As Thursday's home contest against the Los Angeles Kings wound down, Yakupov stuffed home a goal with just 4.7 seconds remaining on the clock to knot the game at one apiece. Edmonton went on to please the home crowd by winning 2-1 in the extra period, but Yakupov's celebration has dominated headlines.
In the style of former Calgary Flames star Theo Fleury, Yapupov skated all the way out to center ice by himself after hammering home a rebound past Kings goalie Jonathan Quick and slid all the way to his end of the rink as the Oilers crowd erupted into a frenzy.
Yakupov was the first overall pick in the 2012 entry draft and has already begun to live up to the immense hype that has surrounded him after an extremely successful junior career in the Ontario Hockey League.
This sort of jubilation is nice to see from the upstart, talented youngster, but his antics are sure to draw the ire of opposing players.
However, for a sport that is in desperate need of increasing its reach across the sports landscape, the attention-grabbing celebration and electric atmosphere that surrounded Yakupov's ecstatic reaction can only help the NHL's publicity.
Yakupov and the Oilers are looking to bounce back from a disappointing 2011-12 campaign in which the historic franchise had the second-lowest point total in the league, and this is certainly a promising start.
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