The Best Attribute of Each Young Star from the Edmonton Oilers
The Oilers have been fortunate over the past few seasons, being able to select some of the top talent available in recent NHL entry drafts, but what is perhaps most unique is that each one of their young stars has differing strengths that help the Oilers' dynamic offense.
Here is a look at the best attribute of each young star from the Edmonton Oilers.
Jordan Eberle: Hands
Jordan Eberle perhaps has one of the best sets of hands in the NHL, which comes in handy for the undersized forward who utilizes his amazing stick-handling ability to create some glorious scoring chances not only for himself but also for his teammates.
Eberle isn’t the biggest player on the ice, but often his determination and ability to stick handle around opponents sets him apart on the ice.
Thanks to his talented set of mitts, Eberle also has one of the most dangerous backhand shots in the game today, a move that he often uses to undress defenders and score top-shelf goals on helpless goaltenders.
Nail Yakupov: Shot Release
Thanks to a lightning-quick shot release and a seemingly natural ability to score goals, Nail Yakupov has garnered comparisons to another former Sarnia Sting player who, like Yakupov, was selected first overall in Steven Stamkos.
For all the talented young forwards currently on the Edmonton Oilers roster, Yakupov may be the most offensively gifted of them all.
While comparisons to Stamkos may not be fair to the young Russian, the similarities are already starting to show.
When Yakupov found himself on the ice during power-play situations last season, he demonstrated a devastating one-time shot release, much like the one utilized by Stamkos in Tampa Bay.
Yakupov may not have the breakout second season that Stamkos had, but thanks to an incredibly quick release, and a desire to put up points, "Yak City" should get more than his fair share of goals in the years to come.
Ryan Nugent-Hopkins: Playmaking Ability
Ryan Nugent-Hopkins still has a lot of growing to do in order to be a dominant center iceman in the NHL, but his playmaking abilities are undeniable.
RNH has the ability to score goals, but it is ability to find his teammates that sets him apart from the rest of his peers.
Though slender, RNH uses his dynamic hockey IQ to avoid taking punishing hits, all the while managing to control the puck and create significant offensive chances.
This playmaking ability also makes Nugent-Hopkins a vital piece of the Edmonton Oilers’ power play.
Even at less than 100 percent after sustaining a shoulder injury, RNH was one of the better players on the Oilers team this past season. Edmonton needs a healthy Nugent-Hopkins to assert himself as a legitimate No. 1 center if the team is to finally end its seven-year playoff drought.
Taylor Hall: Speed
It is hard to narrow down the single best attribute when writing about Taylor Hall, as he has started to demonstrate that not only does he have the three essentials (speed, strength and shooting ability) necessary to succeed in the NHL, but he also possesses the intangibles, such as heart, dedication and passion for the game.
But if you had to narrow down the top attribute, speed is Hall’s primary weapon.
Hall is one of the fastest skaters in the NHL, and he uses his speed to create dynamic scoring chances as well as to backtrack into his own zone for defensive responsibilities.
Justin Schultz: On-Ice Vision
Justin Schultz may not be the most reliable defender in his own zone, but after all, he is only entering his second season and first full 82-game season in the NHL.
What Schultz does possess, however, is on-ice vision that is far beyond his years.
Schultz is a natural offensive contributor, and the fact that he sees the play develop so well allows him to position himself correctly and best capitalize on offensive opportunities.
This vision also helps Schultz to not panic when handling the puck in his own zone, leading to excellent breakout passes for his forwards.