Sunday, October 9, 2011

RNH's Play = A Big Middle Finger To His Detractors

Scoring the Oilers lone goal in their season opener, setting up many scoring chances with pin point passing, and showing that he can hang in there against bigger/stronger players.

Yes he was brutal in faceoffs and he will have to work on that part of his game, but it's much more forgivable when he's playing a two way game and creating a significant percentage of his teams offense against a playoff caliber club even without Malkin and Crosby.

After months of hearing that he's not big enough, strong enough, or as good as past high lottery picks, RNH came out of the gates with a fury. Better than his teammate Taylor Hall started last year as a matter of fact. Nugent-Hopkins doesn't get his just due, but if he keeps his level of play high people will have to sit up and take notice.

I've been saying all summer that people have sold the kid short, comparing him to Sam Gagner, saying that his upside is 60ish points, saying that there's no way that he could be ready for the NHL at 175lbs., saying that he's well below recent 1st overall picks, that he'll be the weakest since Erik Johnson. Meanwhile I've said that he will be like Patrick Kane except much better defensively and grittier.

While there maybe flashier recent 1st overall picks, RNH will be a franchise player, he is not some second rate talent. Add to this, the kid will continue to fill out and as a result will become stronger and faster and you have a player that could really dominate the game on both sides of the puck.

It takes a number of different skill sets to make up a team, and RNH's skill set will be every bit as instrumental in winning (and maybe even more so) than Hall's. One thing is for sure, the Oilers rebuild is right on track with a pair of soon to be elite forwards. Now if only Gagner could = RNH like some have said would be the case, we could have three franchise forwards.

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