Nail Yakupov not a believer in the sophomore jinx

Nail Yakupov, right, celebrates a goal against the Nashville Predators in January with teammate...

Nail Yakupov, right, celebrates a goal against the Nashville Predators in January with teammate Martin Marincin. (Codie McLachlan/QMI Agency)

TERRY JONES, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 8:37 PM ET

Flashback No. 1.

It’s the final three games of the regular season schedule for the Edmonton Oilers last year.

Nail Yakupov scored against the Chicago Blackhawks. Then he potted a pair against the Minnesota Wild. And then, in the last one, the No. 1 overall pick sent the long-suffering fans into the off-season with great expectations by scoring a hat trick against the Vancouver Canucks.

In his rookie year, Yakupov scored six goals in his final three games to give him 17 for the lockout-shortened season, to end up with one more than both Taylor Hall and Jordan Eberle.

Flashback No. 2.

It’s training camp at Millennium Place in Sherwood Park and Yakupov was the last one off the ice at practice by a bunch. Media relations director J.J. Hebert shouted out to get him in for the interviews.

I asked Yakupov about the sophomore jinx and …

“What is it?” said Yakupov.


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