How 2012 draft's top picks are faring
The season is well under way for many prospects, so this is a good time to check in on how some of the top picks from the 2012 draft are progressing. The following reports are based on conversations with scouts and executives and my own observations.
No. 1, Nail Yakupov, RW, Edmonton Oilers (Neftekhimik-KHL)
Yakupov has been off to a torrid start, with 10 goals and 18 points in 18 games. For a junior-aged player to be able to score at that rate in the second-best league in the world is very unusual. For some context, the points per game rates for super prospects Evgeny Kuznetsov (Capitals) and Vladimir Tarasenko (Blues) were 0.84 and 0.45 in the KHL at the same age. In two series this season versus Canada's top juniors, Yakupov was average, though he did show some elite flashes. When the NHL doors do open, though, he should be ready to start with the Oilers. And his form from the KHL is any indication, he could work himself into getting some scoring-line minutes from the start.
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