Nail Yakupov RW EDM 3 Months

The Oilers are encouraging Yakupov to shoot the puck more often, according to the Oilers web site.

In the 10 games Yakupov has played so far this season he only has 16 shots. The Oilers want him to start to think about shooting first and passing second. Yakupov has a good and accurate shot, something Edmonton wants to see Yakupov use about a half dozen times per game.

Nail Yakupov RW EDM 4 Months

Yakupov scored a goal in Saturday's shootout loss to the Canucks.

Yakupov gave the Oilers a two-goal lead with his marker early in the second period, giving him two points through the team's first two games. However, he skated only 16 shifts on the evening, finishing with 9:50 of ice time. While the lack of minutes could be something to monitor, it's encouraging to see the gifted Russian off to a respectable start this season, after he contributed a disappointing 24 points and a horrid minus-33 rating over 63 games in 2013-14.

Nail Yakupov RW EDM 4 Months

Yakupov will open up training camp on the third line, according to the Edmonton Journal.

Yakupov played mainly on the right wing last season but will be moved to the left side this season playing on a line with Mark Arcobello and Teddy Purcell. This is obviously not good for fantasy owners but this is also not written in stone. A productive camp could see Yakupov bumped back up to the second line.

Nail Yakupov RW EDM 5 Months

Yakupov will wear number 10 this coming season instead of 64, the number he broke into the league with, reports the Edmonton Sun.

Shawn Horcoff wore number 10 last season, but said Yakupov could take it this season. Yakupov is looking to change things up this season and shake off a horrible sophomore season (24 points in 63 games and a minus-33 rating). He grew up wearing 10 and hey -- it's not like hockey players are superstitious or anything. His game will improve this season, but it won't be because of the number.

Nail Yakupov RW EDM 6 Months

Nail Yakupov will switch from No. 64 to 10 in 2014-15.

Yakupov has traditionally worn No. 10 in honor of Pavel Bure, but he couldn't use the number when the Oilers' drafted him because Shawn Horcoff had it. When Horcoff was traded to the Dallas Stars, he gave Yakupov his blessing to take his number, but Yakupov wanted to allow some time to pass before taking him up on that offer. "I said, 'Horc, no offense, but the fans are going to miss you and they know you played with No. 10 for a long time, so I'll wait a little bit and then I'll take it,'" Yakupov said.

Nail Yakupov RW EDM 6 Months

Nail Yakupov has returned from Russia to spend some time training in Edmonton before the start of the 2014-15 campaign.

Yakupov's sophomore season went so poorly that it led some to question if the 2012 first overall pick would be able to last in the NHL. "I'm going to be doing some different things this year," Yakupov said. "I feel more comfortable here than training at home. That's why I'm here and I will train with the Oilers prospects and the other NHL players that will come." He's still just 20 years old and it's way too early to give up on him. It wouldn't be shocking if he takes a significant step forward in 2014-15.

Nail Yakupov RW EDM 8 Months

Edmonton coach Dallas Eakins insisted again this week that there isn't a rift between him and 2012 first overall pick Nail Yakupov.

"My relationship with Nail is a great one," Eakins told The Fan 590 on Monday. "That's why I kind of chuckle with the way it gets drawn out in the media. You take a kid out of the lineup and suddenly there's a big fight going on. Well, there's no fight. Nail understood what was going on." Yakupov was a health scratch during his sophomore campaign, mostly due to his defensive struggles. His production also slipped to 11 goals and 24 points after he recorded 17 goals and 31 points during the lockout-shortened season. Eakins said, "I'm very hopeful and fairly confident that he's gonna have a great rebound year."

Nail Yakupov RW EDM 10 Months

Even though he is likely healthy enough, the Edmonton Oilers will not let Nail Yakupov play this week.

Since the season will end on the weekend for the Oilers, the very disappointing season is over for the first overall pick in the 2012 Draft. Yakupov has just 11 goals and 24 points in 63 games as his season has been cut short by an ankle injury. "I'm going to work hard and do my best and see what happens. I can't say anything special, like 'You gotta wait to see this.' And 'I'm going to do this.', Yakupov said when asked about next season. "That's not for me and I'm not talking that way. I'm going to work hard. And that's it." Expect more from Yakupov next season as he had 17 goals and 31 points in 48 games as a rookie.

Nail Yakupov RW EDM 10 Months

Nail Yakupov (ankle) is probably done for the season.

That would bring the end to his disappointing sophomore campaign. The 2012 first overall pick had just 11 goals and 24 points in 63 games last season. He's worth gambling on as a late round pick in standard league drafts next season.

Nail Yakupov RW EDM 10 Months

Nail Yakupov (ankle) missed Monday's practice.

Yakupov has been out for three straight games. It would be a bit surprising if he ended up returning for Tuesday's contest.