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Nail Yakupov, the Cause of and Solution to...Everything

Yakupov is taking heat...again.

"How do I get out of this place?"
"How do I get out of this place?"
Robert Mayer-USA TODAY Sports

Oh Nail.  You're so enigmatic that now you're to blame.  Again.  So it's time for you to go and everything will be solved.

Nevermind that everyone that leaves Edmonton is somehow immediately healed again, or that this is the same thing we've heard about anyone not named Hopkins or Eberle since 2006, it's you and your silly (choose your own adventure):

  • Aloof demeanor
  • Piousness
  • Distant relationship with his teammates
  • Lack of attention to defense
  • Yearning to play in the KHL
  • Puzzling Russianess

Why are we here?

TOI Corsi %
w/Hopkins, Lander, Gordon
94 36.2%
w/o Hopkins, Lander, Gordon
452 48.2%

Shocking to me, really, that the #1 pick they've never developed or created a role for can't handle top six competition.

Playing in Edmonton is an awful experience:

"Once (the losses) start piling on, it’s hard to get out of it," Perron said. He later added, "I think the first few years you’re in the league, you’re just happy to be in (it) … but after a few years you just want to win and obviously it’s not going to happen this year in Edmonton. It’s nice to get that kind of opportunity in Pittsburgh."

When asked if he was a pretty happy guy overall, he didn’t hesitate before saying, "For sure."

So here's my bit of advice for the Oilers:  find Yakupov a role on the team and some teammates who can play the game.  Give the kid a consistent experience on the ice and let his talent come through.  Figure out what you've got before you trade him to some other team and he shines, not that we've ever seen that before...


Except for Tom Renney's even strength deployments, I feel like we've been here before...since about 2006.  Remember how Tom Renney put Shawn Horcoff between Taylor Hall and Jordan Eberle and had him babysit?  Remember how carefully Renney managed Ryan Nugent-Hopkins' deployment the following season?  Get back to that and give Yakupov some consistency.  Stop doing this:

Yakupov ES TOI
w/ Gagner 596 32%
w/ Eberle 327 18%
w/ Nugent-Hopkins 326 17%
w/ Arcobello 297 16%
w/ Perron 285 15%
w/ Hemsky 268 14%
w/ Hall 185 10%
w/ Draisaitl 181 10%
w/ Paajarvi 148 8%
w/ Pouliot 145 8%
w/ Smyth 132 7%
w/ Horcoff 119 6%

You know what though?  Trade him - that ex-Oilers team that would whip the Oilers needs a shot of youth.  Horcoff isn't going to play forever.