Nail Yakupov has nine points (4-5-9) in 39 games this season. Oilers Interim Coach Todd Nelson talked about where Yakupov, 21, is at in his development right now and where the forward needs to show improvement in his game.
It involves shooting the puck more and having closer puck support.
“I think he’s working hard,” Nelson said. “He’s trying to execute the things we think he needs to work on. Once again, we want to get him in a position where he can shoot the puck but it comes down to playing with decent structure and also, in the offensive zone, once again we want to see more shots going to the net. I think we’re passing up shots as a team but Nail too wants to pass the puck when he has it. I’d rather see him shoot the puck at the net and be hungry for rebounds. One thing we’re trying to work on with him is just having closer support with guys in the corner with the one-on-one battle, to go there and help out. Right now, he’s kind of playing off a bit and waiting for that pass. I think with close puck support he’ll get the puck more. But I think from the time that I’ve been here he’s been trying these things and I think it’s improving. I think his game is improving and it’s still a work in progress.”
Oilers winger Benoit Pouliot had an excellent return, scoring a goal with three shots after missing 18 games with a broken foot.
“He definitely made an impact tonight,” said Oilers interim head coach Todd Nelson. “He played a simple game for us, capitalized on the goal obviously. It was a tough spot for him coming back. Here it’s hard to breathe a bit but the thing is, he went short shifts. He said he felt good and I thought he was very solid for our hockey team tonight.”
Pouliot talked about how the team had a very positive attitude upon his return to the room.
“The guys, even though we’re struggling right now, they’re still positive. We’re trying to build off that and keep going,” he said. “It’s good to be back. I’m so happy to be back.”
With the thin air in Denver, Pouliot made sure to not over-exert himself.
“I lost my voice in the second and kept it short out there,” he said. “I think I was making 20-second shifts. It was tough to get the breathing and get the legs going. I thought our line had a lot of poise and playmaking in their zone. It brought me a lot of confidence back.”
The Edmonton Oilers announced today they have assigned forward Steve Pinizzotto to the American Hockey League's Oklahoma City Barons.
Pinizzotto, 30, has posted four points (2G, 2A) and 30 penalty minutes in 18 games with the Oilers this season
The 6’1”, 205-pound winger has recorded six assists and 40 penalty minutes in nine games with Oklahoma City.
Winger Benoit Pouliot has also been taken off the injured reserve list.
Rob Klinkhammer will wear the number 12 with the Oilers when he eventually suits up with the team.
Read Chris Wescott's interview with Klinkhammer for some outstanding insight as the centre gets ready to join Edmonton.
Hall - RNH - Eberle
Purcell - Roy - Pouliot
Fraser - Lander - Yakupov
Hendricks - Gordon - Gazdic
Draisaitl - Pinizzotto
Ben Scrivens gets the start in goal.
Hall-RNH-Eberle, Pouliot-Roy-Purcell, Yakupov-Lander-Fraser, Hendricks-Gordon-Gazdic. Ference-Petry, Klefbom-Fayne, Nikitin-Schultz.— Jack Michaels (@EdmontonJack) January 2, 2015
Perron Video | David Perron on being traded
Oilers forward David Perron was traded to the Pittsburgh Penguins on Friday and shortly afterwards he met with the media to give his thoughts on the team.
“It’s always hard leaving a place when you’re emotionally involved, no matter how tough the situation was here. Once you look past that, there’s not many better opportunities to go to and I’m really excited about that,” Perron began.
The winger was asked what he will remember most from his time in Edmonton.
“Just the class from the organization. From Day 1, when I met MacT in the summer I got traded and all the way through the tough times all the nice people I met: trainers, team staff, players and people of Edmonton, it was great. Now it’s a new chapter for me and hopefully I get a chance to go real deep into the playoffs.”
He added that he's sad to leave despite the team's recent tough times.
“When you’re emotionally involved it’s hard to leave any kind of situation. Because it’s the NHL, the best league in in the world, even if the Oilers are struggling right now they’ll find a way out eventually and they’ll be a top team in the League. Looks like I won’t be a part of it and hopefully I’m a part of something special in Pittsburgh.”
Klinkhammer, 28, has played in 139 NHL games with Chicago, Ottawa, Arizona and Pittsburgh. He’s scored 39 points (20-19-39) and recorded 35 penalty minutes.
He has three points (1-2-3) in 10 games for the Penguins this season.
Perron played 116 games for the Oilers in two seasons, scoring 33 goals and finishing with 76 points (33-43-76).
More information to follow.
The NHL announced this evening that Oilers defenceman Keith Aulie has been suspended two games for his hit Wednesday night on Calgary's Matt Stajan.
Edmonton's Keith Aulie has been suspended 2 games for an illegal check to the head of Calgary's Matt Stajan.— NHL Player Safety (@NHLPlayerSafety) January 2, 2015
The Edmonton Oilers announced today they have recalled centre Anton Lander from the American Hockey League's Oklahoma City Barons.
Lander, 23, has registered 31 points (9G, 22A), 20 penalty minutes and a plus eight rating in 29 games with the Barons this season.
The 6’0”, 186-pound centre has appeared in one game for the Oilers this season and has played 95 career NHL games with the Oilers, posting eight points (2G, 6A) and 18 penalty minutes.