(Nail's home arena in Nizhnekamsk, Russia)
Nizhnekamsk, Russia is home to Nail Yakupov, 1st OV selection at the
2012 NHL Entry Draft held in June. Oiler fans would love to see Nail practicing his
trade here in Edmonton. For those of you who have not had a
chance to read Nail's recent interview with Andrey Osadchenko. There is further answers from
Nail Yakupov on understanding what happened with his transfer papers being delayed by
Hockey Canada. He also discusses his first experience playing against men in the KHL.
Currently Nail is performing well above and beyond expectations that most fans and scouts have expressed alike.
When Nail should be trying his trade in the NHL at Rexall Place, the Labour
dispute has put a temporary hold on NHL Oilers fans excitement. One look at
the ancient REXALL PLACE and you would wonder why any NHL player would
want to play there.(Thats a different story for a different time)
(Nail's future home in Edmonton, Canada)
While the KHL is currently the top league currently playing in the world right now, it still is not the NHL. As fans of the NHL and the Edmonton Oilers we need to be careful to look at things with some simple understanding. Yakupov, may or may not score at Hall numbers , let alone Nugent-Hopkins numbers. To see his current scoring rate, we need to look at a few factors...
1) It is still not against NHL teams where most 5-6th defencemen can be better then the 3-4th defencemen on a KHL team (Just my opinion based on numbers and level of competition)
2) His scoring % is crazy high and it is still early.
3) He plays on a less superior team where he slots automatically into the top 6 and top PP time. More opportunity, more points possible. This may not happen on the Oilers NHL squad.
4) His confidence is high right now and it is possible he will slow down his rate of scoring.
Regardless of what we think of the KHL and/or Yakupov, Nail is still playing on a .500% team and scoring at a PPG rate of a top 15 player in the KHL, currently best league in the world. As a Oiler fan, I say sit back, relax and enjoy the great experience that Nail Yakupov is getting before joining his new Komrades here in Oil Country. How could this be a bad thing? I prefer to look at it as the Arena is Half full, not half empty.
I am one fan who cant' wait to see these young Oilers take to the ice at Rexall, this year or next!!
For Oiler prospect news and the 2013 or 2014 NHL draft watch, go to...