It’s way too early to be looking at the 2012 NHL Entry Draft, heck we are still in the 2011 free agency. Yes, it’s true that predicting the top prospects of the 2012 NHL Entry Draft can be a risky proposition, but that doesn’t mean I can’t have a little fun trying. But, there is one guy that needs to be looked at now and that guy is Nail Yakupov.
First off, what kind of name is Nail anyways? I thought they were used in construction? Didn’t know they were used on the ice. Not only does he have talent but imagine all the nicknames he will acquire.
Ok, moving the puck on…
Russian born, 17 years old, 5’ 11”, 167 lbs. Nail Yakupov was just 3 weeks too young for this year’s NHL entry draft but count him in for next year. As a matter of fact, expect him to go number one overall.
In my opinion this young player is going to be the next “great” player in the NHL. Yakupov is a mix between Pavel Bure and Alexander Ovechkin, with hands like Ilya Kovalchuk. Does it get any better than this? Three dynamic players in one!?
In his rookie season, he tallied 49 goals and 52 assists for 101 points. Not since John Tavares, has a rookie put up those kinds of numbers in the OHL. Even though Tavares is still growing in the NHL, Yakupov should blow past him in points his rookie year.
Nail Yakupov was part of Team Russia in the 2011 World Junior U18 championship. He scored a hat trick in the bronze-medal game, including an empty-net goal with four seconds left, helping defeat Team Canada.
As of now, the Washington Capitals have the number one pick overall in the 2012 NHL Entry Draft. The Caps acquired this pick from the Colorado Avalanche in exchange for goalie Semyon Varlamov. Very smart trade McPhee!
Now imagine this young Russian star teamed up with players like Ovechkin, Semin, Backstrom, Green and Neuvirth!?
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