SUN Hockey Pool

Russian scout unimpressed by Oilers' Nail Yakupov

Nail Yakupov, shown here playing against Pittsburgh on Tuesday, was criticized by Russian scout...

Nail Yakupov, shown here playing against Pittsburgh on Tuesday, was criticized by Russian scout Igor Kravchuk for his lack of team play. (USA TODAY)

ROBERT TYCHKOWSKI, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 9:38 PM ET

Nail Yakupov’s road trip didn’t get any better Wednesday.

Pointless on the season and a healthy scratch in the first two games of Edmonton’s eastern swing, the Oilers winger took a direct hit from the head scout of Russia’s Olympic team.

Igor Kravchuk, speaking on TSN radio in Ottawa, told Steve Lloyd that he isn’t at all happy with No. 64’s game right now.

“He has to make up his mind, if he’s not going to change his game, then he has no future (in the NHL),” said Kravchuk. “From what I see, his team game is really, really poor. He tries to do a lot of things by himself, he has absolutely no defence. That’s what really concerns us as (Russian Olympic) scouts.

“If he’s going to listen to what the coach says and he tries to change his game, he has a future.”

Seems a bit harsh five games into a sophomore season, but we can safely assume that right now an Olympic berth for Yakupov doesn’t seem likely.

robert.tychkowski@sunmedia.ca

@Sun_Tychkowsk


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