins talk to the professionals and simply say, we are here.

    I have every confidence in the new coaching staff to turn Nail around.
    This group knows what they are doing.

    Real opportunity to play in the top 6 (esp. at home), a consistent spot on the PP, and some latitude to grow as a player… And the McDavid factor.

    30G, 25A
    A value contract.
    A happy Yak.

    Music!

  27. viking chug says:

    SwedishPoster:
    Yak has already shown he can score at this level even if it is for stretches. He also is a hard worker, his reaction time defensively is so so which can make him seem lazy at times but imo it’s more a lack of defensive development/schooling and not a lack of caring. Heneeds to become more consistent offensively but that has a lot to do with confidence and having a set position on the team.

    He’ll likely never be a good defensive player though with his quick first steps, brilliant edge work and his physical ability to actually deliver a hit and hit hard he has some tools to become a pretty efficient defensive player if he can understand the positioning and defensive lanes, at least at a basic level. He’s a hard worker and he doesn’t seem unintelligent so he should be able to learn with some proper coaching. Someone might say he should have learned by now, but his first year he was a rookie, his second and start of his third year he played in a pretty toxic enviroment with a coach who clearly couldn’t communicate with him in a good way(that’s on both but from other players comments Yak wasn’t alone in having this issue though it seemed to affect him the most) and then Todd Nelson came in without a training camp. Under Nelson his scoring got better and imo he started doing better things at the other end of the ice though it didn’t really show up statistically yet.
    I think, if we strictly consider his physical skill set, he has a lot of the tools needed to be a good PKer, the sequence last year when he lost his stick and moved back and forth like a wasp on extacy using his quick feet and edges to eventually break up the play is an ability that’s very useful on the PK. Now, he doesn’t have nearly the defensive smarts or defensive stick to be any good at it as things stand, just saying if he can improve some of those areas he could be efficient in that role.

    A lot of Yaks issues are things that gets better with maturity and experience. Basic D, positioning, both offensively and defensively, confidence, consistency.
    That’s why I still have very high hopes for him. When Yak first came into the league I wrote on some other internet forum that I thought Yak might be an ok/good NHLer by 22 but an elite one at 24 due to him being so raw. I stand by that statement. I think giving up on him before this two year contract could be very costly imo.

    This is almost exactly how I feel. Nicely written up. My silver linings playbook for Yak is more optimistic than LT’s. Yak has been learning the game and I saw a lot of stretches in the second half of the season where he was driving play and Roy was a catalyst in that he just made simple, complimentary plays that let Yak do what he does. I could see Lander as a fit on the third line but also expect Yak to make it impossible for the new coach to keep him out of the top 6 for the whole season. There is a monster of a player here if he can stay healthy and if the knife-sharpeners can remain patient. I hope we get to see him terrify opposing teams as a member of ours.

  28. Undisclosed_Personal_Reasons says:

    There’s probably a site that tracks types of goals but I felt like watching clips of Yak’s goals from 13/14 and 14/15. Here’s what I saw.

    Of his goals scored in 13/14
    6/11 one-timers
    2/11 rebounds
    1/11 carried & shot
    1/11 off a turnover he created
    1/11 off quick release from pass

    Of his goals scored in 13/14
    8/14 one-timers
    4/14 carried & shot
    1/14 rebound
    1/14 penalty shot

    One thing that stood out is on most of his goals he’s not creating the play. Great finisher though.
    (A clip of his assists would show a different side, of course).

    13/14
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rzHaCWGparw
    14/15
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=domd3DS81Ws

  29. flyfish1168 says:

    I truly believe if Nail was a Canadian boy and not Russian some of these things will go away. He is an underdog on this team. Cherry picks on him Nail when he was down. lost TOTAL respect for cherryless. Olychuk as well as Millbury believe he should be penalized for stepping out of the way of a hit. Crazy how he was thrown under the bus by his own coach. Unbelievable how long it took before he was even used in the shoot out. A 1st overall that has been least appreciated. Never seen a 1st overall been asked to change there game to bottom 6 and be a defensive player. What a waste of talent and on his ELC.

    I love to see Nail given a fair shake like the others. it is ridiculous to give the others top 6 minutes so they can develop and learn but not to Nail. We cannot keep doing this double standard way of thinking. We drafted Nail he is part of our team. He can be part of the core and future. JMHO

  30. SwedishPoster says:

    Woodguy,

    The effect of zone starts on production is a tricky subject since a team playing well likely both means a higher number of offensive zone starts and better production from your offensive guys, who tends to get the higher number of o-zone starts as is. So there is a clear risk of bias at play since the team playing well overall affects both columns.

    Case in point Yak. Nelson gave tougher zone starts than Eakins, 5% ZSO%rel compared to 26% wtith Eakins. Yet Yaks scoring was much better under Nelson. Same goes for Kruger, 8% fraction and yet Yak is scoring at a higher clip. His corsi was better under Eakins but his GA and PPG was worse.

    I believe the main effect from zone starts is on corsi, you do get less shots against if you start in the o-zone, but the effect on actual scoring is much less.

    Face offs are a set piece, even if you lose a defensive face off, everyone is in position, so even if you get shots off they are often not that dangerous, it’s pretty established that shots off the rush are far more dangerous than when you’ve established play in the offensive zone. The most dangerous part is probably when you try to move the puck out of the zone, especially if you have guys jumping the zone too quickly which has been an Oiler issue for long, with Yak, Ebs, Hall, Perron among others.

    It’s also more difficult, from a defensive skill point of view, to defend off the rush, so an argument could be made that you should have your best puck movers and guys good at moving the puck up ice and scoring off the rush starting in the defensive zone. And your smartest defensive guys starting in the offensive zone.

    Face offs and zone starts as a whole probably don’t have the huge signifcance we tend to give it.

    Edit: I see my wording is a bit odd. Case in point doesn’t really point towards the first point but more towards the latter one. Both are at least points on the subject at hand. I think. Ahhh. Confused. McDavid! WOOOOT!

  31. godot10 says:

    20 goals is a lot of goals in today’s NHL. 40-something points would be a successful season.

    I saw Gang of Four live in August 1981. One of the ten most significant days of my life.

  32. John Chambers says:

    Undisclosed_Personal_Reasons,

    So elite finishing ability. And severe limitations to the rest of his game.

    Id like to think the problem was as simple as “the dickhead coach ruined him”, but this is a player where even his biggest supporters acknowledge major deficiencies at the professional level.

  33. godot10 says:

    Oh…I said this at the end of a thread the other day.

    Kevin Lowe has moved on from the Bob Pulford phase of his career to the King Clancy phase of his career.

  34. Ca$h-McMoney! says:

    The thing that stood out for me with Yakupov post Eakins was that he started having games where he was the best forward on the team, by eye at least. Not every time mind you, but enough to sit up and take notice.

    I’m cheering harder for this kid than any other. He’s a genuinely good person and a fantastic role model, something we can always use more of. I hope someday his performance on the ice matches up with his performance off the ice, and I think there is a more than outside chance that happens.

  35. kinger_OIL says:

    flyfish1168,

    – Yes on the top-6: Yak is a #1 pick: you play him as such with a bunch of the best player’s on the team, and give him a real C

    – I agree with you if he was Canadian, he’d be looked at as the next Brett Hall, but a better skater, with more heart, enthusiasm, skating and hitting

    – If you don’t play him in the top-6 in a role to score goals, you trade him to a team that needs top-6 talent. There are better/cheaper bottom-6 players out there

  36. Gret99zky says:

    A crushing hit on either Gaudreau or Bennett may go a long way toward extending the stay of execution among the Yakcity haters.

  37. Pajamah says:

    Woodguy,

    You say the Oilers put him in a position to succeed and listed his 60+% ZS, but then you list the players he played with the most.

    Other than a little bit of Eberle, Yakupov was given ice time with little to no help from the teams best players. No Hall, no RNH.

    Purcell is average, Roy is a reclamation. Drai is a rookie who struggled.

    Regardless of ZS, he wasn’t given the line mates to succeed. He’s played with bottom 6 players alot, no pocket aces, just deuces and sevens.

  38. JD¡™ David O'Connor's Reel says:

    Gret99zky: hit on either Gaudreau or Bennett

    I would also accept Burrows or Dorsett, and I’m no Yak-hater.

  39. CofC says:

    Re:”Lowe+MacT are like servants who take over a Manor House then put on airs to everyone.
    They’re like drunk sailors on shore leave.
    15 or so years with a single fluke Cup final appearance interspersed with 15 years of total futility and the death of many young hockey careers.
    A pair of dickheads.”

    Pathetic post;

    The Oilers wouldn’t be around today without Lowe’s efforts after Sather moved on; As far as players go, Lowe was the glue that bound the team – he was respected, and expected full effort from the team.

    He is still well respected by those that know hockey.

    Craig was a key cog in the Oilers machine, as player and coach; In his shortened management career, he did better than many and started things moving towards what we have today.

    A lot of bitchers out there who don’t understand the meaning of hard work and commitment; Band wagon flunkee fans who had their panties ruffled by a misinterpreted comment by Lowe during a pressor.

    Please get a life.

  40. JD¡™ David O'Connor's Reel says:

    It appears that the Nucks don’t want to risk losing Sutter next summer to UFA:

    John ShannonVerified account
    ‏@JSportsnet

    Canucks source confirms that team and Brandon Sutter will get new long term deal done in the next few days.

  41. LadiesloveSmid says:

    Pajamah,

    Hall-Yak has been a good offensive tandem in limited minutes too. 3.46 5v5 P/60 in 190 minutes. (for Yak that is)

    Pou-RNH-Ebs
    Hall-Lander-Yak
    Korpi-McD-Purcell/Santorelli

  42. kinger_OIL says:

    LadiesloveSmid:
    Pajamah,

    Hall-Yak has been a good offensive tandem in limited minutes too. 3.46 5v5 P/60 in 190 minutes.

    Pou-RNH-Ebs
    Hall-Lander-Yak
    Korpi-McD-Purcell/Santorelli

    – This is what a good team would do to break in a rookie C: with Lander and McD switching depending on the situation, PP, etc. Those lines look great.

  43. Pajamah says:

    LadiesloveSmid:
    Pajamah,

    Hall-Yak has been a good offensive tandem in limited minutes too. 3.46 5v5 P/60 in 190 minutes.

    Pou-RNH-Ebs
    Hall-Lander-Yak
    Korpi-McD-Purcell/Santorelli

    I’d like to see Yak with Hall and McDavid. The latter 2 are so incredibly fast that they will create a ton of gaps for Yakupov. Leaves the Pou-RNH-Ebs line to chew up 2nd pairings. Lander-Drai-Purcell seems like a decent fit if Drai ends up on the wing, and Letestu or Korpikoski can jump up if needed.

  44. Spoils says:

    I think Nuge is ready to handle Yak, especially with Pouliot out there. Soooo –

    Pouliot- Nuge – Yak
    Hall – McDavid – Eberle
    Korpikovski – Leon Draisaitl – Purcell
    Hendricks – Lestestu – Lander

    as for the bottom 6 maybe this works if LD really steps up. Purcell plays better the best players…

  45. Ducey says:

    flyfish1168: I truly believe if Nail was a Canadian boy and not Russian some of these things will go away. He is an underdog on this team. Cherry picks on him Nail when he was down. lost TOTAL respect for cherryless. Olychuk as well as Millbury believe he should be penalized for stepping out of the way of a hit. Crazy how he was thrown under the bus by his own coach. Unbelievable how long it took before he was even used in the shoot out. A 1st overall that has been least appreciated. Never seen a 1st overall been asked to change there game to bottom 6 and be a defensive player. What a waste of talent and on his ELC. I love to see Nail given a fair shake like the others. it is ridiculous to give the others top 6 minutes so they can develop and learn but not to Nail. We cannot keep doing this double standard way of thinking. We drafted Nail he is part of our team. He can be part of the core and future. JMHO

    Brett Hull was not well liked. He chose team USA over team Canada. He also played for Dallas, which didn’t earn him any points around these parts.

    He earned respect by scoring 64 pts in 65 games in his rookie season and then over a point a game in every season he played with St Louis.(10 in all). He won the Hart and put up 131 pts one season.

    Yak on the other hand is well liked. I am not sure where you get the notion he isn’t. People are rightly concerned because he has not come close to living up to his draft pedigree.

    If Yak can put up, people will shut up.

  46. Bruce McCurdy says:

    SwedishPoster: I believe the main effect from zone starts is on corsi, you do get less shots against if you start in the o-zone, but the effect on actual scoring is much less.

    Face offs are a set piece, even if you lose a defensive face off, everyone is in position, so even if you get shots off they are often not that dangerous, it’s pretty established that shots off the rush are far more dangerous than when you’ve established play in the offensive zone. The most dangerous part is probably when you try to move the puck out of the zone, especially if you have guys jumping the zone too quickly which has been an Oiler issue for long, with Yak, Ebs, Hall, Perron among others.

    It’s also more difficult, from a defensive skill point of view, to defend off the rush, so an argument could be made that you should have your best puck movers and guys good at moving the puck up ice and scoring off the rush starting in the defensive zone. And your smartest defensive guys starting in the offensive zone.

    Face offs and zone starts as a whole probably don’t have the huge signifcance we tend to give it.

    Fantastic post. I’ll quibble only on the last bit, that Zone Starts have a different significance than we put on them. Successful NHL coaches like Joel Quenneville and Alain Vigneault rely heavily on this strategy, but likely for (partially) different reasons than is commonly ascribed to them.

    Your point about having your best puck movers starting in the d-zone is especially well taken. I also think there’s a whole lot we don’t know about neutral zone starts, and the oversimplification of the most common Zone Starts stat (O-zone start %) to simply exclude N-zone starts is a significant shortcoming in the method.

  47. linkfromhyrule says:

    My apologies if this has already been posted, but this is a really interesting article by Jonathan Quick about elite snipers of the NHL:
    http://www.theplayerstribune.com/jonathan-quick-kings-snipers/

    As for Yak… He needs to build off last season, and do what he did in the last half of the season for the entirety of it. I’m hoping that McLellan will work with Yak to develop him into an elite powerplay option, the way he should have been utilized this whole damn time. Yak, in turn, needs to hit the net.

    I wonder if they invite Derek Roy to training camp on a PTO?

  48. Jordan says:

    If we’re working on a presumption of pairs, I think there are some good options available that aren’t being discussed enough.

    Hall-Lander was very strong last year at times, and I think that makes 2/3 of a line that can play some harder comp. Best RW left who can do some work 2ways is Purcell, so he’s my pick here.

    Nuge-Eberle has a lot of history of success and can play both sides of the puck well. Still need a someone to create space for them and retreive the puck. I think Korpse would be a good fit here.

    McDavid-Yakupov is the best position for both players to play on. Yak needs someone who can read his game and play in the offensive zone, but not attrack the best D-men of the opposing team. McDavid needs to play some softer minutes to start his career and Playing him with yak give him a great triggerman too. They need some veteran savy and I’d put Pouliot’s toolsy abilities to work with these gents. They should feast against 3rd pairings

    Tetestu-Hendriks have no history, but would make a naturally experienced 4th line. Whether they’re playing with Gazdic, Pakarinen, Pitlick or one of the other 4th liners, doesn’t much matter. Mostly checking filler.

  49. Undisclosed_Personal_Reasons says:

    John Chambers:
    Undisclosed_Personal_Reasons,

    So elite finishing ability. And severe limitations to the rest of his game.

    Id like to think the problem was as simple as “the dickhead coach ruined him”, but this is a player where even his biggest supporters acknowledge major deficiencies at the professional level.

    Exactly.

    Defensive woes aside, his offensive game is not dynamic/versatile.

    Right now he’s a one-trick pony in terms of how he scores goals and relies a lot on his teammates to get him the puck.

    This is one reason why I have concerns about him not fitting in with the core.

    Another reason for concern for not fitting in with the core? not playing him with the core.

  50. B S says:

    Woodguy,

    How exactly is Zone Start calculated? I saw a lot of plays under Eakins last season that consisted of Yak being put over the boards after the puck had been lost in the OZone. In other words he started in the OZ but didn’t have possession, and he and his linemates would end up chasing puck back into their zone. I’m just wondering if this is a potential bias in the OZ start% calculations or if it excludes cases where the team doesn’t have possession there during a line change (oddly enough the oilers were a lot better about keeping possession in the OZ earlier in the season, forcing stoppages rather than losing it on a dump in and abandoned this a lot more later in the season).

  51. kiaora says:

    I was hopeful when we drafted Yak, and he certainly started well. But, we soon learned, he a very limited player, a great sniper with the puck in the right spot, but not much else. I hope he can be made use of, and I hope he comes right. But to be honest, it wouldn’t shock me if he is a bust as well now. And, its not because of MacT, or Klowe, or anyone else, when a player fails, the person to blame is in their mirror. It may be, he just doesn’t have the intelligience to be an NHL regular. I hope I’m wrong, but sometimes, hard work isn’t enough, you have to see and think the game, not just have natural talent and energy.

  52. B S says:

    Re: why Roy played so well with Yak.

    I believe it’s actually really simple. Roy would pass to Yak. I couldn’t believe how often I’d watch Yak pull into the slot look at an open net only to have RNH or Eberle go from behind the net to carry the puck through both defenders rather than pass it too him. Or how often I saw Yak carry the puck behind the net to through it right into the crease, only to have no-one there to cash in a prime opportunity. Roy, despite being half the size of everyone else would go to the front of the net, and tapped in a few of those ripe passes. Yak needs linemates who will (stop me if you’ve heard this before) go to the front of the net, and feed passes to the danger zone in the slot. You know, those things that winning teams do.

  53. Drew says:

    Lowetide: It wasn’t enough and they didn’t have the puck enough. Agree they were very good in the offensive zone, which tells me Yak, Roy and Korpikoski might make a nice line.

    Agreed… back in the old days (not really all that old but anyway) a Pisani (or Horcoff) on his line along with an offensively gifted center would have helped him “along”.

    I am hopeful that the veteran additions can add value in this respect, and also have the skating to add to team speed metrics (wheels per shift???).

  54. kiaora says:

    B S: Yak needs linemates who will (stop me if you’ve heard this before) go to the front of the net, and feed passes to the danger zone in the slot. You know, those things that winning teams do.

    So basically, you are saying, to be a useful player, he needs all the other players to do all the hard work, and then set him up perfectly, and of course, other teams won’t see this tactic… yeah sure, that worked when he arrived on the scene, but it won’t work now (other teams have figured him out). If he wants to not be an NHL bust he will have to start thinking the game, I am doubtful he has it in him. I hope he does, but unless it happens then, he is a liability on the ice, despite his elite natural sniper abilities, regardless of who he plays with and who the coach is.

  55. Drew says:

    LadiesloveSmid:
    Pajamah,

    Hall-Yak has been a good offensive tandem in limited minutes too. 3.46 5v5 P/60 in 190 minutes. (for Yak that is)

    Pou-RNH-Ebs
    Hall-Lander-Yak
    Korpi-McD-Purcell/Santorelli

    I kinda like these lines. Three scoring lines?

  56. Numenius says:

    Woogie63:

    Who is his pair … Nuge/Eberle; Hall/McDavid; Yak/????

    I still think Yak/Draisaitl will be a great pair. They didn’t click well last year, but Draisaitl was a rookie and Dallas Eakins was the coach.

    Would have been interesting to see them together under Nelson.

  57. RMGS says:

    Folks, everything Connor McDavid touches turns to gold. McLellan will let him weave his magic with our still very talented man Nail on his right wing. The coach must know that if there’s anyone who can unleash Yak’s potential, it’s a genius like #97.

    If Nail’s still ranking 7th or 11th in QualTeam, then we’ll know he’s not in the plans (and that they’ll lose him for magic beans and spare parts).

  58. D says:

    Yakupov is my favourite player on the team. My hope is that this is his breakout season.

  59. Lowetide says:

    We seem to be having some minor tech issues (not minor if they impact you, though). My apologies, Go Daddy is on it.

  60. Woodguy says:

    LadiesloveSmid:
    Woodguy,

    I’d like to see his total 5v5 P/60 splits with Gagner and Roy versus everyone else. I think he was at around 2 with Gagner, and 1.7 with Roy which are fine numbers.

    Is Lander that guy? RNH and McDavid not going anywhere, ever. Can you trust him with a rookie centre?

    Could Letestu be that guy for him?

    If it comes down to it, do you sell Lander in hopes of finding a centre that meshes with Yak or do you sell Yak?

    Yak’s career numbers 5v5 with various C’s sorted by TOI together:

    Gagner 596 min
    GF/60 2.42
    GA/60 3.32
    SH%9.13
    SV% .892
    PDO 988

    Roy 534 min
    GF/60 2.33
    GA/60 2.19
    SH% 7.72
    SV% .902
    PDO 998

    RNH 349min
    GF/60 1.54
    GA/60 4.46
    SH% 6.08
    SV% .882
    PDO 943

    Arcobello 296min
    GF/60 1.62
    GA/60 2.43
    SH% 5.84
    SV% .918
    PDO 976

    DrySaddle 180min
    GF/60 1.00
    GA/60 4.98
    SH% 3.19
    SV% .857
    PDO 889

    Those GA/60 numbers with RNH and DrySaddle are unreal.

    Never seen a PDO under 900 either. Man.

  61. Bag of Pucks says:

    We certainly shouldn’t be surprised with the ‘tear him down’ approach towards Yakupov from Eakins/MacT. It mirrors the approach that MacT took with Hemsky as a player.

    Hemmer spent so much time in the coach’s doghouse, a sign hangs there now that reads, “Ales doesn’t live here anymore.”

  62. LadiesloveSmid says:

    Woodguy,

    Wonder what Draisaitl’s season would’ve looked like if he had played under Nelson and had any puck luck.

    9P in 37GP. Eberle had 20P in the first 36GP. No one could score under Eakins. Eberle followed that up with 43P in 45GP.

    How does LD do under the same coach and with something better than his 930 PDO?

    Should we be less timid about wanting him on the team this fall? or are we thinking Ryan Strome-ish route

  63. Lowetide says:

    Bag of Pucks:
    We certainly shouldn’t be surprised with the ‘tear him down’ approach towards Yakupov from Eakins/MacT. It mirrors the approach that MacT took with Hemsky as a player.

    Hemmer spent so much time in the coach’s doghouse, a sign hangs there now that reads, “Ales doesn’t live here anymore.”

    I’ve always hated that style. For me, it’s the kind of thing losing organizations do to players.

  64. Bag of Pucks says:

    Lowetide: I’ve always hated that style. For me, it’s the kind of thing losing organizations do to players.

    Agreed. It’s that traditional military/drill sergeant approach.

    Might’ve worked 30 years but highly doubtful it will work with millenials, and especially not with a free spirit like Yak.

    I like the riffing in B flat analogy you used. Yak needs a C who’s willing to take the time to build that rapport/chemistry. Right now, Yak isn’t in the same key signature as the cool kids. He’s playing a lot of bad notes positionally speaking and NOT in the cool ‘outside’ bebop way.

    If I’m McLellan I simplify his game in the shortterm. Less improv, more structure. Once he becomes more predictable to his linemates, he’ll blossom.

  65. B S says:

    kiaora,

    I’m saying he needs linemates who are actually linemates, not guys milling around like it’s a pond hockey game and he’s their annoying little brother who won’t go home. Yak isn’t just a good shooter, he is a fantastic shooter, he can hit, pass and has shown the ability to pick the puck out of corners. playing Yak in front of the net is a waste when he has had the best one-timer on the team. We talk about balance here and part of that is using players to their strengths. You don’t make Eberle a checker and you don’t use Yak to tip shots in front of the net.

    Or are you saying that if Yakupov is getting the puck out from behind the net it’s his fault that he has no-one to pass it to in a prime scoring position? his fault for getting to the top of the circle, clear of defense and not getting a pass?

  66. Jordan says:

    Lowetide: I’ve always hated that style. For me, it’s the kind of thing losing organizations do to players.

    Well, CLEARLY you’re mistaken. The Oilers are one of the most successful organizations in the NHL! Just look at how many games they’ve… How much extra cap sp…. how much money they make!

    ———-

    I suspect it’s a fan’s pipe-dream, but I’d sure love it if the Oilers could leave their bottom 4 forward positions open in a year of two, and then sign Hemsky, Horcoff, Penner & Souray to “play on the 4th line” for a year, while they ride the kids to a Stanley Cup.

    If there’s four players who got a shittier end of the stick for their time in Edmonton, I can’t think of them. Would love to see all of them with their names on Stanley once.

    Would help make up for some of it.

  67. Woodguy says:

    LadiesloveSmid:
    Woodguy,

    Wonder what Draisaitl’s season would’ve looked like if he had played under Nelson and had any puck luck.

    9P in 37GP. Eberle had 20P in the first 36GP. No one could score under Eakins. Eberle followed that up with 43P in 45GP.

    How does LD do under the same coach and with something better than his 930 PDO?

    Should we be less timid about wanting him on the team this fall? or are we thinking Ryan Strome-ish route

    I think he should play wing.

    I’d love to see DrySaddle-Lander-Yak/Purcell be the 3rd line and get the softest opposition.

    I’d bet they’d score a ton.

    I want all the talented guys on the team.

    With McLellen there will be lots of ice time to go around.

    Here’s his 5v5 TOI for his top 14 forwards in 2010/2011 when they finished with 105pts:

    Ryane Clowe 15:39
    Patrick Marleau 15:27
    Dany Heatley 15:23
    Joe Thornton 15:17
    Logan Couture 14:32
    Joe Pavelski 14:20
    Kyle Wellwood 13:15
    Devin Setoguchi 13:13
    Benn Ferriero 12:08
    Torrey Mitchell 12:07
    Jamie McGinn 11:17
    Ben Eager 8:57
    John McCarthy 8:16
    Scott Nichol 7:56

    You don’t see GP, but there’s not a ton to give in the top 3 lines, and then the checking line drop from the group.

    McLellen and Chia are smart so I expect they’ll do the same here with the cornucopia of talent that they have up front.

    The Unicorn will ride!!

  68. Ducey says:

    Jordan: Well, CLEARLY you’re mistaken. The Oilers are one of the most successful organizations in the NHL! Just look at how many games they’ve… How much extra cap sp…. how much money they make!———-I suspect it’s a fan’s pipe-dream, but I’d sure love it if the Oilers could leave their bottom 4 forward positions open in a year of two, and then sign Hemsky, Horcoff, Penner & Souray to “play on the 4th line” for a year, while they ride the kids to a Stanley Cup.If there’s four players who got a shittier end of the stick for their time in Edmonton, I can’t think of them. Would love to see all of them with their names on Stanley once.Would help make up for some of it.

    Penner has his name on the Cup. Twice!

  69. G Money says:

    Ca$h-McMoney!: The thing that stood out for me with Yakupov post Eakins was that he started having games where he was the best forward on the team, by eye at least. Not every time mind you, but enough to sit up and take notice.

    On those rare occasions when I looked up from my spreadsheets to watch the game, my eye concurred. I recall half a dozen GDTs saying exactly that.

    Ignoring that, and buying into the whole “enigmatic Russian without hockey sense” garbage, is exactly what MacT and Eakins did. I believe that Chia and McC are smarter. Guess we’ll see.

    B S,

    I think your description is accurate. There is sometimes talk about the “chemistry” between Yak Roy, but I don’t think it was really “chemistry”. It was “veteran C understands he’s playing with a gifted sniper and underrated playmaker, and does the right things.”

    There was a second aspect (which Yak has described as something he really appreciated), which was the on-ice and after-shift coaching that Roy gave Yak – again, the benefit of a veteran C, and something which I think is undervalued.

  70. godot10 says:

    Lander, in his last 2.5 seasons in exile in OKC, played with almost every conceivable winger type and produced at 1 ppg or better.

    Give Lander, a good skating two-way left winger, and he IS the centre for Yakupov this season. Two guys who are structured allow the space for Yakupov to be himself and progress both ways.

    And well, I think at this point in his career, he has to be the alpha dog on his line offensively.

  71. Woodguy says:

    G Money,

    Ignoring that, and buying into the whole “enigmatic Russian without hockey sense” garbage

    I don’t think Yak’s enigmatic, but I do think that no one has taught him where to go without the puck.

    That’s all hockey sense is, knowing where to go next without having to think.

    Some come to it very naturally and just “get it”

    Some have it in a way few do. (Gretzky, Lemiuex, Dionne…..maybe McDavid?)

    If you’ve never been taught it, you’ve never been taught it and having to incorporate it into your game at the NHL level as a teenager can’t be easy.

    I think he’ll get there, but he started from a place that I bet guys like RNH had cold when they were 14.

    Here;s piece about Yak’s first Sarnia coach getting canned due to lack of defensive structure: http://loosepucks.com/index.php/2011/02/06/doyle-dave-macqueen-out-as-gm-coach-of-s?blog=3

    He’s not enigmatic, and he wasn’t taught basics without the puck and he was playing in a country where he didn’t have a good command of the language.

    Bringing this up isn’t “garbage”

    Just a truth that isn’t fun.

  72. Woodguy says:

    godot10:
    Lander, in his last 2.5 seasons in exile in OKC, played with almost every conceivable winger type and produced at 1 ppg or better.

    Give Lander, a good skating two-way left winger, and he IS the centre for Yakupov this season.Two guys who are structured allow the space for Yakupov to be himself and progress both ways.

    And well, I think at this point in his career, he has to be the alpha dog on his line offensively.

    I hope they do better together than they did last year.

    Remember Lander didn’t come up until Eakins left.

    Small sample size alert:

    Yak with Lander 14/15 55min

    1.07 GF/60
    4.30 GA/60 (man)
    2.78 SH% (bound to go up…ha!)
    .885 SV% (bound to go up…ha!
    913 PDO.

    I’d love to see Yak have a 1040 PDO year, just because.

    Everything goes in the net and everything behind him gets saved.

  73. B S says:

    G Money,

    G Money,

    Thanks, I has, or may ever get, the 2-way side of things figured out, but there’s plenty of puck carriers on this team (Hall, McDavid, Nuge, Drai if he makes it, Schultz), but only a few dangerous shots (Hall, Ebs; maybe Nuge, none of the pluggers or Dmen), the Oil need to get Yak figured out, and Yak needs to keep up with the systems.

    One of Hall’s comments (I think it was Hall) that struck me was how much he appreciated McLellen keeping it simple and easy to understand, among the usual drivel about how good the coaching was (players will keep quiet if they don’t like the coach but will rarely say anything disparaging) this stood out as oddly specific. I get the impression that Eakins’ systems and his explanations weren’t straight forward or easy to understand for anyone, let alone the Russian kid.

    The new coach gives me hope that Yak will get it going, I just hope he gets the chance.

  74. Revolved says:

    Woodguy: I think he should play wing.

    I’d love to see DrySaddle-Lander-Yak/Purcell be the 3rd line and get the softest opposition.

    I’d bet they’d score a ton.

    I want all the talented guys on the team.

    McLellen and Chia are smart so I expect they’ll do the same here with the cornucopia of talent that they have up front.

    The Unicorn will ride!!

    I have definitely come around to the idea of Lander and Yakupov playing together to start the year. They got a bad rap last year because they were being buried in their own zone, but I think Lander has the skill to help Yakupov in the defensive and offensive zones. I would like to see Draisaitl start in the AHL, but if he earns it, I think it would be great to get him and Yakupov used to one another as quickly as possible, even from the wing.

    Yakupov has made a lot of progress, his luck and confidence have just cratered in unison 5 on 5. Season Sh% P/60 Shots/60
    14/15 6.04 1.19 8.43
    13/14 8.05 1.45 7.01
    12/13 19.23 2.14 5.56

    As said by many, a position to succeed is key. Looking at spearman correlations league wide between CF% and various statistics for wingers, QoT (0.695), ZS% (0.541) and QoC (0.296) all have a lot of impact on results. If Yakupov gets the soft parade in the O-zone with Lander or McDavid, he could very well blow expectations out of the water.

    My RE, based mostly on a 10% shooting percentage and 2PP time would be: 78GP – 25G – 27A – 52P

  75. spoiler says:

    Bruce McCurdy: Your point about having your best puck movers starting in the d-zone is especially well taken. I also think there’s a whole lot we don’t know about neutral zone starts, and the oversimplification of the most common Zone Starts stat (O-zone start %) to simply exclude N-zone starts is a significant shortcoming in the method.

    No, it’s a significant shortcoming in the writing of those who use it. There is an alternative, but despite me bitching about the exclusion of NZs for over 5 years now, if you look way up, you will see it is still be done that way in the REs… for no good reason that I can tell.

    Why people would want to hide or distort information is beyond me, but here we are.

  76. Jordan says:

    Ducey: Penner has his name on the Cup. Twice!

    Sure he does. And he got to drink out of the cup while eating pancakes from IHOP.

    That’s not the point though.

    The point is they all got crapped on unfairly here, due in no small part to how they were portrayed to the media by the organization and its representatives.

    I’d like to see them win with the Oilers. It would provide some karmic balance. And some fan-service.

  77. Bank Shot says:

    I don’t have much faith left in Yak, but he really needs to show something this season. If he has a sub 40 point season in his fourth year, he’s just a failed pick at number one.

    Even if he doesn’t come around defensively we need to at least hope for an elevated shooting percentage and a good amount of points, so he will at least have trade value.

  78. Woodguy says:

    spoiler: No, it’s a significant shortcoming in the writing ofthose who use it.There is an alternative, but despite me bitching about the exclusion of NZs for over 5 years now, if you look way up, you will see it is still be done that way in the REs… for no good reason that I can tell.

    Why people would want to hide or distort information is beyond me, but here we are.

    I don’t think it’s a matter of people wanting to distort facts, it’s just what was used for a long time.

    I think the reason was the NZS didn’t present an obvious advantage/disadvantage that Dzone and Ozone starts do.

  79. Jordan says:

    Woodguy:
    G Money,

    Ignoring that, and buying into the whole “enigmatic Russian without hockey sense” garbage

    I don’t think Yak’s enigmatic, but I do think that no one has taught him where to do without the puck.

    That’s all hockey sense is, knowing where to go next without having to think.

    If you’ve never been taught it, you’ve never been taught it and having to incorporate it into your game at the NHL level as a teenager can’t be easy.

    I think he’ll get there, but he started from a place that I bet guys like RNH had cold when they were 14.

    Here;s piece about Yak’s first Sarnia coach getting canned due to lack of defensive structure:http://loosepucks.com/index.php/2011/02/06/doyle-dave-macqueen-out-as-gm-coach-of-s?blog=3

    He’s not enigmatic, and he wasn’t taught basics without the puck and he was playing in a country where he didn’t have a good command of the language.

    Bringing this up isn’t“garbage”

    Just a truth that isn’t fun.

    Your reason and facts are ruining the efforts of so many here to create and maintain the Mystique that could be Enigmatic Scoring Winger Nail Yakupov! Who will be able to play with this mysterious and misunderstood foreigner? What is his real potential? How good will he be with McDavid?

    These are the questions that matter! You’re forgetting your Mark Twain — ‘Never let the truth get in the way of a good story.’

    If this was a blog that focused on reason and facts, why would we be here at all? This is a blog dedicated to the worst NHL franchise for the last decade. Why would any rational person come here?

    The ‘Truth’ is that no one here is rational, and when the truth walks away, everybody stays – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9fUjwV4j-H0

  80. hunter1909 says:

    CofC: The Oilers wouldn’t be around today without Lowe’s efforts after Sather moved on; As far as players go, Lowe was the glue that bound the team – he was respected, and expected full effort from the team.

    That’s funny. I always thought Messier+Gretzky led the Dynasty. I’ve never once read or heard anything like that. You must be making this up, for your own silly reasons.

    CofC: Craig was a key cog in the Oilers machine, as player and coach; In his shortened management career, he did better than many and started things moving towards what we have today.

    “Craig” was handed a head coaching job and a GM job for no other reason that he was a third line centre who lucked out big time when saved from his post prison life by Sather. “Craig” destroyed so many young player’s careers its not funny – while you and yours no doubt marveled at his glasses. As GM he was clueless, hopeless…basically the same. Key Cog LOL. You’re more delusional than anyone I’ve read on Lowetide yet.

    CofC: misinterpreted comment by Lowe during a pressor.

    What’s misinterpreted? Lowe couldn’t sit still he was so pissed at having to talk to the press…

    Come to think of it, you work for the Oilers, right?

  81. Really? says:

    Ducey,

    Certainly hope you are right about Yakupov fitting with McD.

    My biggest concern is that I have not seen anything in Yakupov’s game to get very excited about. He has a one-timer that misses the net, he runs out of gas half way through a shift, he has never beaten a D man 1 on 1, he does not often go to prime scoring areas without the puck, his defensive awareness is lacking.

    The most valuable thing about Yak right now is his draft pedigree. I am not too confident that will get you much worthwhile in a trade.

  82. maudite says:

    Hall Lander Yak

    It makes the most sense to me as well.

    Hall primary carry and controlled zone entry.
    Lander defensive accumen and good nose for net
    Yak great shot and underrated passing (that puck just flies off his stick at crazy speed)

    Hall is the driver here. Either take puck in and on net or look for Yak in soft ice. When Yak started taking a bit off his shots they started cashing (speed is still insane and the accuracy went up by a country mile).

    Aside from that, he has to be worked into a key power play strategy. That shot can do some damage if it’s given it’s proper dues in system structure, with the man advantage.

    Yak may not be the proper right wing to give us two balanced and nuclear first lines but with that contract if he can put up some solid counting numbers, he could get us that player (Hall/Mcdavid/Simmonds & Pou/RNH/Eberle is the kind of set up I think would be ideal)

  83. Really? says:

    kinger_OIL,

    Agree wholeheartedly. He should be top 6 not bottom 6.

  84. G Money says:

    Woodguy,

    Ha ha, I pretty much agree with everything you’ve said, but that’s the whole point – not a word of it falls into the “enigmatic Russian without hockey sense” garbage trap.

    It’s a reasonable deconstruction of what Yak is and isn’t, what he hasn’t been and needs to be.

    Saying Yak hasn’t had a good grounding on the defensive side of things is a simple truth.

    Recognizing that someone with his ridiculous raw talent (all the rumours of lack of structure in Sarnia appear to be true, and look at what he still managed to accomplish in Jr – amazing) may need some veteran support and some coaching on system play for the first time in his life is the jorb of the Oilers, and they failed miserably.

    And I do mean coaching – not blame, not being ripped in the media, not press box “accountability” on a team where there has demonstrably been none for the older Canadian players guilty of even more-horrifying less-justifiable defensive gaffes, like Schultz and Gagner.

    The Oilers need to take their share of the blame in that, because it sure has heck has never looked like a lack of willingness on the part of the player. I have no time in the world for the talents like Bonsignore who failed out because “they didn’t feel like playing hockey”.

    I have all the time in the world for Yak, who clearly loves the game at a level that appears to completely escape the Eakins of the world.

    I hope the Oilers figure it out before they lose out on a 1OV – and what a criminal waste that would be, an order of magnitude worse than what happened with Petry IMO.

  85. GCW_69 says:

    I think what the opposing coaches do has a lot of influence around how you use Yak

    I would start the season with Nuge -Eberle and Hall – McDavid as my pairs, with Pouliot on with Nuge and probably Purcell with McDavid.

    But, if the opposing coaches key on the McDavid line, I would try dropping Eberle on with McDavid and trust Nuge and Pouliot with Yak against second toughs and see how it goes.

    Nuge and Pouliot have the defensive savvy to cover forbYak against second toughs and if Nuge can find ways to feed Yak sweet passes with Pouliot crashing the net, good things could happen.

  86. flyfish1168 says:

    LT

    I was thinking of this title “Damaged Goods”. I sure don’t like it. I believe the more appropriate title should be “Mismanaged Goods” JMHO

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