The Edmonton Oilers went the safe route, selecting Nail Yakupov from the Sarnia String first overall in Friday’s NHL Entry Draft.
The Russian winger was the consensus top prospect among draft-watchers, though there was talk the Oilers could throw a changeup and select a defenseman like Ryan Murray.
Yakupov has been compared to another Russian star, Pavel Bure, for his speed and scoring ability. (For PHT’s draft profile, click here.)
The Oilers now find themselves with an abundance of top-six forwards. So now that we’ve stopped speculating about who they’ll pick first, we can start speculating where Sam Gagner will be traded.
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With a quote that’s sure to raise the ire of the stats crowd, here’s Jonathan Quick on his .833 save percentage to start the season:
“That’s for people that don’t know the game. Those numbers don’t mean nothing. We’re 0-2, though. That number means something, so that’s something that we’ve got to get better at.”
(That quote, per LA Kings Insider.)
Quick allowed four goals on 22 shots in his last outing, a 4-1 loss to Arizona on Friday, after which head coach Darryl Sutter said of his star goalie: “He didn’t play very well tonight, did he?”
So even if Quick doesn’t think much of statistics, he should still be extra motivated for tonight’s home game against Vancouver, assuming he gets the start.
Last season, Quick’s .918 save percentage ranked in a three-way tie for 14th out of the 29 goalies who started 40 or more games.
After making the Wild out of training camp, Tyler Graovac got some bad news on Tuesday — head coach Mike Yeo said Graovac would miss the next 2-3 weeks with a groin strain.
Graovac, 22, played just under 14 minutes in Minnesota’s crazy 5-4 comeback win over Colorado in the season-opener, but sat out Saturday’s win over St. Louis.
At 6-foot-5 and 200 pounds, Graovac was a notable physical presence in the Wild lineup, and is an intriguing prospect — he impressed with AHL Iowa last year, scoring 21 goals and 46 points in 73 games.