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Nail Yakupov

Height 5' 11
Weight 185
Country Russia
Position Right Wing
Shoots Left
Amateur Team Sarnia Sting
Draft History
Drafted in 2012 NHL Draft: 1st Round, 1st Overall Pick by Edmonton Edmonton
Additional Information Burgeoning elite player who has dynamic puck skills, excellent on-ice vision, speed and an accurate shot. Plays with an edge and enjoys the gritty aspects, making more than one opposing player remember his sweater number. He is consistently able to explode into bigger players and knock them off their feet due to powerful speed and balance. Scored over a 100 points in his transition year into North American hockey, and it is expected his pace will not slow down. He is a finisher, first and foremost, but also reads the play and makes the right play with the correct pass. His skating is what sets him apart, enabling tremendous lateral mobility. His burst and hands, combined with him doing everything at top speed, also make him very difficult to defend against. When necessary, he can make defenders look silly when he rockets in. Has an entire toolbox of moves and shots, and a one-timer that is hard to stop. Was offered millions to stay in Russia, but chose to get his $160 dollars/month to make the transition to the North American style with one purpose in mind: Make it to the NHL is the fall of 2012. Top pick or first tier prospect.

--Bill Placzek--

Scouting Profile

Nail Yakupov is arguably the most highly skilled player available in the 2012 NHL Draft. In the 2010-2011 season, he put up outstanding numbers, recording 101 points in 65 games, and scoring nearly 50 goals for the Sarnia Sting of the OHL. This was as a rookie. Scouts are already drooling over Yakupov's skill that will surely make him a top scorer in the NHL someday. Selected 2nd overall by the Sting in the 2010 CHL Import Draft, Yakupov played along fellow rookie star Alex Galchenyuk this past season, and it will be interesting to watch the two dominate helpless defensemen during the 2011-2012 season. Yakupov has been criticized for being a selfish player by some, but others love how he uses his teammates to score goals. “The Russian Factor” scares some NHL scouts away, but Yakupov has made it clear that he has no intentions of leaving the NHL for the KHL. Nail Yakupov is certainly one of the premier players available in the 2012 Draft, and will very likely be selected in the first three picks, barring any serious issues arising. This CHL Rookie of the Year has loads of potential, and will surely be an NHL star very soon. Submitted by: David O'Connor An extremely skilled winger, Yakupov is the hottest thing to come out of Russia since Alex Ovechkin and is already drawing comparisons to the superstar. He showed no signs of a tough adjustment to major junior, becoming just the fifth rookie in fifteen years to earn over 100 points. Elite skill on offense make up for some defensive shortcomings and size is a factor, though he has at least a year or more to fill out his frame and grow. All in all a possible future superstar. Submitted by: Bek Aliev Would you like to write a player profile for any prospect that may be entering the 2012 NHL Draft? Email profiles of any player (even players not on our list) to our Webmaster. Credit will be given to the author of the profile.

on 06/15/12 6:49 am (ET)

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