Ryan Nugent-Hopkins is the hot topic of discussion of late after seeing Gabriel Landeskog sign for a contract extension for $5.57 annually. Some fans think Nuge is worth more and some think the Edmonton Oilers would be crazy to give him anywhere near that. I for one am of the opinion that MacTavish should be giving Nuge the $6 Mill that Hall and Eberle got. Nuge will be a stud and his stats say that he’s already a better player than Landeskog and his $5.57 Mill. In their short careers Landeskog has averaged 0.585ppg and Nugent-Hopkins has averaged 0.745 ppg. Based solely on that Nuge should be getting more than Landeskog in a new contract and he probably will.
Most nights during the 2012-2013 season Nugent-Hopkins, at the ripe age of 19, was playing against first line competition. Sedin one night, followed by Kopitar, followed by Getzlaf the next night, all while playing with a bum shoulder. Not only did he play against the elite centers in the Western Conference but he was a plus player during that time. For his career Nuge is a +5. A plus player on a horrible team playing against all-stars isn’t too shabby in my books.
Nugent-Hopkins has an incredible hockey IQ and his ability to read the game is in the upper echelon amongst all N.H.Lers. His ability to steal pucks is sublime and very much like Detroit’s Pavel Datsyk. I’m not saying by any means that he is Pavel Datsyk but certainly has a very similar quality and style of play. Nugent-Hopkins is too smart not to be an elite player moving forward and you can see it in his game already even as such a young player in the league. The fact that he is able to play a 200 foot game already is very impressive and I have no doubt that he will be an elite first-line center in the very near future…maybe just maybe as soon as the 2013-2014 season.
Stats dictate that first overall picks are stud players. If you go back and look at forwards selected first overall in the N.H.L. they read like this, in order, as a line up:
Tavares Stamkos Kane
Crosby Ovy Nash
Kovalchuk Stefan Lecavalier
Not a bad stable of forwards to compare him to…
There is no reason to believe that Ryan Nugent-Hopkins won’t be a star in the very near future and watching a line of first overall picks in Hall, Nugent-Hopkins and Yakupov, all oiler fans must be salivating at what might occur in the very near future. How could this line not be a dominant force for years to come??? It’s almost impossible for them not to be an elite line for the next decade!
Keep the faith!!!