, the first pick of the 2011 Entry Draft, apparently has passed his first major test with the Edmonton Oilers
on the way to what he hopes will be an exhilarating NHL career.
Following a productive preseason, Nugent-Hopkins appears to be in line for a nine-game NHL audition. Before he plays his 10th game, the Oilers will have to decide if the center will stick with the big club or go back to his junior team, the Red Deer Rebels of the Western Hockey League.
Nugent-Hopkins, who was skating alongside Ales Hemsky
and Taylor Hall
in the team's final exhibition game, led the Oilers with 6 points, including 5 assists, in four preseason games.
The team's ninth game of the season is Oct. 27, at home against the Washington Capitals
"Ryan will start the season with us," Oilers coach Tom Renney told the Edmonton Journal. "We all understand the parameters there that he can operate within before we have to make a real concrete decision. Again, we'll do it a game at a time, but he has had a very good camp."