Krueger's insight on Yakupov's struggles 

October, 15, 2013
10/15/13
4:25
PM ET


Nail YakupovAndy Devlin/NHLI via Getty ImagesA former coach believes Nail Yakupov's development is still on track despite recent hurdles.
Ralph Krueger is known for his communication skills. He's also fascinated by sports psychology. His time in Europe has made the Manitoba native a bit of an expert on European players among Canadian coaches, so much so that Team Canada added him to its staff to scout players and tactics in Europe after he was dismissed as the Edmonton Oilers' head coach.

In retrospect, that background made him almost the ideal coach to break Nail Yakupov in to the North American game when Yakupov made his NHL debut last season. Looking back, they were a great fit; Krueger likes to talk to his players, and Yakupov was always around to talk.