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Bogdan Yakimov returns to mother Russia


yave1964

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Bit of a curious situation here, not sure what the deal is.Bogdan Yakimov will push Leon Draisaitl for a spot on the Edmonton ... Bogdan Yakimov is a kid, only 21 years old a 3rd rounder taken by the Oilers a few years ago who came to North America last year and did not embarrass himself in the AHL and even got to debut with the Oilers as a reward for his hard work. Never going to be a star but scouts call him a solid two way player who is oppurtunistic.

  I watch a fair share of AHL games, the Griffins (my team) opened the year against the Oilers to AHL team and i studied the game, the player who stood out to me (other than goalie Laurent Broissart who shut us out) was the big russian center Yakimov who is simply HUGE, he took most of the important faceoffs in a 1-0 game and seemed to effortlesly win them all. He did dirty work in the corners, he reminded me for all the world of a favorite of mine, Bjugstad for Florida. I made up my mind to kind of follow this kid.

  His numbers have not been much to write home over, 7 points in 19 games but the Oilers do not have a lot of what one would calll real prospects down on the farm right now, the top five scorers are Matt Ford, Brad Hunt, Ryan Hamilton, Nikita Mikitan and Andrew Miller, all long time AHLers and non prospects so I figured the kid would get more ice time as the year went on, but instead he returned to Russia.

  I have read what is out there, some say he went of his accord, others say the Oilers sold his rights, some articles say he has a player option ala Burmistrov from Winnipeg to return.

  I simply do not understand how a solid prospect, a third round pick with mamoth size who can skate is allowed to leave the organization andInterview with Oilers Prospect Bogdan Yakimovreturn to russia when the AHL roster is dotted with a bunch of zeroes, has beens and never weres. Most players who leave North america and cross the pond never return, I simply think that a year and a half is too short a period to judge a kid who from what i saw has a ton of talent. Was he homesick? Just not sure what happened here.

 

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-It's not a good sign that he left, that's for sure, and I was hopeful for a 3C spot for him in the future. As you said, he's huge (6'5", 230) can skate as well take/make a pass, and understands that there are two nets on the ice. There's plenty to like.
-There hasn't been a word of information from the team that they're unhappy with him, though I can't imagine they were thrilled with the lack of production. The only player that Yakimov seemed to click well at all with was Anton Slepyshev, after he returned from Edmonton.
-Condors Coach Gerry Fleming is the only person connected from the organisation that I've seen speak about it: "He felt it was a chance or an opportunity to make the national team (for the World Championship) so he went back. It was unfortunate for us to lose him but he felt he needed to go back to give himself the best opportunity."
-The above sounds like an excuse to me. Perhaps Yakimov wasn't adjusting well to life in NA... I don't know. But "he wants to play in the World Championships and the Russians prefer to choose KHL players" rings hollow to me.
-A long time problem for the Oilers is the way they treat their farm team. The goal has generally been more about winning than developing players. Thus, good career AHL veterans often receive more playing time than NHL prospects, which is a critical mistake IMO. Yakimov is not the Oilers first prospect to leave out of the blue: Teemu Hartikainen had problems with Dallas Eakins' near obsession with fitness and Toni Rajala opted to make more money in Sweden (can't blame him, really). Tobias Rieder wanted out of the organisation with not so much as playing as single pro game in the minors...
-I dunno... There's something about this team. For a long time, money held them back, but they still did the oddest things imaginable (they only started sending scouts to the World Juniors about 7 years ago). There are things happening which pre-date Chiarelli's time with the club, so it doesn't seem like that he pulled the plug on Yakimov, especially since he's exactly the kind of player Chiarelli is wanting (heavy with some skill).
-The issues are probably higher up, and don't get fixed until certain people (cough Lowe, cough MacT) are exorcised from the organisation. If it was just Yakimov, that would be one thing, but this has happened with a number of key prospects in the last few years. High draft picks spent on thin air, not because they can't play, but because they don't want to stick around.
-One of the things I've tried to live by as an adult is where I ask myself "If the same things keep happening in my life, but with different people, what are the odds that it's always THEM? What are the odds that I'm really the one playing the biggest part in this?" It seems like if the Oilers were to answer that question honestly, they'd be left with a fairly dark (but ultimately liberating) answer. Are they willing to be that introspective?

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