NHL Top Prospect Nail Yakupov Takes Batting Practice at PNC Park With No Shoes, Runs to Second Base (Video)
Nail Yakupov’s skills on the ice are unquestionable, as the Russian phenom is expected by most to go first-overall in tomorrow’s NHL Entry Draft.
As for his skills on the baseball diamond, well, let’s just say that his swing could probably use some work.
Yakupov and several other NHL draft prospects took the field at PNC Park in Pittsburgh to get in a few swings during batting practice a couple of days ahead of the draft, and when the former member of the OHL’s Sarnia Sting took the batter’s box, we learned two important things about Russians: they don’t know a thing about baseball, and they may not wear shoes.
These were both proven when Yakupov decided to sprint to second base in his bare feet after finally making contact with a pitch (Yakupov’s B.P. beings at the 0:44 mark):
For those who may be wondering, the Edmonton Oilers own the first-overall pick in the draft. Whether they decide to keep the pick and take Yakupov, or trade it away remains to be seen, as they have already acquired three big-name superstar forwards in the last two drafts – Taylor Hall, Jordan Eberle and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins. Will they add another superstar to their already promising crop of young forwards? As long as being a good baseball player has nothing to do with their evaluation criteria, that remains a very real possibility.