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Nail Yakupov

North American Skater - Sarnia, OHL
Final Rank: 1 Midterm Rank: 1
Position: Right Wing Shoots: Left
Height: 5'10" Weight: 189
Born: October 6, 1993 Hometown: Nizhnekamsk, RUS
Born in: Nizhnekamsk, RUS
• In 2011-12, he recorded 69 points (31-38--69) in 42 games for Sarnia, leading the team with 12 power-play goals and a plus-15 rating in an injury-shortened season.

• Yakupov represented Russia at the 2012 World Junior Championships. He tied for the tournament lead in assists with nine (0-9--9) helping Russia win silver -- he recorded four assists in the semifinal against Canada.

• In 2010-11, he led his team and Ontario Hockey League rookies in scoring with 101 points (49-52--101) in 65 games. It was the most points by a first-year player since Patrick Kane had 145 points in 2006-07. His scoring also surpassed Steven Stamkos' team records for goals (42) and points (92) by a Sarnia rookie. He was named the OHL Rookie of the Year and the Canadian Hockey League Rookie of the Year last season.

• Yakupov helped lead Russia to a bronze medal at the 2011 World Under-18 Championships recording 13 points (6-7--13) in seven games -- he tallied a hat trick in the bronze-medal game helping Russia defeat Canada 6-4.

• An ethnic Tatar, he hails from the city of Nizhnekamsk, located about 500 miles east of Moscow. His first name, Nail, is Arabic in origin and means “reaching, achieving or gaining success”.

• Yakupov started skating at age three -- “Ever since my mom and dad put Dynamo hockey skates on me all I have known was hockey. A rink was a 10 minute walk from our house, so I spent all my time there."

• He credits his father, who coached him when he was younger, as the biggest influence on his career -- “He has helped me every step of the way so far with advice and encouragement.”

• Former Russian NHL star, Pavel Bure, a player Yakupov has been compared to, is his childhood idol – “I love the way he played. (He was) very explosive, a great skater, very creative and (he) loved to score goals.”

NHL Central Scouting's Chris Edwards
"His first step and ability to control bouncing pucks, knock them down and make a play are the best of any of the guys in the draft, in my opinion. He really gets up to top speed very quickly and his hands are outstanding. Like Pavel Bure, Yakupov is dangerous every shift. He may not have been dominant on every shift like Bure was, but he created something every shift … you have to be aware where he is on the ice all the time."


NHL team: Detroit and Vancouver
NHL player: Pavel Bure, Pavel Datsyuk, Evgeni Malkin and Sidney Crosby
Shootout move: “It’s a secret”
Goal celebration: “I love to celebrate”
Video game: NHL12
TV show: NHL Hockey and Russian TV
Actor: Jason Statham
Website: nhl.com
Activity away from the rink: Hanging out with friends and teammates
Home-cooked meal: Pasta and chicken


2009-2010 NIZHNEKAMSK 2 RUSSIA-JR 14 4 2 6 26
2010-2011 SARNIA OHL 65 49 52 101 71
2011-2012 SARNIA OHL 42 31 38 69 30

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