Nail Yakupov disagrees with Brian Burke's portrayal of draft interview in 2012

Published September 6, 2023 at 1:47 PM

2012 first overall pick Nail Yakupov has been out of the National Hockey League for six seasons now and recently, the 29-year-old sat down for an interview on 'Dropping the Gloves' to discuss a number of different topics about his time in North America.

Yakupov was asked about his draft interview in 2012 with Brian Burke and for those who forget what the then-Maple Leafs General Manager said:

"We weren't going to take him. His draft interview was the worst interview I've ever conducted in my life. Terrible,"

Yakupov told the podcast that he disagrees with what Brian Burke said in his interview with Spittin' Chiclets a few years ago and went on to add that he overwhelmed because he didn't speak English well and was feeling homesick.

"He said the whole draft process was overwhelming and immensely difficult because he didn't speak English very well.

When asked about what Brian Burke said about his interview, Yak disagreed and said any negativity probably came from him being scared and homesick."

It's certainly understandable to see where Yakupov is coming from and feeling homesick and scared, despite playing in the OHL with Sarnia for two years at that point. Yakupov went on to play six seasons in the NHL with Edmonton, St. Louis and Colorado before returning to Russia to play in the KHL.

September 6   |   118 answers
Nail Yakupov disagrees with Brian Burke's portrayal of draft interview in 2012

Who should the Oilers have taken 1st overall in 2012?

Morgan Reilly6655.9 %
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Matt Dumba1311 %
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