The rookies in Edmonton are really starting to score some goals. Taylor Hall finally got his first NHL career goal which came from a tip in off of a point shot. He then silenced his critics once again the following game by scoring again, via a snap shot while streaking down the right wing. Maybe now that the monkey is off his back we can start seeing small flashes of brilliance from him. Jordan Eberle has also been dumping them in the net at a decent pace, making him an early candidate for rookie of the year. It doesn’t hurt that they have been playing with Oilers’ captain Shawn Horcoff either, but the veteran also seems to be benefiting from his new line of youthful mates as well; Horcoff has four goals already this year and is off to one of his better starts in a while.
Let’s not forget about Magnus Paajarvi. He has also been lighting the lamp for the young Oilers, making a strong case for the Oilers as a soon to be Stanley Cup contender. All this resurgence of the Oilers’ youth has even started to rub off on the veteran players on the Oilers as well. Sam Gagner and Andrew Cogliano have also found their stride again, after a few years of slumping. The big key for Edmonton, if they would like to be successful in the near future, would have to be whether Ales Hemsky and Nik Khabibulin can stay healthy. It’s very unlikely that the Oilers will make a playoff run this year, or even make the playoffs for that matter, but they are definitely on their way to becoming something similar to what the Chicago Blackhawks were like just three short seasons ago.
The Blackhawks started off with a few good players from a good position in the draft after many terrible years. They drafted players such as Brent Seabrook and Duncan Keith. This didn’t help them become instant contenders, but it gave them a few of the pieces they would need to win. After two more terrible years, the Blackhawks drafted Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews and then they would trade for players like Patrick Sharp and Andrew Ladd, make a few free agent signings, like Brian Campbell and Marian Hossa, and three years later they brought Chicago their first Stanley Cup in over forty years. With all the young guns in Edmonton starting to come together, they are really starting to look like the next Chicago Blackhawks. I am not saying that the Oilers will be Stanley Cup Champions in the next three seasons, but you never know, that’s how long it took Chicago from the time they finally got their core of young superstars. The Oilers even have the same goalie that the Blackhawks had for their conference run the year before they won it all. Expect big things from Edmonton in the next few years, they should be a very fun team to watch.