Nail Yakupov believes he deserves an A for effort.
While the Edmonton Oilers forward in on track for career lows in goals and assists, Yakupov believes he's doing all he can to prove he's making forward progress.
"I can say I do everything right," he told Robert Tychkowski of the Edmonton Sun. "I work 100%. I’m not cheating (defensively). I’m not doing any bad stuff."
Be that as it may, Yakupov has posted a minus-15 rating through 34 games, casting shade on that effort in the eyes of those who value that particular statistic.
He's also recorded only four goals and four assists, but isn't worried about his overall production.
"Of course I want to get more points," he said. "I had some chances, just couldn't score. I have to bring that feeling back. I want more for sure, but I don’t want to get crazy, start worrying about it or hit the walls with my head."
Yakupov's 6.2 shooting percentage does suggest there's another level to be reached, and his numbers could and should pick up.
Still, questions remain about whether he'll live up to the billing of a number one Draft pick, or whether a change of scenery via trade is in his future.