The Edmonton Oilers
are hoping that Ryan Nugent-Hopkins
' success in junior hockey carries over into his NHL career -- even though there are no guarantees that it will start this fall.
The Oilers took Nugent-Hopkins with the No. 1 pick in the Entry Draft, and they hope he'll be ready for a regular role at age 18 -- just as Taylor Hall
was for Edmonton last season. Hall, the No. 1 pick in the 2010 Entry Draft, went through some growing pains but was playing some of his best hockey when an ankle injury ended his season prematurely. He finished with 22 goals and 42 points in 65 games.
The two previous No. 1 picks, Steven Stamkos
(2008) and John Tavares
(2009), both look like they'll go on to long and successful careers after entering the NHL immediately after being drafted as 18-year-olds. Stamkos had 21 goals as an 18-year-old, but his 96 goals in the past two seasons are the most in the NHL, while Tavares is coming off consecutive 20-goal seasons with the New York Islanders
and shows signs that he's capable of a lot more.