Nail Yakupov: 'There is unfair prejudice towards Russians in NHL'

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After being selected first overall by the Edmonton Oilers in the 2012 NHL draft, Nail Yakupov went on to play with the Oilers for four seasons, the St. Louis Blues for one season, and the Colorado Avalanche for one season. After six seasons in the NHL, Yakupov went home to Russia. In July 2018, Yakupov, who is 24-years-old, signed a two-year contract with KHL powerhouse SKA St. Petersburg.

Former NHLer Rob Brown doesn't think we’ll ever see Yakupov return to the NHL.

He’s a one-trick pony and that trick ain’t that good in the NHL. His skill level wasn’t good enough to overcome the fact he doesn’t think the game quick enough to play in the NHL. You don’t have to be really quick if you’re physical or getting pucks out along the boards, but if you’re a goal-scorer, you have to get into the right spots to take a pass and shoot.

Nail Yakupov recently slammed the NHL to the Russian media.

Russian players should know there is unfair prejudice towards Russians in the NHL. There is not equal approach towards Russian and non-Russian by the NHL clubs. Unfortunately, if there is a choice between Russian and non-Russian, the NHL club (a coach) does not pick a Russian on a game roster.

Is there some truth to Yakupov's controversial comments? Comment below.

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