The Edmonton Oilers are reportedly close to an extension with forward Ryan Nugent-Hopkins. This is the first of several offseason moves. Expansion and free agency are fast approaching for the hopefuls from Alberta. The deal is in the realm of eight years with an annual cap hit of $5.125 million and a (reported) full no-movement clause. Elliotte Friedman first reported the news Tuesday morning, with TSN’s Ryan Rishaug
Oilers and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins set to announce a new 8 year 41 million dollar deal today. Includes a no movement clause.
— Ryan Rishaug (@TSNRyanRishaug) June 29, 2021
Oilers Extend Ryan Nugent-Hopkins
Nugent-Hopkins wasn’t as superb in 2020-21 as he has been before, but he still turned in a solid campaign with 16 goals and 35 points in 52 games. That translates to a respectable .67 points per game. The former first-round selection also posted excellent possession metrics with a 56.6 percent Corsi For and 11.3 relative Corsi at all strengths. It seems as though Nugent-Hopkins was a victim of some bad luck given the underlying stats. The lack of raw production in a shortened season shouldn’t concern anyone.
The Oilers drafted Nugent-Hopkins first overall in the 2011 Draft and he has been a strong player for them from the beginning. He has failed to post fewer than 12 goals or 34 points once and that came in a short 2012-13 campaign due to a lockout. Overall, the British Columbia native has 185 goals and 478 points in 656 regular-season games. That is sixth among all 2011 draftees behind such luminary talents as Nikita Kucherov.
What Comes Next
Nugent-Hopkins was the first priority for the Oilers’ front office this offseason. They can now turn their attention to either re-signing some of their other pending free agents. Tyson Barrie was a great contributor, but the organization may also hold until things become more clear after the upcoming Seattle Kraken expansion draft. There isn’t a wealth of talent in Edmonton’s cupboard, so this might be the only significant extension before free agency. They have roughly $21 million in cap space until the official number for this contract is announced. It would not be surprising if the team makes additional external acquisitions as the summer progresses.
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