Yakupov had been a healthy scratch in two consecutive games, which included Saturday night's contest against the Toronto Maple Leafs and Monday's game against the Washington Capitals. It was the first time in Yakupov's career that he was a healthy scratch. Head coach Dallas Eakins expressed that Yakupov had to improve his play with teammates, while Yakupov expressed his desire to play with the puck.
Eakins' decision to scratch Yakupov appeared to be an attempt to help develop a young player. The Oilers coach earned acclaim with the Toronto Marlies of the American Hockey League, where he was credited with developing prospects in the Toronto Maple Leafs system. By most accounts, sitting a young player early in his career can have beneficial results. Of course, that's dependent upon how receptive the player is to the lessons.
In addition, the Oilers also announced that Philip Larsen was assigned to the Oklahoma City Barons of the AHL, while forward Ryan Jones was recalled. Jesse Joensuu has left the team to seek treatment for his back.