The season is 73% old today, we should get a clear view of risers and fallers based on performance over the first 60 games. The RE series is designed to surround ‘reasonable’ and not get ahead of itself. The formula (such as it is) combines the previous three season’s work along with a push or pull based on age, injury and slot in the batting order. Here are the Oilers top 10 scorers currently, their projections at the beginning of the year and the tsn ‘on pace’ number for comparison.
- Taylor Hall. RE Projection: 70, 37-45-82 (1.17); Current totals projected: 75, 28-51-79 (1.05). This is in the range, I’d bet Hall runs this up close (or past) my projection. It’s interesting to see the young man on a collision course with 50 assists—he is developing some outstanding skills we didn’t necessarily see on draft day. He is currently third in the NHL in 5×5/60, but remains on the outside looking in as an Olympian and All-Star. Ridiculous.
- Jordan Eberle RE Projection: 78, 28-37-65 (.833); Current totals projected: 81, 26-36-62 (.765). He’s five points off the RE pace, I’d say this is still in the range. It’s interesting to note that Eberle has been moved to the 2nd line and that could impact his final numbers.
- Ryan Nugent-Hopkins RE Projection: 62, 21-42-63 (1.02); Current totals projected: 80, 21-39-60 (.750). This is the Nuge’s third season, and he’s recovered nicely from the injury-riddled sophomore campaign. He’s off the pace I projected, for me the reasons are twofold: the power play hasn’t been as good as we thought it would be, and Nuge may not be the offensive player we had hoped for when he was selected. Still miles to go, but his scoring is off projections by 22 points. He may not be a top flight offensive center when all is written.
- David Perron RE Projection: 69, 20-24-44 (.639); Current totals projected: 78, 31-28-59 (.756). He’s ahead of the projection by nine points. Perron’s ability to score goals is a huge item and gives the skill lines another quality option. An absolute gem.
- Ales Hemsky RE Projection: 66, 11-5-36 (.545); Current totals projected: 74, 10-24-34 (.459). Hemsky is off the projection by six points, but he’s been playing much of the season with old pipes and rusty nails. 83 is having a helluva season.
- Sam Gagner: RE Projection: 82, 15-37-52 (.634); Current totals projected: 69, 9-26-35 (.507). Gagner is off his projection by 9 points, which is incredible considering the circumstances. If he does go to LA, expect a number of successful offensive seasons.
- Justin Schultz: RE Projection: 80, 13-28-41 (.513); Current totals projected: 74, 11-23-34 (.459). This is fairly close, 4 points off what I projected. Schultz is a gong show defensively this season, I really hope they can contain that chaos. If they can’t, he’s going to have a journeyman career.
- Nail Yakupov: RE Projection: 82, 29-23-52 (.634); Current totals projected: 77, 15-17-32 (.416). Yakupov had a horrible start to the season, but is finding the range now. Although he is 16 points off his projection, I’m confident he will close that gap. He fooled a couple of people this season.
- Ryan Smyth: RE Projection: 72, 12-16-28 (.389); Current totals projected: 72, 12-17-29 (.403). This is a match. Smyth’s offense has returned, and I wonder if they’ll bring him back in his current role (utility forward) in hopes he can do it one more year. Enjoy him, folks. When he’s retired we are going to miss him like mad.
- Boyd Gordon: RE Projection: 78, 5-15-20 (.256); Current totals projected: 76, 11-14-25 (.329). He is six points ahead of the projection, incredible considering the man’s zone starts and other circumstances. Gordon has been all that and more. Exceptional season.
I think Hall, Eberle, Schultz and Smyth are ‘in the range’ and would count Perron and Gordon as legit overachievers. I don’t think we could have foreseen Gagner’s malady, and Hemsky’s off but not by a lot considering his linemates. That leaves Nuge and Nail as the guys who are not delivering at levels reasonable.
The original RE is here, I’ll update the entire team at season’s end.