EDMONTON, AB - There is something to be said for feeling comfortable.
"It was unexpected when I got traded," Taylor Hall said Friday after the morning skate in Edmonton, a city he called home for six years. "Still to this day it's been a fun experience for me to get used to a new team and coaching staff and city … I can't complain."
Jersey with a lower body injury, skated for the first time on Thursday and again Friday.
Hall said things will feel different this time around as he faces his former team. He has a full year with the Devils under his belt, and this time returning to Edmonton the nerves have subsided.
"I'm just used to it," he said. "This was a special place for me to play. But coming back this time, I don't feel the same nervousness about the reception. I'm just here to try and help my team win a hockey game. And hopefully play well at the same time."
Playing well is something Hall has done 11 games into the season. He leads New Jersey in points with 15. He has also been a strong support for a fellow No. 1 overall pick Nico Hischier. The two have been playing on a line with Drew Stafford, and Hischier has appreciated every moment on and off the ice.
"It's really good for me," Hischier said. "He helps me a lot. He's been through what I'm going through right now. It's exactly what you need, in how you have to handle it. He gives me all the time little tips and little details, it's really good for me to have him on my line."
When the Oilers and Devils match up on Friday night there will be four No. 1 overall picks on the ice - Hall, Hischier, as well as Edmonton's Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Connor McDavid. Hischier is especially excited to see McDavid on the other side of the ice, a player he told the New Jersey Devils All-Access Podcast he was looking forward to playing against.
"He's probably the best player in the world," Hischier said with a smile. "To battle against him is going to be fun. He's really good and we got to make sure when he's on the ice we have tight gaps, and be on him."
Coach John Hynes provided injury updates following morning skate. Marcus Johansson is out with a concussion he sustained on his opening shift against the Vancouver Canucks on Wednesday. With Johansson out, Hynes will juggle the lines a bit and go with 11 forwards and seven defensemen against the Oilers. Stefan Noesen and Ben Lovejoy are healthy scratches. Cory Schneider gets the call in net.
Kyle Palmieri, who remains back in New Jersey with a lower body injury, skated for the first time on Thursday and again Friday.