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Taylor Hall may struggle with learning how to play the center ice position this season.
The Oilers are asking a lot of Taylor Hall to begin the 2013-14 season. With injuries to two of the club’s top center icemen, Hall has been asked to switch from his natural left wing position and fill in down the middle of the ice.
Hall certainly has the speed and the skill to be able to make the switch, and if he can continue to learn the art of winning faceoffs, the position change could prove extremely beneficial in the long run.
However, as the opening game against the Winnipeg Jets highlighted, Hall has a lot to learn about the subtleties of the position. Hall was responsible for a number of egregious turnovers that may not have been so costly had they not been down the middle of the ice.
If Hall doesn’t find a way to play a little more of a conservative passing game in his own zone, while maintaining his defensive responsibilities then it could be a long season for Hall and for the Oilers.
Hall has the sheer ability to be able to generate his own scoring chances but may struggle out of the gate as he adapts to a new position. Hall should still be able to generate around 25-30 goals this season, and about 65-70 points once all of the Oilers players get healthy and he can switch back to the wing.