Nail Yakupov arrives in Edmonton today to sunshine, blue skies and Jim Matheson talking about the Oilers taking RyanMurray #1 overall! The story writes itself!
I’ve written about Ryan Murray enough here at the Nation so won’t bore you again with my arguments in favor of drafting him. I will however point you to the Matheson article and suggest that he has more connections than anyone in the msm. Smoke=fire? Or is Mr. Matheson writing a follow up to last year’s Adam Larsson articles?
Here’s my guess: Nail Yakupov had some questions around his knee injury and answered them at the combine. The only thing left is "draft for need" and we know that has no place when taking the #1 overall pick. Is Nail Yakupov a "generational" talent? Does he have a better future than Taylor Hall? Is he a one dimensional talent who will amaze, confuse and disappoint?
Don’t know, won’t know until after the draft. The things available to the Edmonton Oilers–aptitude tests, conversations with people "in the know" and the face to face breaking of bread that will take place this weekend–are not available to us. Based on the math, the video, the Bob McKenzie, the Craig Button, Nail Yakupov is the obvious choice for #1.
In order for the Oilers to suggest otherwise, they must either present their evidence or admit a "draft for need" in selecting Ryan Murray. The combine testing was the last available outward tell that Yakupov was less than perfect. He passed with flying colors.
WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN?
Today’s command performance is either a show for the masses or a sincere effort to get to know the young man Nail Yakupov. The decision on the #1 overall pick is a monster–more difficult I believe than Taylor versus Tyler or Nuge versus Larsson. This is Nail Yakupov from Nizhnekamsk, Russia versus Ryan Murray from White City. From where we sit, the contest isn’t close at all.
The question is this: what does the body of evidence unavailable to us show? I can’t imagine there being enough evidence for Yakupov to lose the day. Should they choose Ryan Murray #1 overall, the Oilers will have to stand up and say “we drafted for need” and have that echo down the canyon for decades.