The Edmonton Oilers haven’t had a player break the 80-point plateau since Doug Weight did it in 2000-01. The way I see it, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, who was eight years old when Weight accomplished the feat, will be the next – likely this coming season, the CBA willing.

It’s been 11 seasons since Weight tallied 25-65-90 and the Oilers haven’t had a player bump past the 80-point mark since then, although Jordan Eberle took a good run at it with 76 points last season and Ales Hemsky, who has breached the 70-point mark three times, had 77 in 2005-06.

While Eberle and Taylor Hall (if he can cut down on the number of headers he takes into the boards) are obviously candidates to join the 80-point club, I see Nugent-Hopkins, who had 18-34-52 in 62 games as a rookie in 2011-12, as the likeliest to achieve it first.

Nugent-Hopkins, 19, reminds me more than a little bit of Weight in terms of substance and style – he’s smart, he’s quick and shifty on his skates without possessing blazing top-end speed, he has excellent vision and anticipation and has a knack of putting the puck where his wingers can do something with it. And there’s the number thing — 39 and 93. If Weight is a distant memory for you, here’s a video refresher

Those qualities aside, Nugent-Hopkins goes into 2012-13 with more firepower around him – Hall, Eberle, Hemsky and Nail Yakupov — on the power play and as potential linemates than Weight ever enjoyed during his distinguished tenure wearing the oil drop.


In pegging Nugent-Hopkins for 80 points, I’m not talking about "Reasonable Expectations," as defined in the series Lowetide provides ON readers. That’s a different measure – more of a bottom line. I’m talking about my expectations for the coming season – the top-end of what I believe Nugent-Hopkins is capable of as this point in his career.

I’m not using spreadsheets and a whole bunch (any) advanced statistical analysis here. The Bronte 5000, a Commodore 64 in the context of today’s technology, is simply not capable of processing it.

In simple terms, if you project the 18-34-52 numbers Nugent-Hopkins produced in 62 games as a rookie — .29 GPG, .55 APG and .84 PPG – straight across over 82 games, you get 24-45-69. Hey, Brownlee, that’s not 80 . . .

Of course, it’s not as simple as that and this is where my head begins to hurt – what about ice time, power play time, linemates, quality of competition, zone starts and all that other stuff (that goes into making an educated guess)? Insert sound of my brain flipping inside my skull here.


. . . While Nugent-Hopkins won’t get as many protected minutes as he did from Tom Renney last season, he will certainly play more than the 17:36 he averaged last season as the clear-cut No.1 center right out of the gate under Ralph Krueger.

. . . I don’t see anything unsustainable in the 13.4 shooting percentage had last season. It’s not so high (Eberle was at 18.9) a marked drop-off seems likely and not so low that I see huge room for improvement.

. . . I think the Oilers will score more goals than the 212 (including shootout wins) they had last season. How many more? If a much-improved power play can stay in the top-10, I don’t think 235-240 is unreasonable. RNH will be in on a greater share of those than he was last season.

Numbers aside, I like the way Nugent-Hopkins thinks the game and, like Eberle (and Weight), he has an understated competitive streak that drives him to prove doubters and critics wrong – the SIUTBOHC factor. Remember that fluke fall into the boards that cost him the Calder Trophy? Fuel.

On top of the ability to process the game and the I’ll-show-you streak, Nugent-Hopkins is smart. I’m not concerned he won’t be able to sneak up on anybody as a sophomore or that his name will be circled on white boards around the league. Yes, opponents have had a season to compile a book on Nugent-Hopkins. The flipside is he’s had a year to size them up, as well.

Move over, Douglas. RNH is on the way. I’d bet sooner than later.

Listen to Robin Brownlee Wednesdays and Thursdays from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. on the Jason Gregor Show on TEAM 1260.

    • That’s the best part about the internet. Just when you think that you have a problem, BAM, somebody comes along that makes you look like a normal guy.

      Sure, I might be frantically refreshing the pages on an Oiler themed hockey blogsite in August, but at least I havent deluded myself into thinking I have actually affected the way NHL games are being played.

  • I invented a Banana peeler once. Turns out people wouldnt buy it because “their own freakin hands” seemed to be working just fine for them.

    They had no respect for my New Peel System. It revolutionizes the peeling of Bananas by unlocking the untapped potential of the colour spectrum and its positive energy fliud like movements THAT WE ALL USE INTUITIVELY.

    I am no ordinary inventor, I dont ask, “What do we need?” or “How can I change lives?” Instead, I ask “How can I peel this G#d-D@mned Banana without getting my fingers ooky from the under side of the peel?” Well the New Peel System will do just that. It requires only the NPS tool…and a Banana. I’ve shown this tool to monkeys at the zoo and within minutes they Peeled more bananas than previous, just CHECK THE DATA. The zookeepers couldnt explain it but put any one of those smoking monkeys on a POLYGRAPH and they will spill the beans faster than you can Peel a Banana, WHICH WILL BE LIGHTNING FAST with the New Peel System.

  • a lg dubl dubl

    Im hoping the Oilers retire Weights #. Sure he didn’t get us the cup in his time here, but he was one h3ll of a leader, played his heart out and lead the team in points for a number of years. Last but not least he wore the logo with PRIDE.


  • to top it off in my second chess game ever I two moved an experienced player mostly because I understood the concepts of time and space as applied to a chess board and the capabilitys of the pieces

    Unfortunately I missed most of this thread, but I wanted to note that the comment above is far and away my favorite from this thread and has been underrated by all of you so far. Please give this comment its due or I too will invent a “special” hockey system.

    • Ha ha ha,i never really liked chess,my friend had to show me what every piece could do before our first game ,I learned what the pieces did in 20mins,lost a game to him,then two moved him,I realised I was lucky and refused the rubber match and never played another game in my life,but if you google chess two move win kasparov–you will see it was his favorite move.

      I am serious about the applications of time and space concepts on that board,I just had to know what the pieces could all do to know their limitations then find the shortest route out of the game.End the game in as fast a time as I could and cover as little space with the men as possible to do this.

      I wasnt really playing my friend I was playing the board and the dynamics of the game itself,my friend wasnt a focused concern the rest of the board we werent useing was.I wanted out of the game as fast as I could get there,so it was just a maze,like a puzzle as long as you see the parameters of the playing field and know the capabilitys of the pieces in all aspects,then its just a matter identifying the shortest route.This is what the NHS teaches players to do,to play the game from a new perspective.

      • I can’t believe I’m engaging ….but that’s not how chess works. Unfortunately you have to play an opponent.

        Winning in two moves is everyone’s favorite thing to do in chess, but it doesn’t mean you get to do it against anyone without a debilitating brain injury…even if your name is Kasparov.

        This whole discussion has passed so far beyond stupid that it’s circling back around to awesome.

  • Agreed…he will be the too dog as far as points go this year. Also any way you can find out what MY corsi numbers would project at the NHL level? I once scored 15 goals in bantam house league back in 1994…all arrows were pointing up.

  • MessyEH!

    You Sir have made me very drunk. At the start of your post… around the third NewAge System I decided I would take a drink
    Of my rum and coke every time you said NewAge System do I wound having 4 rum and cokes. So now I am drunk and angry. Do you know why good sir, well I’ll tell yeah. That is what rum does, it makes you drunk and Captian crazy kicks in. You are a liar sir. Everyone knows Stoll can’t read. It was Penner who stole your system.’or Green.

  • Bicepus Maximus - Huge fan boy!

    Had the N.A.S. been described in 3 paragraphs I might have been interested. Instead I am just offended. Don’t come back, whoever you are.

  • Quicksilver ballet

    All that’s missing here is the one time only offer of 10 CDs for three easy payments of $299.95 plus a nominal fee ($1,599) for shipping.

    Who’s the friggin’ crap-for-brains knucklehead who asked this kook for more details?

    • Wanyes bastard child

      Ummm… I believe that was you.

      #28 Robin Brownlee August 12 2012, 08:47PM
      +1 3 props


      Please provide us with more detail about the system you touched on.


  • vetinari

    RNH thinks the game at such a superior level and does have a lot of Weight-like qualities to him. I love the statistical articles other contributors have authored, however, I think that sometimes they miss the intangibles. Most careers go in arcs and are influenced by things such as coaches, line mates, injuries and personal matters (such as marriages, divorces, births, deaths, etc.) going on during a player’s season. These all affect a player’s potential. As for RNH, I will do ya one better: I predict he’ll be our best shot at the next 100 point player on our team. He’s smart, plays centre (most likely to get a touch on the puck), and is going to have some killer line mates for the next three seasons or more… all ingredients for a Sakic-like season.

  • The Soup Fascist

    The New Age System must be like the Flames “system”. Bore the other team into submission. Very effective.

    Dude seriously, 35 paragraphs. I have a blister on my scrolling thumb.