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Saturday Sunshine: The Nuge

The Saturday Sunshine has been bright and shining every week of the summer for almost two months. The tough season behind us has us looking forward to the reasons to be positive every week leading into the season. This week is no different with a baby we have watched grow up before our very eyes. So let us slip that crispy sweet theme song and allow that glow to bathe us in the glory that is Ryan Nugent-Hopkins.

From the day Ryan came up to the stage to join the Edmonton Oilers back in 2011 Oilers fans have loved the one we call NUUUUGE. He is the Oilers longest-tenured player and there is definitely a reason for that.

We all survived the scare of the year this year as the rumours circle that we may see a trade of RNH for some defensive help. There was also the injury to his ribs that we had to struggle through:

Ryan Nugent-Hopkins out for 5-6 weeks with cracked ribs

In spite of it all, he ended up the third leading scorer on the Oilers last year and has been one of the most consistent players for the Oilers in his time with the team. You know exactly what you’re getting from the baby-faced killer the Nuge has become.

Season Team Lge GP G A Pts PIM +/- GP G A Pts PIM
2008-09 Red Deer Rebels WHL 5 2 4 6 0 -6
2009-10 Red Deer Rebels WHL 67 24 41 65 28 -4 4 0 2 2 0
2010-11 Red Deer Rebels WHL 69 31 75 106 51 29 9 4 7 11 6
2011-12 Edmonton Oilers NHL 62 18 34 52 16 -2
2012-13 Oklahoma City Barons AHL 19 8 12 20 6 7
2012-13 Edmonton Oilers NHL 40 4 20 24 8 3
2013-14 Edmonton Oilers NHL 80 19 37 56 26 -12
2014-15 Edmonton Oilers NHL 76 24 32 56 25 -12
2015-16 Edmonton Oilers NHL 55 12 22 34 18 -9
2016-17 Edmonton Oilers NHL 82 18 25 43 29 -10 13 0 4 4 2
2017-18 Edmonton Oilers NHL 62 24 24 48 20 10
NHL Totals 457 119 194 313 142 13 0 4 4 2

That said, when he has been tasked with changing what role he has with the team, he has always done what is needed. Over his time with the Oil, RNH has seen a shift on the team from winger depth to centre depth with McDavid and Draisaitl. The team needed a skilled winger to give Connor someone to gel with and the Nuge was able to make that change late into the season last year.

Joining Connor McDavid last year for the final 20 games or so, we saw the flashes of brilliance that leave us excited for more in the coming year should the McLellan blender leave it be for the start of the year. I believe that if we see the McNugeRattie combo for more than 50 games next year, we will have one of the top 5 lines in the league (which should go without saying having the best player on the planet on the line).

Also, lest we forget he’s a freaking Jedi…

Off the ice the Nuge has inspired us to tears and smiles all over the place.

From his love of all things horse:

To his way with doggos:

He is a gem that Oilers fans hope is in the orange and blue until forever.

Ryan Nugent-Hopkins is definitely a positive.

  • OriginalPouzar

    Amazing to think that this is “baby Nuge’s” 8th pro season, 8th.

    Frankly, although the prime for offensive minded players has moved earlier and earlier, I believe Nuge is just about to enter his prime. This is partially because a large portion of his game is predicated on 200-foot play and the PK – the “responsible parts of the game” generally take players a while to develop.

    Go Nuge.

  • BlueHairedApe

    I’m beginning to think that eventually the Nuge will become one of the top ten players on the Oilers of all time. Not so much for his points totals but for the incredible poise and teamwork he has displayed over the years. Through all the bad seasons the kid has been absolutely stellar and one of the few reasons I’ve kept cheering for this team over the past decade. Not very often you find a comparable to Smitty as far as dedication and heart goes but I think Nuge will one day be right there with him. The type of player that will eventually go deep into the playoffs and get all his teeth knocked out and not miss a shift.