The Edmonton Oilers were getting Stanley Cup contender buzz prior to the season yet more than a quarter the way through the year the team finds itself near the bottom of the NHL standings.
If the Oilers continue to struggle and management contemplates making a trade to shake things up, centre Ryan Nugent-Hopkins is a name that could come up.
“There was some talk of the Boston Bruins kicking tires,” Nick Kypreos said during the Headlines segment on Hockey Night in Canada Saturday night. “There’s also a lot of talk the Florida Panthers are looking for a top-six player.”
Nugent-Hopkins is coming off two rather mundane seasons, but in 23 games this year is second on the team in goals with eight and is tied for second in points with 17. The 24-year-old, whom the Oilers selected first overall in 2011, has three more years remaining on his contract.
“The problem is, of course, is his salary is still very high at $6 million,” Kypreos added. “But it’s a nice problem for the Oilers to have—that Nugent-Hopkins all of a sudden is making other people around the league notice him.”
Elliotte Friedman also said if the Oilers decided to sell off some assets that winger Patrick Maroon would likely garner a lot of interest from teams, including the St. Louis Blues.
The Oilers have lost four of five, including a disappointing effort against the Buffalo Sabres Friday night, and look to gain back some momentum Sunday when they visit the Bruins.