As the Edmonton Oilers host the Vancouver Canucks on Monday night, we check in with both Nail Yakupov and Zack Kassian to see what they've been up to in the first two weeks of the season.
We at CBCSports.ca will be keeping an eye on the next generation of NHL
stars on Canada's seven clubs, whether they're in the NHL or working on the "farm" in
We'll periodically check in with these players throughout the 2012-13 season, no matter what league they'll be lacing up their skates in. Today, we check in with the Vancouver Canucks' Zack Kassian and the Edmonton Oilers' Nail Yakupov, who have both impressed thus far in this lockout-shortened season.
6' 3" Height 5' 11" 214 lbs. Weight 185 lbs. 22 Age 19 13th in 2009 Drafted 1st in 2012 5 Goals 5 1 Assists 1 12 PIM 2
For two players with vastly different skill sets, Nail Yakupov and Zack Kassian have looked quite similar this season.
Sure, the rough-as-sandpaper Kassian has had his share of fisticuffs eight games into the season, including this tilt against Oilers tough-guy Ben Eager where Kassian tried to inject some life into his team and the crowd:
Yakupov has also stepped up to correct a perceived slight against his teammates, going after Matt Duchene after the Avs' forward shot the puck at the Oilers' net after the period had ended on Saturday.
While the Oilers forward's goal celebrations soured some pundits, he has found the back of the net five times and added an assist -- immediate production from last year's first overall draft pick, and plenty of highlight-reel fodder from his superhuman hand-eye coordination:
So what's Kassian done? Oh, he's just the Canucks' leading goal scorer.
Paired with the Sedin twins on the first line, and seeing a decent amount of time on the power play, the Windsor, Ont., native has the same offensive output as Yakupov -- five goals and one helper, including this tally showcasing his soft hands in the roughest part of the ice:
Justin PiercyOriginally from Fredericton, NB, Justin has worked in newsrooms for Astral Media Radio, Brunswick News Inc., the Toronto Star and CTV. But now he's here at CBCSports.ca to report on the sports you care about while also showing you stuff from the internet he thinks you might like.