Blues' Nail Yakupov: Moved up to top-six role Tuesday
Yakupov was promoted in-game from the third line into a top-six role during Tuesday night's 2-1 overtime loss to the Canucks, Jeremy Rutherford of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports. He finished with three shots on net while getting a season-high 13:30 of ice time, including 1:50 on the power play.
The Blues acquired Yakupov from Edmonton a few days before the season began and slowly acclimated him to the lineup. After averaging 9:34 of ice time in the first two games, Yakupov is averaging 12:47 in the last two games. Moving him into a top-six role along with time on the power play is evidence of head coach Ken Hitchcock's growing confidence in the newly acquired forward. Yakupov's seven shots through four games rank third among the team's forwards.