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Photo Credit: Walter Tychnowicz-USA TODAY Sports

Nugent-Hopkins could return Saturday against the Rangers

Oilersnation columnist Jason Gregor asked Todd McLellan about Ryan Nugent-Hopkins status after last night’s loss. “He is above 50% chance to play. He is feeling better. We’ll see how the next two days go,” answered McLellan. Nugent-Hopkins could be returning to the lineup as soon as Saturday when the Oilers take on the New York Rangers. Nugent-Hopkins (fractured ribs) has been on the shelf since January 13th after taking a big hit in Vegas against the Golden Knights.

It’s been a strange month and a half for Ryan Nugent-Hopkins as he’s missed the last 18 games with the rib injury sustained after taking a hit from Brayden McNabb. At the time of injury, RNH was the Oilers’ leading goal-scorer (16) and was on pace to set a career high in goals before suffering the setback. Initial reports were that he had suffered a bruised sternum and would not miss much (if any) time, but the news changed after the Oilers’ bye week.

With the Oilers out of playoff contention, it would be wise of them not to rush Nugent-Hopkins back and ensure that his ribs are fully healed before reinserting him back into the lineup. Unfortunately, the team is playing out the stretch as spoilers and would be best served to be as patient as possible with #93’s rib injury. But according to Todd McLellan, Nugent-Hopkins is “over the 50% mark” to play on Saturday.

NUGENT-HOPKINS’ YEAR SO FAR

Season GP G A P +/- PIM PPG PPP SHG SHP GWG OTG S S%
2017-18 46 16 15 31 -4 20 4 7 1 1 1 1 106 15.1
NHL Career 441 111 185 296 -46 142 26 97 1 2 14 4 993 11.2
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Source: Todd McLellan, Oilers Twitter Account, 3/1/2018 – 9:58 pm MST

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