24-Year-Old Center – Edmonton Oilers
Ryan Nugent-Hopkins Contract Information:
Signed a seven-year, $42 million extension with the Oilers in September of 2013.
Nugent-Hopkins grabbed an assist and a pair of shots in Friday's Game 5 loss to Anaheim.
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Ryan Nugent-Hopkins: Past News Updates ( ▲ View most recent update )
RotoWire's Preseason Outlooks
Nugent-Hopkins’ game will actually be helped, not hurt, by the arrival of Connor McDavid. Think of it as a 1A/1B situation, at least in the short term. The Oil can now effectively split up its top-heavy forward corps and work with pairs. RNH and Jordan Eberle are a natural fit, and so are McDavid and Taylor Hall. And the trio of RNH, Eberle, and Benoit Pouliot was especially impressive late in 2014-15. Nugent-Hopkins has finally started to fill out that slender frame, and that should help him navigate the rugged Western Conference a little easier. Consistent linemates in a more structured system could deliver career totals in goals and points. Add it all up, and you’ve finally got a guy who deserves to be drafted where he’s been picked in the past.
Nugent-Hopkins will anchor what could be one of the best young lines in hockey (RNH, Jordan Eberle and Taylor Hall) this season. That being said, RNH needs to not only stay healthy, but produce from the get-go if that line is to reach its full potential. Despite a wealth of talent, RNH still has yet to score more than 19 goals or record more than 56 points in a season. He won't be drafted among the top 10 centers, but he certainly has the upside to end up there eventually. Just not this year. Sixty points are possible, but a big jump in his production is more likely to come in 2015-16. And only you know where a 55- or 60-point center with a painful plus-minus fits in your format.
RNH was the top pick in the 2011 draft and has yet to fully live up to his billing. He underwent shoulder surgery in April and while he is expected to be 100% healthy prior to training camp, that's the kind of injury that could give fantasy players cause for concern. The good news is that Nugent-Hopkins plays on one of the better lines in the NHL and should produce good fantasy points just by osmosis. But he would benefit by being just a little more selfish and shooting the puck more rather than always trying to dish out helpers to his linemates, Taylor Hall and Jordan Eberle. He's not a true number one center yet, but there's still time for that. He'll have a good season and should take a step to the 65-point level.
The future is so bright for Nugent-Hopkins that he should wear shades. The top pick in the 2011 Entry Draft did not disappoint in his rookie season, scoring 18 goals and 52 points. RNH should only get better with experience and has plenty of offensive firepower to play alongside Jordan Eberle and Taylor Hall, and possibly even the top overall pick from this season, Nail Yakupov. He is a player to target earlier, rather than later, in fantasy drafts as he will be one of the key players that will lead Edmonton back to respectability.
The first overall pick in this year's draft, Nugent-Hopkins has great vision and will be a tremendous playmaker in time. That time, however, may not be the beginning of this season as he is only 170 pounds and will need to beef up in order to take the pounding that comes along with playing in the NHL. He is a player to remember in dynasty leagues who will be playing on a line with Taylor Hall before long.
Agreed to terms on a three-year, entry-level deal with the Oilers in July 2011.