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Forecasting Ryan Nugent-Hopkins’ 2017-18

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What can we expect from RNH in 2017-18?

NHL: Edmonton Oilers at San Jose Sharks Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports

If you’ve spent some time talking to Oiler fans, you’ll quickly learn that the deal that sent Taylor Hall to New Jersey for defenceman Adam Larsson was a good one for the club. I’m also learning that a fair number think that sending Jordan Eberle to the Islanders for Ryan Strome is one that they had to make as well.

The trade winds, they likely haven't yet quieted.

Ryan Nugent-Hopkins is coming off a full season of play that saw him finish with 43 points (18-25-43) in 2016-17. If new Oiler Ryan Strome puts these kinds of numbers up, it would likely be hailed as a wild success. Ryan Nugent-Hopkins spent time on the second line and more than a few spells on the third line last year, and (through no fault of his own) I’m not sure he’ll be an Oiler next fall if he’s used in that position again.

The former first overall pick in the 2011 NHL Entry Draft, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins has an especially interesting season coming up. RNH had the sixth most ice time among forwards for the Oilers last year, and his 43 points was good for fifth in team scoring (Patrick Maroon was sixth overall with 42). I’m certain that the Oilers (and Nugent-Hopkins) would like to add about 20 points to that number. So how do you pump (clap) him up?

GETTING THE MOST OUT OF NUGENT-HOPKINS

A fabulous way to get Ryan Nugent-Hopkins’ numbers up? You already know the answer to that. Play him on the McDavid line. Seems to be the answer for everything nowadays. Cold? Put it on the McDavid line. Running behind a deadline? McDavid line. Nugent-Hopkins had 200 shots and boasted a 9% shooting percentage, which seems a little low. A little time on the 97 line can push those numbers up.

AN IDEA WORTH EXPLORING

An article worth reading is over at Oilers Nerd Alert. The wonderful Oilers Nerd Alert pointed out Nugent-Hopkins played almost 0 minutes with Connor McDavid this past year. Mark Fayne got more ice time with McDavid this past year than Ryan Nugent-Hopkins. Read that one again. Everybody loves Mark Fayne! No, but seriously. The Oilers need to explore putting Ryan Nugent-Hopkins alongside Connor McDavid, especially if Leon Draisaitl is about to set up shop on the second line.

WHAT CAN WE EXPECT FROM RYAN NUGENT-HOPKINS IN 2017-18?

This is fairly dependant on where you see Ryan Nugent-Hopkins in the lineup. Using RNH as a bottom six forward will keep his point total around what you saw last year. If the Oilers move Leon to 2C and someone like Ryan Strome or Jussi Jokinen starts the year at 3C, this could pave the way for Ryan Nugent-Hopkins to really make some hay.

Poll

Assume 82 games played. How many points does Ryan Nugent-Hopkins score in 2017-18?

This poll is closed

  • 4%
    under 40
    (49 votes)
  • 20%
    40-49
    (199 votes)
  • 49%
    50-59
    (485 votes)
  • 20%
    60-69
    (200 votes)
  • 4%
    70+
    (49 votes)
982 votes total Vote Now