Hope Smoke (a brilliant twitter bonus) tweeted out an interview today with Dallas Eakins and specifically on the subject of Nail Yakupov. The young Russian is on his third coach and Eakins had him for most of his NHL career so far.
- Eakins on Yakupov: “Our long-term goal with Nail wasn’t to have him be a player that just scores & doesn’t worry about anything else. Ours & his [Yakupov] own long-term goal was to be a well rounded player & a guy you can rely on to do all kinds of things. Some people equated [Yakupov] not scoring with him not playing well & that’s not true. He was learning the other side of the game. A veteran centre like Roy is paying huge dividends for [Yakupov]. It was something that we couldn’t give him when I was there” Source
The entire quote is longer, this is edited, apologize if the thrust is changed but suspect the truth is surrounded here. When Yakupov was drafted, I spoke to an NHL scout about him and the general idea was this: Good goal scorer, terrific passer, defensively unaware. This scout told me the team taking him would need to be acutely aware of his downside and protect him from the things that could get him in trouble.
I think that’s exactly what the Oilers did under Tambellini/Krueger, but the MacT/Eakins change meant a shift in direction. The words of Eakins above jolted me today because honestly that’s the right call. If you have a one-trick pony who is willing to learn the finer points of the game, music! It didn’t work out and we are here but I have no quarrel with the intentions.
YAK’S 2014-15 SEASON
|PLAYER||BOXCARS||CORSI FOR % 5X5||SHOTS/GM||5X5 PER 60|
|EAKINS YAK||31gp, 4-4-8||48.9||1.96||0.93|
|NELSON YAK||30gp, 5-8-13||43.0||2.33||1.30|
We’re taking a quick glance here and I’m using 5×5 for Corsi and points/60. The boxcars look more productive and part of that is no doubt the power play. However, Yak’s 5×5/60 has improved and he’s shooting more. Jason Strudwick mentioned to me that the young Russian seems to be taking less of a windup and because of it appears to be more accurate. Whatever the reason, the last 30 games have produced more actual results.
However, the Corsi for % is in the ditch, and that’s with the vaunted veteran in Roy. Eakins words above about long term, combined with the change in the Corsi weather, looks for all the world like a return to the Ralph results. By eye, Yakupov looks better to me but he’s still all over hell’s half acre defensively and that’s an issue that goes back to the conversation with an (eastern NHL team) scout.
Interesting. Do you want a one-dimensional scorer or to continue down the trail of developing a two-way type? Nail was touched by God, he’s a real talent but I’m wondering if the best course of action is to find him the new Shawn Horcoff and have him play Lemarie to Yakupov’s Lafleur. Either way, they must get production from this fellow and both results above are wanting. You can’t succeed with a 43% 5×5 shot differential and no one is going to pay a scoring winger for 8 points in 31 games.
|PLAYER||BOXCARS||CORSI FOR % 5X5||5X5 PER 60||5×4 PER60|
I’m not on the radio today, my friend Dave Jamieson will do the show. I’m back tomorrow noon to 2 with Paul Almeida as we get ready for the deadline.