He can play left wing, right wing and even goal if that’s what you need from him joked Nail Yakupov in his first media availability in Edmonton on Monday afternoon. In fact there were a lot of jokes from the feisty winger who has otherwise been known for his odd World Juniors post game scrums. In the short amount of time that he was in Calgary for the World Juniors, I could never get within arms reach through all of the other media and I certainly couldn’t get much of a sense from Yakupov. Except for the fact that he is an extremely confident young man who is passionate about playing hockey and especially for his home country of Russia that is. But after hearing Yakupov speak in a more relaxed setting I get the sense that this is exactly the kind of attitude the Oilers need to add to their dressing room.
Nail Yakupov has landed in Edmonton and the Oilers were a the airport to greet the top prospect. As with previous first overall picks Taylor Hall and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Yakupov will get another chance to sit down and talk to Oilers brass as well as have dinner at the home of the owner, Daryl Katz. Unlike visits with Hall and Nugent-Hopkins, Yakupov will not have a lengthy discussion with the Oilers’ head coach. With Yakupov’s main concern being to prove that he is first overall material I wouldn’t expect the lack of a head coach in place to be much of a distraction for the young Russian winger.
About Oil Patch
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.
Oil Patch focuses on the Edmonton Oilers, the Edmonton Oil Kings, The Oklahoma City Barons and Team Canada Hockey with game coverage, news updates, speculation and interviews.
Although the Oilers have had a difficult past decade… or three, here at Oil Patch, the future looks bright.
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