Skip to content

Russian Olympic scout blasts Yakupov: ‘If he’s not going to change his game, he has no future’

Oct 17, 2013, 4:44 PM EDT

yakupovfocusgetty Getty Images

These aren’t the best of times for Nail Yakupov.

After being a healthy scratch for consecutive games earlier in the week, Yakupov was put on blast by Russian Olympic scout Igor Kravchuk, currently analyzing NHLers in preparation for the 2014 Winter Games in Sochi.

“He has to make up his mind, if he’s not going to change his game, then he has no future (in the NHL),” Kravchuk told TSN 1200 Radio Ottawa. “From what I see, his team game is really, really poor. He tries to do a lot of things by himself, he has absolutely no defense.

“That’s what really concerns us as scouts.”

Yakupov was one of the 35 players invited to Russia’s pre-Olympic camp held in late August. The 20-year-old, selected first overall at the 2012 NHL Entry Draft, is coming off a successful rookie campaign in which he led all first-year players in goals (17) and tied Calder winner Jonathan Huberdeau in points, with 31.

That said, his sophomore campaign has been a disappointment.

New Oilers head coach Dallas Eakins scratched Yakupov for games in Toronto and Washington, saying the winger needed a “reset.”

Yakupov returned to the lineup for Tuesday’s 3-2 loss to Pittsburgh but was ineffective, finishing minus-1 with just one shot on goal in 17:29 of action — this coming after he said “I’m not going to change,” adding, “I really don’t like skating all the time, and forechecking, and hitting somebody every shift.”

Yakupov’s rocky second season in Edmonton has landed him in the middle of trade rumors. Last night, one surfaced out of Buffalo involving goalie Ryan Miller and forward Thomas Vanek.

Latest Posts
  1. Video: Burrows ‘surprised, upset’ he received a major penalty for hit on Gaustad

    Apr 1, 2015, 1:41 AM EDT

    Getty Images

    Could the Vancouver forward be facing further discipline from the league?

  2. ‘We just didn’t have it tonight': Lightning lose to Maple Leafs

    Apr 1, 2015, 1:17 AM EDT

    Getty Images

    Tampa Bay is in a battle for the Atlantic Division.

  3. Canucks’ Bieksa penalized for illegal check to the head

    Mar 31, 2015, 9:38 PM EDT

    Getty Images

    Could Vancouver’s veteran defenseman be looking at a suspension?

  4. NHL bringing back draft pick compensation this offseason for hiring away coaches, GMs

    Mar 31, 2015, 7:49 PM EDT

    Colorado Avalanche v Detroit Red Wings Getty Images

    3rd-round pick if it happens after the season, 2nd-rounder if it happens in-season.

  5. Contract stalemate continues between Columbus, prized prospect Reilly

    Mar 31, 2015, 6:59 PM EDT

    2014 NCAA Division I Men's Ice Hockey Championship - Semifinals Getty Images

    University of Minnesota blueliner inching closer to free agency.

  6. Bettman shoots down idea of renaming NHL awards

    Mar 31, 2015, 6:41 PM EDT

    2014 NHL Awards - Arrivals Getty Images

    So the Hart will not, as some have suggested, become the Gretzky.

  7. Versteeg misses Kane

    Mar 31, 2015, 5:30 PM EDT

    Toronto Maple Leafs v Chicago Blackhawks Toronto Maple Leafs v Chicago Blackhawks

    Blackhawks duo “had a good thing going.”

  8. Pressure’s on the Jets, who don’t want to blow it now

    Mar 31, 2015, 3:38 PM EDT

    Minnesota Wild v Winnipeg Jets Getty Images

    Could really use a win tonight versus the Rangers.

  9. Despite trend of visitors winning Game 7, Laviolette wants home ice for Preds

    Mar 31, 2015, 2:40 PM EDT

    Peter Laviolette AP

    “I can speak from experience that home ice matters.”

  10. Goalie nods: Hamburglar goes for Ottawa

    Mar 31, 2015, 2:13 PM EDT

    Andrew Hammond Andrew Hammond

    News and notes from around the crease…

Featured video

Can anything stop Tampa Bay?
Top 10 NHL Player Searches
  1. K. Letang (1836)
  2. D. Dubnyk (1724)
  3. A. Steen (1689)
  4. H. Lundqvist (1634)
  5. A. Hammond (1618)
  1. M. St. Louis (1574)
  2. P. Datsyuk (1574)
  3. E. Malkin (1503)
  4. B. Little (1478)
  5. S. Weber (1336)