Adrian Dater is really high on the Oilers' chances in 2013. In his inaugural power rankings on Sports Illustrated's website, Dater ranks the Oilers 3rd, just behind the Penguins and Rangers. His explanation:
Why the reason for Oil optimism? Because Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Taylor Hall, Jordan Eberle and newcomer D-man Justin Schultz all played regularly during the lockout in the AHL and will be that much further along than the players who were limited to informal skates or shinny matches for charity.
And what of the Oilers' horrifying defense?
Granted, big questions remain in goal and defense, but what an offense this should be.
So, like Oilers' management (and fans!) Dater ignores a significant portion of the roster because of Young Gunz!™ The offense is certainly dynamic, but the Gunz!™ haven't figured out their own end and even Sidney Crosby and Ebgeni Malkin couldn't overcome a lack of defense early in their careers.
More power to Dater if he's right, but expecting a team to take a 35-point leap forward is a bit much.