The Edmonton Oilers are one of my favorite teams. Since I watched Taylor Hallget drafted, I watched year after year, hoping they would hit the playoffs, which they never did. This disappointed me, but to this day I still watch and hope that they do. They have a lot of talent, but the problem is it was mostly offensive talent. This year they added a key player, and he is one of my three projections for the Oilers’ three explosive players this season.
Ryan Nugent-Hopkins is a name everyone has heard. He is a great offensive player, especially playing next to Jordan Eberle and Taylor Hall. Those three are nearly perfect. Last season, Nuge recorded on 24 points in his 40-game season. 20 of these points were assists, and the team needs someone strong who can assist their goal-scorers. I predict that he can rack up at least 30 points this season. I would like to push it to say he could produce 40 or 45, but I don’t want to overdo it.
Andrew Ferenceis the new guy in Edmonton. The Edmonton native was part of the Stanley Cup runner-up Boston Bruins, where he tore up the competition. His +9 rating in the regular season was good, and this year he can be the backbone for this younger squad. He has the experience that Edmonton needs on defense. If Ference plays the game right, I have no doubt that this Oilers team can hit the playoffs. This will be one player to watch throughout the season for sure.
Devan Dubnyk recorded a 14-16-6 season last year with 2 shutouts. He was the starting goalie over Nikolai Khabibulin. Even though I’m a big Khabibulin fan, I was happy to see he went back to Chicago. Now I can watch Dubnyk start over someone I don’t really know. I think he can produce a lot more wins than this, and with a strong defender like Ference, I know Dubnyk will play great this season. He will be the Sergei Bobrovsky from last year of this season.
This is who I think will be the big stars to watch for on the Oilers’ squad. Who do you think will be great this year? Tweet us @TMMotS and me personally @NardoneDylan. Email us any questions or comments at [email protected].