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03-16-2013, 02:23 PM
Delicious Pancakes
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Originally Posted by Replacement View Post
Hugely talented player. I was blown away the first time I watched him in person at Millenium place in Prospects camp. Head and shoulders the most explosive, dynamic, prospect I've seen here in 20yrs. The last one that dominated that much was Jason Arnott and he was a great player until we rode him hard and put him away wet for a couple years. The Oilers nearly ruined Arnott for hockey. Kid had immense pressure and was being expected to carry the team.

We're doing it much differently with Yak and bringing him along slowly which ultimately is better for him.

Still, in this 20 game stretch I think you have to let the horse run free and throw minutes at him. He's thoroughbred and only gets better with more minutes. People haven't even seen this kid totally wound up yet. Guy plays better the longer he's out there and he's one of those guys that looks pretty normal early but the longer the game goes on he just starts owning. Thats the kind of player he will be.

He'll be gold in a playoff series.
I second this. Get Yak some minutes and he'll thrive. Kreuger is doing not only Yakupov but this team a disservice by not playing him in the 3rd. I don't understand the logic of shortening the bench when clearly rolling the lines is what's been working for this team, and especially with Yakupov who's been helping to drive the play.

As for best player, they both have great drive but what sets Yakupov apart from Hall is that Yak isn't pouty. It gets Hall off his game, hopefully he grows out of it. Hall isn't afraid of being THE guy though. Once Yakupov stops worrying about whether he's offending anybody by being assertive and playing his game that drive and passion will make him a leader people want to follow. His enjoyment of the game is infectious and it's effect on the team is noticeable. Once he stops trying to put a lid on that fire because a minority of people are uncomfortable with it he'll carry this team and that minority will hopefully realize the issue isn't with Yakupov it's with them.

Right now he's like an exotic sports car with an electronically limited top speed stuck driving in the city.

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