RE 14-15 RYAN NUGENT-HOPKINS: JESSICA

Ryan Nugent-Hopkins took a solid step forward as an NHL player and that included improved offense season-over-season at 5×5 and flourishing (along with Jordan Eberle) without Chance on the portside. There’s still room to grow—he is just 22 (turned in April)—but this is a quality NHL player.

RE 14-15: 82GP, 24-44-68 .829

ACTUAL 14-15: 76GP, 24-32-56 .737

RYAN NUGENT-HOPKINS BOXCARS, THREE YEAR TREND

rnh fancy three year trend ap 2015

RYAN NUGENT-HOPKINS FANCY STATS, THREE YEAR TREND

rnh 2014-15 three year trend

  1. Hey! He finally hit 50 points! Grrrrr.
  2. You mentioned at the top he’s improving. Where? EV scoring/5×560 above shows nice growth and his Corsi for% 5×5 is moving in a nice direction. He’s playing a lot—too much I’d say, they should back him down from PK time with Lander now on the team—but he’s 22 now and we should be entering seasons where the offense improves.
  3. He should be better on the power play. He WAS as a rookie but the numbers have been going the wrong way steadily. I’m not sure if he’ll be a monster at 5×4 but the guy is a sublime passer so he can fill a role.
  4. I just don’t see him as a big scorer. It’s because he’s still a kid. He’s top 10 among center’s (Eberle isn’t a C) from 2000+ in points-per-game among players who were in 100 games or more (here).
  5. Well, THAT just rolls off the tongue. Completely rational search there. That list is perhaps a little unfair, as most of the players above him were in the NHL at 20 and 21, didn’t have blippy teenage building years. Nuge is good. He just doesn’t shave is all.
  6. But he’s not going to be Toews? Nuge at 20 scored .7 points per game, Toews was .841. Nuge at 21 scored .7 points per game, Toews was .895. Toews had more support but I think Toews is out of the conversation at this point. We’ll revisit in a year.
  7. Who on that list would be a good comp? Well, in the range are Patrice Bergeron, Eric Staal, Brad Richards, Nathan Horton, Ryan Getzlaf.
  8. Where does he rank at C scoring? No. 28 overall, right beside Bergeron.
  9. Not bad for a third-line center. It’s been a brutal winter but I’ve grown tired of the blatant shots Oilers take in national media. Very poor form, I’ll remember because it’s wildly unfair and doing it just because you can is simply ignorant. All anyone has is credibility, some national media are sending theirs into the elevator shaft with daft or mean-spirited verbal. RNH, on a sucky team, is one of the 30 best centers offensively in the NHL, and I’d take him over MANY of the players ranked ahead of him. Full stop. Third line my ass. You must be thinking of your own career. It must hurt to know you missed your Stanley in 1983 because you were the third-best option and couldn’t get a sniff.
  10. I thought you liked him? I do, but that was a massively unfair and inaccurate statement. It should be remembered until he retracts.
  11. How is Nuge’s faceoff percentage? Improving. He was 42.4% in 2013-14 and is up to 45.7 this season. He’ll get there. He was at 48% through end December, I wonder if he was injured or the club changed some faceoff strategy. Either way, it isn’t a strength.
  12. So he’s Dave Keon and that’s good? Yes! Exactly. He’s already facing the tough opposition but those zone starts may go to a Norm Ullman when they find him. The key for us now is to watch how much EV offense he can deliver (2.00/60 is quality) and then to see if he can (along with the team) get back to those ridiculous 5×4 numbers.
  13. Do you think it was luck on the early PP? First year was witchcraft (hat tip Tyler Dellow) as he was No. 2 in the entire NHL. This season he was No. 131—and I think there’s probably a spot in the middle where he belongs.
  14. Who is Norm Ullman and who is the next Norm Ullman? Former Oiler, had a terrific career in the NHL with Toronto and Detroit. Went out with the WHA Oilers. He was a tremendous offensive center for many years (former Edmonton Oil King, too) and when Ullman played with Keon the offensive situations belonged to Norm.
  15. Who will the Oilers’ Ullman be? Well, I’m not sure.
  16. The Answer Man, ladies and gentlemen! It isn’t that easy. Edmonton has Leon Draisaitl on the way, but is he a superior offensive player to Nuge? I don’t know that to be true, suspect it may not be the case. Dylan Strome? Maybe, maybe not. Nuge is an excellent player with a range of skills, and his offense may not reach Toews-levels, but Edmonton doesn’t have a clearly better choice for the Ullman role at this time  and unless McDavid lands in their lap there are none on the horizon.
  17. Maybe Nuge is the Ullman? That could be, but the 10 best centers in the NHL this season all posted 70 or more points. Nuge remains shy of that and until he gets there we’ll have to assume he may land in either role for the heart of his career.
  18. Is he a disappointing No. 1 overall? Hell, no. Nuge is progressing well and taking on players far older and stronger. I think he has a good chance to be the best of the three No. 1 overall selections, and I didn’t feel that way a year ago. He’s progressed in a significant way and is a splendid two-way player. Youth is his biggest worry and there’s not much you can do about it until he’s 24.
  19. He’s no Pavel Datsyuk! Datsyuk arrived in the NHL fall of 2001 and he was 23 years old and two months. Nuge will be that age in June of 2016, we can BEGIN to compare them at that time.
  20. Will he one day be capable of driving the bus without Hall? That’s what we started to see this season in my opinion. He spent about one half of the season with/without and finished (5×5 Corsi for %) 49.6 without and 50.6 with Hall. Info here. The big question now (for me) has to do with the winger you run with Nuge as a pair. Is it Eberle? Is it Pouliot? Or is it Hall? Probably all three, depending on circumstance.
  21. Who would you run him with next season? Nuge played well with Pouliot-Eberle and I’d probably run that line to start the season. I really liked Hall at center down the stretch (we’ll talk in his RE) but would place Chance on a line with an established (not yet on the roster) center if I could—with the other winger coming from a group that might include Nail Yakupov, Teddy Purcell and Andrew Miller (who looked like he could keep up with Hall in a very small sample size). I’d try to cobble together a formidable 2line with Hall as the impact player.
  22. How did Nuge do under Nelson? Nuge was 34GP, 10-13-23 (.676) on December 27, and 46GP, 14-19-33 (.717) afterward. No news here.
  23. Why this song? There are no words.
  24. Ha! Seriously, why? It’s brilliant and unique and puts me in a good mood immediately. That’s how I view Nuge.
  25. I thought this would be Hall’s track. Nope, there’s a better one for Chance.
  26. It really is a great song. It’s perfect, the guitar just runs free and the keyboards hover but never take over. It’s a tremendous melody. Dickey Betts, man. Dickey Betts.
  27. RNH is the best Oilers center since? Doug Weight, with apologies to Shawn Horcoff who is wildly underrated by most Oilers fans. That’s my answer but it’s early days. If he can spike offensively, and this would be the range (Henrik did it at 24), then we can begin a conversation that involves the entire library.

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218 Responses to "RE 14-15 RYAN NUGENT-HOPKINS: JESSICA"

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  1. Dashingsilverfox says:

    stephen sheps:
    Dashingsilverfox,

    I know, right??

    That will always be one of my favourite places in the world.

    My most enduring (and painful) memory of Scotland was when I visited my sister who lived in a small town, Brechin, near Aberdeen. Her husband was working offshore in the North Sea.

    I was there for the holidays and, apparently, the Scots have a tradition that it is very good fortune if a tall, dark man is the first to cross the threshold on New Year’s day.

    I was, at the time, 6’2″ with very dark hair so my sister dragged me from house to house to greet the locals.

    At each home, I was “encouraged” to drink a tumbler of scotch, not a dram, but a tumbler.

    Oh, the humanity.

  2. Halfwise says:

    Dashingsilverfox: My most enduring (and painful) memory of Scotland was when I visited my sister who lived in a small town, Brechin, near Aberdeen. Her husband was working offshore in the North Sea.

    I was there for the holidays and, apparently, the Scots have a tradition that it is very good fortune if a tall, dark man is the first to cross the threshold on New Year’s day.

    I was, at the time, 6’2″with very dark hair so my sister dragged me from house to house to greet the locals.

    At each home, I was “encouraged” to drink a tumbler of scotch, not a dram, but a tumbler.

    Oh, the humanity.

    When you tire of your current moniker, “first foot” could be used.

    When I’m back in QB after the weekend, we should have a dram. Email stuart9k2 at gmail and we’ll get set up.

  3. stephen sheps says:

    Dashingsilverfox,

    mother of god. that sounds terrible. and wonderful. and terrible.

    thankfully if I am in Scotland around that time of year I will be spared that particular horror. short, stocky jewish men like myself will never have that problem.

    I’m not sure what’s worse, having to drink a tumbler per house, or the fact that you drank so many that you probably couldn’t even enjoy the whisky!

  4. Halfwise says:

    stephen sheps,

    That is spectacular. I can imagine that after the performance enhancing drams it becomes unforgettable in a slightly unfocused way.

  5. Halfwise says:

    Halfwise,

    Stephen, I was referring to your photo, not the first-footing of which DSF wrote.

  6. Dashingsilverfox says:

    Woodguy: I used 1000min as a cut off an he played 960

    He’s at 3.00pts/60 and led the league.

    Also,

    How will Winnipeg ever succeed when they’re best player is only slightly above Eberle.

    Oh the horror.

    You’re cooking the books.

    Where are Ladd and Perrault?

  7. Dashingsilverfox says:

    stephen sheps:
    Dashingsilverfox,

    mother of god. that sounds terrible. and wonderful. and terrible.

    thankfully if I am in Scotland around that time of year I will be spared that particular horror. short, stocky jewish men like myself will never have that problem.

    I’m not sure what’s worse, having to drink a tumbler per house, or the fact that you drank so many that you probably couldn’t even enjoy the whisky!

    I enjoyed the first one.

  8. Dashingsilverfox says:

    Halfwise: When you tire of your current moniker, “first foot” could be used.

    When I’m back in QB after the weekend, we should have a dram. Email stuart9k2 at gmail and we’ll get set up.

    Look forward to it.

  9. Lowetide says:

    Dashingsilverfox: My most enduring (and painful) memory of Scotland was when I visited my sister who lived in a small town, Brechin, near Aberdeen. Her husband was working offshore in the North Sea.

    I was there for the holidays and, apparently, the Scots have a tradition that it is very good fortune if a tall, dark man is the first to cross the threshold on New Year’s day.

    I was, at the time, 6’2″with very dark hair so my sister dragged me from house to house to greet the locals.

    At each home, I was “encouraged” to drink a tumbler of scotch, not a dram, but a tumbler.

    Oh, the humanity.

    Haha! That sounds like the best day ever!

  10. stephen sheps says:

    Halfwise,

    what are these drams you speak of? that night we drank straight from the bottle – though of what I surely cannot remember. Probably Jameson’s, which is sacrilege I know. But what a spot!

    We saved our good purchases from the distillery for particularly special occasions. In fact, the Oban Distiller’s edition (1993) he bought after the tour was just finally cracked open this past October, when my brother was called to the Bar just 2 weeks after I defended the PhD. It was a good day for us. I lugged my bottle of Cragganmore Distiller’s edition in my backpack for the next month while I stayed in Europe and didn’t open it until the following year when my brother came to visit me in Ontario for the 1st time.

    I love this blog… Sharing whisky stories is just as good as advanced stats…

  11. Dashingsilverfox says:

    Lowetide: Haha! That sounds like the best day ever!

    The next day wasn’t so hot.

  12. stephen sheps says:

    Dashingsilverfox: I enjoyed the first one.

    well that’s good news… I hope it was a decent malt at least, given the pain you had to endure with each subsequent drink!

  13. Dashingsilverfox says:

    stephen sheps:
    Halfwise,

    I love this blog… Sharing whisky stories is just as good as advanced stats…

    Much better 🙂

  14. stephen sheps says:

    Dashingsilverfox,

    Lowetide,

    Halfwise,

    Well, that’s it for me for the evening. All this scotch talk is making me want to have a dram now and finish grading the paper I’ve been glaring at on my other screen for the last hour.

    Another Islay, a new distillery called Kilchoman. It’s fairly young (only 6 years old…. 2007, bottled in 2013). Every year they release vintages run from exclusively bourbon barrels. It’s pretty great especially for its age, but when it grows up it will be a monster. I can’t wait to try what they release in 4 or 5 years.

  15. Dashingsilverfox says:

    stephen sheps:
    Dashingsilverfox,

    Lowetide,

    Halfwise,

    Well, that’s it for me for the evening. All this scotch talk is making me want to have a dram now and finish grading the paper I’ve been glaring at on my other screen for the last hour.

    Another Islay, a new distillery called Kilchoman. It’s fairly young (only 6 years old…. 2007, bottled in 2013). Every year they release vintages run from exclusively bourbon barrels. It’s pretty great especially for its age, but when it grows up it will be a monster. I can’t wait to try what they release in 4 or 5 years.

    If you’re ever out this way on the edge (you can almost see Japan from here) please let me know.

    Would be very happy to share a tipple with you.

  16. Dashingsilverfox says:

    Halfwise,

    I’m not sure if you’re aware, but there is a Whisky Bar at the Grand Hotel in Nanaimo.

    A decent selection.

    The mother of all Whisky Bars is FX McCrory’s in Seatlle…they have a two story wall of whiskies from all over the world.

    Heaven.

  17. stephen sheps says:

    Dashingsilverfox: If you’re ever out this way on the edge (you can almost see Japan from here) please let me know.

    Would be very happy to share a tipple with you.

    I’d like that very much, thanks! I’ve been trying to get back to Vancouver Island for a long time. Hopefully this summer, if everything breaks right (and I find another job).

    Same goes to you if happen to find yourself in Toronto.

  18. Talking Oilers, Laurent Brossoit, OKC Barons and Schultz on the Lowdown with Lowetide | The SuperFan says:

    […] for having me on his show. His blog is always a must-read and I’m looking forward to his Realistic Expectations series this […]

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