Kukla's Korner Hockey

Kukla's Korner Hockey

On Ryan Nugent-Hopkins' importance to the Edmonton Oilers

08/14/2015 at 10:23am EDT

From Sportsnet's Mark Spector:

It’s the middle of August, and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins already knows what it’s going to be like for an Edmonton Oiler this coming season. At a media availability at an Oilers hockey school, almost every question asked of Nugent-Hopkins riffed off of the incoming star Connor McDavid.

“A big thing for me coming into the league was how much different it is on the defensive side of things compared to junior. If anything, I’m going to try to help him out with that side of things,” Nugent-Hopkins said. “He’s a pretty gifted offensive guy, so I don’t think he’ll have any problem with that.”

RNH was a No. 1 overall pick himself, back in 2011. “It seems like a long time ago, but these four years, they’ve gone by pretty fast. It’s hard to believe I’m going into my fifth year.”

You know what else is hard to believe? Only one forward in the NHL — John Tavares at 20:40 — played more minutes per night than Nugent-Hopkins’ 20:38 in the 2014-15 campaign. Here are a few other stats you likely were unaware of when it comes to the guy who is, for now, the Edmonton Oilers’ first-line centre and one the emerging stars in the game today:

• 22 of RNH’s 24 goals last season came at even strength. That’s more five-on-five goals than Patrick Kane (21), Jonathan Toews (20), Evgeni Malkin (19) and Sidney Crosby (18).

• 41 of his 56 points came at even strength, more than Anze Kopitar (40) and Patrice Bergeron (39), and just five behind Toews.

Continued...

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Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.

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