The Oilers top line started as Nail Yakupov and Jordan Eberle centred by Ryan Nugent-Hopkins. But as the game wore on, Head Coach Dallas Eakins tinkered with the lineup, and third-line winger Curtis Hamilton got bumped to the top with Eberle and Nugent-Hopkins.
Hamilton, a second-round pick in 2010, showed he’s a hard worker and played well in his promotion. After battling adversity with knee injuries, Hamilton deserved the opportunity.
“He needs it,” Eakins said. “You cheer for kids like that because he’s been hurt a lot, he comes in, he’s worked hard over the summer and that’s another one where it’s like, ‘alright, let’s throw him up there with two very good NHL players and see how he responds.’”
“When we shook (the lineup), I felt like everybody started to respond a little bit and I’m sure that’s exciting for Curtis to be able to play with those two guys.”