Nail Yakupov is NEXT

Hockey's young scoring machine

Originally Published: December 25, 2012
By Craig Custance | ESPN The Magazine

GREAT HOCKEY PLAYERS can divine greatness in other players. Sometimes it's because of their anticipation of an opening on the ice. Other times it's the calm they exhibit in the clutch. In the case of Nail Yakupov, it was simply his ability to accelerate. Hall of Famer Igor Larionov needed only watch Yakupov's powerful push with each stride to realize the then-15-year-old was a once-in-a-generation talent. "I saw a kid doing everything," Larionov says. "Passing, scoring, being ...

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