RE 12-13: NAIL YAKUPOV

In some ways, Nail Yakupov is unfortunate to be an Edmonton Oiler. The fanbase in this city is a little “ho-hum” about #1 overalls at this point and Yakupov’s considerable talents have to compete with fresh memories of Taylor Hall and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins. Fortunately, this guy is supremely talented and brings some unique tools with him.

RE 12-13: 77, 18-26-44

  1. Why is he up next? I’m doing this year’s RE by position. These are the left wingers.
  2. LEFT wingers? Yes. Ralph Krueger says he’d like to see him at the portside. Sticks against the wall in the defensive zone, something like that.
  3. Doesn’t mean he’ll succeed. Nail Yakupov isn’t going to make a living doing things in the defensive zone. We’re looking at an exceptional offensive prospect.
  4. He’ll score more than you’re suggesting here. This is “reasonable” expectations. His NHLE was 40 points, I’m giving him a slight push.
  5. You’ve never been close on these. The Nuge prediction was dreadful. Certainly off by a wide margin, but nothing about his past suggested the powerplay savant who arrived in October. The Taylor Hall rookie RE (74gp, 20-20-40 .541) wasn’t far from actual factual (65gp, 22-20-42 .646).
  6. Who is his comparable? In style, Stu MacGregor suggested Valeri Kharlamov.
  7. Did you see him? Oh yes, Kharlamov was a beauty. Guys my age will never forget him. A wizard, very intelligent player and a tragic story worthy of William Shakespeare. Olympic hero, unable to fly west for riches that awaited others and of course his demise at a young age. One of those people in life you never forget and the 1975 Habs-Russia game comes on often.
  8. Was he in that game? Did he do anything? No. Just skated around aimlessly.
  9. Who would you compare Nail to? I don’t know enough about him. His scouting report suggests Taylor Hall with a more accurate shot and I’ve seen him a little but we’ll find out as we go. That’s where the fun is.
  10. Do you think it’s wise to try him at LW? I think it’s probably not a good idea but Krueger will move him over if he struggles. It worked for Jari Kurri.
  11. Who will he play with? I think the combinations (Gagner-Hemsky) (Nuge-Ebs) suggest that Yakupov will get a chance with either of those combinations depending on where Hall is playing. A guess would be that he starts with Gagner and 83.
  12. Will he get PP time? Sure, 2nd unit to start but with that shot I can see him moving up early.
  13. Should we be worried about getting him signed? It’s a concern, but if they muddle this up then someone walks the plank so the management group will move heaven and earth to get it done.
  14. What should Oilers fans expect? Another ridiculous talent. I’m giddy, this is going to be fun.
  15. What about a mentor? I can’t remember who–might have been Yakupov–but someone suggested that guys his age were the perfect mentors no matter their birth certificate. That’s such a wise thought, and I think probably the right idea.
  16. What about the negatives? What the hell are you talking about?
  17. Well the Oilers aren’t adding badly needed veterans up front. Holy hell, they’re adding first overalls up front! The Oilers fell ass over tea kettle into this guy. He’s a King, the 7′s and 9′s are out there all day.
  18. Let me rephrase: Who will play the tough minutes. I think Horcoff, Smyth, Jones and probably Gagner, Hall and Hemsky will play the tougher opponents this year.
  19. Leaving the Nuge-Ebs-Yakupov to plunder? In a manner of speaking.
  20. What don’t we know about him? Lots. A scouting report can tell you things, but until he plays in the NHL we won’t know. We worried about the Nuge being too weak, and he killed on the PP; Hall was fleet and fast but could he stay healthy and we’re still worrying over it.
  21. What are the questions about Yakupov? Not really questions, but maybe more degree. How fast IS he? Can he blow by defenders like Hall? How strong is he on the puck? Is that shot for real? I expect the answers to be yes all down the line but hockey is a game of degree. How many feet faster is Hall than Yakupov? Or is it vice versa?
  22. So, we wait? Just don’t tell Shakespeare.

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58 Responses to "RE 12-13: NAIL YAKUPOV"

  1. LMHF#1 says:

    I would be pretty disappointed in that kind of season. This guy has to get at least 20 (supposing healthy etc etc.).

    You don’t think he has a pretty good chance to be the best scorer of the bunch and get off to a running start?

  2. Lowetide says:

    I think that’s an excellent season. Yakupov is going to get 2line minutes and play with skilled guys, but I don’t think he’ll be a strong PP option–at least at the start of the season. Remember, this is “reasonable” and based on his status as 2line LW (or at least that’s where I’ve pegged him).

    As rookies, Hall, Nuge and Eberle ALL received over 175 minutes on the powerplay. I don’t think they’re going to lose playing time 5×4 to Yakupov.

  3. DSF says:

    LT…I think you may be light on the RE by quite a wide margin.

    If he’s healthy for an entire season I can’t see any reason he wouldn’t have a season approaching what Jeff Skinner accomplished as a rookie.

    Skinner scored 25 goals and 45 points at evens and added 6 goals and and 18 points on the PP.
    Rookie point total leaders by season:

    11/12 – Landeskog/Hopkins – 52

    10/11 – Skinner – 63

    09/10 – Duchene – 55

    08/09 – Ryan – 57

    07/08 – Kane – 72

    06/07 – Malkin – 85

    05/06 – Ovechkin – 106.

    I would think if all Yakupov can produce is 44 points that would represent a tremendous disappointment.

  4. Lowetide says:

    The same Jeff Skinner who got 260 PP minutes as a rookie? I honestly don’t see Yakupov passing Hall or Eberle to get a job on the 1PP.

  5. loosemoose says:

    I think the first unit is going to end up as

    Hall-NugentHopkins-Yakupov
    Eberle-Whitney

    Smyth-Gagner-Hemsky
    JSchultz-Petry

    Eventually, the opportunity to have three number ones and Eberle out on the ice will be too great to ignore.

    I can’t wait to watch this kid at game speed…..

  6. sliderule says:

    As NHLe is based on the average for all drafted players and Yak is the top of the heap he should blow that away .
    I think we should expect between 50 and 60 pts if he plays 77games.
    The Nuge would have had over 60 pts if he had played 77 games.A little more than you should expect from a first pick but not much.

  7. Lowetide says:

    Well, let’s talk about “reasonable” one more time. Is it REASONABLE to suggest that he’ll be on the 1PP? I don’t think it is. Hey maybe Eberle or Hemsky moves to the point on the PP and he scores 10 as a rookie 5×4.

    Is that reasonable? I would never in a million years have suggested RNH’s rookie season on the PP was “reasonable.” It’s a line in the sand, a suggested goal.

    If he scores 55 points this season, you’re going to call it reasonable? I’d be over the moon. I certainly felt that way about RNH’s rookie season.

  8. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    “Who is his comparable? In style, Stu MacGregor suggested Valeri Kharlamov.”

    I’ve heard Bure too… I can’t remember if it was someone credible or a simple commentator like me…

    LT,

    regarding your apparently low RE… have you factored in team goals for and whether you think we are poised for a jump. last three years we’ve been

    214 (27th)
    193 (28th)
    212 (20th) 2011-12

    I’m guessing we hop a few spots this year.

  9. Lowetide says:

    Rom: Yes. I’ve guesstimated the roster and applied numbers to each player. I have a total that is north of the Oilers total and north of the NHL average one year ago. No doubt they’ll be better, but I don’t think Yakupov will be the showcase piece.

    This team has a lot of weapons who are more established. I projected Taylor Hall for 35 goals, as a for instance.

  10. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Lowetide,

    I guess I was thinking even if he isn’t the driver he may benefit from being in the same vehicle… all ships rise and so forth (except when in the Belanger Triangle… then you’ll be lucky to get out alive):

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ToOayI-K-fE

    ps. amazing to see us jump to 20th last year without scoring more goals than two years previously, when we were 27th… last year must have been a real down year… I guess the refs pocketing the whistles had a strong effect.

  11. sliderule says:

    I think Scottie Bowman compared him to Bure.

    I only saw khalomov in Russia Canada series and I thought he was probably smaller and faster but not with the same grit or quick release of Yak.

    Bure didn’t have a lot of grit but he could dangle.I am not sure if Yak will dangle like him but he has as fast a release as my old eyes have seen.

  12. Lowetide says:

    Rom: And he could go 25-30-55. But if he does, then I believe the young man will deserve to be applauded. That would be an exceptional season. The “average” NHL team last season scored 224 goals, 47 of them on the PP. Edmonton scored 54 on the PP.

    If he does push his way onto the PP, look out. But I don’t think it’s reasonable to assume it.

  13. SpotTheLoon says:

    I agree with you, LT. What you have is a reasonable expectation. Certainly, there is a possibility that he could exceed those projections. However, I get a little nervous when fans start to have increasing expectations before he has even played a single game. That frightens me more than anything else.

  14. SpotTheLoon says:

    The last thing I want to see is for fans to expect truly amazing results and then be disappointed when Yak has a “good” season. I’m not fond of the notion of fans recreating history and shoving Yak on the Poti Express straight out of town.

  15. sliderule says:

    If you want to use averages you have to understand them.

    The saying that there are lies ,damn lies and statistics is very true.

    If you draft a forward in the bottom 15 of the first round and try to use NHLe to project his first season after the draft you will be disappointed.

    On the other hand the forwards picked near the top should blow away NHLe just to prove the average is correct.

  16. Lowetide says:

    sliderule:
    If you want to use averages you have to understand them.

    The saying that there are lies ,damn lies and statistics is very true.

    If you draft a forward in the bottom 15 of the first round and try to use NHLe to project his first season after the draft you will be disappointed.

    On the other hand the forwards picked near the top should blow away NHLe just to prove the average is correct.

    You also have to understand TOI. As it stands, I just don’t see Yakupov getting a TOI push–certainly not on the PP and Smyth is going to take time from the other end too. This team has outstanding options on LW.

    RW too, for that matter.

  17. sliderule says:

    LT
    I agree TOI will really affect a players performance.This is especially true for PP time.

    I am sure Yak will at least get second PP time.Don’t you?

    Eberle ,Hall RNH Hemsky and i believe Yak will end up with the most PP time among the forwards.

    Maybe it’s just me but I think Hemmer holds onto the puck too long on the sidewall and Yak will over the season take away some of his time.

  18. Lowetide says:

    Krueger has stated he wants a body in front of the net on the PP. My PP TOI goes like this:

    #1: Nuge, Hall, Eberle
    #2: Gagner, Smyth, Hemsky
    #3: Horcoff, Yakupov, Jones

  19. regwald says:

    LT, I was too young to remember the ’72 series, but remember the New Year’s Eve Habs game. Would you say Valeri Kharlamov was like Kurri or Mogilny ? Or a bit of Valeri Kamensky ?

  20. Wolfie says:

    I also tend to think LT is on the low side with this RE.

    I’m not sure how TOI is going to be distributed this year but I would expect Yakupov to get his fair share of chances. Add to the fact he might be facing softer competition and it might be a situation where he flies under the opposition’s radar.

    I can’t see Krueger not at least try and load up a PP unit early in the year. If they have some early success look out.

    I think 44pts is low. I think reasonable is 50pts and it’s even on the low end of rookie scoring leaders in the recent past.

  21. Wolfie says:

    sliderule:
    LT
    I agree TOI will really affect a players performance.This is especially true for PP time.

    I am sure Yak will at least get second PP time.Don’t you?

    Eberle ,Hall RNH Hemsky and i believe Yak will end up with the most PP time among the forwards.

    Maybe it’s just me but I think Hemmer holds onto the puck too long on the sidewall and Yak will over the season take away some of his time.

    Hemsky wasn’t getting 1st unit time last year. I don’t think he’ll see any 1st unit time this year unless there are injuries.

  22. Lowetide says:

    11-12 PP TOI/G

    1. Hall 3:03
    2. RNH 3:00
    3. Eberle 3:00
    4. Horcoff 2:52
    5. Smyth 2:28
    6. Gagner 2:27
    7. Hemsky 2:08

    for the record, the big PP performers in my model for 12-13 are Hall, Nuge, Eberle and Hemsky.

  23. gogliano says:

    I’m with LT on this.

    1) Yakupov might be learning to play LW to start the year.
    2) The LW/RW depth charts feature players that are clearly ahead of him and that will demand a lot of ice time (Hall/Eberle/Hemsky) and then a couple more that should get some decent ice (Smyth/Abney).
    3) We don’t know Krueger yet. I don’t think it is reasonable to expect Krueger runs the 18 year old out there for 260 PP minutes when he has other options. Maybe he does but if so it’ll be because Yakupov forces his hand not because it is a reasonable expection.

    I don’t think anyone is doubting that he’ll be a fantastic player. But he is 18 and has guys ahead of him, including young guys who’ll share the “development” minutes that start at the right side of the ice. I just hope he plays 80 or so games.

    p.s. If Krueger is Hitchcock/Babcock I’ll be elated.

  24. Truth says:

    I think you are selling Yakupov short on the PP time he is going to recieve. Sure, there isn’t a whole lot to go around, but many see Yakupov as the best finisher of the kids. Which, to me, is saying something big. If true, I hope Yakupov plays the point and Hall low on the right side or vice versa and then the Nuge on the right half wall, Eberle where he belongs, and J Schultz on the left point. My guess is Hall is the guy in front of the net low

  25. Wolfie says:

    Lowetide:
    11-12 PP TOI/G

    1. Hall 3:03
    2. RNH 3:00
    3. Eberle 3:00
    4. Horcoff 2:52
    5. Smyth 2:28
    6. Gagner 2:27
    7. Hemsky 2:08

    for the record, the big PP performers in my model for 12-13 are Hall, Nuge, Eberle and Hemsky.

    Why are you giving Hemsky a PP push. Wasn’t Krueger responsible for the PP last year? Hemsky got pushed down the chart early and even Gagner jumped ahead of him. I think we may see Hemsky’s PP time dwindle even further.

  26. Lowetide says:

    Wolfie: Hemsky should be completely healthy and that will impact playing time. Hey, I know he overhandles the puck (great line from ‘Planes, Trains and Automobiles’ would fit here) a lot but he’s a glorious talent and the Oilers have some real shooters now.

    Truth: You bet. That shot is going to score a lot of goals. However, rookies traditionally don’t have a major impact on the PP (seems crazy saying it after the Nuge in 11-12) and I think the coach will go with the options who had quality seasons a year ago.

    Eventually he’ll impose his will on the PP. Is it “reasonable” to think it’s right away? I think it’ll be a process, even for an outstanding player like Yakupov.

  27. LMHF#1 says:

    Yakupov apparently has an elite level one-timer. We don’t have one of those. Powerplays tend to prosper with one.

  28. godot10 says:

    loosemoose:
    I think the first unit is going to end up as

    Hall-NugentHopkins-Yakupov
    Eberle-Whitney

    Smyth-Gagner-Hemsky
    JSchultz-Petry

    Eventually, the opportunity to have three number ones and Eberle out on the ice will be too great to ignore.

    I can’t wait to watch this kid at game speed…..

    Not until Nugent-Hopkins can win a faceoff. Till then Gagner or Horcoff will be on the first unit.

    Hemsky needs a shooter on the 2nd unit. Yakupov is ideal for that.

  29. Lowetide says:

    LMHF#1:
    Yakupov apparently has an elite level one-timer. We don’t have one of those. Powerplays tend to prosper with one.

    Honest question: can we assume that’ll get him to the #1PP? Is that reasonable? Are we THAT certain?

  30. DSF says:

    Lowetide:
    The same Jeff Skinner who got 260 PP minutes as a rookie? I honestly don’t see Yakupov passing Hall or Eberle to get a job on the 1PP.

    P.S.

    Skinner scored 45 pts at evens.

    I don’t think Hall on the PP thinks what you mean it does.

    If the season starts on time, Hall will be a shadow of his former self.

    I think you’ll see lots of Yakupov on the PP.

  31. godot10 says:

    1st unit: (same concept as last year with Gagner taking the Horcoff role).
    Hall, Gagner, Nugent-Hopkins
    Eberle, Schultz

    2nd unit:

    Yakupov, Smyth, Hemsky (Smyth takes the draws)
    Whitney, Petry

  32. TheOtherJohn says:

    Godot Gagner has not historically won face offs.

    Could see Yakupov absolutely dominate PP in camp, get moved to first unit with Eberle moved to the point and Yak score 50 points in rookie year. Moreso if Hall late in getting to top form. Actually suspect that Yak may be most dominant young scorer we have (which is saying lots)

    Could also see he and Larionov see the clusterf$&k that is the NHL CBA negotiation and sign in KHL. If I was 18 years old faced with 5 year EL contract at set $$, little bonus $$, no salary arbitration, and FA at age 30 (with 10 years accumulated service) I would be tempted to say bleep it and sign to play in KHL

  33. Captain's Log says:

    So let me understand this – by guys his age you’re suggesting that Hall/Nuge/Eberle are going to be his mentors?

  34. Woodguy says:

    Lowetide:
    Krueger has stated he wants a body in front of the net on the PP. My PP TOI goes like this:

    #1: Nuge, Hall, Eberle
    #2: Gagner, Smyth, Hemsky
    #3: Horcoff, Yakupov, Jones

    Eberle played LD PP1, not RWPP1 for most of last year.

    In his interview with Stauffer Krueger said he’s going with 4 forwards again per PP unit.

    My guess is:

    Unit 1 RNH, Hall, Harski (net guy), Eberle, Whitney
    Unit 2 Horcoff (net guy, LH draws) , Hemsky, Yak, J.Shultz, Gagner (RD)

    Also,

    Who will he play with? I think the combinations (Gagner-Hemsky) (Nuge-Ebs) suggest that Yakupov will get a chance with either of those combinations depending on where Hall is playing. A guess would be that he starts with Gagner and 83.

    I think who he plays with will depend on which pairing is seeing the top D from opposing team.

    If they are playing CAL and 93.14 are seeing a steady diet of Bowmeester, it makes sense to put Hall there and move Yak to 89,83, and vice versa.

    Hall will be the designated LW to play against the top pair and Yak will play with whoever gets then 2nd pairing.

    Given that one of 93 or 83 will be his set up man against 2nd pairing D he might light it up.

    Just my guess.

    EDIT: Maybe swap Harski and Horcoff so that Horcoff can take the draws on PP1. Krueger likes to win draws on the PP too. Gagner can take the draw on PP2 then drop back.

  35. sliderule says:

    I hope the Nuge is better at face-offs this year.He is trying to get stronger.

    I understand Horcoff was only around 45 percent on the PP so you don’t have to be that great to beat him out.

    I could see Smyth taking some face-offs and standing in front of the net which he is very good at.

  36. godot10 says:

    TheOtherJohn:
    Godot Gagner has not historically won face offs.

    Gagner was at 47.6% last year. He should be near 50% this year. Probably good enough to move Horcoff off the 1st unit. Nugent-Hopkins is still a couple of years away from being able to win a faceoff.

  37. Woodguy says:

    godot10: Gagner was at 47.6% last year.He should be near 50% this year. Probably good enough to move Horcoff off the 1st unit.Nugent-Hopkins is still a couple of years away from being able to win a faceoff.

    I think Gagner only supplants Horcoff if he’s the one to stand in front of the goalie.

    I think he’d be better on the point.

    Krueger wants a designated Net Guy on each unit.

    That probably means Horcoff and Harski.

    I wouldn’t give Hall that job, its what pushed Craig Simpson out of hockey so early, and Hall’s much better used in a shooter position. RNH, Yak, Hemsky, Eberle sure as hell aren’t standing there.

    Doesn’t leave a whole lot of choice.

    Maybe MPS fits in there as well.

  38. godot10 says:

    Woodguy:

    My guess is:

    Unit 1 RNH, Hall, Harski (net guy), Eberle, Whitney
    Unit 2 Horcoff (net guy, LH draws) , Hemsky, Yak, J.Shultz, Gagner (RD)

    Nugent-Hopkins plays the right half wall. They need a right-shot defenseman on the power play on the right point for him, so it will be Schultz, Petry, or Potter, and NOT Whitney.

    Hemsky plays the left half wall. Whitney will play the PP with him.

  39. delooper says:

    If I type “Taylor Hall” into my android phone’s google search the top autocomplete option is “Taylor Hall girlfriend”. Weird. IMO Lowetide’s RE is very level headed. I wonder what his girlfriend will look like, though….

  40. godot10 says:

    sliderule:
    I hope the Nuge is better at face-offs this year.He is trying to get stronger.

    I understand Horcoff was only around 45 percent on the PP so you don’t have to be that great to beat him out.

    I could see Smyth taking some face-offs and standing in front of the net which he is very good at.

    You tend to be facing the other teams top faceoff guy on the PP, so Horcoff’s 45% on the PP is pretty good, relatively speaking. 45% on the PP is actually pretty tough to beat out.

  41. Lowetide says:

    I’m starting to think \Godot Gagner’ is an excellent nickname.

  42. Woodguy says:

    godot10: Nugent-Hopkins plays the right half wall.They need a right-shot defenseman on the power play on the right point for him, so it will be Schultz, Petry, or Potter, and NOT Whitney.

    Hemsky plays the left half wall.Whitney will play the PP with him.

    That makes sense.

  43. Woodguy says:

    godot10: You tend to be facing the other teams top faceoff guy on the PP, so Horcoff’s 45% on the PP is pretty good, relatively speaking.45% on the PP is actually pretty tough to beat out.

    27 of the top 30 PPFO men went 50%+

    http://www.nhl.com/ice/playerstats.htm?fetchKey=20122ALLSASALL&sort=powerPlayFaceOffsWon&viewName=faceOffPercentageAll

  44. Woodguy says:

    Woodguy: 27 of the top 30 PPFO men went 50%+

    http://www.nhl.com/ice/playerstats.htm?fetchKey=20122ALLSASALL&sort=powerPlayFaceOffsWon&viewName=faceOffPercentageAll

    And according to this chart, Horcoff went 114/113 on the PP last year.

  45. jp says:

    sliderule:
    If you want to use averages you have to understand them.

    The saying that there are lies ,damn lies and statistics is very true.

    If you draft a forward in the bottom 15 of the first round and try to use NHLe to project his first season after the draft you will be disappointed.

    On the other hand the forwards picked near the top should blow away NHLe just to prove the average is correct.

    May be, but usually the #1 overall scoring star walks onto a team desperate for young talent. The Oil are/were a 29th place team, but there are a bunch of young scorers already here in front of Yak. He’s not going to get the same push that most #1s do.

    Could Yak score more than 18-26-44? Of course he could, but the idea of RE is to temper our inflated expectations by taking into account the players likely role, TOI, etc. These are basically the numbers that Smyth put up last year as the 2LW. Doesn’t seem like such a crazy RE to me…

    He’ll work his way on to PP1 eventually (and possibly to start with Hall’s injury), but it will probably take some time.

  46. godot10 says:

    Woodguy: And according to this chart, Horcoff went 114/113 on the PP last year.

    Which may mean that Horcoff may still be on PP#1 this season if he is the only guy who can hit 50% who isn’t named Eric Belanger.

  47. nathan says:

    “Yes. Ralph Krueger says he’d like to see him at the portside. Sticks against the wall in the defensive zone, something like that.”

    LT, But that only reserves RW spots for Eberle and Hemsky. Unless the RH Gagner plays RW there is a top 9 spot for a LH RW.

  48. Lowetide says:

    Nathan: I took that to mean rookies and young players. Jones and Petrell are more veteran types and one of Hartikainen/Paajarvi will play RW if they make the team.

  49. stevezie says:

    delooper:
    If I type “Taylor Hall” into my android phone’s google search the top autocomplete option is “Taylor Hall girlfriend”.Weird.IMO Lowetide’s RE is very level headed. I wonder what his girlfriend will look like, though….

    It’s like that with almost all NHL players.

  50. TheOtherJohn says:

    Solved the 1st PP unit face off dilemma, we trade for Boyd Gordon. We have him win the face off and stand in front of the net screening goalie. He will get 3-4 pucks bounced in off him for goals, 7-8 assists off of FOW and we have created an offensive dynamo.

    Advantage is he is also one of best PKers in NHL and very good at 4-5 face offs.

    This is the 463 paid advertisement for the Red Deer Rebel Boyd Gordon fan club

  51. LMHF#1 says:

    Lowetide: Honest question: can we assume that’ll get him to the #1PP? Is that reasonable? Are we THAT certain?

    Certain? No. I’d bet on it though. If he’s busy doing his best Hull impression they’re not going to hold him back.

    I have no trouble seeing a #1 overall pick with clear offensive pedigree not being able to top 44 points in a full season and push for the first powerplay unit with his toolkit. I get the purpose of the RE series, but this seems like a really conservative prediction is all.

  52. LMHF#1 says:

    That should say I have trouble seeing it.

    Also Weber gets 14 years 100 mil from PHI? They never learn.

  53. DeadmanWaking says:

    Are all face-off losses created equal? I understand Nuge will get muscled off the puck in the dot for a large slice of the pie. But in the cases where he wins clean, how many of those turns into a saucer pass to the far point faster than you can blink? And in the cases where the other guy wins with a dribble back, how many times does Nuge force the turn-over two strides later with his world class edges and anticipation? As coach, I would really drill into the footage for quality of possession with Nuge in the dot in the forward zone on the 1PP. The kid can autograph a sow’s ear in a New York minute.

    As for PP time across the roster, you also have to consider cost-benefit. If the guy is a liability 5v5, the PP is not a bad place to award some ice time to a laser shooter. I think over the season Krueger will mix it up. If Yak has half of MPS’s defensive acumen (unlikely) he’ll get all the minutes he needs to bat north of 0.700. More likely he gets spotted in with caution.

    Every season I’m amused at the giant bow wave spraying foam off good ship Reasonable. For no particular reason, I’m reminded how Sir Francis Drake circumcised the world with a 100-foot clipper.

  54. Ribs says:

    I think Yakupov is a guy that is going to need some shackling early on in his career. Don’t give him the prime PP minutes unless he’s earning them with strong indications that he cares about the other facets of the game that may not come as easily to him. Start worrying about his “complete game” early so that it doesn’t become a problem down the line. It might be a tough sell, but it’s best for everyone if he buys in.

  55. jb says:

    I too see this RE being quite a bit on the low side. You don’t need room for guys like Yakupov.. He’s the type that’ll make room for himself, and give the coach no choice but to feed him prime minutes…

    I really think the fabricated draft drama lowered Yakupovs perceived potential in the Edmonton bubble… Let’s be honest here.. we’re talking about a guy who broke the NHL’s current top goalscorers junior records. That’s kinda a big deal.

    Remind me again why Murray was ever in this conversation? Injury, redneck anti Russian bias, and a media perceived hole on D? Think that’s about it.

    33-28-61 is my RE.

  56. dessert1111 says:

    I understand the nervousness with making Hall your net presence guy, but I think if you want to reduce the minutes of Horcoff and Smyth, you kind of have to look at him as an option, unless Hartikainen blows us away. I remember Hall scoring many of his goals from the right post area because his teammate were doing the fancy work and were able to get him a pristine pass that he just tapped in, or he hit in rebounds either off the pads or off the back wall. With RNH on the half-wall, Eberle and the left side slot area, Hall down in front, Whitney or J Schultz or Potter (who, if he makes the team, I think is the best PP1 option at this point for a defender based on last year), and then Yakupov somewhere between the right point and right slot area, you just have so much potential for a truly elite power play. Of course, it would mean someone needs to win draws, so maybe this happens in 13-14 instead if 12-13 once RNH has had more practice, but if he can win 46% of the PP draws, and I’d say it’s reasonable to suggest he takes a step up from last year in this regard with time and practice, then I think we might just toss Horcoff and Smyth off the PP altogether.

    Some people here are saying that Krueger said he wanted 1 D man on both units, but if I remember the quote correctly he actually said only for the first unit because for the second unit, it’s useful to have two defenders on when the other team’s guy gets out of the box. I could see the 2nd unit being Gagner-Hemsky-Jones with Schultz/Whitney and Petry on the backend and it being very good for a second PP. Why Jones you say? To give Horcoff/Smyth a rest, and at least until someone like Pajaarvi or Hartikainen shows that they are a viable PP option. Although he has limited PP time last year, Jones had good PP percentages and could be a net presence.

    For fun at some point I’d love to see Ladi Smid on the PP point at some time. Somehow led the defense in goals last year by having zero PP time and being used in a shut-down role. Throw him out there for a fun a few times when someone else is gassed and see what happens?

  57. Undisclosed_Personal_Reasons says:

    If 55 would elicit an “over the moon” reaction, then would a 33 point season be considered devastating? The margin of error on Yakupov has got to be pretty wide.

    I don’t envy trying to predict how many points a highly touted prospect will put up especially when it’s not clear how he’ll be used.

    That said, 44pts seems reasonable to me.

  58. Master Lok says:

    jb:
    33-28-61 is my RE.

    Geez people, are you all really that thick? How many times does LT have to explain what “reasonable” is? So 61 points is your RE. So you actually expect Yak to have a 50% of scoring less than 61 and an equal 50% chance of scoring MORE than 61 points in his rookie season? REALLY?

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