Linus Omark Recalled

Jonathan Willis
November 06 2013 08:01AM

 

So. That happened.

It feels like it's been a long time coming, but the Oilers have decided to call-up Linus Omark.

The Lineup

The interesting item here (or at least one of them) is the timing. Ryan Smyth played last night, which went some distance toward neutralizing the Oilers' need for a left wing. Here's what the forward lines looked like against Florida:

  • Hemsky - Nugent-Hopkins - Eberle
  • Smyth - Gagner - Yakupov
  • Jones - Gordon - Arcobello
  • Gazdic - Acton - Eager

Where does Omark fit in that group, and who comes out for him?

The first task is to find him a spot in the top-nine, and that seems pretty straight-forward even if we assume no injury. The fourth line struggled badly last night, and I'd guess that Ben Eager rotates out and Ryan Jones moves down to right wing. Smyth gets bumped down to the third line with Gordon and Arcobello, and Omark slots in with Gagner and Yakupov on an all-offence line.

There are other ways to do it, but there seems at least to be a spot for him in the rotation.

The window for Omark to make an impression is narrow here: Taylor Hall and Jesse Joensuu and David Perron are all out of the lineup with injury, and if even one or two of them get back and Omark hasn't done much he'll be on his way back to the farm.

More to Come?

Rumour has it the Oilers and the New York Rangers have been talking trade, with the Rangers in bad need of a skilled winger. Could it be that there's a trade in place for one of the Oilers' wings? 

Because that's certainly one way to read this recall. If an Ales Hemsky (or maybe even Nail Yakupov) is heading out of town, there's suddenly a slot on a skill line that needs filling and Omark's the only really viable candidate for the role. 

Maybe there's nothing more to this than the coach being unhappy with his lines and deciding those guys from the farm did such a nice job injecting some scoring into the lineup that it makes sense to add one more. But it's certainly possible that there's another shoe left to drop.

Recently by Jonathan Willis

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Jonathan Willis is a freelance writer. He currently works for Oilers Nation, the Edmonton Journal and Bleacher Report. He's co-written three books and worked for myriad websites, including Grantland, ESPN, The Score, and Hockey Prospectus. He was previously the founder and managing editor of Copper & Blue.
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#51 shanetrain
November 06 2013, 11:12AM
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@DSF

You are going to compare Yak to Stamkos?

Ok. Elite company.

However, I do not see a Lecavalier or St Louis on Edmonton's roster.

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#52 DSF
November 06 2013, 11:12AM
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TigerUnderGlass wrote:
Why not simply use "draft year +"?

Because that doesn't help him here. He will do so when it is beneficial, not before.

Draft year + helps me just fine.

How did Stamkos do in his draft year +1?

51G 44A 95P

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#53 DSF
November 06 2013, 11:13AM
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shanetrain wrote:

@DSF

You are going to compare Yak to Stamkos?

Ok. Elite company.

However, I do not see a Lecavalier or St Louis on Edmonton's roster.

No I'm not.

Some other poster tried to though.

They're not even in the same area code.

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#54 oilerjed
November 06 2013, 11:18AM
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DSF wrote:

Generally speaking, although there are certainly exceptions, the physical maturation of young men changes drastically from the age of 18 to 20.

Often, observers of the draft miss the obvious that one player taken may be almost a year older than another and then are amazed when the younger player takes a major step forward.

While "draft year +" makes it easier to compare players, it lacks the age context.

In any event, Yakupov played 70 professional hockey games last season and, while he performed quite well, much of his production came in garbage time and against teams that were already comfortably in the playoffs.

Using your "draft year +" approach even with the caveat that Yakupov is older than Stamkos in the year, the comparative production looks pretty dreadful for Yakupov.

Now, some of that difference may be team effects but it's worth noting that Stamkos posted his numbers on a team that finished 25th overall that season but Stamkos managed to finish 4th in league scoring with 95 points and led his team in scoring.

I don't think there is any danger than Yakupov will do any of those things.

Is it not also important to note who each player was playing on a line with?

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#55 oilerjed
November 06 2013, 11:18AM
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DSF wrote:

Generally speaking, although there are certainly exceptions, the physical maturation of young men changes drastically from the age of 18 to 20.

Often, observers of the draft miss the obvious that one player taken may be almost a year older than another and then are amazed when the younger player takes a major step forward.

While "draft year +" makes it easier to compare players, it lacks the age context.

In any event, Yakupov played 70 professional hockey games last season and, while he performed quite well, much of his production came in garbage time and against teams that were already comfortably in the playoffs.

Using your "draft year +" approach even with the caveat that Yakupov is older than Stamkos in the year, the comparative production looks pretty dreadful for Yakupov.

Now, some of that difference may be team effects but it's worth noting that Stamkos posted his numbers on a team that finished 25th overall that season but Stamkos managed to finish 4th in league scoring with 95 points and led his team in scoring.

I don't think there is any danger than Yakupov will do any of those things.

Is it not also important to note who each player was playing on a line with?

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#56 2004Z06
November 06 2013, 11:22AM
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David S wrote:

I tried to prop the living h3ll out of this comment but alas only one got through.

Gagner shouldn't really be playing. It was pretty obvious last night that with even a slight bump in his face he's in real pain (which I suspect is why he can't forecheck right now). On top of which he has that stupid full-face shield which is no doubt throwing him off. Tough little bastard if you ask me. I've gained alot of respect for Sam over the last couple of games.

Half the guys here call in sick if they wake up with the sniffles.

I think Sam's eagerness to return had more to do with Arcobello eating his lunch than anything else.

I have a lot of respect for Sam's compete level, but as I have stated many times, his defensive liabilities and lack of faceoff prowess do not make him a centerman. he is better off on the wing, or used in a package deal for a trade.

The guy bleeds copper and blue, but this team does not get better with him at 1C or 2C.

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#57 Romulus' Apotheosis
November 06 2013, 11:29AM
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Generally speaking, although there are certainly exceptions, the physical maturation of young men changes drastically from the age of 18 to 20.

Agreed complete. Said as much. However, your mark of which year of play to count as which age year is in question here.

Often, observers of the draft miss the obvious that one player taken may be almost a year older than another and then are amazed when the younger player takes a major step forward. While "draft year +" makes it easier to compare players, it lacks the age context.

Completely agreed. I mentioned it even.

One of the reasons Barkov (September 2, 1995 (age 18) was given such a big lead on Monahan last year (October 12, 1994 (age 19)… nearly a full year older.

Teams are getting smarter on this score… but still ignore its effects to their peril.

In any event, Yakupov played 70 professional hockey games last season and, while he performed quite well, much of his production came in garbage time and against teams that were already comfortably in the playoffs.

His KHL scoring is an interesting note. It certainly bolsters his Pro performance.

The "garbage time" doesn't apply to most his pro year and is certainly a wash if you are comparing it to Stamkos' 08-09 Lightning.

http://www.nhl.com/ice/standings.htm?season=20082009&type=LEA

I have no idea what you think this caveat accomplishes, esp. vs. Stamkos.

Using your "draft year +" approach even with the caveat that Yakupov is older than Stamkos in the year, the comparative production looks pretty dreadful for Yakupov.

You haven't explained how 4 months makes the comparison dreadful. But if we look at draft +2 year, there is no way to cover for Yakupov. He's had a dreadful year and by this point Stamkos was rolling. No argument there.

Only to note that Yakupov's career is still very young.

I also agree. the chance that Yak's sophomore will come anywhere near Stamkos' is pure fantasy.

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#58 DSF
November 06 2013, 11:29AM
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oilerjed wrote:

Is it not also important to note who each player was playing on a line with?

Sure.

Who did Stamkos play with in his rookie season?

In 2008/09, Stamkos was 8th among TB forwards and still managed to score 23G 23A 46P.

The following season, his "draft +1" year, he was moved to the top line and was second among TB forwards in ice time and his production absolutely exploded.

You need to remember that Barry Melrose was the coach in TB during Stamkos' rookie season and one of the major reason he was turfed was because of the way Stamkos was mishandled.

I would imagine that, if Yakupov was producing at the same level as Stamkos was in his second season, he would be getting top line minutes with Hopkins and Hall.

But he isn't.

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#59 Deep Inside ....
November 06 2013, 11:30AM
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Romulus' Apotheosis wrote:

No, no… the entire 23 man roster of both teams is being swapped and then swapped again, but the second time only 22 players are swapped, one remaining (like in musical chairs). they'll do that 22 more times until they are back to where they started except they will have exchanged vendors.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L3eNPO8nAE0

You will see in 1-2 hours!!!! I hope Oiler fans are ready for this- includes a couple surprises!

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#60 Romulus' Apotheosis
November 06 2013, 11:31AM
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DSF wrote:

Draft year + helps me just fine.

How did Stamkos do in his draft year +1?

51G 44A 95P

that's draft year +2. (hint: "draft year" = the year you are drafted)

not sure why you would fudge on that. I don't think anyone is trying to run Stamkos down around here.

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#61 DSF
November 06 2013, 11:38AM
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Romulus' Apotheosis wrote:
Generally speaking, although there are certainly exceptions, the physical maturation of young men changes drastically from the age of 18 to 20.

Agreed complete. Said as much. However, your mark of which year of play to count as which age year is in question here.

Often, observers of the draft miss the obvious that one player taken may be almost a year older than another and then are amazed when the younger player takes a major step forward. While "draft year +" makes it easier to compare players, it lacks the age context.

Completely agreed. I mentioned it even.

One of the reasons Barkov (September 2, 1995 (age 18) was given such a big lead on Monahan last year (October 12, 1994 (age 19)… nearly a full year older.

Teams are getting smarter on this score… but still ignore its effects to their peril.

In any event, Yakupov played 70 professional hockey games last season and, while he performed quite well, much of his production came in garbage time and against teams that were already comfortably in the playoffs.

His KHL scoring is an interesting note. It certainly bolsters his Pro performance.

The "garbage time" doesn't apply to most his pro year and is certainly a wash if you are comparing it to Stamkos' 08-09 Lightning.

http://www.nhl.com/ice/standings.htm?season=20082009&type=LEA

I have no idea what you think this caveat accomplishes, esp. vs. Stamkos.

Using your "draft year +" approach even with the caveat that Yakupov is older than Stamkos in the year, the comparative production looks pretty dreadful for Yakupov.

You haven't explained how 4 months makes the comparison dreadful. But if we look at draft +2 year, there is no way to cover for Yakupov. He's had a dreadful year and by this point Stamkos was rolling. No argument there.

Only to note that Yakupov's career is still very young.

I also agree. the chance that Yak's sophomore will come anywhere near Stamkos' is pure fantasy.

Of course the lockout makes things a little wonky but there's nothing that can be done about that.

I think the "garbage time" aspect of Yakupov's rookie season IS something that needs a closer look.

He scored 34 NHL points last season with 10G and 15P coming in April.

His shooting percentage in April was 30.3%.

Clearly an unsustainable run for anyone.

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#62 Romulus' Apotheosis
November 06 2013, 11:42AM
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DSF wrote:

Of course the lockout makes things a little wonky but there's nothing that can be done about that.

I think the "garbage time" aspect of Yakupov's rookie season IS something that needs a closer look.

He scored 34 NHL points last season with 10G and 15P coming in April.

His shooting percentage in April was 30.3%.

Clearly an unsustainable run for anyone.

It's not much of an argument. esp. against a player playing on a terrible, terrible team.

What you really want is an argument about sample size.

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#63 DSF
November 06 2013, 11:45AM
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Romulus' Apotheosis wrote:

that's draft year +2. (hint: "draft year" = the year you are drafted)

not sure why you would fudge on that. I don't think anyone is trying to run Stamkos down around here.

Hint.

Stamkos was drafted in 2008.

In 2009/10 one year after being drafted he scored 51G 44A 95P.

Unless you are calling rookie seasons Draft Year +1.

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#64 Romulus' Apotheosis
November 06 2013, 11:48AM
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DSF wrote:

Hint.

Stamkos was drafted in 2008.

In 2009/10 one year after being drafted he scored 51G 44A 95P.

Unless you are calling rookie seasons Draft Year +1.

Yes. rookie season = "draft year +1"

07-08 (draft eligible junior season = "draft year")

08-09 (rookie NHL season = "draft year +1")

09-10 (sophomore NHL season = "draft year +2)

etc.

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#65 David S
November 06 2013, 12:18PM
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2004Z06 wrote:

I think Sam's eagerness to return had more to do with Arcobello eating his lunch than anything else.

I have a lot of respect for Sam's compete level, but as I have stated many times, his defensive liabilities and lack of faceoff prowess do not make him a centerman. he is better off on the wing, or used in a package deal for a trade.

The guy bleeds copper and blue, but this team does not get better with him at 1C or 2C.

Do you want to give up a 65 point 2LC? Because that's what Gagner is now.

If you want a guy the size of say Boyd Gordon with the same faceoff abilities who can also put up those kind of points points, join the lineup. Every team in the league wants more of those players.

Trade Gagner and you need to get back at least as much in scoring. It won't happen because those guys are either locked down or far more expensive. Not to mention every freaking team in the league knows that's what we need. There's simply no deals out there where we won't get taken to the woodshed or I have to believe MacT would have already pulled the trigger.

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#66 DSF
November 06 2013, 12:27PM
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David S wrote:

Do you want to give up a 65 point 2LC? Because that's what Gagner is now.

If you want a guy the size of say Boyd Gordon with the same faceoff abilities who can also put up those kind of points points, join the lineup. Every team in the league wants more of those players.

Trade Gagner and you need to get back at least as much in scoring. It won't happen because those guys are either locked down or far more expensive. Not to mention every freaking team in the league knows that's what we need. There's simply no deals out there where we won't get taken to the woodshed or I have to believe MacT would have already pulled the trigger.

65 points?

What?

Gagner has never broken 50 in 6 years in the NHL and sure isn't going to do it this season.

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#67 Vaclav
November 06 2013, 01:01PM
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DSF wrote:

Of course the lockout makes things a little wonky but there's nothing that can be done about that.

I think the "garbage time" aspect of Yakupov's rookie season IS something that needs a closer look.

He scored 34 NHL points last season with 10G and 15P coming in April.

His shooting percentage in April was 30.3%.

Clearly an unsustainable run for anyone.

You're right. You should look at the "garbage time" aspect of his rookie season a bit closer.

In April Yakupov scored: 3G 1A against a Wild squad fighting for their playoff lives

1 G against Chicago who went 10-4 in the month

1 G against Phoenix who were still in the playoff chase

1 A against each of LA and Anaheim who were fighting for playoff positioning

3G 1A against the Flames which are never garbage games as far as intensity goes

3G against the Vancouver Canucks ECHL affiliate albeit with Luongo in net

So if we ignore the Vancouver game he still scored 8G 4A in 13 meaningful games. Keep beating that "garbage time" drum DSF.

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#68 2004Z06
November 06 2013, 02:01PM
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@David S

On most of your points, I would agree with your comments albeit one.

It has been mentioned many times that in order to change the make up of the top six, you may have to move out a point producer in exchange for a player that may not necessarily produce the points on par, but brings more of what the team needs overall ie. grit, defensive responsibility, size, puck possession, face off% etc.

I agree that teams are not eager to trade these types of players hence the comment about using Gagner in a package to get the return.

You are correct in the fact that every GM knows what we need, but there are many teams out there that have size and are lacking scoring. Sam could be well insulated on a team like that as the size of his linemates would not only protect him against the Kassians of the world but would allow him more time and space as well as cover up for some of his defensive short comings.

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#69 Zarny
November 06 2013, 02:33PM
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DSF wrote:

Stamkos posted those numbers as an 18 year old...Yakupov is 20.

When Stamkos was 19, he scored 51G 44A 95P

When Stamkos was 20, he scored 45G 46A 91P

Also worth noting, Nail Yakupov has the worst plus/minus in the NHL at -13.

Stamkos also had St. Louis passing him the puck and still had Vinnie on the other line.

Age is a factor but experience counts for far more and Yak has only played 63 games.

Take a look at Tavares' numbers...I guess he's just a hack because he didn't put up 50 G in his 2nd year.

Oh and how did you like Galchenyuk looking like a lost puppy when Mon moved him to C the other night?

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#70 David S
November 06 2013, 03:18PM
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DSF wrote:

65 points?

What?

Gagner has never broken 50 in 6 years in the NHL and sure isn't going to do it this season.

Sam got 38 points in last year's shortened season with a slow start and patended "Gagner mid-year slump".

That's a 65 point equivalent over a full NHL season.

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#71 2004Z06
November 06 2013, 04:16PM
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@David S

Not a fan of that stat. I prefer actual numbers rather than predictions. A lot can happen over the other 34 games. Too many variables.

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#72 David S
November 06 2013, 04:29PM
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2004Z06 wrote:

Not a fan of that stat. I prefer actual numbers rather than predictions. A lot can happen over the other 34 games. Too many variables.

Unfortunately that was the stat that got Sam a new contract and would be the evaluation point for the rest of the league too. That and his outstanding PK and PP play.

He may not fit into your definition of success because he doesn't punch faces much or deliver crushing body checks, but Sam is a pretty valuable player because (healthy) he helps a team put up W's by contributing the things team success is determined by in the standings - G's and A's.

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#73 dangilitis
November 06 2013, 04:30PM
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DSF wrote:

Hint.

Stamkos was drafted in 2008.

In 2009/10 one year after being drafted he scored 51G 44A 95P.

Unless you are calling rookie seasons Draft Year +1.

Back to your original argument - no way I would say Yak will become Stamkos, but many thought Stamkos wouldn't become Stamkos. Not every 1st overall pick has to be the best goal scorer in the league, but they are the most likely bets at an extremely young age, before they are allowed to buy liquor or vote. I would settle for a legitimate top line forward, and there's still no indication to me that he cannot become this.

But if you want to talk purely about production early in NHL careers and use stats to prove your point, here are some stats that prove that Yak is better, even with this horrendous slump he finds himself in, than Stamkos.

http://bleacherreport.com/articles/1815423-breaking-down-nail-yakupovs-trade-value-for-edmonton-oilers

You see how I just took a few credible numbers, inserted them in an argument to make myself look smart? This post is straight from the DSF school of logic. Thank you, and please, from here on out, lets only talk about Yak's value as being greater or equal to that of one of the game's elite forwards...

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#74 Joy S. Lee
November 06 2013, 05:05PM
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David S wrote:

Unfortunately that was the stat that got Sam a new contract and would be the evaluation point for the rest of the league too. That and his outstanding PK and PP play.

He may not fit into your definition of success because he doesn't punch faces much or deliver crushing body checks, but Sam is a pretty valuable player because (healthy) he helps a team put up W's by contributing the things team success is determined by in the standings - G's and A's.

He helps a team put up W's? Um, hate to break it to you, but Sam's lifetime NHL record would pretty much suck about as bad as you'll find. Not all his fault, but THAT is a FACT....even more factual than his fictional 65-point season. When Sam starts dominating, let me know. Great attitude helps, but does not guarantee wins, quite the opposite.

Of all the guys on the Oilers we allow excuses for, who on the team is perhaps the weakest defensively? Would Sam be amongst that group? If so, this is what, season 7 for him? I think he's had time to figure it out. That doesn't sound very promising.

And, I hope I'm wrong.....but don't think I am.

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#75 Stack Pad Save
November 06 2013, 06:28PM
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@Joy S. Lee

I agree. I don't like Sam Gagner with the Oilers. He is a servicable NHL player as an offensive specialist, but the Oilers have a much better version of him in RNH. Also Arcobello has proven to be a better all around option as he is a better forechecker, better defensively and better at the face off. Gagner fans are out to lunch, the guy is invisible unless he does something horrendous most nights that cause goals against. He than puts up a great game here or there and gets in the occasional scrap and some fans love him for it. I personally would use him in a trade for something we really need if I was GM. ...... but than again, I am not the GM.

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#76 Taylor Gang
November 06 2013, 06:51PM
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DSF wrote:

Stamkos posted those numbers as an 18 year old...Yakupov is 20.

When Stamkos was 19, he scored 51G 44A 95P

When Stamkos was 20, he scored 45G 46A 91P

Also worth noting, Nail Yakupov has the worst plus/minus in the NHL at -13.

Treating someone's ascent to stardom as a linear one is folly. When Crosby and Ovechkin came into the league, most people claimed Ovechkin was the better of the two. Nowadays, it's Crosby, and it's not close.

You're splitting hairs to say that Yakupov is behind in his development just because Stamkos progressed differently. Bottom line: Yakupov broke Stamkos' records for Sarnia so it's far too early to jump to conclusions just yet.

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#77 Ales Hallsky
November 06 2013, 08:56PM
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Barrrffff. This dsf arguing is worse than a kassian two hander to the chops and a potter skate to skull stomp.

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