Yakupov Out 2-4 Weeks, Oilers Recall Jujhar Khaira


The Oilers have announced that Nail Yakupov will miss 2-4 weeks with an ankle sprain, and that Jujhar Khaira has been recalled from the Bakersfield Condors. The injury parade rolls on.

Frankly, if Nail Yakupov didn’t have bad luck he would likely have no luck at all. Last night, Yak got injured because the linesman fell, off the draw, and grabbed him on the way down. Have you ever seen anything like that? You can’t write this stuff. If you missed it, here’s another look:

Personally, I don’t blame the linesman for reaching out to grab something as he fell – I probably would have done the same – what sucks is that his full weight fell onto Yak’s twisted leg. Could this injury have been much worse? Absolutely. Does that make it feel any better? Hell no. The Oilers lost yet another player from, what looked like, a nothing play. How does this keep happening? 

As much as some people think Yak is a bust I’m not one of them. Right now, Nail Yakupov is shooting at a career low 3.9% success rate. For a guy with a shot like his that number was bound to change eventually. Although Yak wasn’t converting on as many chances as we’d all like, he was still producing chances. I would have been a lot more concerned had he not been able to get looks on net, but that just wasn’t the case. Sometimes a guy needs a little puck luck.

On the bright side, Yak looks like he’ll return damned close to when Connor McDavid comes back and we can all be enjoying #ConYak once again. Right? RIGHT?! *sigh*


“This year I’m more comfortable playing against this calibre of players. I’ve come in with more confidence and playing my game, and every game I want to get stronger and stronger and prove myself to the coaches and the organization.” -Jujhar Khaira

Jujhar Khaira is an interesting prospect for the Oilers because he brings size and a sense of nastiness to the organization that they have been sorely lacking. From everything I’ve read, the biggest hold up for Khaira is his ability to produce offense.

From Lowetide: Jujhar Khaira, whose main issue is offense. A nice start for the big forward. If he keeps this up, he might see the NHL this season. 

From Scott Zerr: Khaira is a dominant force on the PK. 

It will be interesting to see how Todd McLellan utilizes Khaira. Will he plug him into Yakupov’s slot with Letestu and Hendricks or will they elevate a guy like Iiro Pakarinen (who has been playing quite well recently)? 

Khaira has been playing on the first line in Bakersfield and that would imply that Gerry Fleming trusts him in all situations. Whether or not he can find a way to offer that kind of trustworthy play in the NHL remains to be seen, but we’re about to find out.  


Bakersfield Condors 16 3 4 7 -1 38 7 0 0 0 0.000
Oklahoma City Barons 51 4 6 10 -7 73 62 0 0 0 0.000
Oklahoma City Barons 6 0 0 0 -1 13 2 0 0 0 0.000
  • Spydyr

    Good teams fight through injuries. Terrible teams with no organizational depth, no heart and a horrific 3rd/4th line and defenceman (excluding Nurse)just lie down in the face of adversity.

    • paul wodehouse

      Well Said!! By the way how many of those People would have total empathy if the Names who were injuries were Taylor , Jordan or Ryan not Yak? To all of you who were part of the Pathetic display of a lack of empathy towards Yak you should all be so ashamed as he is just a young Kid playing with passion to help make The Oilers a better Team!! It is not his fault he is on the third line where based on his play Jordan should be not Yak!! Speedy Recover Yak!!

      YAK CAN’T WIN!!

    He was playing well with Connor and then Connor gets injured. Instead of Keeping him on the Second line the coach moves him to the third line to get him to show he can get points even when he is not playing with Connor. Why Yak? I believed he showed deserved to continue with top 6 minutes!! Jordon comes back and Yak is bounced the third line. I would like one of the Oiler Beat Writers to ask the Coach why Jordan was not asked to show he could score without top 6 forwards. Has anyone noticed how many goals Jordan has been on when other teams scores lately? Just a thought if it is was Yak on for all those goal , the fans would have said Trade Yak for a bag of pucks. But because it is Jordan that would not be right!! Yak can’t Win!! His Plus Minus has improved , his play away from the puck has improved and he had chemistry with Connor!! I believe that Yak is a top 6 forward moving forward and looking at the big picture it is the time to trade Jordan if you can get a top defenseman for him!! Looking forward to Yak getting Back!! Yak will win hopefully the Oilers don’t throw him away like the coach so easily throw him to the third line!!

    • Johnnydapunk

      Get ready to be attacked by all the media minions.

      Yakupov agent is not part of Hockey Canada InClub. Media loves to kiss Hockey Canada ass and are scared to actually report without bias.

      Even if Eberle goes another 15-20 games without showing up-they’ll make excuses that he hasn’t fully healed.

      The bias of the media is embarrassing. The only time Brownlee posts an article is when there is something negative to be said about him.

      • paul wodehouse

        YAK CAN’T WIN!! I agree about Hockey Canada and the Media!! The Coach is part of Hockey Canada!! Does he protect Yak or Jordan? He has shown his colours!! I will make the point very clear Yak deserved top 6 minutes more than Jordan did right up to Yak’s injury. It is my hope that the coach looks at the Oilers Jersey not the National Team Jersey that Yak wears and when he returns if Jordan has not been traded put him on the third line if he has not improved and see many goals he gets with bottom 6 forwards and less minutes like Yak has had to deal with since Connor got hurt!! In closing young Yak has something very few players have on this team Have and it is HE PLAYS WITH PASSION!!

        • Al Theeathoone

          You’re making sense – a rarity here.

          Would Chicago’s Panarin do what he is doing without Kane? Would Panarin do as well as he’s doing if their coaching staff stuck him on Chicago’s third or fourth line from the beginning of the season and never tried him with Kane at all?

          Would Johnny Gaudreau in Calgary be what he is today if their coaching staff played him on the third or fourth line instead of the first line and power plays since he joined the Flames?

          Shoving Yak down the line up playing with line mates that have zero offense and very little talent shattered Yakupov’s confidence and crippled his offensive capabilities.

          Against Carolina they finally put Yak on the power play and he immediately got an assist. DUH. Best one timer on this team and given no opportunity to use it.

          If Connor McDavid would have started the season on the third line instead of the first or second and given no time on the power play at all – do you really thing he would have scored at the pace he was on? Come on now…

          Just another in a long list of serious mistakes by this coaching staff this year.

    • CMG30

      So you’d rather have Eberle, last years top scorer, on the 3rd line?

      Yaks numbers may have improved but lets not forget that its only been a small number of games so far. As soon as McDavid disappeared so did Yaks improved play. If a forward is to be moved, moving Eberle instead of Yak would be a HUGE risk at this point.

      I’m sure everyone would love for Yak to be the superstar we thought he would be on draft day. But you can’t run a team on what you’d like. Instead you need to make decisions based on what’s actually happening on the ice. (See MacTavish/Schultz/Vezna trophy/Oilers blueline for a refresher on why running a team based on wishes is a bad idea).

  • Johnnydapunk

    Ugh, this blog is getting harder and harder to read. To everybody that thinks the linesman/ NHL is at fault, conspiracy, discipline blah blah blah blah blah blah, go to your room and take the tin foil hat off.

    Yak is at best a complementary third liner that plays out of position all game long. He does not win us any games, does not push the river, does not make players around him better. No big loss, on to the next call up.

  • Quicksilver ballet

    Great news in regards to McDavid being way ahead of schedule on his rehab. Should give Oiler fans a reason to tune in again early in the new year. They certainly have quickly reverted into being road kill without him. That generational label attached to his name certainly well earned and not just over inflated hype.

    The Grande Canyon would be envious by the size of the vacancy created in his absence.

  • MattyFranchise

    A few years ago I worked with with a kid that played minor hockey with Khaira. He told me that he quit playing hockey in midget because his heart wasn’t in it and didn’t want to do the work. It was too much for him.

    Khaira, by this second hand account, was a terrible player, he just didn’t seem to have it in him. Then the Bantam season started.

    Khaira decided he was going to be a hockey player and he got drafted in the Bantam draft to the WHL. Then he got drafted by the Oilers. And now he’s playing professionally in the AHL and even getting a cup of coffee at the NHL level.

    Never give up on your dreams kids. As much as I talk crap about the Oilers, they’re still an NHL team and it’s every Canadian kid’s dream to play in the NHL.

    Good on Khaira for making it.