Oilers at Coyotes, G20 ’10-’11

The intoxicating beauty of youth does many things: it inspires, it jumbles chemistry and it most definitely makes up for a bunch of inexperience and bad choices. This is a photo of a young Grace Kelly, quite possibly the most beautiful female in the world at the time it was taken. The face that launched a thousand ships? Not quite, but she did just fine.

After tonight, Taylor Hall’s rookie season will be 25% completed and we’ll have a nice first blush look at an outstanding rookie crop. After 20 games, Sam Gagner was 2-7-9 -8 as an NHL player. Ales Hemsky? 20gp, 0-8-8 +3 on a playoff team.

Here are the 5 rookies Edmonton employs nightly and their boxcars to this point:

  1. Jordan Eberle 19gp, 4-8-12, -6
  2. Taylor Hall 19gp, 4-5-9 -8
  3. Magnus Pääjärvi 18gp, 2-4-6 -3
  4. Theo Peckham 16gp, 1-4-5 +2
  5. Devan Dubnyk 6gp, 2.76 .929

That’s a terrific crop of rookies. The last best Oiler crop was 07-08 (Gagner, Gilbert, Cogliano, they traded for Glencross) and of course 10-11 is better than that one. The thing that makes this group so strong is the forwards, but we shouldn’t underestimate Peckham and Dubnyk moving forward. If they can establish themselves as NHL players, the Oilers will get an enormous amount of development from this 28-30 place season.

I’ve read a few places on the web that the Oilers veterans are letting the team down. The Hockey News ran a column that quoted Damien Cox yesterday, and the veterans named as underachievers included Ales Hemsky, Shawn Horcoff and Dustin Penner. I’m not going to argue with Damien Cox–you can make your own decision on him–but pointing a finger at those three takes an addled mind.

Just saying.

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