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.

    • justDOit

      That’s exactly what I’ve been thinking – what is it with shoulders and this club? Grier used to pop his back in on the bench they were so bad, but I don’t remember hearing anything about his shoulders after he had moved on to other teams.

  • Mike Krushelnyski

    Well don’t fear folks, with the loss of RNH, we have the stellar Josh Green! Just look at what Renney has to say about him!

    NHL_Oilers Edmonton Oilers
    “This is a guy who can really help us.” -Renney on Josh Green

    Help with what Tom? Making sure that we for sure finish in the bottom 5?

  • Oilers4ever

    Hopkins currently has a 7 point lead on a guy from New Jersey who plays with a team that does not score a lot of goals… here’s to hoping the next two guys in the list (Smith with Nashville and Read with Philly) go into a tailspin in the next 3 weeks…everyone knows if Nuge was healthy for the whole year this would end up being a one horse race.. its just going to fire him up to get more points… Hall would have won this last year if he didn’t get injured.. it would be a shame to miss it again strictly cuz of injury when we have the best player…

    • Talbot17

      um…He plays ona line with Kovalchuk and Parise…who are starting to heat up. I dont see RNH winning the Calder unless he comes back and can average a point per game pace.

      • Have to disagree. Skinner is the best pure offensive player but if you watch him on the ice if he isn’t scoring he’s not really doing much of anything else. Seguin and Hall are by far better players overall with their athleticism and more well-rounded skill sets. Hall is also on a team where he hasn’t really clicked with any linemates yet. While Skinner has Staal and Seguin has Bergeron. Staal and Bergeron are two of the top complete centers in the league along with Datsyuk, Toews, Brad Richards, and Kopitar.

    • Jason Gregor

      They score the same amount of goals as the Oilers. Devils have scored 106 in 39 games while the Oilers have scored 107.

      Henrique has 21 points in his last 25 games…He is heating up…

      When RNH comes back it should be a great race.

      • I’m not sure RNH even needs to win the rookie scoring race to win the Calder Trophy.

        He’s 18 and he’s easily the most dynamic rookie in the league. Henrique is turning 22 and, while there’s no doubt he’s a very good prospect, he hasn’t captured the imagination of fans (and voters) like RNH has.

        RNH creates a buzz. He’ll get the votes.

      • Crash

        Streaks are funny things.

        While Henrique may have 21pts in his last 25 games he only has 2 pts in the last 5 and zero in the last 3.

        So maybe he’s cooling off again.

        If he starts to struggle he could very well be replaced on the top unit with a recovering Travis Zajak.

        Craig Smith has hit the wall big time and his ice time has been reduced….Matt Read I’m not too sure about.

        In any event with a 7 point lead, I agree with you….RNH will be right in the thick of things…I get this feeling there isn’t a rookie out there that’ll be able to match RNH point for point in the 2nd half.

  • This lack of Nuge has some serious potential to make the Oiler powerplay a lot less exciting.

    I suppose, though, many teams had caught on to the Nuge element and, just prior to his injury, were starting to key in on him on their PKs by taking away his time and space.

    Either way, it sucks the big one.

    In related news, is that Trevor Linden in those Clearly Contact ads over there? ———–>

  • I have to say that Adam Larsson is doing well in NJ as well…as far as defencemen go, he’s the top rookie this year. He’s tied for the lead in rookie d-man points and plays almost 22 minutes a game. The one negative is the -11…while I am still glad we got Nuge over Larsson, we can’t discount him out of the Calder race as he’s quietly doing very well in NJ.

    Here’s hoping for a quick recovery and a long health career for Nuge though…he had a small slump going before he was out, now he’ll have to earn his spot again…and you all saw what he can do when it’s on the line for him!

    Go Nuge!

  • Henrique wasn’t playing on the PP early in the season but now is on their second unit.

    As you might expect, he’s picked up the pace and has narrowed the gap from 14 points to 7 in a little over a month.

    He’s actually outscored Hopkins at even strength pretty much all season.

    5V5 P/60
    Hopkins – 2.02
    Henrique – 2.16

  • Very sad news…….but the rest will probably do him some good. This kid has had a very busy year and getting a little rest will probably help him down the stretch.

    There is no doubt he can accomplish whatever he wants in this league, so why take the chance with a re-injury just to win the Calder.

    True Oil fans know he is a winner, even without the Calder on his shelf.

    The Nuge is Huge!