In a few hours we’ll be watching our beloved Hall and Ebs with their Oiler mates against the Godless Canucks and their riot fans. A new addiiton this season to the cluster is young Russian winger Nail Yakupov. Who might end up being the best of the bunch.

If we compare the draft years of Edmonton’s #1 overall selections the results favor Hall:

  • Taylor Hall 57, 40-66-106 1.86 points-per-game
  • Yakupov 42, 31-38-69 1.64 points-per-game
  • Nuge 69, 31-75-106 1.54 points-per-game

However, Yakupov had a mid-season knee injury that impacted his performance in a big way.

  • pre-injury: 26, 21-32-53 2.04ppg
  • post-injury: 16, 10-6-16 1.00ppg
  • overall: 42, 31-38-69 1.64ppg

Yakupov’s performance in the KHL this season–a man’s league and considered the best pro league outside the NHL–suggests that we’re talking about an elite level player perhaps on par with Hall in his draft season.


More than Hall–who was a big star and a Memorial Cup wizard–and more than Nuge–who was famous too and just down the road–Yakupov has been performing off Broadway (Sarnia) and Off-OFF Broadway (Russia) over the last 18 months. For Oiler fans, tonight will be the first look at the new number 1 as an Oiler since drafting him and math suggests he’s going to be exceptional.

It is not certain but it is possible that Nail Yakupov will prove to be the best Edmonton Oiler in this cluster.


During two tournaments with "small sample sizes" Yakupov’s play came under scrutiny and question. In the Subway series across the CHL, Yakupov looked good but did not dominate and at the WJ’s he was less than expected in many eyes. However, the KHL results (22, 10-8-18) against much stronger competition should be given more weight.

I think Yakupov is going to impact the Oilers in a big way. Maybe not tonight–he’s got to be nervous playing in his first NHL game–but over this 48 games schedule and beyond.


As good as Taylor Hall is already–and make no mistake he’s pushing the river and has the look of an elite EVs outscorer as a kid–Yakupov’s skills suggest he may end up being his equal or more offensively. Although he is unlikely to get the push Hall received as a rookie (the Oilers are a much better hockey club now) we should expect Hall’s rookie season as a reasonable "line in the sand" for Yakupuv at evens.

This kid is special, too.

  • paul wodehouse

    …like to see 64 score a couple on Schneider and a couple more on the LOUUUUUUU 2…

    three letters come to mine …

    and then there was a loooong silence…

  • Locksmithluke

    Awoke at 5:15 this morning, and the first thought in my head was quite literally “GAME DAY”!!! Reminiscent of the feelings on Christmas Morning in my younger days, simply put… Giddy!!

    Here’s hoping to a season of more “W’s” than not, a season of the young guns topping the standings!! A season where the good folks of The Nation can proudly sport their bumper stickers and hoodies, and even perhaps, just maybe… DSF can show a little love for the boys in copper an’ blue!!

    Game On!!

    • Locksmithluke

      Hah hah… Notice how I said “just maybe”… Out of the literal 100’s of comments by Mr.DSF how I would love to see an abbrieviated “… But they looked good” at or near the conclusion! 🙂 Cheers!

  • This kid will ignite the league with his end to end rushes that Pavel Bure made the hall of fame for.

    When it comes to decision time (if we have to) on which young gun to trade…Yakopov will seal Hall’s fate and we trade Hall because we got the Yak attack.

    • Word to the Bird

      Don’t be so sure about that.
      1) Of the three kids, Hall played the highest level of competition last year, in fact he played the fourth highest level of competition on the team. And he had the highest Corsi rating on the oilers.

      2) Hall is a left wing, Yakupov is a right wing. Eberle has sealed his spot as our first line right winger. Hall is our best left winger as well. They won’t make Yakupov play on his off-wing forever.

      3) Yakupov has yet to play an NHL game my friend. Injuries aside, Hall is our best goal scorer, not to mention Hall has much better WJ stats. Why would they trade Hall for a player with the “Russian factor”?

  • Had a beer n’ clam to celebrate puck drop yesterday afternoon and today starts even earlier ….. If my Facons and Oilers win today I hope is Betty Ford has Cente Ice ! Gameday all around boys! – CHEERS …..

  • Fatbob24

    I love these GIF’s, she is hot in that dress. I cannot wait to watch the Canucks get steam rolled two night in a row!

    *and as a side note, if anyone is looking for easy money, sign me up for a hockey pool cause I suck, hah.

  • Fatbob24

    For the love of all things that are related to the Oilers we are almost ready to erase the last 2+ decades of futility!


    I’ve been looking at that and cursing for 3/4 of a year…

    GO Oil!

  • bucketoffish

    Is there a cheat sheet for acronyms used on this here blog?

    What does “EV” stand for?

    The guy in the Oiler hoodie sitting in BC bar waiting for the puck to drop

  • StHenriOilBomb

    so excited for game day! I hope the Canucks aren’t too pissed from their horrible loss last night. Oh well, maybe they’ll try to run someone early and we get a quick pp goal… OH! the possibilities are endless. A REAL NHL HOCKEY GAME!!!!

  • Jay Gray

    The butterflies are fluttering, I feel giddy as a 9 year old school girl. My liver is thankful that this is a Sunday night game and not a Saturday game. I curse the schedule maker (CBC) for tonight I will stay sober.

  • Mark-LW

    Liver will take a pounding today again, ouch.
    How can it not, Sabres and Flyers are on now, 2-SHOULD BE GREAT
    Football games , Flames v Sharks for a early AHL Game 🙂
    then the MiGhTy OilErS !!!!!

    Just killed a Sleemans Clear….and begin. I DONT WORK TILL WEDNESDAY
    SO GET OFF MY BACK …Sorry Bitches.. 🙂

  • Mark-LW

    Ooops i forgot. Is there a logical explanation why FISTRIC
    is apparently a healthy scratch ? Not enough time with the Oilers?
    I just dont get it, Dont tell me POTHEAD [Sorry Cory] is fleeter of
    foot, if he is its not by much. Sisters would be keeping their brown
    eye open watching for Fistric moving laterally across the ice
    … i dont think they are worried about Potter…

    Yeah, i know its not likely Fistrics pairing would be on the ice
    much when the girls are on. PK Maybe….

    First time ever i wish this was an afternoon game… or morning lol..

  • John Chambers

    Bitches- the name of the day for the brotherhood.

    Hope all of you bitches have a great day , and more so, our bitches in
    Copper n Blue tonight, or White n Copper n Blue.

    PS- Dont go outside. Its Cold.

  • Man Scniner looked so bad last night. I know Van has some good defense, but without a second line it’s all on them. Any team with more than one scoring line is going to light this team up until their second line returns. Last night Van did a semi decent job of trying to shut down the ryan getzlaf line, but that left Selanee up against little.

    Also, did anyone watch the Detroit game? Oh, I hope that was just a one off for them and they figure out a way to play without Lidstrom. I predict ala the Running Man, Lidstrom comes back out of retirement.

    Also, as I suspected, the Blues and Dallas looked really good.

  • BJammin

    Oh the excitement! Can’t wait for this one…yesterday was a great day for hockey, and today will be even better!!

    (shotgun’s a Lucky Lager in anticipation of the Oilers shotgunning pucks through Roberto tonight!)


    GO OILERS!!!

    Another note: St. Louis looks amazing…Stewart and Tarasenko are studs

  • Word to the Bird

    Offensively, I think that the Yak has more finish than Hall, is faster than Eberle or Nuge and is an underrated playmaker. Still, I am not sure that he will hit the ground running. I think he’ll have a bit of a longer learning curve than the other 3 super kids because of some bad habits that he picked up in the KHL and with the crazy Russian coaching at the WJCs. When he figures it out, look out.