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.


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.

We wait.

  • Loganoil

    Yakupov or bust. This one will blow up in the Oilers faces it they go again the grain on this one. Yak is purely offensive dynamite, him along with Hall Ebs and Nuge created one scary site for opposing defense. Carolina beat us clean with their best dman being Hedican. He is not superstar and nor ever will be. We had Pronger Spacek and Tarnstrom to a lesser extent. I think if we have two clear offensive dynamite lines then whats the usd for stopping a few extra goals? Us Oiler fans should know this all too well watching Gretz and Company kill the other teams with scores like 6-5 or 9-6.

  • Reg Dunlop

    First off, I must commend you on the article and the pic of Audry Landers. Or was it Judy? No matter,yummy in 1978 is still yummy today.

    I have serious doubts about how Yak will fit in here, I agree with Bucknuck there. I also see the point made by NateinEdmonton regarding Murray. Ryan Murray is safe. He will not divide the dressing room but Yak might(like a mini-Ovechkin). Murray will play in the NHL next year. He may not be a difference maker yet but he will contribute. With the sad state of our D he would be top 4 next year.

    All that being said, as an asset Murray is less valuable than Yak. Picking him at #1 is a bad idea. If you are set on Murray, trade down and get an additional 3rd rounder. The problem with this is that Cbus will take him over Yak. Strange that 2 NHL squads don’t want the BPA. I guess thats part of the reason they are the worst teams.

  • Reg Dunlop

    The point I was awkwardly trying to make: If the oil really covet Yak it makes sense to keep that under wraps. Knowing Cbus fears Russian draft disasters,make them think Murray is in play at #1. Pry their 3rd round pick in an exchange of #1 and #2 picks. They get Murray we get Yak and maybe someone like Mitch Moroz in the 3rd. An asset like that could anchor a checking/energy line in a few years when we are in the playoffs(and Yak has been traded).

  • Not sure why we keep talking about this?

    As far as Murray goes he’s not even the best defensmen in this draft, the combine just re-affirmed that.

    Both Dumba and Rielly will be better players.

    If you want a safe Nick Shultz all round type player then Murray’s your guy.