Nail Yakupov to Edmonton Oilers: Video Highlights, Scouting Report and Analysis
Height/Weight: 5'10"/170 lbs
Team: Sarnia Sting (OHL)
Sarnia Sting star winger Nail Yakupov is an offensive machine that will be an impact player from the moment he steps onto the ice for his first career NHL shift. He is a complete offensive player in that he can score goals at a high rate and get his teammates involved as well. His shot accuracy is fantastic, especially his wrist shot, and his skating skills are superb. His speed is also tremendous, and it will make him a difficult player to defend, even for the best NHL defensemen.
Don't expect him to be a reliable defensive forward right away, but like many young offensive stars who are used to being elite scorers at the junior level, they will learn to play in their own end with NHL experience. Boston Bruins forward Tyler Seguin came into the NHL as the No. 2 pick in the 2010 draft and has improved his defensive abilities considerably in his first two full pro seasons.
Over the last two seasons for Sarnia, Yakupov had 170 points on 80 goals and 90 assists. Concerns over him being selfish will not be an issue at the NHL level. The Russian star proved that he could be a playmaker when Sarnia needed him to create offense when his teammates were struggling.
Yakupov helped make Sarnia teammate Alex Galchenyuk one of the top prospects in this draft class.
Yakupov's international experience completes his impressive resume. He was one of the primary reasons why the Russians won the silver medal at the 2012 World Junior Championships. Just like former No. 1 overall pick Ilya Kovalchuk, who is also Russian, Yakupov will build an NHL resume worthy of Hall of Fame consideration. Expect him to make the NHL roster next season and begin what promises to be a phenomenal career.
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