Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 10/29/13
No one expected Nail Yakupov to be shutout this season, eventually the Edmonton Oilers winger was going to find the net. Yakupov scored his first of the year Sunday in a 2-1 shootout loss to the Los Angeles Kings and is hoping that gets the ball rolling for him. “I’m excited that I scored, so now I know that I can score goals in this league,” Yakupov said. “I thought I played good (Sunday) and it’s too bad we couldn’t get the win. We’ll get them next time.” In 11 games this season, Yakupov has a goal and two assists. He’s been a healthy scratch twice and is still struggling in his own end of the rink. But at 20, the former first-overall pick is still a work in progress. “I was mad I wasn’t scoring, but I think you can’t be too hard on yourself,” Yakupov said. “That will just make things worse if you get too hard on yourself. You just have to relax and know that’s it’s not going to be that way for the whole season.” A season ago Yakupov finished with 17 goals and 14 assists in 48 games, getting off to a strong start then finishing well. According to head coach Dallas Eakins, the winger needs to do a better job of supporting his linemates and getting closer to the puck carrier.
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