A day after Oilers winger Nail Yakupov addressed the media on comments made by his agent and his frustration with lack of play time, his head coach is expecting all eyes to be on the young player. He feels that Yakupov is up to that challenge, but will still have to earn more ice time, just like the rest of the team.
"I don't feel any differently about Nail," said Dallas Eakins. "Climbing a mountain, he obviously hit a valley yesterday with having to come out and answer questions and make statements. I think it's pure frustration of a player and something he'll learn negatives or positives to take from it. We'll see how Nail's going. That's how it always goes with our team. Every guy earns their ice time. My expectations for him are that, between his agent's comments and his comments yesterday, my concern for him is all eyes are on him now and that can be a burden sometimes.
"I think he's up to the challenge of all eyes on him. We'll monitor how he's going, how we do every night. I expect him to come out and play hard. He always has passion in his game. He's just still learning the game and it'll depend on the score of the game and so many different things on how much ice time he gets. But I expect him to come out flying."