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BLOG: Yakupov on his conversation with Eakins

by Marc Ciampa / Edmonton Oilers

Yesterday, Oilers head coach Dallas Eakins said that he had talked to Nail Yakupov about recent trade rumours surrounding his name.

“I wanted to let him know that these reports in the media, the people that are making trades for him are absolutely, 100% untrue. This kid is not going anywhere.

“Guys like Joe Thornton. The kid here, Stamkos. Those guys struggled early in their careers and, boy, they turned out to be pretty good players. Nail Yakupov is not being shopped, he’s not going anywhere and I wanted him to hear that from me, look in my eyes and let him know that we’re attached at the hip. We’re going to make him a better player. It’s okay to struggle.”

Today, Yakupov talked to Oilers Now host and Oilers radio colour analyst Bob Stauffer about that conversation he had with the team's head coach.

"I talked to Dallas and it was great to hear his thoughts. He said everything's fine," said Yakupov. "I don't want to go anywhere. I'd love to be in Edmonton and be a part of the Oilers."

Yakupov has one goal and two assists in three games to start the season for the Oilers after scoring 17 goals in 48 games in his rookie campaign.

"It happens sometimes, you go up and down. You have to be ready for it. You have to challenge yourself. It's frustrating to not get that much points, maybe the points would help my team win more games. Trying to stay positive and trying to forget about everything in the past and just think about tomorrow and tonight's game."

Stauffer asked Yakupov if he feels he has to be scoring to help the team.

"It doesn't matter what you do (as long as you) get two points but I'm an offensive forward and I'm supposed to do something offensively. We have defence who play defence and forwards who play forward. But I need to help in the defensive zone."

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