Well, THAT was something. Nail Yakupov–the guy who wasn’t a clear cut #1 overall–certainly thrilled mass audiences with his hockey. Imagine watching this guy for the next 20 years. Amazing.


  • 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
  • Plus Minus: -4 on a team that was -15
  1. What do these numbers tell us? Terrific young player who was impressive at 5×5 scoring. That shooting percentage is on top of a big mountain and he’s going to come down quite a distance next season and his PDO will correct too (unless someone can prove PDO can be repeated). Man, what a hockey player.
  2. Why was there any doubt about his going #1? I think teams are leery of Russians, mostly because of the KHL but also a general belief that he was less developed as a player than Hall or Nugent-Hopkins.
  3. Is that true? He’s a rover, no doubt. Highly creative winger with tremendous skill and a Russian cannon.
  4. How close was he to your RE? We’ll do the top 6F here in a couple of days, but I had him 45, 11-15-26 so he passed that by a little bit.
  5. You like him? Love him. LOVE him. All skill and neurons and and an itchy trigger finger. Plus he has swagger! Yakupov can’t help himself, he’s like Elvis in 1956–they’re only allowed to shoot him from the waist up!
  6. What were the questions about him before the season started? In the summer RE, I wrote: “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?”
  7. What are the answers? Well, his shot is all world, it’s terrifying. He’s fast enough, although Hall has the edge in straightaway speed. Very strong on the puck, and more physical than we were led to believe. He’s kind of a Coke Machine at 5.11, 190, and as he matures it’ll be interesting to see  how much he can impact the game in that area. Not that it should every be a priority, but separating player from puck should be a skill he’ll conquer.
  8. Can he be better than Hall or Nuge? Based on his first season, yes. A lot of chatter about Yakupov’s play away from the puck, but coach Krueger mentioned early in the year that they were letting him run and working on the finer details as time went along. He’s got work to do, but Hall was drafted two years earlier, was a more finished product and HE’S got work to do as well. These are all still just kids.
  9. Did he show progress? Oh hell yes. Coach Krueger in early April: “There are a few things that happen if we go back 11 games and one of them was definitely Nail growing up in such a quick period of time. He’s very responsible without the puck, you can see him making strong decisions, he was the first forward back on multiple occasions (Monday). He plays physical, takes multiple responsibilities defensively. He’s been getting smarter with the puck and more patient. He’s understanding the difference between simple plays versus opportunity and that’s all showing up. We’re excited for a kid that age, what he’s done here in these two and a half months, it certainly shows us that we have an exciting future with Nail.”
  10. Who did he play well with? The ‘close-zone adjusted 5×5′ graph says Gagner and Hemsky, but I talked with Tyler Dellow yesterday and we kind of threw around the idea that he might be better off with a more defensive center (kind of a Horcoff to Yakupov’s Hemsky).
  11. Why didn’t Krueger play him more? At even strength, Yakupovs’ 12 minutes trails 6 other forwards and Hall’s total by 3 minutes. I think both should be playing more at evens. Yakupov’s 2:28 on the PP is reasonable although I suspect he gets a push there next season.
  12. He didn’t even get a look at the Calder. My understanding is that the writers have to send in their ballots early to beat the deadline, so Yakupov’s final run (6-0-6 +6 in his final three games) probably never happened on the ballot. Crazy but true, I think they should change that rule, even if it means the first week of the playoffs rolls by without the ballots getting time stamped.



The Lowdown with Lowetide hits the airwaves at 10 this morning on Team 1260. Scheduled to appear:

Questions and comments welcome, Lowetide_ on twitter or text 101260. Hope you can tune in!


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56 Responses to "NAIL YAKUPOV RE 12-13: OPEN ALL NIGHT"

  1. 42 percent body fat says:

    Cant remember who came up with it, and full credit to him, but the kids nick-name should be the Tsar-Bomba. In honour of that shot.

    Not that most accurate but very explosive and will devastate.

    He is also a lot like Hall. The coaches (cough, cough Ruff) don’t need to control them, they need to unleash them.

  2. Racki says:

    Robin Brownlee mentioned the deadline for the PHWA was April 30th. So they COULD have waited until the end of the season.. although chances are some didn’t. But even so, I don’t think the writers should be influenced by one game.. however I suppose he did score 6 in the last 3, and ignoring that, the season definitely looks less impressive. So they might have missed that tail end, which would possibly explain things better.

    Either way, I’m not sure he’d be my winner.. and like others, I was surprised that Brodin wasn’t nominated.

  3. judgedrude says:

    LT: My understanding is that the writers have to send in their ballots early to beat the deadline

    If only somebody would show the PHWA how to properly use this new “internet” technology–they could login only after the end of the regular season and their ballots could be received over the “internet superhighway” with the speed of a Yakupov blast from the right circle and arrive to be counted before the playoffs.

  4. slopitch says:

    I’ve been liking that Sobotka guy on STL. He has offense (as shown in his euro numbers) but is being buried taking the hard minutes for STL. He’s like Grabovski but not getting paid. He’d be a good guy to go after.

    I like keeping Gagner. Especially after seeing what Cogliano can do with decent linemates.

    Nail… what a player. Love his passion. You also have to give Kruger some credit for his handling of Yak. Sure you could say its an easy job but Nails comments about wanting to play for Kruger speak well to the respect he’s got.

  5. vishcosity says:

    In trying to help a kid get on his game, one of the comments from one of the coaches was that his first three steps weren’t very good. So watching for such, I noticed that Yak is well beyond the average, and as a prototype for what a first three steps should be, this kid IS the textbook. Watching just the first three steps, Yak seems to be miles above the pack. Pure explosive power out of the blocks. Outstanding. One of my favourite parts of his game for sure.

  6. LMHF#1 says:

    Nail is highly likely to be my favorite player to watch for a long time.

    The talent is one thing. He can do just about everything. Watching him shoot the puck in practice is worthy of spectating. He passes unlike any player I’ve ever seen. The best guys on this talented team have a hard time keeping up with his reads. I could go on.

    It is his intensity that really makes me smile. He wants to score, win, and just play the game so badly that he can barely contain it. Other teams have tried to slow him down with sticks, elbows and what have you…watch your back 15 seconds later (and he doesn’t care that you’re 6’5″ 230). What’s this kid like at 205 or 210? Kovalenko and Konstantinov combined with Pavel Bure? Crazy.

    I hope he never loses that swagger. It will take him very far. 50+ goals far. Championship far.

  7. bendelson says:

    Agreed that Yak has the potential to be a very special player…

    Given his penchance for upsetting the apple cart (his raw emotional response to scoring), his timely physical play, and what appears to be a desire to win a la Taylor Hall, does this outstanding talent have any chance of becoming a world-class sniper WITH that ‘Tikkanen’ element we all covet so dearly? Is this combination even possible?

    I love the thought of Yak driving opponents wild with incessant broken-Russian ‘conversation’ whilst netting the hat-trick!

    Too much cake?

  8. BlacqueJacque says:

    Hey LT,

    How do you think the Oilers would handle matters if they were on either side of the Habs-Sens series, especially the brawl last game?

    I don’t see them coming out on top.

  9. Reg Dunlop says:


    No doubt a sometimes harrowing listening experience, Nebraska also features some of the most down-to-earth imagery… ‘sittin in the front seat, fried chicken on our lap, we’re wiping our fingers on a Texaco roadmap’. Thank you Bruce and LT.

    I hope oil fans don’t turn on Yak if the sophomore slump hits hard. I am hoping that MacT can add a handful of real NHL players this off-season: we may not make the post-season but it is time to cease being the laughing stock of hockey.

  10. Factotum says:

    A day late with this LT, but I listened to the podcast quite late last night…

    Thank you so much for having John Short on yesterday. It was like putting on a favorite sweater and sitting by the fire with an old friend. The man is a treasure. And he made me laugh, which isn’t an easy thing to do these days.

    I think of your blog as a new-media descendant of John’s radio show – very much alike in spirit.

    I hope you will have him on Lowdown with Lowetide many more times. Cheers to you both.

  11. Hammers says:

    Yak for me proved he will be a star and I think the best of our #1 picks . Yea people will say Canadian players have more heart etc but this kid showed he has it all .

  12. wordbird says:

    LMHF#1: He passes unlike any player I’ve ever seen.

    like he’s from another planet. hard, fast passes. and he makes such interesting decisions with the puck on offense.

    when his teammates get used to his tendencies, and he figures out a few things… look out.

    He and Taylor Hall on a line together will keep opposing coaches up at night.

  13. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    just to beat my own hobby horse dead, Yak in Russia during the lockout against men:

    22 10-8-18 -4

    Time, strength, structure added and this player is going to destroy the world.

    Love the player.

    Ecstatic to hear MacT talk about him so positively.

  14. MrSmitty says:

    I have to admit I was a bit skeptical to begin with on Yakupov when we drafted him. I had the anti russian bias. He totally destroyed my prejudice of him, and now he and Hall are my favorite players.

    I don’t think I was ever so excited at a hockey game when I saw him score his hat trick. I am so glad I was able to take my dad to that game, as he has begun to love the kid too.

    I believe with Yakupov and Hall there is no doubt in my mind that if MacT can gather a decent supporting cast they will lead us to stanley and probably several of them.

  15. Lucinius says:

    Team Canada has issues. Take the powerplay, which sucks (1 for 9 so far, now); its Trotz trying to force an NHL system on international play. It does not take into account the bigger ice or minor rule shifts present in international rules.

    Its too reliant on the big guy crashing the net, causing havoc and relying on the points, but they don’t have the points set up properly given the ice surface, which makes the job very easy for the penalty killers to block the pass lanes.

    As for 5v5…

    Canada is being too reliant on personal skill. Take Duchene.. he continually is trying to force plays. He just tried to create something by passing the puck to himself off the back of the net instead of passing to Hall, who was open, along the boards.

    As for sitting Hall because of his two turn overs; Giroux has three bad ones, one of which led to a goal against and it didn’t affect his ice time in the least. I’m not saying Hall is playing well.. but he’s the only one who’s getting punished for fucking up.

    Schultz, meanwhile, who has been one of the only defensemen creating plays offensively has gotten the least amount of ice time 5v5, despite several defensemen (Brodie, Robidas, Dillon) who have had several defensive break downs and a lack of offensive push.

  16. khildahl says:

    Nail Yakupov’s shot is so hard half his goals won’t be counted until 1992.

    I can’t help but think the kid was a steal at first overall.

  17. Lucinius says:

    Giroux with his second poor penalty of the game.

    Will it affect his ice time?

    I say no.

  18. Lucinius says:

    Nice work there by Eberle.

  19. Derek says:

    Schultz out does him a minute later. I just started watching prior to the Eberle goal and haven’t seen nor heard of Hall yet. No time at 4 on 4 or on the PP? Hm.

  20. justDOit says:

    Romulus Apotheosis:

    Ecstatic to hear MacT talk about him so positively.

    Let’s just hope he’s not just pumping Yak’s tires for trade value! The level of desperation combined with the experience of MacT as GM gives me reason for worry.

  21. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    I’m wondering if alongside the bigger surface, minor rule changes, etc., we ought to consider the pacing of the international game as a major difference from NHL hockey.

    I don’t know if it was simply my subjective impression, but that period flew by. I’m guessing alongside way fewer tv timeouts, the linesmen keep the pace of things moving quicker.

  22. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Schultz out does him a minute later.I just started watching prior to the Eberle goal and haven’t seen nor heard of Hall yet.No time at 4 on 4 or on the PP? Hm.

    Hall only was on 5×5 to my eye. But he was solid in both backchecking and driving the puck in his limited time. I don’t think he had a SOG though.

    justDOit: Let’s just hope he’s not just pumping Yak’s tires for trade value! The level of desperation combined with the experience of MacT as GM gives me reason for worry.

    Could be… many speculated about that with the Gagner comments. but his Yak comments seemed completely different, like he was genuinely surprised Yak was the type of player he is and not what he expected.

  23. Lucinius says:


    Hall’s had a couple good shifts, actually.

  24. Lucinius says:

    Romulus Apotheosis,

    He had at least one shot. Was one of the first of Team Canada to simplify things and just put the puck on net.

    And yes, he only plays 5v5. Eberle goes out with Duchene on 4v4, and he isn’t on the powerplay (Simmonds tends to take his spot on the second unit with Duchene/Eberle.. who haven’t seen it much today, either — mostly just been the first unit).

  25. Romulus Apotheosis says:


    from Ebs!

  26. franksterra says:

    “Poppin’ our fingers on the Texaco road map”

    Our praise of Yak is entering Norris (Chuck) territory.

    But it’s true, his shot is not really the propulsion of an object so much as the generation of a beam of pure energy. It reminds me of the Martian weapon in War of the Worlds in that respect.

  27. spoiler says:

    Cam Cole’s pre-post mortem on the Canucks…

    Gillis to blame for not bringing in enough big, rugged and truculent scorers.

    I don’t want to make excuses for Gillis, but the fact the entire team hates Vigneault’s guts has nothing to do with their play seems a stretch. Also, I’m pretty sure everyone in the media was praising the Roy acquisition before these playoff losses. Not to mention they fought to a hard-earned 3rd place without Kesler for much of the season…

    I find I don’t agree with Cole a lot lately… seems like he now plucks the lowest-hanging fruit with his analyses. Maybe that’s the editor’s orders, I don’t know, but it’s sad because I loved his pieces in the Journal throughout the 80s & 90s.

    I suspect both Cole and Matty spend as much time sipping Margaritas on the patio of Casa Fraser these days as they do chasing down rink rats and pucking execs.

  28. Lucinius says:

    Schenn and Campbell ugly on that goal against. Schenn has been pretty decent so far, until that.. but that’s about the fourth error for Campbell in this game alone.

    Edit: And then Brodie with the horrible defensive zone turn over/play that surrenders a strong chance against.

  29. Lucinius says:

    Wow. Horrible sequence for Stamkos.

  30. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Crawford seems to think there is a diacritical mark on Eberle’s name.

    “EberLAY” (the final syllable in the form of a question)

  31. Lucinius says:

    Romulus Apotheosis,

    That’s okay, Jordan Schultz was pronounced just fine, er wait…

  32. Kris11 says:

    Yakupov’s shot is so fast, it travels backward in time and scores new goals for the 80′s Oilers.

    They have now won 7 cups on the strength of Yak’s time traveling goals. Look it up.

  33. Kris11 says:

    I’d say Van didn’t get great goaltending in two games and lost a close game in OT. And that’s how it goes in the playoffs.

    SJ’s goaltending has been better for the win in games one and three and they won a coin flip game in game 2.

  34. Lucinius says:

    Well, after two periods of play…

    TOI is actually fairly decent. Second period saw Hall, Eberle, Schultz get more ice time and Giroux less time.

    What I find really odd about the TOI so far, however, in this World Championships.. is the sheer amount of time given to the Staal’s. Eric Staal has 1 point, Jordan 0 points. Honestly, moving Stamkos to wing makes very little sense to me. If anything, I’d have moved Eric Staal to be his winger, or have Duchene as his center (though Duchene has been good, the one knock on him is he tries to do too much himself instead of passing off when possible).

    Edit: Should add it looks like Ruff agreed; Ladd and Giroux now seem to be his line mates so either Giroux has moved to center or Stamkos has.

  35. Lucinius says:

    Haha. Crawford crowing and praising Stamkos and Giroux there.. but they actually shouldn’t have scored. Stamkos whiffed on the shot a bit and it was along the ice and would have been an easy save except it skipped off a defenders stick and over the goalie’s pad.

    And Crawford is really bad at getting pronunciations correct.

  36. Lucinius says:

    I do not like that second powerplay. Eric Staal with Simmons instead of Hall and Eberle?

  37. Romulus Apotheosis says:


  38. Lucinius says:

    Yep, Hallsy with the hard skating work to get into the play after a bit of a slow change by the previous wingers.. though, again, Duchene tried to do all the work himself and just missed taking the shot, which let it drift to Hall.

  39. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Hall on the PP now.

  40. Lucinius says:

    Nice.. Hall and Eberle on the powerplay for once and some good chances arise.

  41. godot10 says:

    Gillis and Vigneault losing their genius status.

    Vigneault coaches to make the playoffs, and doesn’t coach to win a championship. When you have a contender, you should coach to win a championship (which is different than coaching to make the playoffs), which means the Sedins should be fed 40-60 zone starts, instead of 60-40 zone starts, to prepare them to move mountains in the playoffs.

    Instead he lets the Sedins lollygag all season, feasting on getting to start in the offensive zone all the time, instead of getting them ready for playoff hockey.

    Jonathan Toews could contend for the scoring championship every year if Quenneville played him with Kane and Sharp. Like Yzerman did when Detroit would lose in the playoffs year after year. Then Bowman came to town, and made Yzerman push against mountains all season, and Detroit started winning Stanley Cups.

    Many people here were proclaiming Gillis and Vigneault brilliant for running Hodgson out of town, by pumping up his stats. Many people claimed acquiring Booth as highway robbery. Look at how those two blamed the player for being a complainer because of an injury the Canucks medical staff misdiagnosed. A soft minutes killer like Hodgson would look pretty good now if the Sedins were used to playing all 200 feet, but they chose to let the Sedins play a 60 foot game, and take it easy, and dump a soft minutes outscorer.

  42. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    godot10: Many people here were proclaiming Gillis and Vigneault brilliant for running Hodgson out of town, by pumping up his stats.

    I’m not entirely convinced this isn’t a straw man.

  43. Lucinius says:

    Interesting… Schneider starting tonight for Vancouver. The better goaltender for the Canucks in this series benched. I thoroughly hope the Canucks get shelled.

  44. Hammers says:

    Romulus Apotheosis,

    But right now the canucks could use Hodgson . Canucks again come full circle Had a great team with Naslund , Bertuzzi Etc Sedins on 2nd line .but couldn’t win . Now they need another rebuild as The Sedins have 1 year left and I wouldn’t be surprised to see them play for Naslunds MoDo team . Canuck fans will once again jump of the wagon .

  45. bookje says:

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    Anyone looking to support the Arena deal moving forwards (i.e. not being killed tomorrow) can visit the following web page to send an email of support.

  46. B S says:

    I posted before that last week of games, why Yakupov (at 19 yo with near identical stats) was more deserving of a Calder than Saad or Conacher and how their mentions are only because of their visibility in the east and Chicago, I can only assume this is why Yak and Brodin (admittedly I’m not as high on Brodin as others here and would consider Schultz over him, as I don’t see how a toothless tiger deserves ROY) were ignored by the writers when they voted. My top 3 at the time were Huberdeau, Gallagher and Yakupov, now it would be Yakupov, Huberdeau, and frankly I don’t care who else, I’d probably give it to Huberdeau.

    Also, Duchene might be the most frustrating player on Team Canada, for all the chances he gets driving to the net he has 3 turnovers in the neutral zone that go the other way. Play Ebs and Hall with someone who can dish in the neutral zone, or dump at the opp. blue line.

  47. Marc says:

    You have to wonder if a panic trade of Edler is on the cards.

    Bieksa, Hamhuis and Garrison are all more complete players than he is and have outplayed him in the playoffs, but he’s about to start a long term contract that makes him their highest paid Dman. He struggles when forced to play on the right, but as both Garrison and Hamhuis are left D, playiing him in his natural position means he’s a $5M third pairing D. He’s also the only one of Vancouver’s top 4 D that doesn’t have a no trade contract.

    I’d do Edler for the #7 pick in a heartbeat. And I bet Gillis at least considers it. It frees up $5M in cap space and they’re likely to get a 1/2 center in Lindholm or Monahan.

  48. leadfarmer says:

    Yak is the first elite shot to be drafted since Stamkos. He is going to be the first Oiler to score 40 in a long time.

  49. khildahl says:

    Yak is the first elite shot to be drafted since Stamkos.He is going to be the first Oiler to score 40 in a long time.

    I suspect his wrister could win the hardest shot competition at the all star game.

  50. Lucinius says:


    I know Team Russia is doing well so far at the World Championships.. but I was a bit surprised to see no Yakupov there. His pass alone seems tailor made for international hockey, with its rink size and just how fast he whips those passes across.

  51. Zelepukin says:

    It’s not very often that a rookie has the the hardest shot on a team.

    Although my fav Yak stat is how every pass he makes is a saucer pass. Doesn’t matter if its 4 feet from a teammate. Sauce. Drop pass? sauce.

  52. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Romulus Apotheosis,

    But right now the canucks could use Hodgson . Canucks again come full circle Had a great team with Naslund , BertuzziEtc Sedins on 2nd line .but couldn’t win . Now they need another rebuild as The Sedins have 1 year left and I wouldn’t be surprised to see them play for Naslunds MoDo team . Canuck fans will once again jump of the wagon .

    I don’t disagree with any of this… just wondering who these people were who were cheering Gillis and AV on for running Hodgson out of VAN.

    I’m sure I can’t recall everything that was said at the time, but my own impression and my sense of most others take was that Gillis fucked up royally and made the situation worse by holding that press conference.

  53. Нинтендо⁶⁴ says:

    Romulus Apotheosis,

    February 27, 2012
    Schitzo: Holy hell, Kassian for Hodgson?What is Gillis doing?
    Dee Ess Eff: Trying to win a cup…NOW

    But that was back in Dee Ess Eff’s Dale Freakin’ Tallon period.

  54. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Romulus Apotheosis,

    February 27, 2012
    Schitzo: Holy hell, Kassian for Hodgson?What is Gillis doing?
    Dee Ess Eff: Trying to win a cup…NOW

    But that was back in Dee Ess Eff’s Dale Freakin’ Tallon period.

    Isn’t taking the opinion of one particularly voracious troll for the opinion of “Many people here” kind of the definition of a straw man?

  55. Нинтендо⁶⁴ says:

    Romulus Apotheosis,

    Beware trolls with multiple personalities.

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