Oilers Stats Projections: Nail Yakupov

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The Edmonton Oilers have one of the more colorful players when it comes to scoring goals around the league  in Nail Yakupov.  Oilers’ fans witnessed first hand how passionate and excited Yakupov gets when he finds the back of the net, none more so then when he tied the game against the Los Angeles Kings late and slid halfway across the ice on his knees.  Some call it immaturity, others say he’s that passionate about the game.  One thing is certain, this  Russian sniper loves to score goals and this year he could do a whole lot of that for the Oilers.

Last season being Yakupov’s first in the league, he proved he has what it takes to become a bonafide sniper.  Scoring 17 goals and adding 14 assists in all 48 games he proved he was worth the first overall pick in the previous year’s NHL Entry Draft.  There was a time during last season that Yakupov cooled off and failed to score in sixteen straight games but keep in mind we’re talking about a kid that was 19-years old.

He more than made up for it at the tail end of the year, netting 8 goals in the final 9 games which included a hat-trick on the final game of the year against the Canucks.

He’s already impressed head coach Dallas Eakins to this point of the pre-season and if Yakupov can carry over his fine play into October and beyond, he could have Oilers fans talking about a future 50-goal scorer.  For now though, we’ll look at the over/under on number 64.

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