Oilers Stats Projections: Nail Yakupov

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Goal Projections: 25

Oil on Whyte Ruling: Over

As always, Dobber’s fantasy projections were used to debate the over/under on Yakupov and we’ll follow suit and start with the goal projections.

According to Dobber’s guide, Yakupov is projected to play in 75 games and score 25 goals.  Not bad for a second year player who would love to prove there is no such thing as a sophomore slump.  But I’m going to go over on this one and predict Yakupov to score 30 goals.  He is the real deal when it comes to scoring goals and as mentioned, he could net 50 in the coming years.

It wouldn’t be a surprise to see Yakupov put up more goals than assists given he’s a goal scorer first and loves to shoot the puck when given any chance.  He doesn’t need long to unload his cannon of a shot  and he’s proven he can contribute on the power play. Last season he scored six times on the man advantage, roughly 30% of his total goals.  We should expect that trend to continue this season and he will be a big part of the Oilers power play success.

Slotting Yakupov on the second line with Sam Gagner as his centre means he’ll have ample opportunity to put pucks on the net.  Gagner is excellent at setting up his wingers in quality scoring chances and knowing he has a rifle of a shot on the right side in Yakupov will give him the ability to look for him more often than not.

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