The Package: Zack Kassian vs. Nail Yakupov | Hockey | CBC Sports

NHLThe Package: Zack Kassian vs. Nail Yakupov

Posted: Monday, February 4, 2013 | 11:17 AM

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The Vancouver Canucks and Edmonton Oilers must be pleased with how young players Zack Kassian, left, and Nail Yakupov, right, have started the 2013 season. (Photos courtesy The Canadian Press) The Vancouver Canucks and Edmonton Oilers must be pleased with how young players Zack Kassian, left, and Nail Yakupov, right, have started the 2013 season. (Photos courtesy The Canadian Press)

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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 the AHL.

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.

                                          Tale of the tape

                          Zack Kassian           Nail Yakupov


                               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:


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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:


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With the Canucks in Edmonton on Monday night, the two will share the ice... but who do you think makes the bigger impact?

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