Yak the best player? Not a chance. Hall will be the straw that stirs the drink here, nobody else. I'm concerned about the lack of emotion from RNH but he's only 19, there's more to see so jury is not in yet for me. Yak looks like a keeper regardless. But Hall is THE man. If we could get the rest of the team fired up and driving like he does every game we would have 3-4 more wins this year.
Don't get me wrong, I love all our kids, I think nuge can perhaps be better than yakupov in terms of potential......but how about this kid? He seems to be getting better every game, he's handling the puck much butter, HE FINISHES HIS CHECKS!!!! (Dear lord thank you for sending us this blessing), and guess what? he's dedicated, he has intensity on every shift.
Theres alot of things this kid is doing right, more right than wrong in my opinion.
What i'm saying is i'm really happy we selected this kid, he's got an awesome attitude that we desperately need here.
btw did anyone see his cele after gagner scored? hahahah kid loves this game like crazy
To be honest, I thought a lot of people on here had him as a trading chip to fill in one of the other holes we have.
The thing that I have been pleasantly surprised with is the hard, crisp pass this kid possesses. Everyone talked about the powerful stride, release, one-timer, etc. Basically all the sniper intangibles, but man can this kid put a hard pass on the tape. Best thing about it is those hard passes - if an opponenent gets a stick in the lane - usually deflect up and over the glass instead of being controlled and turned into an odd man rush the other way. With Gagner's RH shot, they could be a lethal pair as their timing and chemistry develop.
Now that being said, I still think The Nuge is the best of the bunch. He has all the elements to become a Datsyuk 2.0 - PPG player with elite D. Whether he reaches that level is another story.
I have been impressed with Yak so far this year. His defensive game is improving.
I get frustrated with the coaching staff that they are not playing him as much as they should. Our PP is struggling and he is the type of player that should be on the 1st PP. Watching the game against DET it frustrated me that in the 3rd he did not play as much and in the over time they did not put him on at all.
It frustrates me watching Horc and Smyth out in the over time and Yak is glued to the bench.
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.