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Wednesday, October 5, 2011

OILERS 2012 DRAFT WATCH "Nail Yakupov"

Today we examine the #1 ranked player from  REVS 2012 Prospects List . Each player is unique in their own right and full of talent. The ranking does not reflect a mock draft of who a team may actually pick but rather who I would place as the best player available in that spot.

1.Nail Yakupov
Pos: RW
HT: 5'10
WT: 170 lbs
Born: Nizhnekamsk, Russia

Season  Team              Lge   GP    G    A     Pts    +/-

2010-11 Sarnia Sting   OHL  65     49   52   101    -2
2011-12 Sarnia Sting   OHL  4       3     6     9        4

Yakupov has big big league talent. His stick handling and skating are elite and very much a throwback to old school Soviet Union (his playing style I am referring to). Yakupov is the type of player who can take the puck end to end with little trouble. He has the ability to create havoc in the opposition's zone. Nail's hockey Intellect is far beyond average and it reflects in his decision making.

"Yakupov is a game breaker," the NHL scout said earlier this week. "He's got a lot of speed, agility and can make all his moves when going balls out. He's got a natural knack for scoring and is a threat to score every single time he's out there. The defense is only so-so, but when you're talking about a player as dangerous as he is, you can live with that."

An outstanding skater, he's got a very fast burst and not only the top speed you want in your skill forwards, but the shifty, elusive east-west movement that make him very tough for defenders to contain. Although only 5-10, he's so quick that the size isn't an issue. When you hear scouts and hockey people talk about small players needing certain skating chops to alleviate concerns about them at the NHL level, Yakupov is the prototype player they're referring to.

His quick hands, dazzling puck skills and the ability to dangle allow him to create space for himself, and he's got the creativity to score by himself or set teammates up for quality chances. He's one of those guys who makes everyone around him better.

Yakupov is being considered by some to be the next great Russian since Ovechkin and Malkin and if he can turn out even 75% as good as one of them, he will be an important part to any team winning a Stanley Cup in the future. He will be hard pressed to improve on his previous season of offensive output, especially since the opponents know what to expect from Nail this year. No team will be taken off guard, now knowing how talented of player Nail Yakupov is.

"Just dreaming Line combo's if draft pick selected "
I know, some of you hate the lines, just let me dream :-)

For continued information on Oiler and Baron news and 2012/13 NHL draft watch, you can follow me on twitter at

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