Let me start by saying that this isn't going to be another article about how bad Nail Yakupov has been. Because he's a former first overall pick I never thought I'd be in this position, but this is a player that I'm really rooting for to find success. His strong game and two points against Chicago were a tall drink of water in an otherwise dry and cracked desert of a season.
But I am also interested in finding out what might be going wrong with his performance overall. Stats alone can't illustrate the problem, although I've pored over them and I'll show you what I've found. I've decided to take two approaches: the tangible statistical side, and the intangible mental side. Hopefully, we'll be able to better understand the problems with the player and how best to correct them. After all, this is a guy who scored 80 goals in 107 OHL games, not Patrik Stefan who had 16 goals 58 games in the now-defunct IHL.
The Many Numbers Involved
Okay, so for all the stats nerds like me there are some interesting things to learn about Yakupov's career, but even if you don't normally give a damn about the numbers it's interesting to see what's going on from that angle. For context on the whole thing, let's see how Yakupov has produced:
Yakupov's Point Production (Per 60 Minutes)
It's pretty clear that we're looking at a decline in production each season, which is nothing we don't already know. At first glance it appears that his powerplay production is the culprit, but his even strength Points/60 has actually dropped more. The question is: why?
Yakupov's Most Common 5x5 Forward Linemates By Season
|2012-13||Sam Gagner||Magnus Paajarvi||Ales Hemsky|
|2013-14||Sam Gagner||Ryan Nugent-Hopkins||Jordan Eberle|
|2014-15||Mark Arcobello||Leon Draisaitl||David Perron|
|2012-13||Sam Gagner||Jordan Eberle||Magnus Paajarvi|
|2013-14||Ales Hemsky||Sam Gagner||David Perron|
|2014-15||Leon Draisaitl||David Perron||Teddy Purcell|
|YEAR||OILERS' GOALS PER GAME||% OF GOALS YAKUPOV CONTRIBUTED TO|
|YEAR||TEAM SHOOTING PERCENTAGE||TEAM SHOTS PER GAME|