I’ve projected the Oilers’ forwards to score 22 more goals season over season—an impressive total but I think they’re capable based on three things. First, the maturation of Taylor Hall and the cluster kids. Nail Yakupov and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins should have recovery seasons, aiding that young cluster in a big way offensively. Second, the new arrivals have some real NHL ability—Pouliot, Purcell and even Leon Draisaitl should help the offense. Finally, I’m projecting Craig Ramsay’s offense to be far superior to the previous admin.
RE 14-15 FORWARDS
|RE TOTAL FOR 2014-15||983||193||316||509|
|LAST YEAR’S ACTUAL TOTALS||972||171||267||438|
The offense ends after Arcobello, I don’t think Edmonton is going to have three scoring lines this season. The top line (Hall-Nuge-Eberle) projects to score 87 goals, 45% of the forward group’s entire total. This compares with last season, when that trio scored 43% of the total goals by Edmonton’s forwards.
- The Draisaitl number reflects just how unsure we should be about him. The Nuge scored 52 points in 62 games as a rookie. However, he had a wider range of skills and was an expert skater. The Draisaitl is a completely different item. We’ll see. Big risk by the GM, I cannot understand the depth chart at center heading into such an important season.
- I badly missed on Nuge and Yak a year ago, and tempered my projection on Yakupov. In regard to Nugent-Hopkins, I decided his ability warranted this number and hope he can cover it. Nugent-Hopkins is central to the script in 2014-15.
- If even one of these kids trying to make it (Lander, Pitlick, others) that’s a big damn deal. Value contracts are missing from the $1M range for this team.