I like Yakupov and I am certainly not comparing him to Radulov, but scoring 10 goals in the KHL is not like scoring 10 goals in the NHL. Different league, different challenges. This is why I always say to my friends that are over enamoured with the "talented" russian player. Beware.
Depends, really. As stated in another thread, there are those at the Major Junior level that see this group of Rooskies as a different breed, and I tend to agree. For the most part, this series has shown us a more determined, physical Russian, and people in high places are really starting to take notice.
Last night's game was the best of the series so far despite being a 0-0 regulation game. It had all the elements. Dare I say Reilly was the best Dman in the game last night? Subconsciously I probably paid more attention to him than the other guys but I was impressed. He was really solid and I think he may have been the go to guy for Dmen in the third period because I saw an awful lot of him out there and heard his name quite a bit.
His skating is exceptional and instead of doing too much, he made sure to gain and maintain possession before making smart plays to his teammates. If he made blind passes last night, I didn't notice them. If he was stripped of the puck, I didn't notice it. Maybe those things happened, but he did a lot of good stuff last night so it was easy for any mishaps to get lost in the mix.
And with Dumba, the staff either needs to get him to settle down, or sit him down a shift, and explain to him that he has 4 other guys to work with.
He took a good number of low percentage shots yesterday, trying to do too much, rather than dishing to someone in a better position.
I noticed the EXACT same thing about Dumba. I'm really not a big fan of his game (not basing this off of last night). I don't think his style will translate to the NHL well. Scouts know more than I, so obviously they see something in his game that I don't, since he was a top-ten pick.
I was blown away by Shinkaruk last night. Such a noticeable player. I had only seen highlights of him before and I wasn't overly impressed, but if last night is any indication, highlights don't do him justice. Great player. Seems to be a raw talent, but he's got all of the tools to be a great player in the NHL.
I thought Pulock was okay. He had flashes where he looked really solid. He's another raw prospect. He reminds me of Suter, and man, he looks HUGE out there. Seems like he'd be a great partner for Rielly in the future, so if we draft him, no complaints.
And fellas, let's take it easy on underrating Yakupov. Every time he touches the puck he's dangerous. Guy is a lock to be a really solid NHL'er. That being said, I don't think he's a very good play-maker.
He was the Leafs' leading scorer in the 1963–64, 1966–67 and 1969–70 seasons, and the team's top goal scorer in 1970–71 and 1972–73. Keon was considered one of the fastest skaters in the NHL, and one of the best defensive forwards of his era. He would usually play against the opposing team's top centre, and developed a reputation for neutralizing some of the league's top scorers. In 1970–71, he scored eight shorthanded goals, setting an NHL record.
He looked very good last night. He has explosive speed and very good balance. He switches directions in a blink and seems to be able to stick handle in close very well. He is one of those players that wants to make something happen in the offensive zone on every shift, but he seems smart about picking his spots too.
I'm hoping he can repeat and maybe pick up a couple of points.