It has been a tough couple of years for former first overall pick in the National Hockey League Nail Yakupov.
The former Edmonton Oilers, Colorado Avalanche and St. Louis Blues forward recently joined his fourth KHL team in just the past six months. Since May, Yakupov has been a member of Avangard, Khabarovsk, Vityaz and SKA St. Petersburg. And it came with a significant salary decrease, which was quickly pointed out by many fans and pundits on social media:L Yakupov’s salary in Avangard is around $320 000 USD, while he was earning $900 000 USD in Amur.
Tough blow all around for a guy we all imagined racking up goals and points in an NHL uniform.
On Friday, with his new team Avangard and under coach Bob Hartley who is known to be feisty, Yakupov got very physical and almost killed an opponent, Konstantin Alexeev, during the game when he rushed him into the boards. As you can see from the footage below, Yakupov delivers a huge hit on the poor guy with such intensity, we don’t remember seeing this from the former first rounder on NHL ice:
Maybe his latest demotions have gotten Yakupov so angry that he is becoming a very physical hockey player!
Yakupov is just 26 years old, but he is not the hockey star everyone expected him to be back in 2012. But we sure like to see how intense he remains on the ice.