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:
— OilersNation (@OilersNation) November 26, 2015
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*
WHAT’S THE DEAL WITH JUJHAR KHAIRA?
“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.
JUJHAR KHAIRA’S AHL STATS
|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|