MORE THAN THIS

Ryan Nugent-Hopkins had an outstanding rookie season at 18 years old. He is not Superman, but there are some very nice things about this player. Talented passer, outstanding vision and he shows glimpses of ability away from the puck. What should we expect from year two?

Historically, RNH was very good as a rookie. Here’s a look at the 18 and 19-year old kids since the lockout who played 50 or more games and delivered 40 or more points.

Sorry it isn’t a good photo, if you click it then things come nicely into view. Basically there’s not a poor player in the group, Mueller has struggled due to injury and Gagner is the devil (actually, its probably a misprint–should be Wellwood there) but the Nuge is in a very nice location on the map. Agreed?

I keep coming back to the Ken Hitchcock line where he thought the Nuge was “My opinion on Nugent-Hopkins has changed … last summer I thought he reminded me of Joe Sakic, but it’s Pavel Datsyuk now. He strips people of the puck, he’s crafty in high-traffic areas, he dishes well, he’s got great patience with the puck.”

In our mind’s eye, Datsyuk was such a slick, finished product on arrival but we need to remember NA fans didn’t see him until age 23. Those who don’t remember Sakic in his youth should be advised that while extremely gifted, he was not a capable player without the puck. Chaos reigned often in those days.

I’ll take either, of course. A lot has been made about the boy’s zone starts and that’s a consideration, but if he ends up being either a:

  1. offensive zone start killer or
  2. a complete player

who’s to worry? We would be happy with either right? I know I would. That chart is pretty dreamy.

NATION RADIO

Kicks off at noon MDT on Team 1260, emails welcome at nationradio@theteam1260.com and you can also touch base in the comments section. I’m a twitter addict, @Lowetide_ or @ItsNationRadio.

Scheduled to appear:

  • Jonathan Willis from COH and Oilers Nation. We’ll talk lockout, Eberle comparables, projecting the future and the Oilers playoff chances in 12-13.
  • Terry Jones from the Edmonton Sun. We’ll talk about the Oilers summer, what Terry will be covering without NHL hockey in Edmonton this winter (should it come to pass) and there’s every chance the Eskimos may be discussed.
  • Harrison Mooney from Puck Daddy and Pass it to Bulis! I want to find out about his exceptional Olympic coverage, along with a rundown of the team on the left coast—which will include a Luongo segment that should be humorous.
  • Cam Charron from Leafs Nation. We’ll talk about that ridiculous ESPN The Magazine story that ranks the Leafs as the worst sports franchise in North America, and try to name the Leafs starting centermen in order and with authority.
  • Eric Tulsky from Broadstreet Hockey and NHL Numbers. Back by popular demand, Tulsky’s work has been inspiring. His zone entry studies represent a true breakthrough in how we view the game, which players we should hold in high value, and we’ll explore that and other issues. I will be asking Eric several questions about his Flyers preview at NHL Numbers, so you might want to read it (outstanding).

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16 Responses to "MORE THAN THIS"

  1. Jordan says:

    Hey LT – I dare you to release the Oilers training camp roster. ;)

  2. Lowetide says:

    LOL. I’m going to! You just wait!

  3. jp says:

    Double dare. We’ll be waiting!

    As for RNH. Yes, a VERY nice spot on a VERY nice list! Agreed that either of your outcomes would be great, but I’m seeing the Datsyuk 2-way player. Really exciting!!

  4. jonrmcleod says:

    LT: We know RNH is not Superman, so what are you implying? Are you saying he’s not going to be a super star? Or that he’s not one yet?

  5. jonrmcleod says:

    How good could the Barons be if there’s a lockout? But who would lose spots on the Barons if Hall, Eberle, and Schultz are there?

  6. jp says:

    Yeah, OKC could have quite a team. I’d think MPS, Hartikainen, Lander and J. Schultz would play in OKC for sure. The team (without the NHL young guns) would look something like this:

    Paajarvi – Green – Hartikainen
    Cornet – Arcobello – Pitlick
    Byers – Lander – Tyrvainen
    Hamilton – Vandevelde – House
    Pelss – Martindale – Abney

    Teubert – Schultz
    Marincin – Plante
    Ringwald – Fedun
    Davidson – Zahn

    Danis – Roy

    Adding Hall and/or Eberle would push some of Pelss, Martindale, Abney or possibly Hamilton/House to Stockton. If all the D are healthy one of Davidson or Zahn will spend some time there too.

    The forwards with Hall/Ebs:

    Hall – Green – Eberle
    Paajarvi – Arcobello – Hartikainen
    Byers – Lander – Pitlick
    Cornet – Vandevelde – Tyrvainen
    Hamilton – House – Abney

    Wow, that’s a bad NHL lineup. 9 of those guys have played some NHL games. Yak, and it looks like RNH also, are still Jr eligible. Too bad, some AHL time wouldn’t hurt either of those two.

  7. vishcosity says:

    I’ve had Roxy Music in my head since I read this thread.

    Who’s decision is it regarding where Hall Ebs and Schultz play? Does the team have the ability to determine such for them, or do the players choose? I wonder if a lock out would forfeit the team’s control or what. Anyone know?

  8. DSF says:

    jp:
    Yeah, OKC could have quite a team. I’d think MPS, Hartikainen, Lander and J. Schultz would play in OKC for sure. The team (without the NHL young guns) would look something like this:

    Paajarvi – Green – Hartikainen
    Cornet – Arcobello – Pitlick
    Byers – Lander – Tyrvainen
    Hamilton – Vandevelde – House
    Pelss – Martindale – Abney

    Teubert – Schultz
    Marincin – Plante
    Ringwald – Fedun
    Davidson – Zahn

    Danis – Roy

    Adding Hall and/or Eberle would push some of Pelss, Martindale, Abney or possibly Hamilton/House to Stockton. If all the D are healthy one of Davidson or Zahn will spend some time there too.

    The forwards with Hall/Ebs:

    Hall – Green – Eberle
    Paajarvi – Arcobello – Hartikainen
    Byers – Lander – Pitlick
    Cornet – Vandevelde – Tyrvainen
    Hamilton – House – Abney

    Wow, that’s a bad NHL lineup. 9 of those guys have played some NHL games. Yak, and it looks like RNH also, are still Jr eligible. Too bad, some AHL time wouldn’t hurt either of those two.

    The CHL is working on an arrangement for first round draft picks to play in the AHL in the event of a lockout.

  9. Gerta Rauss says:

    The decision makers at the USTA make the city council in Glendale look like rocket scientists.

  10. leadfarmer says:

    Do players on ELC burn a year of their contract during the lockout if they play in the AHL, cause if they do I assume most of them would want to play there to bring them closer to payday, causing a logjam of players in the AHL.

  11. LoDog says:

    jp:

    Wow, that’s a bad NHL lineup. 9 of those guys have played some NHL games. Yak, and it looks like RNH also, are still Jr eligible. Too bad, some AHL time wouldn’t hurt either of those two.

    Read somewhere that RNH might be able to play in the AHL.

  12. jp says:

    DSF,

    LoDog,

    That would be great. It seems more appropriate for the league(s) and more valuable to RNH to play in the AHL this year than it would be for Hall or Eberle playing there.

  13. leadfarmer says:

    LT who won the vote.

  14. DSF says:

    jp:
    DSF,

    LoDog,

    That would be great. It seems more appropriate for the league(s) and more valuable to RNH to play in the AHL this year than it would be for Hall or Eberle playing there.

    I expect they all will.

  15. DSF says:

    leadfarmer:
    Do players on ELC burn a year of their contract during the lockout if they play in the AHL, cause if they do I assume most of them would want to play there to bring them closer to payday, causing a logjam of players in the AHL.

    Yes.

    The upside of playing in the AHL is that teams with a lot of young players like the Oilers get a chance to develop their talent in the AHL.

    The downside is they are all closer to payday.

    The real losers in a scenario like this are teams that are in “win now”mode and have a roster full of veteran players.

    The Canucks come to mind.

  16. pboy says:

    The Canucks always come to my mind too when I think about “real losers”.

    Great post DSF!

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