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Is the bar set too high for Nail Yakupov?

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If there is a 2012-13 NHL season, Nail Yakupov will be a favourite to take home the Calder Trophy as Rookie of the Year. His immense offensive talents made him the top overall pick in June’s draft, and the fact that he gets to utilize his skills on an up-and-coming Edmonton squad only helps his cause. The stage is set for him to make some serious noise from the start of his career, and his current success in the KHL (10 goals in 13 games thus far) is only adding fuel to the fire.

With that said, is it possible that expectations have gotten too high for the 19-year old? In a way, Oilers fans may have gotten a little spoiled by the instant impacts of recent first round success stories like Jordan Eberle, Taylor Hall and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins. Yakupov certainly has the ability to take over a game but, as our own Craig Custance points out, it’s fair to expect some growing pains too. After all, he is still very young, will be facing tighter defenses than he’s ever faced before and will need at least a little time to adapt his style to the NHL game. On top of that, he arrives in Edmonton at a time when fans are beginning to expect a winner. That’s something his young teammates didn’t necessarily have to deal with. The upside here is tremendous, but so are the expectations.

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The HockeyFanLand Insight:

There is no doubt expectations are very high for Nail Yakupov. However, when you look at his resume, it is clear that Nail is driven to meet these expectations. He simply wants to be the best. And I for one think because of the group of young stars he’s surrounded with, Yakupov will have the best chance to live up to his status right away.

The expectation of winning the Stanley Cup has been high ever since the Edmonton Oilers lost Game 7 to the Carolina Hurricanes in 2006. I truly believe there is huge expectations for the whole group, and not just one individual anymore, because of the talent pool in the City of Champions.

Nail Yakupov has proven he can score at every level. So, when you place talent around him the likes that has been assembled in Edmonton. Of course, expectations are going to be high. Nail Yakupov himself would be the first to tell fans expect big to things… this is the same kid who told reporters he could kill a bear with just a hockey stick… Yakupov has great confidence and expectations of himself. So, no I don’t believe expectations are to high.

What do you guys think?

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