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The lockout has delayed the beginning of a new era in Edmonton, which will include the future success of former No. 1 overall draft pick Taylor Hall.
Hall has been a point-per-game player for the AHL's Oklahoma City Barons with seven goals and 13 assists in 17 games this season.
The Oilers winger missed 17 games during his rookie season and 21 games last year because of injuries, and now that he's healthy, Hall probably wants to resume his promising NHL career as soon as possible.
After signing a seven-year, $42 million contract in the summer, Hall will be under a lot of pressure to have a great season in 2012-13.
Hall has 95 points in 126 career games at the NHL level, and for him to keep improving at both ends of the ice, he needs more NHL experience alongside his talented Oilers teammates.