(Derek Leung/Getty Images)

The best individual performance of 2013 has a number of deserving choices. You could start with Jamie Benn’s six-point night against Calgary on Nov. 14, when he scored one goal and assisted on five others, helping propel Dallas to a 7-3 victory. Or how about Tyler Seguin’s five points that same night, where he lit the lamp four times and then got the helper on Benn’s tally? There was Ryan Suter’s 36 minute night for Minnesota on Nov. 13, where he skated almost as much at even strength (23:22) than any other skater did for the game — on either team. Maybe you prefer Ben Bishop’s performance against Carolina on April 4, when he stopped 45 shots against without letting any of them tickle the twine.

All solid selections, but what if I told you the best (aka fanciest) performance of the year didn’t even show up on the traditional scoresheet, and it belonged to Edmonton forward Nail Yakupov?

Yakupov faced the Flames on Dec. 7, which found the Oilers on the wrong side of a 2-1 scoreboard. Yakupov had no goals, no assists and committed two of the team’s 19 giveaways, which Coach Dallas Eakins said in the postgame press conference was a major contributor to the defeat.

However, according to the #fancystats tabulated at ExtraSkater.com, it wasn’t a total bust for the young Russian. In 13:57 of ice time, Yakupov was on the ice for 19 shot attempts by the Oilers and none by the opposition — the largest total differential without an attempt against this year. That perfect Fenwick percentage also includes nine shot attempts during his 3:44 on the power play.


Date: Game

Shot attempts for

Shot attempts against

Nail Yakupov

2013-12-07: Flames 2 at Oilers 1 (OT)



Joakim Andersson

2013-04-17: Red Wings 2 at Flames 3



Teddy Purcell

2013-10-08: Lightning 3 at Sabres 2 (OT)



Boone Jenner

2013-12-06: Wild 0 at Blue Jackets 4



Blake Comeau

2013-12-06: Wild 0 at Blue Jackets 4



Jordan Schroeder

2013-01-27: Canucks 1 at Sharks 4



Source: Extraskater.com

Perhaps even more impressive: The most frequent defensive pairing with Yakupov on the ice that night was Justin and Nick Schultz, who carry a Fenwick percentage of 46.2 and 44.8 this year, respectively.

The Oilers weren’t winners that night, but Yakupov must have been the best all year at doing the little things to keep the Flames from putting any rubber on net while he was on the ice.

Neil Greenberg, when he isn’t watching the games, analyzes advanced statistics in the NHL and prefers to be called a geek rather than a nerd. Follow him on Twitter: @ngreenberg.