RE 15-16 NAIL YAKUPOV: BAD TIMING

You know, 50 years from now I will be gone but some of you will still be around. So, it is up to you—set the record straight on Nail Yakupov. A brilliant talent, a beautiful human being, a flawed hockey player—arriving in a time of addled thinking in the Edmonton brain trust. If you blame that Russian kid, without telling on the suits, I will kick your ass when you get to heaven (or other). (Bad Timing).

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

NAIL YAKUPOV 15-16

  • 5×5 points per 60: 1.35 (8th among regular forwards)
  • 5×4 points per 60: 3.46 (7th among regular forwards)
  • Corsi for % 5×5: 49.2
  • Qual Comp: 10th toughest among regular forwards (4line opp)
  • Qual Team: 8th best teammates among regular forwards (fourth-line teammates)
  • Corsi for % Rel 5×5: 2.3
  • Shots on goal/percentage: 127/6.3
  • Boxcars: 60GP, 8-15-23 .383

WAR-ON-ICE

war on ice sledgehammer

Nail is in the part of the graph where he is facing softer opposition and maybe a little bit of a push in terms of available zone starts (not to be confused with his overall shift start, which could be jumping off the bench and chasing the puck).

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

ACTUAL 15-16: 60GP, 8-15-23 .383

  1. Well. Yeah.
  2. Who is to blame? The management.
  3. You know, he is a flawed player. Sure, but if you draft him for crying out loud have a plan. There was a plan for Hall and Eberle, what the hell was the plan with Yakupov?
  4. Firing the coach? Exactly.
  5. Who did he play most with as a rookie again? Gagner was his No. 1 center, but in fairness it wasn’t good really with anyone.
  6. What about ‘my captain’ Horcoff? In the time they were teammates, Horcoff and Yakupov played 119 minutes together. Together, they were 38.9 Corsi for percentage 5×5, Yakupov scored 7-2-9 with the captain (4.54 5×5 per 60—probably why we remember it so well).
  7. Did Yakupov have good possession stats with any C’s as an Oiler? He went 49.7 Corsi for percentage 5×5 with Mark Arcobello (296:34), 50.5 Corsi for percentage 5×5 with Leon Draisaitl (259:30), 51.9 with Connor McDavid (205:19), 48.4 with Anton Lander (173:22).
  8. Can this work in Edmonton? I think it is done.
  9. Who is to blame? Please see the answer to question No. 2.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. His possession number did improve. Sure, but playing with McDavid will help that some. Nail eventually has to become responsible enough to play a more substantial role, and start mentoring others along the way. I am sure he wants to do it, but if you run tape on most of last season’s games he is a little all over the place.
  13. Are you being kind? A little.
  14. If he didn’t figure it out here, why will he in another town? Somewhere out there is an NHL team with responsible, dull as dish water forwards who are looking for a spark. New Jersey.
  15. Why didn’t McLellan feature him more? He did, when Eberle was injured. However, the coach went with Eberle when the veteran returned and of course Teddy Purcell took the other skill job. Edmonton had enough centers to provide quality for a time—but not the entire season.
  16. What is the ideal next step for Nail? I think a team like New Jersey, they are no doubt looking for forwards who can score and Yakupov has many of the things we associate with scoring. If he can get with the right coach, and maybe even with the right center, I think this could be successful.
  17. Define successful in this case. I think 20-25 goals are possible. More if he can learn to play more responsibly, but I see him as a 2RW and power-play specialist.
  18. If only they could have brought Roy back? Meh. Yak and Roy went 46.5 in Corsi for 5×5 percentage and Yakupov scored 1.69 per 60 at 5×5. They got caved in their own end, although there was absolutely some chem at the other end of the ice.
  19. Why do you like him so much? I think he is a nice young fellow, and I cheer for all of these youngsters to make it. Some become favorites for one reason or another, Nail because of his great quotes and the stories you read. I also really believe he wanted to do well here, to make it his town. It did not happen, and it has to be a difficult period for him. I wish him a grand future.
  20. What will be the title of the Sail On article? Sail on Nizhnekamsk Reatkor. It is pretty cool, he played for that team age 16.
  21. Why this song? The Oilers were not the best organization for him, and you could argue they were the worst for him. Bad Timing. You can blame Nail, I blame the adults. That’s the call here.

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31 Responses to "RE 15-16 NAIL YAKUPOV: BAD TIMING"

  1. Richard S.S. says:

    It’s just an idea I had, probably bad, but it might work. Put Nail Yakupov, Anton Slepyshev and Bogdan Yakimov on a protected scoring line. By the time 30 games have been played, you’ll know exactly who you keep, who you trade and who you release.

  2. PeOiler says:

    Good call on Bad Timing, but I thought Yak might get ‘The Ballad of the Dime Store Greaser and the Blonde Mona Lisa’.

    “Still they don’t appreciate what they have
    They can’t see what’s right in front of their eyes
    They’ve been looking so long they finally went blind
    And they lost what was right in front
    of their eyes”

  3. D says:

    Thanks for this LT. Yakupov fan here. Would love for the summer season to end with no trade and the new brain trust deciding that paying Yakupov $2.5 mil is actually a pretty value contract.

  4. godot10 says:

    I thought it was going to be “Till I Am Myself Again”…with the Byrds-ian jangling Rickenbacher guitar.

  5. anonymous says:

    It’s too bad. Never really had a chance.

    Still would rather not sell low, wait it out and at least try to pump and dump. I think the only chance this happens is if Eberle is cashed in for defence.

  6. godot10 says:

    Richard S.S.:
    It’s just an idea I had, probably bad, but it might work.Put Nail Yakupov, Anton Slepyshev and Bogdan Yakimov on a protected scoring line.By the time 30 games have been played, you’ll know exactly who you keep, who you trade and who you release.

    The OIlers’ NHL roster is no longer a place for experimentation and wishful thinking.

  7. Bruce McCurdy says:

    Rich Terfry (a.k.a. Buck 65) on Radio Two Drive talking about how Corgis are going to be deployed — or at least test-driven — as police dogs in England.

  8. MrEd says:

    You’ve set the sails LT. Nail is a fine man with excellent skills. I wish him the best regardless of the team he plays for.

  9. kinger_OIL says:

    – Great write-up LT! I’d trade Eberle for better D, give Yak Ebs minutes.

    – But your right, he’s gone, for bags of pucks…Terrible

    – You trade Yak when he goes supernova, playing on top-6, for another D or chia-style Forward

    – A better D and Yak is much better than $6MM on Ebs

  10. MrEd says:

    Chimera.

  11. jp says:

    Damn shame about Yakupov.

    I’d keep him around at 2.5M if he’s willing, though I agree the writing is on the wall.

  12. LadiesloveSmid says:

    Keep Yak and play him with McDavid. Trade Eberle for the D help, but maintain a single damn RWer.

    Look at Hudler, Perron, Okposo, Stamkos, Stempniak in the summer

  13. Quinlan says:

    MrEd:
    You’ve set the sails LT. Nail is a fine man with excellent skills.I wish him the best regardless of the team he plays for.

    My feelings exactly.

  14. Southern Oil says:

    It’s going to be a sad day in this household when he is traded. I loved the enthusiasm and love for the game that he brought to the Oilers when he was a rookie. That guy is gone for now – but it’s not on him – you’re right on that LT. Hopefully the next team can get him back.

  15. stevezie says:

    Letang is showing what a dominant defenceman can do.

    I didn’t know he was this good. Bet he still misses Martin though.

  16. JimmyV1965 says:

    Trade Yak for Nichushkin. Makes sense to me.

  17. dustrock says:

    We talked about how the idiotic boring “professional” NHL would crush his spirit and it did. Knew it would happen when such obvious professional stalwarts as Martin St Louis criticized Omark’s fun spin-o-rama SO move. This is a sport where grown men chase a piece of rubber around and around, accomplishing nothing of worth, except to entertain several thousand people for a few hours each night.

    I would love more personality injected into this boring old game and it’s a shame outstanding moments like Yakupov sliding to center ice won’t be seen. The NHL is dumb, dumb, fucking dumb.

    Sure seems like Yak has a great personality but also seem like he was ready to fold with the first hint of adversity with Eakins. Blame the terrible organization yes, but I wonder about Larionov’s influence here. Don’t think he was helping things.

    I think Yakupov is very talented but I am not sure he can play in a system and in today’s NHL that makes him difficult to define.

    I wish all the best for him here or on another team but the story is getting kind of tiring.

  18. JimmyV1965 says:

    There’s a silver lining everywhere. Just dawned on me. If we end up 5th in the lottery. That means Leafs have to be 4th.

  19. SkatinginSand says:

    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.

    This quote has been trotted out for every player that every writer has ever liked who cannot find his own end of the ice with a road map and a GPS. There is one problem with it, taken out of context, it is complete B.S.

    The best teams in the league possess the puck well south of 60%. What are they doing the rest of the time? Working their asses of to get it back as quickly and efficiently as possible. Whichever zone this occurs in, it is defending.

    The quote directly relates to “The Oiler Experience” of watching a dumpster fire where the other team controls the puck in the Oiler zone through two complete offensive shifts, ending with the linesman giving the puck to the ref to faceoff at centre ice.

  20. square_wheels says:

    SkatinginSand:
    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.

    This quote has been trotted out for every player that every writer has ever liked who cannot find his own end of the ice with a road map and a GPS. There is one problem with it, taken out of context, it is complete B.S.

    The best teams in the league possess the puck well south of 60%. What are they doing the rest of the time?Working their asses of to get it back as quickly and efficiently as possible. Whichever zone this occurs in, it is defending.

    The quote directly relates to “The Oiler Experience” of watching a dumpster fire where the other team controls the puck in the Oiler zone through two complete offensive shifts, ending with the linesman giving the puck to the ref to faceoff at centre ice.

    Primary role of the modern Defencman is to brake the cycle or stand up at the blue line and force a lane that drives a dump in or turnover. Once in possession find a safe outlet pass or make a few quick strides to open ice. Mobility is key, D must be able to skate or they’re only temporary solutions and have to be sheltered by their partner and the fwd’s.

    5 man units win Games, can’t have weak links.

  21. Richard S.S. says:

    godot10,

    If Chiarelli trades at least Taylor Hall (maybe more), there might be a need (a real need) for Yakupov and his cheap cap hit. He can’t play that well with most people so why not throw him out there with an all Russian line. Prior to this, the team didn’t have many Russians and Yak had no one to play with. If he’s traded, fine. If he must be retained, most thinking people would be trying to maximize his value to the Team. Yak-haters just want him gone.

  22. AsiaOil says:

    Good send off LT – nothing more to be said. Just hope the kid (who is a damn fine person) finds some respect and a team who gives a shyte about him. Easily the most bizarre handling of a 1OV in recent memory. His confidence has been destroyed by this org and confidence is everything for this type of player. Sail on Nizhnekamsk Reatkor indeed.

  23. edwards_daddy says:

    I can see PC spending some time and money on the third line this summer.
    We’ll end up with something like Versteeg-Shaw-Yak
    I really hope Yak hangs around if he sees defined role on the team.

  24. Oilspill says:

    You are wrong! Defense creates possession!

  25. Bad Seed says:

    So the Oilers do ruin first overall picks!

  26. Bag of Pucks says:

    I guess Blue Rodeo doesn’t have a song with ‘bust’ in the title?

  27. rickithebear says:

    square_wheels: Primary role of the modern Defencman is to brake the cycle or stand up at the blue line and force a lane that drives a dump in or turnover. Once in possession find a safe outlet pass or make a few quick strides to open ice. Mobility is key, D must be able to skate or they’re only temporary solutions and have to be sheltered by their partner and the fwd’s.

    5 man units win Games, can’t have weak links.

    Since 85% of goals come from the 15 shots in the HSCA area. (med and High Chance shots)
    the 3 most critical things to a game are
    1. pocession volume.
    2. penetration into HSC area
    3. HSC area shot save %

    So;
    1. Pressuring the opposition entry is fine,
    but
    Only to allow Forward back pressure that forces the half dump as a good option.

    this must be done without abandoning lanes to net
    or
    the Box/slot as a whole.

    2. Breaking of the cycle can often be a fools play now.
    In the last few years.
    The speed is to the point that forwards can circle the net and feed 4 and 5th options coming from the points.
    Wing/point coverage is more important.
    meaning a strong box/slot collapse is critical.

    3. The ease of entry is highly dependent on how the ref treats your team.
    The oilers forwards are constantly impeded or even tackled.
    Watching all the flames games pretty free path.
    Coaches have to adjust system play to the calling of refs.

    4. Getting one of the few goalies with above league average Save % in med and high chance shots year to year is critical.
    Price
    Greiss
    Holtby
    Schnieder
    Varlamov
    Talbot
    Lundquist
    Reimer

  28. rickithebear says:

    Even offence EVP/60:
    top 3 1.50+
    top 10 1.25+
    top 35 1.00+
    top 50 .90+
    Top 70 .80+
    top 90 .70+
    top 120 .60+
    top 150 .50+

    Primary Assit A1/60
    top 3 .65+
    top 10 .55+
    top 35 .40+
    top 50 .35+
    top 70 .30+
    top 90 .25+
    top 120 .20+
    top 150 .15+

    Even G/60
    top 3 .70
    top 6 .50+
    top 10 .40+
    top 30 .30 +
    top 50 .25+
    top 80 .20+
    top 110 .15+
    top 140 .10+
    top 190 .05+

    Our 2 top 60 HSCA D:

    Klefbom
    top 30 Comp
    top60 HSCA
    top 30 1.10 EVP/60
    Top 35 .49 A1/60
    top 10 .49 EVG/60
    Top 20 PKGA

    Davidson
    bot 2nd comp
    top 30 HSCA
    top 150 .55 EVP/60
    top 110 .16 EVG/60
    top 20 PKGA

    UFA top 90 HSCA D:

    K Miller RHD
    top 80 comp
    Top 20 HSCA
    top 60 .85 EVP/60
    top 90 .26 A1/60
    Top 50 .26 EVG/60

    Lovejoy RHD
    top 15 comp
    top 50 HSCA
    Top 100 .67 EVP/60
    Top 80 .20 EVG/60

    Gilbert RHD
    Top 60 comp
    top 80 HSCA D
    top 120 .62 EVP/60
    top 110 .22 A1/60
    top 120 .13 EVG/60

  29. russ99 says:

    “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.

    This is one of the most incorrect things I’ve ever seen said about hockey, And the fact that someone embedded in the worst nepotastic organization that the league has seen since the salad days of Bill Wirtz has said it, makes it much more onerous.

    Long after the current Corsi-fed possession/trapping/obstruction fad is dead, players will need to defend against the opposition in the defensive zone.

    And hopefully with the demise of the Bruins and Kings the last two seasons, that day is closer than ever.

  30. 4020Driver says:

    I think the Oil should have deployed Yak kind of like Vancouver did with Bure years ago. Leave him floating around out at the red line waiting for a pass or a chip past the defense to give him a clear cut break away. Yak is a liability in his own end and the Oil basically play like they are short handed in their own end when he is on anyway.

    By leaving Yak at the redline the opposition is forced to risk giving up a clear cut break away chance to Yak should they lose possession in exchange for playing 5×4 in the Oil’s zone; or they can send one of the dmen back to the neutral zone to cover Yak which makes the situation in the Oiler’s zone 4×4 instead of 5X4. This strategy is especially worth considering if playing Yak with 3rd or 4th liners who are defensively solid but offensively inept.

    I think that over the course of a year Yak would post significantly better offensive numbers given an increase in the number of breakaway chances and there would likely be fewer goals against when he is on the ice. Best case scenario, he would post more points and actually build up some confidence and/or trade value. In a cap world using creativity to capitalize on strengths of flawed players like Yak while mitigating their weaknesses can generate significant value for an organization.

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