Taylor Hall is 20 years old and the leader of a group of talented kids on the way to glory. How far they reach may depend a great deal on Taylor Hall’s ability to stay healthy.
RE 12-13: 66gp, 35-32-67
- That’s a big step forward. He’s the most likely candidate to blossom this season based on all of the evidence available. The Nuge could take a giant leap but based on things we know it’s Hall who will be the first in the group to emerge as an impact player.
- Is this based on an 82 game schedule? Yes. 82 games. So if the league only plays 50 games, Hall’s RE would be 40, 21-19-40.
- He’s going to miss more games than you’re suggesting. I think Hall will be ready close to opening night, depending on when the idle rich decide to let the workers get back to work. Hall’s a determined soul, as we see from this quote: “I’ve been playing with a pretty bad shoulder for most of this year and I’m excited to see what I can do after it’s fixed.” Buddy was making a difference last year while suffering through the shoulder problems. Once he’s ready, he’ll play.
- How good is he right now? He’s a wonderful player, by eye and number. Hall’s CorsiRel has been team best since he got off the plane and he gives the team excellent offense. His 2.07/60 at 5×5 last season was among the league’s top 70 and he misses so many close putts it seems reasonable to suggest that in his prime Hall is going to be an enormous 5×5 player. His 5×4/60 number was among the league’s top 20.
- How could his numbers be better? Health. The only worry I have about Hall is injury. He’s a sublime, beautiful talent, absolute stud. However, he’s bleeding GP by season (38 in two seasons) and his injuries (ankle, shoulder, concussion) include some disconcerting words. I fear EDM may sign him to a long term deal and be left with Wendel Clark-style boxcars in seasons when Stanley beckons. It’s a concern.
- What is he good at? Pretty much anything he puts his mind to. Hall’s all reflex with a trigger, and the wide variety of ways he scores is perhaps the most heartening thing of all. He seems to be in the scoring zone all the time–there are times when he touches the puck three times in three different areas of the offensive zone during one sortie–and does a lot of things that put him in the batter’s box often.
- What are his top end skills? Speed, shot, effort, reflex, genetics, rubbery quality, balance, passing, quick release. The guy is also driven. Taylor Hall has a helluva motor.
- Will they move him to center? A few people (Dennis King, Jason Gregor) have talked about that again in the last few months and it does make some sense for this Oiler team. I think we’ll know a lot more this week. Should they sign Gagner long term then I think Hall stays on LW.
- What will Krueger do? I remember an episode of Oil Change where Krueger was assigned the task of finding out how Laddy felt about playing the right side on defense. I think that conversation may well be taking place over the summer (we know Krueger is making his way through the roster). Whatever the outcome, suspect Hall will know his role well before TC.
- What else does he bring? This isn’t math related, but the Oilers seem to have more room to move when Hall is out there. Maybe it’s just an observation and has no real use as a weapon, but the guy cuts a swath and has defensemen on their heels when he flies into the zone. I think it might be worth a few easy goals per season for his linemates. I’m very excited about the Eric Tulsky research being applied to Hall and the Oilers–expect to see outstanding possession and zone gain results from #4.
- Who should he play with? I’ll say Gagner and Hemsky, but would be curious to see a line featuring Hall-Gagner and either Paajarvi or Hartikainen. One of the ways a team can spread out offense is to find a useful complementary player to go with the impact guys. Having said that, I do think a line of Gagner-Hall-Hemsky is the best bet and have based the Oilers RE numbers on that trio playing a lot together.
- Can he score 40? Sure. Healthy, I think he can clear 40 goals for sure.
- What can he be? Of all the kids we’ll discuss, I don’t think we can put an outer marker on Hall yet. He could end up being a center and a PP dynamo or maybe he’s an EV strength monster and an outscorer. He’ll tell us. Just stay healthy young man.
- What will he do after retiring? Depends on how long he spends in the NHL, but my guess is he’ll be famous enough to choose his second career.
- What’s a good nickname, aside from Hallsy? I don’t know, Banker’s Hall, Hall Pass, Chance, Taylor Made, Flow (as in Ebs and), Hall’s Bells. Any ideas?