Hello, gentle reader. What you’re about to embark on is a journey through the mind. Today, Fansided.com begins their 2012 NHL Mock Draft. Each NHL site on Fansided.com will select a pick for their respective team (first is Oil On Whyte for Edmonton, second is Fire That Cannon for Columbus, and so on…) Let’s kick off the 2012 NHL Mock Draft with a bang, shall we?
Oh, the draft. You’d figure with this being the third consecutive number one pick that the Oilers will take, the team would be pretty good by now.
That’s not yet the case.
With that in mind, it is with a heavy hand and cautious optimism that the Oil On Whyte brigade has reached a majority with our selection.
With the first overall pick in the Fansided NHL Mock Draft, Oil On Whyte is proud to select Nail Yakupov, RW, Sarnia.
The 5’10 1/2, 189 lb Russian native Nail Yakupov is good, he’s very good. How good is Nail Yakupov? Some guy named Scotty Bowman compared him to Pavel Bure. I’ll take three, please. If Nail Yakupov is half the player that Pavel Bure is, you can pencil him in for 30 goals a year.
I’m not a pro scout, but I’ve got a pretty good feeling about this one.
Points were raised among our prolific roundtable. Grant expressed concern that while he does believe that Yakupov is the best player available, would Yakupov be happy to stay in Edmonton (or North America) after his entry-level contract finished? Rumour has swirled that the KHL has offered top prospect Alex Galchenyuk a few reasons to elect not to go to the NHL, but Yakupov has insisted that he’d be ”very happy” if Edmonton picks him first overall (this works in our favour).
With that in tow, I’d be less concerned with Yakupov leaving Edmonton, and more concerned if he’s really the bee’s knees.
In short: he is.
Over two years, Yakupov has 180 points (80-90-170) in 107 games with Sarnia in the OHL. Goals and assists are well and good, but let me also tell you about Nail Yakupov’s physicality. Take whatever your conceptions about players outside of North America and file them. I’m not kidding you, Don Cherry will have a hard time talking ill of this one.
If you haven’t gotten the chance to lay eyes on the top prospect from Sarnia, it just so happens that the internet is here to help.
There’s not enough space in one post to talk about how impressive this player is. This year, I agree with the consensus. Nail Yakupov is the best player available, and unless something Earth-shattering comes about in the next four weeks via trade, the Oilers would be absolute dolts to pass this one up.
Welcome to the Oilers, Nail. Make yourself comfy.
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