He's gotten better since the beginning of his season. He's carving out his niche in Edmonton and his earning his teammates trust. I watched a few games and they are much more inclined to pass to him, his shot can be lethal and everyone knows it.
He's still ~1-2 years away from NT though. The level of compete on NT is much higher.
I hope not. Yakupov is a skilled player but he only puts up points when the games don't mean anything. Sure he put up 5g in 2 games, but they were both blow outs in games which meant nothing for the Oilers. He struggled through the mid season. He hasn't shown himself to be a clutch player yet. I wouldn't put him in Olympic consideration until he has shown himself in a serious situation... Until then there are far better options.
So in Russia is Yakupov being lauded as a gifted, wondrous player right now? All I'm saying is I don't get the hype all I see is a selfish, immature player who gave away the puck over and over and over again.
In Russia we're not looking at him through the NA glasses, which make every russian player look "selfish, immature, blah-blah-blah" in no time.
He's on the worst managed, worst coached team in the league. It is also the worst possible team for him personally to end up with as a 1st pick scoring winger. A team with loads of those high picks and on the wing too. Instead of having vets teaching him he has bunch of youngsters around him who are basically in the same mess. My bet is he would do better on 29 other teams.