Edmonton Oilers player review and 2022-23 preview: Ryan Nugent-Hopkins
Photo credit:Perry Nelson-USA TODAY Sports
By Zach Laing1 year ago
Welcome to the 2021-22 season review and 2022-23 season preview player-by-player! In this, and other articles, I’ll be, well, reviewing the Edmonton Oilers 2021-22 season and previewing the 2022-23 season. You can read about the analytics behind my analysis here.
Ryan Nugent-Hopkins continues to be a jack-of-all-trades, but a master of none for the Edmonton Oilers. There isn’t quite one aspect of his game that jumps out above the rest, but boy, do the Oilers miss him when he’s not in the lineup.
For stretches this season Nugent-Hopkins was out of the Oilers’ lineup playing in just 63 of the 82 games played. Still, he scored 11 goals and 50 points in one of his more productive years in the NHL. The Oilers, however, just aren’t quite the same without him. The powerplay doesn’t click nearly the same and at 5×5, the Oilers miss him wildly, even if he doesn’t excel at a certain element of the game.
He is, however, an incredibly useful player who plays in virtually all situations. A bumper on the powerplay, he also finds time on the Oilers’ penalty kill and can play up and down the lineup. Anytime you can throw him out there 5×5 and feel comfortable doing so.
His value to the Oilers continues to be in a utility role and that’s exactly what we’ll see out of him again this year.
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Nugent-Hopkins’ underlying numbers took a dip this past season from where he’s been in the past, but it’s nothing to be too alarmed about. A one-off season of lower production isn’t the worst thing in the world who has been a pretty consistent player.
His isolated impact charts are far from ideal, either. Offensively his numbers were 11 percent below league average, while his defence was three percent below league average. Where he excelled was his ability to set up teammates, which he did at a six percent rate above league average, as well as his powerplay production which was six percent above league average.
Nugent-Hopkins is a player who has a ton of respect from Jay Woodcroft and the Oilers organization as a whole, and is likely destined for a support role in the middle-six. He’ll continue to see tons of time on the powerplay, and likely on the penalty kill, as well.
Zach Laing is the Nation Network’s news director and senior columnist. He can be followed on Twitter at @zjlaing, or reached by email at email@example.com.
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