Wednesday, May 16, 2012

"Welcome to NAIL Country" Part II

Last posting we finished off talking about Nail and his name, his time with his father back in the 'homeland' and how his life lessons may have served as a motivator for the success he has had. It appears to me that during his interview with Andrey Osadchenko, he was more then willing to allow the world a look into the man, more then just the name.

Character is a IMPORTANT factor in the Oilers choice when they select #1 overall at this draft. It has been stated on several episodes of 'Oil Change' and 'Oil Change OVERDRIVE' that Character is a MUST for a #1 overall pick.

As I mentioned before, I don't see Yakupov's outgoing personality as a 'negative'. In fact, the excitement he had in beating Canada has more to do with RESPECT of the Canadian team then disrespect. Why should he be so pumped beating Canada? Because it's FREAKING Canada man! Why was Canada so pumped about winning the 72 Summit series over the Soviet Union? Because it was the FREAKING Soviet's! It's a compliment, not a insult.

Nail is a player who plays on that edge, and yes, sometimes it may be risky. The greater the risk, the greater the reward IMO. Is Taylor Hall a risky bet? Yes, he is. But with great risk can also come great reward. Nail has that same edge. He comes across as authentic. What you see is what you get. Forget the fact he is Russian and look at the fact he is a 'fierce and skilled player'.

Back in 2009/2010, Nail was one of the very few 16 year olds who played in the MHL - Russia's major junior league, says Andrey Osadchenko. Despite not being on their top 2 lines he was still invited to play for the Russian U18 (quite the feat). Electing to further develop his career he headed to Sarnia of the OHL where he had been drafted and went on in his first season to break Steven "flipping" Stamkos rookie scoring record.

This guy has a compete level that is out of this world. Everything is a competition for him. Andrey Osadchenko in his interview tells another of Nail's story about his compete level. Nail tells Andrey "We tried to play soccer once - it was real difficult. It was so frustrating, I almost lost my mind. I expected a competitive game, but they couldn't do a thing on the pitch. (means playing field for non-soccer fans) They could neither kick the ball or pass it. Nothing. They were fooling around and laughing like a bunch of kids. It was terrible. I was really upset and thought 'Screw you guys. If you don't want to play fine. Go throw your stupid melon around the dressing room. I don't care.'" Some people could take that statement and make more out of it. Me? I just think he just wears his heart on his sleeve. He is, what he says he is and does what he believes is right. He has conviction and most of all, 'personality'.

Nail also has a appreciation for celebrating successes as well. In fact he tells Andrey Osadchenko that when he found out his Russian teammate from the 2012 WJ team, Nikita Gusev, did not take his SILVER Medal out of his hockey bag he was bothered. "I didn't like it one bit" said Yakupov. "..I put my silver medal on display right away..". Some people would disagree that finishing 2nd is worth celebrating but the difference between 1st and 2nd is very little. To me, it is worth celebrating, your 2nd best in the world. Enjoy your time but come back next year gunning to be #1!

Team Russian Coach Valeri Bragin has said "Yakupov will be a great player" , but still wants him to become a teammate that others will rally around. When asked about dealing with all the pressure's on him, Nail responded "In all honesty, I don't even notice it, sure I see my name popping up on various websites and all that. I don't get super excited about it, though. I don't think too much about what other people think about me. Sometimes people say, Yakupov is this and Yakupov is that, they talk about the pressure I'm supposed to be experiencing and sometimes they don't say anything. What's important is that I have a goal. I don't pay attention to small details."

QUOTE by Nail Yakupov; 
"Whatever You give to hockey, it gives back to you"



  1. Nice look behind the scenes, a glimpse of the man. Thanks.

  2. Yeah, that was the idea. Sometimes we talk about players like their machines, wanted to bring a more personal side. Still have a couple more postings on Nail to complete full blog


Keep it nice, keep it civil. GOILERS!

Two Guys & Hockey Talk NHL News (CLICK PIC FOR LINK)

The Faithful Followers

Oilers Jambalaya is in no way, shape or form associated with the Edmonton Oilers or the Bakersfield Condors. This is a fans blog for fans. We happen to love those teams, so we write about them.