KHL coach says Yakupov could return to Russia

by Oct 14, 8:16 AM

Vladimir Krikunov, the head coach of Neftekhimik in the KHL, says there's a chance Edmonton Oilers forward Nail Yakupov could return to Russia.

Yakpuov developed within the Neftekhimik junior program prior to making his initial jump to North America, and played for the senior KHL club during the NHL lockout, scoring 10 goals and eights assists in 22 games.

These comments come just days after the 20-year old was a healthy scratch for the Oilers, something that perhaps wasn't all too unexpected, according the Yakupov's father.

Yakupov's entry-level contract with the Oilers expires after the 2014-15 season.

Oct 15, 12:51 PM

Nail Yakupov will play Tuesday vs. Penguins

by Oct 15, 12:51 PM

Dallas Eakins has confirmed that forward Nail Yakupov will be in the lineup for Tuesday's game against the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Oct 15, 9:06 AM

Report: Nail Yakupov to play Tuesday vs. Penguins

by Oct 15, 9:06 AM

After watching the past two games from the press box as a healthy scratch and scattered reports that the young forward was planning a return to Russia, it appears as though Nail Yakupov will be inserted back into the Edmonton Oilers lineup on Tuesday.

Oct 14, 2:13 PM

Nail Yakupov 'shocked' to hear KHL rumors

by Oct 14, 2:13 PM

Nail Yakpuov has commented on earlier reports that he was looking to return to Russia, and according to Slava Malamud of sport-express.ru, the young forward appears intent on making a positive contribution for the Edmonton Oilers above anything else.

Yakupov will be a healthy scratch for the Oilers Monday against the Capitals, and will need to start impressing in practice in order to get back in the lineup.

Oct 14, 1:25 PM

Nail Yakupov's father: 'don't believe internet rumors'

by Oct 14, 1:25 PM

After Nail Yakupov's agent spoke out against a report suggesting the young forward was looking to return to Russia, his father is also urging people not to believe it.

Oct 14, 11:33 AM

Igor Larionov says Yakupov hasn't had 'a single thought' about KHL

by Oct 14, 11:33 AM

In the midst of a report that Nail Yakupov may be considering a return to Russia, his agent - Igor Larionov - has said the young forward has not given it a single thought.

And even if Yakupov did want to head back to the KHL at this time, he'd have to pull a Kovalhcuk.

Oct 14, 11:14 AM

Oilers F Nail Yakupov scratched vs. Capitals

by Oct 14, 11:14 AM

Edmonton Oilers forward Nail Yakupov will be a healthy scratch for the second straight game, according to head coach Dallas Eakins.

Through four games played this season, the 20-year old has zero points and is a -3, with ten shots on goal.

The Oilers dropped a 6-5 overtime decision to the Toronto Maple Leafs on Saturday while Yakupov watched from the press box.

Oct 13, 11:06 PM

Eakins on Yakupov: 'I have four wingers ahead of (him) right now'

by Oct 13, 11:06 PM

For the first time in his career, 2012 1st overall pick Nail Yakupov was a healthy scratch on Saturday night when the Edmonton Oilers played the Toronto Maple Leafs. 

"I’m not happy about it," Yakupov told the Edmonton Journal on Sunday. "I just want to play every game."

"I’m not going to change (my game)," Yakupov continued, "but maybe play better without the puck, or forecheck more, but I love playing with the puck. I really don’t like skating all the time, and forechecking, and hitting somebody every shift. I don’t think it’s my game."

Oilers head coach Dallas Eakins meanwhile elaborated on his decision making process, and from the sounds of it, Yakupov isn't guaranteed to dress in Monday night's game between the Oilers and the Washington Capitals.

"I said (to Yakupov): you’re in tough," Eakins explained to reporters. "I have four wingers ahead of you right now who are playing better. Your job is to take one of them out."

"Players will always tell you this: play me more and I’ll play better," the rookie coach said. "The coach always says, play better and I’ll play you more. We’re going to go by the coach’s rules.”