|Photo by Jeff Nash / Edmonton Oilers Hockey Club
With Roman Horak assigned to AHL Oklahoma City prior to practice, Nail Yakupov found himself in Horak's spot on the second line, skating with Jordan Eberle and Sam Gagner on the left side.
Oilers head coach Dallas Eakins said that this was the next step in the plan that he and Nail were talking about in their 40-minute discussion on Monday.
"Just adhering to the plan," Eakins said about Nail Yakupov. "Not trying to do things by himself, not trying to adlib, not trying to play like he did last year. We want him to play the system and the way we're trying to get our whole group to play. And that's his challenge. He fully understands it. And he fully understands that there's a little bit of heat on him to play and play well. He's with two good players, two experienced players, he's going to get some looks on one of our power plays where we've put him right back to where he's been before."
It appears that Yakupov's minutes will increase and from what Eakins saw at practice, he was doing well on the power play in his usual spot.
"By this morning's practice, he was having some success over there. But the important thing is to get him up and going and get him back into the rhythm of playing a little bit more minutes."