NHL Notebook: Ryan Nugent-Hopkins the top powerplay specialist, Stelter family and Edmonton Oilers launch legacy fund and moe
Photo credit:Jamie Sabau-USA TODAY Sports
By Zach Laing1 month ago
There is one player above the rest when it comes to powerplay specialists in the NHL: Ryan Nugent-Hopkins.
This, according to Daily Faceoff’s Frank Seravalli, who wrapped up his Archetype series highlighting how effective Nugent-Hopkins has been.
Here’s some of what Seravalli wrote:
To be classified as a Power Play Specialist, this forward or defenseman must reliably and consistently create goals. And the first player that came to mind was Edmonton Oilers forward Ryan Nugent-Hopkins. Yes, he is also a defensively conscientious skater who frequently draws tough assignments, but he’s earning his paycheck as a critical piece to Edmonton’s vaunted power play unit. He is in-sync with Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl, flowing in and out of the bumper position, and able to seamlessly find teammates for incredible scoring chances often without looking. He is a power play maestro, even if he is far from the most dangerous player on the ice.
When researching Nugent-Hopkins’ impact on the power play, a few metrics stood out. Most power play specialists with similar skillsets had the power play account for 40 or more percent of their point production and they played somewhere in the neighborhood for 60 percent or more of their team’s total power play time.
The Ben Stelter legacy fund
The Edmonton Oilers and the Stelter family announced a legacy fund to honour the late superfan who passed away. Funds will go towards the fight to end cancer.
The first donations to the fund totalled $100,000 from Oilers captain Connor McDavid
“We want Ben’s name and his legacy to go on forever and I think this is the perfect way,” Ben’s father, Mike said via Global News.
“Ben had such a big heart, was so generous, whether he was buying toys for the Stollery to put into their treasure chest for other kids to come get after they get blood work or needles or do something hard, or buying things for the Kids with Cancer house or buying Christmas toys with his own money, picking them with thought, for Salvation Army at Christmas.
“We want to keep Ben’s generous spirit and his love going — to do what we can and do as much as we can for other families.”
Trade destinations for Boeser
It’s almost a lock that Brock Boeser will be off to a greener pasture at some point this season. It’s a rarity for someone who is just 21 games into a three-year deal, but alas…
Over at Daily Faceoff, Matt Larkin wrote about six possible trade destinations for Boeser — two of which being the Dallas Stars and New Jersey Devils:
Jason Robertson’s breakthrough into superstardom has changed the Stars’ identity. This is no longer the creaky veteran team that willed itself to the 2020 Stanley Cup Final using savvy and duct tape. The likes of Tyler Seguin and Jamie Benn are the bit players now. Left winger Robertson, center Roope Hintz, defenseman Miro Heiskanen and goaltender Jake Oettinger are the young franchise pillars now and have molded Dallas into a team with realistic odds of challenging for Stanley Cups over the next several years.So the Stars, who have quietly stocked up their farm system with some really nice steals in recent seasons, suddenly look like a threat to add a big name, and GM Jim Nill has already been rumored to be chasing another top-six forward. The Stars sit at just under $82 million in cap spending at the moment. They would need to send some money Vancouver’s way. What about starting with another underachieving 25-year-old in Denis Gurianov? He’s a fellow 2015 first-round talent who could use a fresh start. He has just one goal in 19 games and is a pending RFA. It has been reported that the Canucks are willing to take on a contract, so there could be a fit.NEW JERSEY DEVILS
Boeser’s name swirled in the trade rumor mill last season, too, before he’d signed his extension, and our own insider Frank Seravalli linked him to the New Jersey Devils. The idea at the time was for a team in transition to get a prime-year asset with term.Now, Boeser still looks like an intriguing fit in New Jersey, but for a very different reason. In 2022-23, the Devils are an elite Stanley Cup contender, the most dominant team in the NHL so far this season, and could see Boeser as a piece to put them over the top. Despite their powerhouse performance so far, their power play is among the league’s weakest, sitting 25th in the NHL. They view Alexander Holtz as a long-term PP1 trigger man, but Boeser could step into that role immediately.The Devils can view themselves as a win-now operation. They’d likely need to send salary Vancouver’s way in a Boeser deal but have plenty of mid-range, top-nine forwards they could include. Several are expiring assets, too, such as Miles Wood and Andreas Johnsson. They’d need to compensate the Canucks with significant pick and prospect capital to make such a trade fair, of course.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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