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Only one rookie managed to break the 20-goal barrier last season, and that was Gabriel Landeskog of the Colorado Avalanche. Of course he had 82 games to hit that mark, while Nail Yakupov will have no more than 50.
I think he'll be up to the challenge.
If Yakupov can quickly acclimate himself to the NHL game, then there's little question that he'll be able to score a goal in every other game he plays. That'd be a 40-goal pace during the regular season, but rookies tend to get caught in slumps at some juncture, costing them a run like that.
There just won't be enough time for Yakupov to get caught in a rut, and every game he plays in will have an increased importance because of the sprint-like season. This is a player who is built for sprints, and as such, I say he finds his goal-scoring touch quickly and lights the lamp often on the way to challenging for the Calder Trophy.
Not hurting his chances is the fact that he'll be playing with several other first-overall selections who will be able to mentor him somewhat if the going gets tough. Yakupov is set up for success, and he'll seize those reigns right out of the gate in Edmonton.