by Lisa Brown on 08/20/12 at 11:00 PM ET
It’s a familiar story, a player’s junior number is not available with their NHL team. What is a kid to do? Of course, he picks something different. For Nail Yakupov his familiar number 10 from the Sarnia Sting is currently in use by Shawn Horcoff, who is also the team captain. And so, according to reports from the Perry Pearn’s 3 on 3 tournament where Yakupov is currently representing the Oilers along with Ladislav Smid, Darcy Hordichuk and Tyler Fedun, we learn that Yakupov will be sporting the number 64. If you can’t remember the last time an Oiler wore 64 you’re forgiven, but most Oiler fans do remember one particular player who did.
The most well known player who wore 64 for the Oilers was Jason Bonsignore, the 4th overall pick of the 1994 NHL entry draft and perhaps the most disappointing Oiler draft pick ever. Bonsignore wore the fated number 64 through his whopping 21 games with the team. And so it is with a fair level of confidence that I say at least we won’t have to worry about Yakupov having to turn in his number on Bonsignore jersey retirement night.
But for those concerned that Bonsignore may have left some negative energy with that number, don’t forget that Milan Kytnar wore the number when the Oilers were once again decimated by injury and Kytnar was the closest Oiler centreman to the city of Edmonton. Surely the few shifts that Kytnar played will have made 64 safe for Yakupov, our new N64.
Kristians Pelss, Mitch Moroz and Nail Yakupov at Oilers development camp
According to a tweet from the Edmonton Journal’s Jim Matheson, 6+4=10 was a part of the reasoning behind the number selection. Well, as told by Igor Larionov, Yakupov’s agent. But then Matheson later tweeted that Yakupov is sticking with the number he was given at the Oiler’s July development camp.
Either way, Yakupov may have inadvertently given himself his own nickname. Although N64 may not be any easier or quicker to say that Yakupov. But again, bring on the next hockey season. What good are nicknames, or speculations about nicknames without hockey to watch.
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Lisa McRitchie is a fairly new writer, online at least, but makes up for inexperience with passion for the game of hockey and memories of Mrs. Leskiw’s English AP class; who knew they would pay off one day.
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