Showing posts with label Ryan Nugent-Hopkins. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Ryan Nugent-Hopkins. Show all posts

Monday, November 27, 2017

Get Over It!

Seems like almost daily that the fans of the Edmonton Oilers break down about what could or should have been. Now, I don't know about you, but that type of thinking would wear me down a lot and I would become even more depressed than I already am. Why subject ourselves to what ifs? 

We can't change the past, no matter what. So, why are we dwelling on trades and transactions that are long and over with? I can see the appeal. You see something that's going well and you wish it to be happening here. But, if we rewind the clock, people were happy to ship Hall and Eberle out of town as two examples. 

It was a general consensus that Hall had ran his time down here. People laughed and made jokes about how upset and sour he was to leave here. Taylor Hall was the laughing stock of the Oilers on his exit out of Edmonton and still was up to the start of this season. 

Some, claimed he was a cancer in the dressing room and that's why he was traded. Some, claimed his style of play would have him injured for most of his NHL career as the Oilers were better off not having that style of player here. Some, just thought he was a puck hog. 

No matter what your thoughts were on Taylor Hall at that time, you fast forward to now and you'll find fans missing and craving his goal scoring in Edmonton. You'll find people wanting to turn back time and not make that deal. And now, the same could be said for Jordan Eberle. 

Eberle was a bum in the playoffs, they said. Eberle has no heart and doesn't compete like an Oiler should. Eberle was renamed Eberlazy. Once again, those fans fast forward to today and they don't understand why he was traded. 

I think at times General Manager Peter Chiarelli and his staff actually read too much into the hype the team gets from MSM, bloggers and the casual fan. I firmly believe that the Eberle deal was made to appease the fans and critics. In my mind, it made no sense to trade him at the time he did. It made no sense to give away the goals he produced. But, should have, would have, could have, he's gone now. We have to live with that and accept it. 

Same could be said about Pouliot. He was a bum too right Oiler fans? Yet, here we are, desperately needing his strengths of killing penalties. 

Hindsight is always 20/20, but at the end of the day, decisions get made and love them or hate them, they happened. 

It's time to let it go and get over it. I know I have. 

Written by Brent Huska

Monday, May 26, 2014

Are Edmonton's forwards good enough to compete?

My apologies in the delay yet once again in my article's. I am producing at a slower rate then Tamby ran the Oilers. I appreciate the faithful ones who support and continually ask when I will have my next blogs up. While finalizing the final aspects of the Oilers team with forwards today and defencemen and Goalies in the next two article's, I will also be putting out a final 2014 NHL Entry Draft Ranking following the Draft combine.

Let's get to the point of this article today. The Edmonton Oilers forwards that are locked, loaded and ready to go for 2014/2015? Ok, maybe their not ready but at least let's discuss where they are currently are at and where this team could be headed with what they actually have sitting in the wings. As we walk through the list of players at forward there are some given players that are likely to be going nowhere. How will they make the changes and will an important part be sent away? Only MacT really knows but that next move will either move this team forward or it will cost MacT his job in the future.

First let's be realistic about who is staying regardless of offers and who potentially could be dealt away. As we walk through the skilled forwards, the idea is to fairly analyze their place on this team with logic and deduction.

Hall; 6'1, 201 lbs
The cornerstone of this franchise and a player who can be relied on 90% of the time. Taylor is going nowhere and it's likely will be the captain in a year or two. He may not have a no-trade clause but unofficially there IS a no-trade clause on Hall within the Oilers organization, You win with players like this. Wait till he finally makes the post-season, players like Hall are money in the bank.

Nugent-Hopkins; 6'1, 180 lbs
Has been competing against the best in the game at every level and beyond his years experience for his whole hockey playing career. Took a big learning curve this year defensively but considering he takes on the others teams best defencemen and forward checking lines, he only stands to get better each year. On a team that has very little centre depth, other teams know that and that has been the mistake the Oilers have had. Very little centre position support. Coming off an off-season last year where he was recovering from shoulder surgery, this off-season is all about strength and conditioning. Get a good second line center (or even 1st line if possible) and watch RNH blossom. You don't find a centre of his skill set and hockey IQ often. Is untouchable unless they can fetch better in a trade and we all know in today's NHL, those trades don't happen.

Eberle; 6'0, 185 lbs
Jordan Eberle is as clutch as you can get. This boy has been waiting and itching to play a playoff game of importance for some time. Loves the city and loves the organization but as close as he is to Hall and company, he could potentially be the piece of the puzzle who can actually fetch something back in return. Don't want him gone but somebody with skill needs to go to bring in what this team needs.

Yakupov; 5'11, 189 lbs
Another player of incredibly high skill but needs to be played according to his strengths. Some like to say his trade value is diminished but don't believe the lies. They are only opinions and several team scouts will tell you, Nail has game. His last 15 games he was turning the corner on his back checking and defensive awareness without the puck. His +/- was virtually 0 during that same time span. (which is almost never mentioned) Fans and media like to really run with a story and in Edmonton, Nail became the favourite whipping boy. Nail is going nowhere unless there is a way to pick up Florida's 1st rounder with him in the deal. (likely will not happen). Don't believe the talk he is too small for this game. Nail is strong on the puck and fights hard for it in battles. Not an easy player to knock over and knows how to dish it out occasionally as well.

Perron; 6'0, 200 lbs
A player with his feisty attitude and jam for the net is not traded away. Unless there was an internal problem, he stays. Maybe a situation where they bring in a top 2 defender or a top 2 centre but we all know Perron would not fetch that type of player so time for speculation of being traded is out of order.

Gagner; 5'11, 202 lbs
Gagner must have been traded at least 15 times by media and fans in the last 2 years. This guy has more lives then a cat. I think the problem is less how good he is and more how he just doesn't compliment what this team needs. If he were to play with two thick bodies and quick wingers who could score maybe this would be a different discussion but right now, that's not the case. Can't see Gagner lasting much longer in Edmonton as their 2nd line centre. If they trade Eberle or Yakupov he could move to right wing (where he played with Cogliano his rookie year mostly) but if one of the other wingers are not traded, it will likely be Gagner who is finding a new city to call home.

None of the other Oilers forwards on the roster are what you could consider top 6 forwards on a NHL team. They may be able to fill in occasionally but as regular top 6 forwards, the Oilers only potentially have the 6 mentioned above. Other forwards on this team will be role players only.

So having said all that, who is in the system that could be a player in the future that the Oilers could use as a legitimate NHL forward? Below I have rated the % chance of them making a solid NHL Career.


Chase; 6'0, 205 lbs
Chase produced some incredible numbers this past season. He has shown to have soft hands to go with his pesky side of the game. We know he is the type of player who will be in the scrums and try to get under the skin of his opponents. A player that was selected in the Oilers last round and looked good at training camp as well. His 1st year in the minor pro level will be the true test, if he can bring that level of play to the next level of hockey. His top end potential is maybe as a third line but more then likely will be a 4th line player should he pan out. I think many of us are rooting for a incredible career for this young prospect. I rate him at a 60% chance of succeeding.

Moroz; 6'2, 211 lbs
No one expected the Oilers to take Mitch so high in the draft but when his fellow OilKing was selected just in front of him the Oilers wanted big, tough and some resemblance of skill and they took the chance on him. He has looked good for the role this year and for many parts of the year has carried his team. The bigger question will be can he carry the game the same way in OKC like he did with the OilKings because he will be playing against the big boys in the AHL and they likely won't be so easy to dominate physically. He has good fight in his game, only time will tell. I like him and he stands a 70% chance of succeeding

Khaira; 6'3, 210 lbs
A big player who can guard and protect the puck well. I am concerned about his foot speed but has appeared to be a solid player in the making. He is a interesting player when it comes to development. This will be very a test year for him. He is a centre but IMO, I think he needs moved to the wing to stand a good NHL shot. Give him a 40% chance of succeeding at the NHL level.

Roy; 6'0, 175 lbs
A highly skilled forward with not lots of size and more then likely will be used in a trade somewhere down the line but isn't that why you want your stables full of players who can bring back some assets down the road? Possibly stands a 40% chance of succeeding at the NHL level.

Slepyshev; 6'2, 194 lbs
Will just be glad when he actually signs with the Oilers. A very good talent, just not sure if his game will translate well to the smaller ice surface and game of the NHL. Likely will be coming over for the 2015/2016 season after he fulfills his contract with his KHL team. I see him as another player that could be potentially offered in a trade to sweeten a package. Has a 50% chance of making a NHL Career.

Yakimov; 6'5, 202 lbs
A player many people are high on in this organization, including MacT himself. I see his top end potential as a 3rd line centre but he will need to improve his foot speed. Likes going strong to the net so that can be a benefit to a team like the Oilers who lack that from too many forwards. Potentially a long term fix at our 3rd or 4th line centre role. I give Yakimov a 70% chance of a successful NHL career.

While there are other forwards in their system, I rate their chances below 40% chance of actually making it to the big show for more then a cup of coffee.

I predict with little available in the system as we can see, 2 of the 6 mentioned current Oiler forwards will be moved out and replaced this season. Who? Some combination of Gagner, Yakupov and or Eberle. It's all hypothetical but simple deduction tells you something is about to break and not to far away!

In the meantime, and in between time, that's it for another edition of Oilers hockey!

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Another season of Oilers turmoil ahead?

With another long season behind us and only hopes of yet another shot at being a decent team next year, the Oilers give us little to write about that has not been written before. We all have talked about Taylor Hall and his progress to a point per game player. RNH's increased workload and lack of scoring this year despite facing the other teams toughest defence and the other team's toughest and best forwards.

What about Yakupov and his two-way game or lack of? Maybe it was his lack of scoring. We could always discuss the fact Dallas Eakins was a rookie head coach learning on the go? No? What about our bottom 6 forwards, our city and fans like to complain about how bad they are all the time. I got it! How about we need a big power forward to play in our top 6? Nope, been there, done that!

Well we know the defence needs a top 2 defenceman right? Let's discuss the possible trade scenarios or maybe the possible free agents? Man, this team has sucked so bad for so long, I am shocked bloggers and MSM have anything to write about anymore. There isn't one area this team has not had dissected inside out. I know I cover the crap out of draft prospects so that's been done by me several times and occasionally here or on another site we cover the Oilers prospects but what else do we have to look forward too? Exactly! Not much.

Having said all that, lets take the next couple blogs and discuss the state of the Goalies, defence and forward position and coaching/management. We can breakdown the options and what likely is too happen at each part of the organization. Could a few shocking surprises be coming? Their are some rumours swirling that we will examine and analyze.

In the meantime, and in between time, that's it for another edition of Oilers hockey!

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Anticipation is rising in Oil City (pt 1 of 2)

My apologies to our blog readers here at Oilers Jambalaya over the last while. I have been in somewhat of a hiatus for awhile. My daughter recently got married outdoors and the extra work and effort between that and my regular paying job kept me quite busy. I did manage to stay focused on spreading the Oilers Spirit though.

I must say, when I was asked to come on and join Smokin Ray here at Oilersjambalaya a couple years ago, I was full of excitement and anticipation. The Oilers had been trying to scratch and crawl their way back to respectability and were drafting and developing new talents much better then in years past. My excitement for the team , the prospects and their development was hard to surpass. I would spend endless hours in research and conversation with any contacts I could find that had any information that could be useful or give myself a different look at these players.

As the last few years have passed by, that same excitement started to dwindle and while I am still a die hard fan, it has been less emotional excitement then in the past. Why? I am guessing maybe emotional drain? Maybe it is disappointment? Frustration? Regardless of what it was, I was still faithful and still am today watching and following this team. Some have said not drafting the best young player in the world for the 4th consecutive year in a row did it to me. Maybe, but bringing in a new coach and everything MacT has done has not impressed me yet. Sure it's a start but the proof as they say, is in the pudding!

This year, it's time to 'put up, or shut up'! Anything less the a playoff push to the last week is a train wreck to me. I know, teams can only improve so much without major change in player personal. That is true, but no one who drafts as high as the Edmonton Oilers and has elite talent like they do, should grow slowly like some teams that finish in the middle of the pack and yet still see drastic improvement with little changes. With the natural physical, mental and emotional maturity of elite talent comes great strides.

Enough about the past! I love that Eakins cleaned out the past player persona in the changing room. The past is not what you build on, its the future you build into. Having said that, I am starting to feel that 'twitch' again that makes me jump, scream, shout or say 'Yes'! on every Oiler goal, assist, save, hit, fight and plain old 'sweet play'. Looking through this team, there really is no built in excuses why this team can not be a playoff bound team this year. Let's look at the reasons we can anticipate the excitement building for the Edmonton Oilers.

Ryan Nugent-Hopkins is Cerebal

He's back!! Do not look at his stats line from last year when he was fighting a injury that limited his shot and passing. I have followed RNH for the past 5 years and last year, his whole offensive game was affected. What did he do? Became a even better center defensively. Once RNH can bring his FO% up to around 50% he will become a Top 5 Center in this league as far as I am concerned. His presence on this team will be a huge boost and the team's offensive output will start shooting through the roof of arena's everywhere. Why? Because it will be contagious and will be a catalyst this team needs.

Boyd Gordon is a solid defensive center
Gordon is a player who can win face-offs, fill in a night or two on a higher line, back check, and just plays the game the way any hard nosed player should. His dependability and reliability is something this team will greatly appreciate this year. Also Boyd will seldom makes stupid plays that leave you shaking your head.

Nail Yakupov is a beast

In training camp and pre-season and right throughout the 1st period in the season opener, you can see Nail has gained some great strength in protecting the puck. He doesn't just dangle it, he dares the opposition to take it away from him. He handles it like a bull in a china shop and he doesn't care about the results other then getting that puck to the net. His one-timers from anywhere are hard, crisp, fast and bulls eye accurate. His one-timers take a backseat to no more then maybe 10 current NHL'ers currently playing and if he continues to grow in this area, the sky is the limit for this Russian kid. His hunger for the game, his relentless back check and speed will not be able to be contained too often as this season progresses.

Taylor Hall is a Stud

Not many players can play like Taylor Hall plays. His intensity, versatility, drive, speed and love for hockey make Taylor Hall one of a kind. The fact he has been able to make this shift to centre in the loss of the Oilers top 2 centers has been nothing short of incredible. Sure there have been some mistakes but playing a 1st line center role when you have never done it at a NHL level? That is crazy and he is still holding his own. With Nugent-Hopkins set to return , it is likely to free him up some to relax and take some of the pressure off of him. Don't forget he is carrying two players in Hemsky and Smyth who most Oiler fans wanted run out of town not long ago. Hall with a Yakupov and Joensuu could be a interesting line while Perron and Eberle play with Nugent-Hopkins? No matter how it plays out, left wing or centre , Taylor Hall is a stud out there and intends to make this a winning season at any expense.

Don't fret Oiler fans over the opening night loss. I know it may look like the same old story but this team while down 2 of their top 6 players has looked dominating at times and with this new 'swarm' philosophy of hockey for the Oilers, it might just suit this team well. The addition of some new players added to the mix currently growing by leaps and bounds could be what takes this team back into the 'sacred temples of Lord's Stanley'.

to be continued....

Sunday, September 22, 2013

6 Million is the Standard?

As well all know, RNH has signed a 7 year, 42 million dollar deal a few days ago. With Hall and Eberle already making in and around there, does that make it the standard for Yakupov and Schultz?

Well, that depends on a few things. If the Oilers really do believe the cap is going up, they will probably offer them both 6 million (pending on good years.) But if Schultz has a bad year, I would think they would give him a lower dollar, 3 year deal. If he has a good season, he would probably get 6 million for 8 or 7 years like the rest of the quality guys on the Oilers. 


My thoughts on the Nugent-Hopkins signing.

The kid is a franchise player and if he can stay healthy, he will be a dominating force for years to come. But his shoulder injury has to cause some concerns. 

I do think that maybe the Oilers should have signed him to a 1 year extension then gave him the long one just to see what he would be like in a full season.


Rumor for today; Tomas Vanek is on the market, but the Sabres have to lower expectations if they want a deal done. An arm and a leg is just too much to ask for. 

This is written by Noah Fuchs aka NHL rumor guy

Thursday, September 19, 2013

The Nuge Has Been Signed!

Word just came out the the Edmonton Oilers have signed Ryan Nugent-Hopkins to a seven year extension today worth $42 million. 

Good for Ryan. Next up is Nail Yakupov and Justin Schultz. 


Monday, September 9, 2013

A Look At What Could Be Opening Night 2013-14

Hello Jambalya readers, as you know the hockey season is coming, and there will be tons of talk like, "how will Eakins help this team?", and "will we be over .500?".

But, I'm not writing this to talk about that, I'm writing this, to talk about who could be the opening day lineup for the 2013-14 season.

Forward line guesses

1st line guess

LW Perron C Hall RW Eberle

LW David Perron, Perron's skill will fit nice with Hall and Eberle who are already highly skilled forwards.

C Taylor Hall, This line has Hall at centre because of the fact Hopkins could be hurt for 10 games or so, (give or take) Hall is also at centre on this line because Eberle is a first line player and he has more chemistry with Hallsy than Gagner. Yes, I do know Hallsy is not very good away from the puck, but he has outstanding speed that will help him with back checking.

RW Jordan Eberle, Eberle is a good little forward that has great skills that would blend well with anyone especially with Hall and Perron in this case.

2nd line guess

LW Hemsky C Gagner  RW Yakupov

LW Ales Hemsky is another highly skilled forward who will hopefully bring leadership to Yakupov and if he can pass more, he might be valuable in the long run on this line.

C Sam Gagner I don't think has the defensive game to play 1st line minutes, so thats why I slot him here. He will finally have the contract stuff off his back and hopefully plays well because of it. 

RW Nail Yakupov, His shot, his skating, and his puck skills will hopefully work well with Hemsky this season. Hopefully they can find some offensive chemistry.

3rd line guess

RW Omark C Gordon LW Smyth

LW Ryan Smyth, Captan Canada, gritty, heart and soul and finally Symtty, these are all words associated with Ryan Symth, and coming in to probably his last season, I have him playing 3rd and 4th line minutes mainly because he is old and just here to finish his contract.

C Boyd Gordon, Maybe a bit of an overpayment, but still a good signing. Gordon is a good player that is two way.

RW Linus Omark, He was signed recently and it could be because the Oil want three scoring lines, or just for depth. Any such way, I have him here to add some scoring on this line.

4th line guess

RW Jones C Lander LW Joensuu

LW Jesse Joensuu, He was a first round pick, Lowetide says he is "very similar player to Temmu Hartikanien" which means he is a big grinder who will chip in a few goals, but is pretty slow.

C Anton Lander, He is a a good PK player which with Horcoff gone, he fills. He will chip in maybe 9 goals. He is a bubble player.

RW Ryan Jones, Jones cheats for offense and will probably be talked to by coach Eakins over the season. But I have him slotted here because he is a NHL player compared to others who might fill this role.

Other players that could be in on opening day.

Andrew Miller, Will Acton, Ryan Hamilton and Mike Brown.

Player to watch on offence: Taylor Hall who had 50 points last season and I Think will have 70 - 80 points this year keep your eye on him.

Defence pairing guesses

1 pair guess

LD Smid RD Petry

LD Ladislav Smid, He is a good heart and soul player who will block shots. Sometimes he will make a dumb play, but he's been improving every year. He is a good shutdown guy who logs PK mins and also can be trusted late in a game.

RD Jeff Petry, He was not as good as some people would have thought last season, but I think he will bounce back and not score on his own net vs the Wings and cost us a game (yes i'm still hurt over a regular season game.)

2 pair guess

LD Ference RD J.Schultz.

LD Andrew Ference, Ference was a good signing. Maybe not because of his contract, but because he is a solid veteran D man and will help J.Schultz when it comes down to those tough times.

RD Justin Schultz, Schultz is our best defence if not now then in the very near future. He had a pretty good season with points (27 points) but, I think he is going to get more. If he really wants to be good this season, he will need to improve without the puck.

3rd pair guess

LD N.Schultz RD Belov

LD Nick Schultz, He is a defensive defence man who should bounce back after a lackluster season. If he doesn't improve, I wouldn't doubt it if the Oilers look to move him. 

RD Anton Belov, Some say he was the best D man in the KHL last year. He has some grit to him and will be good guy to keep your eye on. Not sure how he will adapt to the smaller ice surface though. Should be interesting.

Other D man that could be in on opening night

Phillip Larson, Oscar Klefbom and Denis Grebeshkov


Starting goalie:

Deven Dubnyk, He had an up and down season last year. He won us some games and he lost us some games. One thing I do notice is that he usally lets in one bad goal every game. Duby is the postion I am most worried about. He is 27 years old he has never had a better save % better than 2.57. But saying that, he was on the terrible Oilers team. All and all this is the season where we find out if he is an average goalie or above average goalie.

Backup goalie

Jason LaBarbera, Jason is a proven backup who might actually challenge Dubnyk if he faulters. Chances are that doesn't happen, but if they do, LaBarbera would love to step in. 

Remember, this all could change if RNH comes back early or if more injuries happen from now until the regular season starts. but if nothing does change, these are my opening night lines.

This was written by NHL rumors guy AKA Noah Fuchs

Saturday, August 31, 2013

The Beginning That Lies Ahead

It's the beginning of the 2013/14 NHL season coming up, and the beloved Edmonton Oilers fans are starting to get giddy. Lots of speculation and opinions having been flying around for some time.

The latest story is the possibility of Sam Gagner as the next Oilers captain. If you've followed me, you'll know I was and am a huge Gagner supporter. I think he'd make a fantastic captain and he would be a good mediator between the different age groups. So if Sam Gagner is the next Oilers captain, I support that decision.

One scenario I'd like to see played out this year? I'd love to see Ryan Smyth wear the C for this last kick at the can. Captain Canada should have a C on his jersey before he retired. This is that chance.

Another story has been who replaces Ryan Nugent-Hopkins if he's not ready to return at the start of the season. Some speculation has Taylor Hall moving to center. That's easily doable for the fact that now with the addition of Linus Omark into the fold, the Oilers can still have the top 6 filled with goal scorers. Doesn't matter if it's Hemsky or Omark, the Oilers can fill the void.

I've also heard the possibility of Marc Arcobello will fill the void left by the RNH injury. He has experience playing with Eberle and Hall and that could be the way the Oilers start their season.

Although, what kind of message does that send to a player? Right now, good enough to play on the first line, but the minute RNH comes back, back to the OKC Barons for Arcobello. I wouldn't want to have to make that decision.

Will the Oilers have three scoring lines? I'd hope not, but it's looking more and more like that's going to happen. It's very possible that we will see a Omark/Gordon/Hemsky line. I just can't imagine a 3rd line as a checking line with Ales Hemsky and Linus Omark on it. Can you?

Of course a top discussion was, will Oscar Klefbom make the team straight out of training camp? The Oilers are very high on him and it's very possible he's a final candidate for the 6th and 7th spot. I'd personally, if he's not quite there, send him down to OKC and let him play big minutes and develop his skill. That decision never hurts the player.

The YoungStars tournament starts in a couple days. I'm excited to see these kids and see what they can do. Lots of new faces and I'm hoping the Oilers show them via webcast like the previous years. Should be fun to watch.


Wednesday, August 28, 2013

YAKCITY - "Nail Yakupov ready to step it up?"

Nail Yakupov has always been a enigmatic personality in and out of the dressing room and on the ice. What makes this young up and coming star player so good is not just the skill set, it's the drive to be the best or as some say, the drive to always be improving.

Here are Nail Yakupov's PPG over the past few years in the respective leagues he has played in;

2010-2011 CHL (101pts for 1.55 PPG)
2010-2012 U18 (13 pts for 1.85 PPG)

2011-2012 CHL (69 pts for 1.64 PPG)
2011-2012 U20 (9 pts for 1.28 PPG)

2012-2013 KHL (18 pts for .82 PPG)
2012-2013 NHL (31 pts for .65 PPG)

I had predicted on twitter and believe on a blog as well the PPG production Nail would likely produce both in the KHL and in the NHL. I had estimated Yakupov could produce .65 PPG in the KHL which he fared even better and in the NHL I said I believed he would produce around the .57 PPG. I had people saying I was out to lunch and no way this player had the skills yet or the size to produce like that at the NHL level. He covered both bets for me and this year it is likely we could see him more around the .80 PPG mark by the end of the NHL season of 2013-2014.

When looking at his Jr career and comparing him at that stage , let's look how he compares to a few other notable stars.

Steven Stamkos
2006-2007 CHL (92 pts for 1.46 PPG)
2006-2007 U18 (10 pts for 1.67 PPG)

2007-2008 CHL (105pts for 1.72 PPG)
2007-2008 U18 (5 pts for 1.25 PPG)
2007-2008 U20  (6pts for .86 PPG)

2008-2009 NHL (46 pts for .58 PPG)

2009-2010 NHL (95 pts for 1.16 PPG)

As we can see with Stamkos, it was his second season when his numbers began to soar. With a solid understanding of the game now and a larger sturdier frame he was better able to translate his jr career to the NHL level.

John Tavares 
(since John was brought in as a exceptional player into the OHL I will be exempting his early year to be more in comparison with the same age)

2006-2007 CHL (134 pts for 2.0 PPG)

2007-2008 CHL (118 pts for 2.0 PPG)
2007-2008 U20 (5 pts for .71 PPG)

2009-2010 NHL (54 pts for .66 PPG)

2010-2011 NHL (67 pts for .85 PPG)

John was one of the most incredible point producing jrs in the last couple decades. Very few reach his peak yet his game did not translate in his first year and even his second as you can see was somewhat reasonable.

Let's look at 2 more comparable players he currently plays with.

Taylor Hall
2008-2009 CHL (90 pts for 1.43 PPG)
2008-2009 U18 (8 pts for 2.0 PPG)

2009-2010 CHL (106 pts for  1.86 PPG)
2009-2010 U20 (12 pts for 2.0 PPG)

2010-2011 NHL (42 pts for .65 PPG)

2011-2012 NHL (53 pts for .87 PPG)

Taylor had a tremendous jr career but also while faring well in the NHL still took time to adjust to the style and speed of the game. His second year saw a increase in production like most stars do.

Ryan Nugent-Hopkins
2009-2010 CHL (65 pts for .97 PPG)
2009-2010 U17 (5pts for 1.0 PPG)

2010-2011 CHL (106 pts for 1.54 PPG)
2010-2011 U18 (7 pts for 1.4 PPG)

2011-2012 NHL (52 pts for .84 PPG)

2012-2013 NHL (24 pts for .6 PPG)
*Fought with bad shoulder all season that ended early

Ryan IMO would have fared much better if not nursing a injury all season long. He fought through but likely his second NHL season was one that will not be seen again.

As you can see when comparing seasons to some other great players Nail is right on course and to under estimate his production this season would be to under value him as a player. The following is a quick look at the comparison's of jr career hockey to 1st seasons in the NHL.

CHL Career PPG
Nail Yakupov 1.59 PPG
Steven Stamkos 1.59 PPG
John Tavares 1.75 PPG
Taylor Hall 1.53 PPG
Ryan Nugent-Hopkins 1.26 PPG

In looking at the PPG totals here in CHL hockey it's very clear Yakupov is on par with these players that many consider to be great. It should also be considered that both Yakupov and Stamkos did not play on a loaded team in their final year yet still produced well.

NHL 1st Season PPG
Nail Yakupov .65 PPG

Steven Stamkos .58 PPG
John Tavares .66 PPG
Taylor Hall  .65 PPG
Ryan Nugent-Hopkins .84 PPG

In observing the 1st year stats of PPG in these same players career's it can not be denied that Yakupov while playing only a shortened season produced equal to his earlier comrades in the NHL and shows very well against extremely high competition. 

Lastly, let's look at the 2nd years PPG production from the same players alongside my prediction of Nail Yakupov for the 2013-2014 NHL Season

NHL 2nd Season PPG
Steven Stamkos  1.16 PPG

John Tavares  .85 PPG
Taylor Hall  .87 PPG
Ryan Nugent-Hopkins  .60 PPG
Nail Yakupov .80 PPG (My prediction)

Looking at how Nail has compared well in at the same growth curve in his career, I believe it is reasonable to say he likely will be comparable in his 2nd NHL season as well. While Stamkos hit it out of the park on his second season RNH struggled a little. Despite that, when comparing, it definitely gives a good case of optimism for Oilers fans alike this coming season.

In the meantime, Keep your stick on the Ice!

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Ryan Nugent-Hopkins Done For Season

Word just came out that Edmonton Oilers forward, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins is on his way to Cleveland to have his should checked out. Sounds like he could have surgery done on Tuesday for a torn labrum. Possibly a 6 month recovery.

I'd say, he's officially out for the rest of the season.

The big question is, why did the Oilers wait this long to have this procedure done? The timeline right now suggests that RNH will miss training camp. I've seen too many players have a bad season because they missed training camp for one reason or another. I'm hoping this isn't the case for RNH.

Regardless of a playoff push or not, I'd like to know why this wasn't done two months ago? Or even two weeks ago?

Oilers do say the expect him to make a full 100% recovery.


Sunday, January 13, 2013

The Oilers Hockey Battle at Hawrelak Park

On twitter right now, Oilers hotshots Jordan Eberle and Taylor Hall are talking trash about setting up a shinny game for 4pm today at Hawrelak park. I can only Imagine this will draw a fairly large crowd. They have mentioned names like Nail Yakupov, Ryan Whitney, Nugent-Hopkins and newcomer Justin Schultz participating. We can only imagine most of the team showing up to play in this "unorganized" pick up game.

So if your not busy today around 4pm, head down to Hawrelak park and snap some photos. Your going to experience what hockey is all about. Just pure, fun hockey. Wish I could be there.


Friday, December 14, 2012

Hockey Canada Announces Captains for WJHC

Hockey Canada just announced the captains for the 2013 World Junior Hockey Championships.

Oilers 1st rounder, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins was named team Captain this morning. It's his first junior tournament that he's participating in. He brings skill and leadership to this team. He also brings NHL experience to the fold as well.

Scott Harrington and Jonathan Huberdeau have been named the Alternate Captains and will wear A's.


Thursday, December 6, 2012

NHL Lockout is Affecting the Oilers in 3 Good Ways

Please stand by while greedy people fight.

If there is a sliver lining for this NHL lockout, it's that the Edmonton Oilers have three things in this NHL lockout going for them!

Number one;

Letting Taylor Hall have more time to recover, because if the NHL season would have started on time, he might have been rushed in a little bit to fast then he would have liked.

Number two;

Developing their farm team by getting their players that will hopefully be in Edmonton someday to hang out and play with some of the great young faces of the Edmonton Oilers. Hopefully most of the kids playing in OKC will be playing someday with guys like Ebs, Hallsy and RNH on the Oilers. This is great experience to have them "gel" ahead of time.

Justin: Thanks for signing me

Steve: No problem. It's fun locking out people after I sign them. Yakupov, Hallsy, Eberle and now you.

Number three;

Getting Schultz time in the AHL so it's not as big of a step from college to the NHL. That's a big leap and if I may say my thoughts on him, what a player he is turning out to be. He's better than anyone could have thought, even with the high expectations people had on him.

This article is written by Noah Fuchs.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

High Skill Isn't All You Need / OKC Barons Need Some Help

What nice Jerseys eh!
The OKC Barons have lots of skill on their team brought about by the work stoppage and there has been HUGE expectations for this team early on.

In my opinion, they really haven't hit their stride with Taylor Hall (coming off injury), Jordan Eberle, RNH, and Justin Schultz. At this point, they should be better. There are reasons for this and its not all because of their young guns not putting up the points. Schultz is leading the league in scoring with Eberle trailing not far behind.

The Barons biggest weakness is defensive depth. Especially with the veteran defensemen. I think, because of the hype of the young guns, the forward depth players have been passengers instead of adding secondary scoring. Even the young guns have on occasion, made some errors defensively which is bound to happen. The only cure being more experience.

Hopefully we will see the trio of Hall, Eberle and Nugent-Hopkins on Rexall ice soon. But when its all said and done in OKC, this team is doing well. But they could still do more with all their talent.

I hope they make some kind of AHL trade for more experienced D.


Saturday, October 6, 2012

The NHL Lockout Provides Oklahoma City With A Boost

Oklahoma City
Everyone knows that with the lingering NHL lockout that's going on, the Edmonton Oilers have sent down a couple of their young stars to Oklahoma City to play with the Barons.

Jordan Eberle, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Justin Schultz, Anton Lander and when ready and healed, Taylor Hall are going to be in the OKC Barons lineup.

This is a once in a lifetime (probably not now with Bettman still in charge) opportunity for the people of Oklahoma City to come out and watch some very good NHL talent play right in their own back yard.

Jordan Eberle was a Lady Byng finalist this year. He piled up the numbers while playing a gentleman's game. He's classy through and though. To have him around your community is something to cherish and embrace. He's a great ambassador of the game.

Ryan Nugent-Hopkins was a finalist for the Calder trophy which is awarded to the NHL's top rookie. Some say he should have won. Who better to be a part of your hockey club to show what hard work really is than RNH? His work ethic will rub off on the rest.

When he's ready to play again in a couple of weeks, Taylor Hall is going to bring leadership to the team like they have never seen before. He oozes a winning attitude and no doubt, he will help bring the team to new heights in their quest to winning the Calder Cup.

Let's not forget the fact they still have Oilers prospect Magnus Paajarvi on the team. He's a year older and another year wiser. I'm expecting a big year from him too before he can make the jump to the Oilers.

Oklahoma City is extremely lucky to be getting these guys. Coach Nelson was given an NHL top line to have at his disposal. I can guarantee he isn't going to squander this. You can hear it in his voice, he's excited.
Not only are the OKC Barons going to flourish because of the NHL lockout, so will the ECHL affiliate, the Stockton Thunder. With the Barons gaining a few new players, that means they are taking spots from guys up there. Those guys will go down to Stockton until a spot becomes available with the Barons.

Goaltender Tyler Bunz and at least 3 other players will be sent to the Stockton to play in the ECHL with the Thunder. It could even be more.

The ripple effect has begun. Enjoy this Oklahoma City, it won't last forever.


Saturday, September 15, 2012

Edmonton Oilers Young Stars Head To Oklahoma City

The Edmonton Oilers assigned several players down to Oklahoma City today to play with the Barons during the NHL lockout. This is great news for Barons fans.

Here is the official press release from the Oilers;

"Edmonton Oilers General Manager Steve Tambellini announced today the club has assigned the following players to Oklahoma City of the American Hockey League.

Cameron Abney
Mark Arcobello
Tyler Bunz
Dane Byers
Philippe Cornet
Yann Danis
Brandon Davidson
Jordan Eberle
Taylor Fedun
Curtis Hamilton
Teemu Hartikainen
Tanner House
Anton Lander
Martin Marincin
Ryan Martindale
Ryan Nugent-Hopkins
Magnus Paajarvi
Kristians Pelss
Tyler Pitlick
Alex Plante
Toni Rajala
Olivier Roy
Justin Schultz
Colten Teubert
Antti Tyrvainen
Chris VandeVelde

Tambellini also announced defenceman David Musil has been assigned to the Vancouver Giants of the Western Hockey League and forward Nail Yakupov has been assigned to the Sarnia Sting of the Ontario Hockey League


Thursday, August 23, 2012

The Future Is Getting Locked Up

After the huge Taylor Hall signing yesterday, - he signed a 7 year extension at $6 million per year - we are all waiting for the next announcement.

Jordan Eberle is the next one to be signed long term by the Oilers and it's good timing to be doing this now with the new CBA negotiations going on right now.

It's possible Eberle will get about the same type of deal that Hall has. I have heard it could be a little less than Hall's coming in around $5.5 million a year over 6 years. But we won't know till the deal is done.

These two contracts will setup the future for the rest of the Oilers. Don't expect Nugent-Hopkins or Yakupov to ever get paid more than Hall is now. That's the benchmark going forward and rightfully so. The kid is future captain.

Even if all 4 players have roughly the same contracts, the Oilers should be OK down the road with staying within the cap space.

I like the Hall signing and I'll like the Eberle one as well once it's done.

The future of this team gets better every single day we wake up. Get ready Oil Country. Our time is near...


Saturday, June 30, 2012

The Edmonton Oilers... Destination #1? Schultz Says So!

The past is the past for the Oilers now. Long gone are the days of not wanting to be in Edmonton to play hockey with the Oil.

The advantages of coming here are at a high.

Taylor Hall, Jordan Eberle, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Magnus Paajarvi, Nail Yakupov, Anton Lander, Teemu Hartikainen, Jeff Petry, Oscar Klefbom, Martin Marincin, Devan Dubnyk, Tyler Bunz.

Now the Oilers have free agent Justin Schultz to add to the list.

I'd hope and expect the Oilers to land a few more good players to compliment the kids listed above. With all this youth and excitement, I have no doubt the Oilers will be Stanley Cup challengers sooner, rather than later.

Our door is open in Oil Country... we welcome those who want to join the fun.



Friday, June 15, 2012

The Edmonton Oilers... Destination #1? Schultz Says So!

The past is the past for the Oilers now. Long gone are the days of not wanting to be in Edmonton to play hockey with the Oil.

The advantages of coming here are at a high.

Taylor Hall, Jordan Eberle, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Magnus Paajarvi, Nail Yakupov, Anton Lander, Teemu Hartikainen, Jeff Petry, Oscar Klefbom, Martin Marincin, Devan Dubnyk, Tyler Bunz.

Now the Oilers have free agent Justin Schultz to add to the list.

I'd hope and expect the Oilers to land a few more good players to compliment the kids listed above. With all this youth and excitement, I have no doubt the Oilers will be Stanley Cup challengers sooner, rather than later.

Our door is open in Oil Country... we welcome those who want to join the fun.



Thursday, February 9, 2012


That's the headline that should be on every website, newspaper, any other media outlet and most importantly, from the lips of the Oilers management.

Last season the Oilers management made a decision that they knew full well, was going to be extremely unpopular. With approx. 20 games remaining and they're prized 1st overall pick freshly on the shelf with a sprained ankle, Tambellini and company SHUTDOWN Taylor Hall, rather then risk any further injury that could jeopardize the future of the Oilers and Hall. It was brave, bold and something no Oilers fan has come to expect, SMART.

Which brings me to here and now. When drafted anyone and their dog would tell you, "He's too small to play with men."

Well after bringing the Oilers faithful and most of the NHL out of there chairs on a nightly basis for half the season, maybe we are now seeing that he may have been too small. His HOF hockey sense and vision were almost enough to overcome his waffer thin body, but after suffering one and then two, shoulder injuries it makes no sense to me to bring him back into the lineup.

The Future...
The 'Nuge has nothing left to prove when it comes to his abilities. Anyone with an ounce of intelligence can clearly see he was the rookie of the year. None of the other rookies captivated the league the way 'Nuge did. Besides, the Oilers have how many Hall of Famers...6....and how many Calder Trophy winners....0. Sure it would be nice, but if Gretz, Mess, Andy, Kurri, Coff and Fuhrsy didn't need it to be great then the 'Nuge doesn't either.

This is also a great chance to both reward Anton Lander for being the good soldier on the 4th line all season, and to see just exactly what he has to offer if given top six minutes and PP time......and Paajarvi too for pete's sake! I mean why not give them a shot with Ebs or Hall???!!!

In the end the Oilers should do the right thing for their and Ryan's future. Here's what should be said...

"Ryan we are shutting you down for the season. Heal up, rehab the shit out of that shoulder, hit the gym and come to camp ready to go at 178-182lbs. See you in September."

So come on Tambo, K-Lowe, or Katz, make that same BOLD, BRAVE, UNPOPULAR, and most impotantly, SMART decesion again. Hopefully it's the last time it will have to be made.


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