Yakupov (ankle) says he's good to go for tomorrow vs. Nashville
Yakupov was given Tuesday off but he will be in the lineup on Thursday. Defensively, Yakupov is still a liabilitybut from an offensive and fantasy standpoint things are starting to trend in the right direction. He has three goals and three assists in his last seven games (1G / 2 A in first 16) and he is just a minus-1 in his last eight contests after being a minus-14 in his first 15. While he is no where near his 17 goals and 31 points from his rookie season, you have to keep in mind he is only 20-years-old and has tremendously high offensive upside. He is owned in 70% of Yahoo! leagues, but is playing top-6 minutes and on the top-power play, it is only a matter of time before the points start coming.
Yakupov was not at Oilers practice this morning because of a "banged up ankle or foot" according to head coach Dallas Eakins.
"It was tender enough that he couldn't practice. We'll re-evaluate tomorrow," Eakins said after practice. Yakupov has had his struggles this season, but has registered three goals and three assists in his last seven games. He did however have a bad giveaway on the power-play last night that led to a Jonathan Toews shorthanded goal that opened the scoring. It is the plays like that that have Yak in coach Eakins doghouse. The Oilers are off until Thursday, so Yakupov has time to recover before a decision has to be made.
Yakupov rotating in on the fourth line with Ryan Jones in Edmonton practice.
The Oilers line rushes this morning suggest Yakupov will either play on the fourth line with Luke Gazdic and Ryan Smyth or will be a healthy scratch on Saturday. He has struggled to one goal and two assists with a minus-14 rating in 15 games. The 2012 first overall pick had a solid rookie season (31 pts in 48 games) but has yet to follow that up with anything fantasy relevant this year.
Edmonton head coach Dallas Eakins says Yakupov will play tonight. Jesse Joensuu is injured and is going back to Edmonton.
Yakupov has been a healthy scratch for the last two games. Hopefully for his fantasy owners he is ready to adjust the part of his game that coach Eakins doesn't like. He had a great rookie year scoring 17 goals and adding 14 assists (31 points) in 48 games.
This will be the second game in a row that Yakupov doesn't dress for the Oilers. He and new head coach Dallas Eakins clearly aren't on the same page right now. Eakins is trying to send a message to the former first overall pick. Yakupov has no points and a minus-3 rating in four games.