Youngsters Showing Star Quality in Edmonton
Taylor Hall, Jordan Eberle and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins. Surely you know them, they are the future of hockey’s Edmonton Oilers. If you haven’t heard of these kids, get used to them, they will be household names soon enough. Eberle, born in Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada, is 21 years old. Hall was born in Calgary, is 19 years old and was last year’s first overall draft pick. This year’s top pick, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, hails from Burnaby B.C. and is only 18. Yeah, I know what you’re thinking, they’re only kids, but on the ice they show talent and poise that takes years of practice and the best is yet to come.
So far this season Hall, Eberle and RNH have four, three and five points respectively. The Oilers have played five games, but Hall was missing in one of the contests. That makes Hall and Nugent-Hopkins point-per-game players. I know it doesn’t sound incredibly impressive, and it’s early in the year, but consider this – The Oilers have scored only nine goals this year. A 10th was tallied for a shootout win. RNH has four of those goals, including his first career hat trick. Hall’s four points came in games that totalled eight goals altogether. That credits him with 50% of the Oiler markers in those games. Eberle has shown great playmaking ability and all three players are posting a plus rating even with a 2-3 team record.
Take a drink, digest, and now try to wrap your head around what these kids will be pulling off when they’re in their prime. That’s just around the corner, well, maybe eight years away! Regardless, I am seriously considering subscribing to the Sportsnet Oilers channel on my Bell Satellite just so I don’t miss any of the action that is sure to come. The Oilers do have the option of sending Nugent-Hopkins back down to the little leagues, but this would be nothing short of insanity. Keep him up, allow time for the trio to work magic and let them get used to the game in the NHL.
In closing, you really have to love what the future in Edmonton holds. It will certainly boast a ton of skill and excitement. I’m thinking, as long as the Oilers can hold on tightly to these young guns, that they will have the best line in the NHL five years from now. Hopefully Edmonton can develop a supporting cast worthy of this future super line. If they can, they could reach a plateau that rivals the 1980’s Gretzky-era Edmonton Oilers. While that may seem next to impossible, sometimes the unimaginable can happen. Either way the skies are blue and expectations are lofty for this creative trio of young Canadian superstars.
And that is the last word.