"Nobody is happy when they're not playing but it's the coach's choice,” Yakupov told the Edmonton Sun. "He can say a million words about getting better, but if the coach says you're not playing, you're not playing. I'm not happy about it."
Oilers head coach Dallas Eakins expects to put Yakupov back in the lineup at some point, but he's not sure when they will be.
"He's going to get back into the line-up, I'm not sure if it'll be tomorrow or the next game, but he's coming back in," Eakins said. "We just thought that he'd gotten to a spot of frustration where the kid's passion is to score and he was just going to take it all on himself.
"You can't do that. I don't care how good you are, you can't produce by yourself in this league -- you have to use your linemates. It was more of a re-set button for him. He can come back fresh with a new perspective."
It has been widely reported that the Oilers are looking to make a serious splash in the trade market and upgrade their blueline and goaltending position, but GM Craig MacTavish has balked at the idea of trading Yakupov, thus far.
As it currently stands, with Jordan Eberle and Ales Hemsky manning the top-two right wing spots in the lineup, Yakupov has to step up if he wants to not only return to the roster, but obtain more minutes.
"I explained that to him," said Eakins. "I said you're in tough, you've got four wingers ahead of you right now who are playing better than you. You're job is to take one of them out."
With serious questions mounting about starter Devan Dubnyk's future and the team's overall defense, it's only a matter of time before MacTavish addresses both situations. As of now, dealing the 2013 first-overall selection seems unlikely.
"I'm going to play my game," Yakupov said. "I don't want anything to change from how I played last year, how I played when I was 10 years old, I want to play the same game."