Nail Yakupov knows exactly where he wants to play in the NHL.
“I definitely want to go to Edmonton and play for the Oilers, for sure,” said Yakupov in an interview with the Edmonton Sun. “If they draft me, I will work very hard to make the team, give it everything I’ve got to work hard and play for the Oilers.”
The 18-year-old Russian prospect has been pegged as the consensus first-overall pick for the 2012 NHL Draft despite suffering a knee injury in January that cost him the bulk of his season with the OHL’s Sarnia Sting.
Yakupov has gotten accustomed to the Canadian lifestyle during his time in the OHL and would like to stay if given the opportunity.
“I’ve played in Canada, in Sarnia, for the last two years. I love the people,” said Yakupov. “I very much want to play for a Canadian team like Edmonton.”
The 2012 NHL Draft will take place in Pittsburgh, PA on June 22 and 23.