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Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Calder Trophy Candidate?

 Could Ryan Nugent-Hopkins be as good as advertised? Is it possible, he is the missing ingredient to what stirs the greater success of Taylor Hall and Jordon Eberle? Can Nugent-Hopkins continue to elevate his game as the competition heats up with bigger and more veteran men? These are questions we can only guess at, but what we do know, is Ryan Nugent-Hopkins has only answered the skeptics questions with success his whole life.

 Right from his early beginnings, until last night, Ryan has done nothing to show even the greatest of skeptics that he is not a elite player. If Ryan plays beyond his 9 game stint he is sure to get, will he have enough elite level skill to become Edmonton's '1st Calder trophy winner'? I know it's early, I know, Hall was unable to do it, Tavares was unable to do it, no Oiler has ever done it. The competition for the Calder will be fierce this year. Should Nugent-Hopkins be sent back to Jr hockey for one more year, IMO , he would be a lock providing no injuries were to occur. However sending him back, may actually slow down his growth. I hear how some believe, being sent back to Jr can not hurt a players development, but there are many factors not taken into consideration when doing so. There are some (and only a few) that only increase and grow according to the level of talent they play with. I believe Ryan is one of those players. His game elevates as his competition elevates. That is not to say he should stay with the Oilers, I say let his game dictate if he is ready or not.

 People have said Nugent-Hopkins was able to score and play the way we see in the highlights in this video, only because he was playing against Jr's. That may be so, but he played that way as a rookie his first year at every level. Now entering this season, he played this way against other prospects at the rookie tourney in B.C. Now he continues to play the same way throughout his pre-season. Yes, we are getting closer to regular NHL competition, but my point is , he is only playing better as time goes on.

The praise this guy gets from veteran NHL players is amazing. He has already had praises from even Ryan Smyth saying how is vision is so much like 'Gretzky' on the ice. Taylor Hall has even come out now and said how he can play with the big boys. Eberle being more cautious with his words has pretty much said the same. he's a elite level talent, and his ability to think the game at a elite level, is even more important then his elite level skill. He can forecheck well, backcheck well, is incredible in puck pursuit and can come out of the corners with the puck against much larger and more veteran players. His ability to retrieve the puck back upon loosing possession is incredible. Ryan is not afraid of going into the tough places if needed. He is a total package, and the only question that remains, is he 'Calder Trophy' candidate material? Could there be a better candidate to bring home a trophy that has eluded the Oilers franchise their entire existence?

It's early, real early, but how can you not get excited about the future, when you see a game like you did last night out of a barely turned 18 year old player. Oh yeah! He just happens to be a EDMONTON OILER!

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  1. This is going to be an eventful and unreal season, even with or without RNH. I think he'll start with the Oil and play nine games then go down to the minors where he'll tear it up in junior and at the WJC!

    Cannot wait for October 9th!

    Go Oil!
    for more oilers analysis:

  2. Don't forget the best praise. Hemsky has said RNH is better than him.

  3. I see no way RNH going down as there would have to be a reason for it. He has given no reason for the Oil to send to Jr, and it can't be because of contracts. I must say have not heard Hemsky's comments. but if true shows us even more praise.


  4. Quote, "His ability to retrieve the puck back upon loosing possession is incredible."
    That is the big thing I have noticed with RNH. That ability to regain the puck, I've never seen anyone do it that well(there was that one guy). Within 2 seconds most of the time. Unreal. It's just beginning. Blentley

  5. What impresses me is how low he can get to the ice while gliding on the edge of his skates. It's like he is so bent over think his back would hurt. But at the same time his head isalways up, scanning everyone around him. Pretty cool to watch.



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