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Nugent-Hopkins says Oilers power play will be better

NHL.com @NHL

Ryan Nugent-Hopkins expects the Edmonton Oilers to improve on the power play this season.

The addition of forward Connor McDavid, who was the No. 1 pick of the 2015 NHL Draft, and a successful final 35 games of last season are the 22-year-old center's biggest reasons for optimism.

"I think as the year went on and near the end of the season, we really picked up our power play," Nugent-Hopkins told the Oilers website Thursday. "We started scoring and just had the confidence to go out there and get the job done. For whatever reason, that was something we were lacking at the start of the year.

"With a guy like [McDavid] coming in too, that will ignite us a little more hopefully. We should be a team with a really strong power play and we've got to get back to that."

The Oilers power play finished 19th in the NHL (17.7 percent) last season, but that was after going 14 percent prior to the All-Star Game. Edmonton was fourth in the League (23.6 percent) after the break.

New coach Todd McLellan, who coached the San Jose Sharks for the past seven seasons, should also help the Oilers power play. The Sharks finished in the top 10 in the NHL with the man-advantage in six of seven seasons under McLellan, including No. 2 in 2010-11 and 2011-12.

Right wing Jordan Eberle's six power-play goals led the Oilers last season. Nugent-Hopkins scored two of his 24 goals on the power play.

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