Sarnia, On General Manager Dave MacQueen announced this morning that the Sarnia Sting Hockey Club has selected Nail Yakupov with the second overall pick in the 2010 CHL Import Draft.
Yakupov is a high end player with an already very impressive hockey resume.
Of note Yakupov participated in the 2009 Ivan Hlinka Under-18 Tournament as a member of Team Russia when he was still two months shy of his 16th birthday. As a 15-year old he would make a Russian roster that was comprised mostly of players a year older then him.
The 16-year old Russian forward has caught the eye of the scouting world as evidenced by the following report compiled by the Red Line Report.
Unbelievably advanced for a kid who’s only 16. Exceptionally quick stick with great hands and moves. Magician with the puck, it just sticks to his blade. Hands and feet are equally fast, can really dangle with the puck and dance on skates. Very quick and agile skater who accelerates quickly. Sneaky and shifty, tough to contain or hit cleanly. Can turn and change direction in a phone booth. Can beat even good defenders off the rush with a variety of slick moves that he can make at top speed. Sees the ice well and is creative. Willing to drive the net and go into the traffic zones, even instigating some after the whistle skirmishes chippy and plays with an attitude. Sniper with good touch and release around net excellent hands in close. Scores highlight reel goals.
A late birthdate Yakupov will not be eligible for the NHL draft until 2012. He is currently the top rated Russian with a 1993 birth date by Russianprospect.com.
Sarnia Sting General Manager on the selection of Yakupov.
We are thrilled to add a player with the talent level of Nail to our club as we continue to build and establish a base of very talented young players. In addition to players such as Alex Galchenyuk, Garett Hooey, Brett Ritchie and Brandon Francisco we feel we have a very talented crop of players all under the age of 18.