OILERS AT #1: NAIL YAKUPOV

The Edmonton Oilers took the BPA.

SCOUTING REPORT

Corey Pronman, Hockey Prospectus: “He’s a well above-average skater with plus speed and tremendous agility. He has the ability to push the tempo up the ice and keep defenders on their heels, but he’s probably even more dangerous at a standstill with high-end agility, first step acceleration, and a real slippery aspect to his game. He has such a powerful stride that he can take a handful of strides and already have travelled half the distance of the ice.”
Ross MacLean, Head scout ISS: “Yakupov is a gifted goal scoring forward, something that really doesn’t seem to come around that often, so when one does he is a hot commodity. His explosive bursts of speed and understanding of scoring principles off the rush is very similar to that of what we saw from Taylor Hall a couple years ago, but also has some people thinking Pavel Bure. He is a dynamic and electrifying player that can bring fans to their feet and is a prime talent for marketing the sport in any locale or market. He is a player that should be able to step into the next level very quickly and continue to progress. Put all that together and you still only have a glimpse of what makes him such a desirable prospect and the number one ranked for us at ISS.”

DESJARDINS NHLE (per 82gp)

Taylor Hall 17-29-46
Nail Yakupov 18-22-40
Ryan Nugent-Hopkins 11-27-38

Yakupov’s NHLE suggests another strong Calder candidate and a player “in the range” with Taylor Hall. Yakupov’s equivalency was actually ahead of Hall’s pace before his injury. Yakupov has the most offensive potential in this draft according to Gabriel’s horn. TOI is also a concern. There have been reports of 28 minutes a night. THAT could skew things.

THE GOOD

That’s a wonderful scouting report, I’m going to miss these. There’s no skating issues, no “wide body style slows him down” or “had mono” or “born with a tail” or some of the other maladies we’ve seen in the past with Oiler picks. Another finisher, after a long stretch of few or none. This kid shoots bullets. He can pass and take a pass and has some spine.
He lit it up at the WJ’s and scored a big hatty against a tough team same week. He should be plug and play; I would expect Yakupov can play in the NHL next season and score goals.

THE BAD

The knee injury is a concern. His performance after the knee injury was well off previous performance.

  • Before: 26, 21-32-53 2.04ppg
  • After: 16, 10-6-16 1.00ppg

Lack of size will make it difficult for him to impact the game physically (he has an edge to his game). Could use his linemates more, and sometimes tries to do too much (these are kind of the same thing but that’s how it was posted by Grant McCagg). There are reports that he could use more work in his own end of the rink, but that’s true of damn near every 18-year old this side of Bob Gainey. I’m not sure we’ve read a lot of good things about his play in traffic. I might have missed it in the scouting reports–he is described as a guy who has grit–but most of the highlights of him I’ve seen involve shooting from high percentage areas without a lot of opposition. He might be more of a perimeter player than someone like Taylor Hall, but that’s a guess based on comparing the two youngster’s scouting reports. Performing at a high level when there’s a lot of traffic is an extremly valuable asset; we don’t know–or haven’t been told–he has that gear.

THE REST

You have to work hard to find something wrong with this kid. Sure, he could end up in Russia but the Oilers would have every opportunity to make sure that didn’t happen. Sure, if you draft him and can’t sign him that’s a problem but everything about him screams NHL. And his value would be exceptional, especially after an impressive year or two.
The Oilers are deep at RW, but that’s a problem that is easily solved. Trading Ales Hemsky or Jordan Eberle will probably be the better move two years down the road, and Yakupov is very likely to emerge as the #1 RW on this team early in his career.

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407 Responses to "OILERS AT #1: NAIL YAKUPOV"

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  1. TheOtherJohn says:

    Best D man to trade for is JayBo.

    2 problems: his NTC and Feaster not wanting to trade within division. I would target him because he can play out two expensive years of his contract before it jams team. He can play the toughs and may resign here if he enjoys the success of the team. Feaster is dying for prospects. So give him some

    A good top pairing guy that will not score much but soaks up minutes

  2. gd says:

    The best part of today was how low the price was for vet Dmen. I feel very confident that Tyutin, Nikitin, Streit, Martin, Green, Enstrom, Hjarlmasson, Vlasic or Murray could be gotten for a reasonable trade. I don’t think ST has to have anybody by the end of the weekend. After July 7th we better have two reasonable new D.

    For tomorrow I am hoping for Sissons, who is supposedly one of RNH best friends, but Finn looks like a steal at 32. Moroz in the 3rd should be a good risk.

  3. DeadmanWaking says:

    I suspect it won’t be next season that our home and road lineups can be the same on a regular basis. There are just so many more options for juggling three lines on the road. We need a coach who is willing to play a bit of a chess game. If the coach desires, we can have a #1 pick on the ice nearly the whole game (minus the kill). As the season unfolds, some of the those minutes would be against a 3rd pair emergency call-up. While playing a road game. Can Yak steal coffee from babies? I think he can.

  4. DeadmanWaking says:

    Feaster seems to have bought into the Oiler rebuild L,S&B right down to replicating Lowe’s “Is it me?” pre-game fumbled coin toss. Cool. Step two: Run up a ten game losing streak against their northern rivals.

  5. slopitch says:

    What a day. Justin Schultz becomes an even more important piece. It seems the rest of the NHL looked at the Oilers and added a dman lol

    Toronto and Phoenix are such obvious trade partners. Columbus too. Make this happen. 3 assets for 1. I barely care who. Obviously I do but it’s exciting picturing this team with 2 more capable dmen.

  6. asiaoil says:

    Very much a snow white and 29 dwarfs kind of draft – gotta feel for CBJ getting a good but entirely unspectacular player at #2. Who knows which dman out of the mob taken in the first round ends up best – but it’s very possible that it’s not Murray. The only guy that gets anyone excited right now is Yak – and we lucked out winning the lotto and the mgmt team didn’t screw up the obvious pick.

    Who to get at #32? Finn or Di Giuseppe works for me – probably just the name but the Italian kid may have some Pisani in him. A big center would be nice but the first round was heavy D and C – so not much value there.

    As for trades – Gagner, MPS & Omark for Yandle and Hanzal? Gets us a dman and big C. Do-able? Who knows.

    Hall Horcov Yak
    Smyth RNH Eberle
    Eager Hanzel Hemsky
    Harti Belanger Jones

    Shultz Yandle
    Smid Petry
    Sutton Shultz
    Potter Tuebert Plante Peckham

    DD ???

  7. Jonathan Willis says:

    This may have been mentioned earlier, but here’s one line from Red Line’s capsule on Yakupov:

    “Powerfully built in his core and lower body, with a low centre of gravity that helps in high traffic areas – makes him hard to move off the puck despite average size.”

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