What can one say about Taylor Hall that hasn’t already been said?
Taylor Hall, of the most points in a single season by an Oiler since Dougie Weight graced the ice in Edmonton on a regular basis.
Taylor Hall, of the impossibly high mid-season Individual Points Percentage.
Taylor Hall, of the divided Corsi% in 2013/2014.
Taylor Hall, of the sixth most total points in the NHL in 2013/2014.
Taylor Hall, of the most points per game (1.08) by any left winger over the last two seasons.
He’s a mover and a shaker—the beat that drives this hockey team—and one of these days the rest of the roster is going to start drafting behind him and take this franchise out of the musty basement.
While in the previous edition of the Top 25 Under 25 Jonathan Willis saw fit to rank Ryan Nugent-Hopkins ahead of Hall, this time around the feeling is unanimous: Taylor Hall is the best the Oilers have got.
The good news for Hall is that the number two player on our list, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, has looked sharp as a tack this preseason after coming into camp a full ten pounds heavier. And while few expected the third member of the Oilers’ top offensive unit, Jordan Eberle, to maintain his close-to point per game production from 2011/2012, one gets the feeling that once one of Nuge or Hall goes supernova, the other first overall pick will shortly follow.
In his RE 14-15 series, Lowetide predicted that Taylor Hall would continue his trend upward with 33 goals and 50 assists for 83 points in a projected 73 games. It was a conservative estimate, LT noted:
"The possession stats (as broken down by Dellow) have me hedging the bet. Hall’s impact on the score sheet while he was on the ice was phenomenal, but is it replicable? Is the flow of the river fixable under Dallas Eakins system? We need to see some proof."
Over at Oilers Nation, using a combination of projected usage, games played, age-adjusted scoring and shooting percentage, Jonathan Willis projected Hall to score 28 non-empty net goals for Edmonton this season.
In last night's opener, Hall and his linemates got the most offensive zone starts after the Arcobello line, and finished at the very top of roster in terms of CF%, with Hall completing the game at 73% at even strength (stats courtesy of War on Ice). Despite failing to close on Giordano on the first Flames goal of the game, Hall got on the score sheet himself with a 5-on-3 power play goal and finished with four shots on net. He looked to be his usual self all night.
I’m going to go out on a limb and say that, if RNH is feeling as good as it looks like he is, then Hall could very well eclipse the numbers projected by LT and Willis in 2014/2015.
The Oilers have a difference maker in Hall, one of the best left wingers—if not the best—in the game today. And man is he a joy to watch.
Count your blessings, Oilers fans. Taylor Hall is among them.