Oilers Head Coach Dallas Eakins has been frank when speaking of forward Nail Yakupov's struggles early in the season.
Four games into his third season with the Oilers, the 20-year-old has registered 0 points and has is -3. Eakins decided to sit the young forward tonight for the game against Toronto.
"I think Yakupov will tell you the same thing," said Eakins. "He hasn't been up to speed. He's been out of sorts. The kid has such a great passion for the game. I've got a lot of time for Yakupov, he's going to be an excellent, excellent player in this league. But rather than let this keep going on and the struggle become deeper and deeper, I thought it was time to hit the reset button and get him out of the lineup and let him watch a game. I've always found it's a great way to get a new perspective on the game when you're struggling… That kid has such a passion and work ethic that he'll rebound quickly."