Thursday, May 17, 2012

"Welcome to NAIL Country" Part III

In yesterday's posting we talked about the enigma 'Nail Yakupov' and his fierce competitive edge he brings, not only to the ice but also to life. He may be Russian, but other then the language barrier , you would think he grew up in Canada. There has been a lot of talk about Yakupov possibly being like Hall with his all out relentless style of game. As I said last post, high risk, high reward.

I am sure many of you recall the injury Yakupov suffered in the gold medal game of the World Junior Championship. Shortly after his return he sustained a couple other setbacks. The incident in the gold medal game was a knee injury. Leading up to the 'Top Prospects' game, Nail had dressed in the previous 3, Sarnia Sting games. What some may have missed, is he did not play the 2nd or 3rd period of that third game. 
Sarnia sports media reported that Yakupov, searching for expert opinion, went to Dr. Bob Giffin, an orthopedic surgeon at the Fowler Kennedy Clinic in London, Ontario, who had been overseeing his treatment (is not a employee of the Sarnia Sting). Dr. Giffin recommended Yakupov not participate in the "Top Prospects" showcase, providing the young star the famous "doctor's note".
It was said that the CHL wanted Yakupov to still go to Kelowna to be assessed by one of the doctors hired by the league. Nail didn't make the trip, and the CHL/OHL Commissioner David Branch's response was to suspend Nail for 2 OHL games which also did occur.
This was a lot to handle pressure wise (when a league is basically acting like the injury is not valid is brings into question the integrity of the individual and the team). In spite of this, Nail just shrugged it off as another obstacle he would have to overcome.

Nail no sooner got back to work on the ice and upon finding his groove once again, he ended up back on the injury list. Despite picking up a 4-0 victory over the Owen Sound Attack, he took an illegal hit to the head by Owen Sound Attack Captain Michael Halmo.  Yakupov was hit directly in the head at 11:20 of the 2nd period.

Yakupov, ended up getting stitches to his mouth and suffered a concussion. He did not return to the game and remained out of the line up. Nail did come back before season's end but there was lots of speculation as to the level of his overall health.

'I thought it was blatantly dirty' said Sting Head Coach Jacques Beaulieu. 'Nail took alot of stitches to the face, it's all marked up. Halmo didn't hit anything else, but his head. We've got to take these hits out of out game and protect our kids.'

It is pretty much a given, the Oilers will be doing some heavy investigation into his medical records and be observing closely at the combine. What should be noted is that Nail Yakupov's ppg in the CHL was greater then Hall, Eberle and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins. His ppg did drop off after his first injury but nothing at this point of time shows any reason to worry about his health. 


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  1. #1 pick for OEL

  2. Believe it or not, I would not do #1 straight up for OEL. I would add something extra in it for the Oilers from the Coyotes. His $ will add up real sooner then we will be able to afford if he turns into what we need. You do have to wonder, should the Oilers be offered OEL and their 1st rd pick for Yakupov and Oilers 3rd round plus prospect? hmm. That could be a tempting thought. I doubt Coyotes offer that though

  3. OEL is exactly what the Oilers need, but it won't happen, I do hope Oilers take Yakupov .

  4. Oilers need a power forward a #1 d-man a #1 or #2 big Center perhaps a #1 goalie. And some size. After that Oilers are in good shape.

  5. After that were ready to go? Thats all? Of course I am only joking around with you. Yeah OEL is what they need, but would you potentially trade a eberle or Hall for OEL? Its a real tough call. I do hope they take Yakupov because he stands the best chance of the bunch to be the best player of them all from what scouts have seen. He is a impact player, just not highest priority to team right now. I also would love a Montreal trade where we get #3 and PK Subban for #1 and #32, but doubt that happens either. Subban and Galchenyuk would suit me fine. Also give Galchenyuk 1 year to recovery from injury while Subban steps up to the plate for our top pairing D


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