EDMONTON, Alberta (AP) - As impressive as Ryan Nugent-Hopkins has been in his first seven NHL games, the rookie sensation has no guarantee that he will remain in the big leagues all season.
Nugent-Hopkins leads rookies with five goals and seven points, but the 18-year-old center, taken by the Oilers with the No. 1 pick in this year's draft, still can't yet claim a permanent address.
With two games to go before Nugent-Hopkins reaches the nine-game threshold that would start his three-year, entry-level contract, fans are convinced the kid dubbed "The Nuge" should stick around.
But the Oilers haven't made a decision, and Nugent-Hopkins says he doesn't know if he will soon be sent back to his junior team - the Red Deer Rebels of the Western Hockey League.