North American Skater
||6 octobre 1993
(1st Ronde / 1st Au total)
• In 2011-12, he recorded 69 points (31-38--69) in 42 games for Sarnia, leading the team with 12 power-play goals and a plus-15 rating in an injury-shortened season.
• Yakupov represented Russia at the 2012 World Junior Championships. He tied for the tournament lead in assists with nine (0-9--9) helping Russia win silver -- he recorded four assists in the semifinal against Canada.
• In 2010-11, he led his team and Ontario Hockey League rookies in scoring with 101 points (49-52--101) in 65 games. It was the most points by a first-year player since Patrick Kane had 145 points in 2006-07. His scoring also surpassed Steven Stamkos' team records for goals (42) and points (92) by a Sarnia rookie. He was named the OHL Rookie of the Year and the Canadian Hockey League Rookie of the Year last season.
• Yakupov helped lead Russia to a bronze medal at the 2011 World Under-18 Championships recording 13 points (6-7--13) in seven games -- he tallied a hat trick in the bronze-medal game helping Russia defeat Canada 6-4.
• An ethnic Tatar, he hails from the city of Nizhnekamsk, located about 500 miles east of Moscow. His first name, Nail, is Arabic in origin and means “reaching, achieving or gaining success”.
• Yakupov started skating at age three -- “Ever since my mom and dad put Dynamo hockey skates on me all I have known was hockey. A rink was a 10 minute walk from our house, so I spent all my time there."
• He credits his father, who coached him when he was younger, as the biggest influence on his career -- “He has helped me every step of the way so far with advice and encouragement.”
• Former Russian NHL star, Pavel Bure, a player Yakupov has been compared to, is his childhood idol – “I love the way he played. (He was) very explosive, a great skater, very creative and (he) loved to score goals.”
NHL team: Detroit and Vancouver
NHL player: Pavel Bure, Pavel Datsyuk, Evgeni Malkin and Sidney Crosby
Shootout move: “It’s a secret”
Goal celebration: “I love to celebrate”
Video game: NHL ‘12
TV show: NHL Hockey and Russian TV
Actor: Jason Statham
Activity away from the rink: Hanging out with friends and teammates
Home-cooked meal: Pasta and chicken