The Oilers just announced that Ryan Nugent-Hopkins "will be sidelined three to four weeks with a left shoulder injury." The rookie was having a stellar season, and to have it be put on hold by a fluky fall into the boards has to be devastating for him.
Prior to the season many wondered if he could handle the size and strength of NHL D-men, and he proved that wasn’t an issue. This was as unlucky of an injury as I’ve seen in awhile, and the only silver lining is that when he returns it should be a hell of a race down the stretch for the Calder trophy.
Nugent-Hopkins currently has a 7-point lead over New Jersey’s Adam Henrique 35-28 in rookie scoring, while Craig Smith is ten points back and Matt Read trails by 13. No D-men have had standout rookie campaigns. The only goalie with a chance is Jhonas Enroth and he’s started 16 games and is 8-7-2 with a 2.49 GAA and .921 SV% in Buffalo. I’m not sure he’ll play enough games to get serious consideration.
If "The Nuge" can return in three weeks he’ll miss ten more games, and have lots of time to stay in the race for the Calder trophy.