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Friday, October 8, 2010

The 'Nuge red-hot entering the weekend (Updated with WHL video link)

Ryan Nugent-Hopkins or the 'Nuge-- the Red Deer City Madman as he's becoming more known as on this blog space-- is justifying all of the preseason hype as a candidate for top-three consideration in June.

The only knock on this kid is that he has a slight frame, because everything else about him is top-shelf. He's explosive, dynamic and an offensive machine who has terrific hands and hockey sense.

In his first seven games, he has three goals and 13 points, and believe me-- the best is yet to come with this one.

I'm guessing that he's going to be a ongoing player of discussion as the hockey season progresses. He was immense at the Ivan Hlinka in August, scoring the gold medal-winner and confounding every team he played with the ability to put the puck in the net.

You can see a little of the 'Nuge's prodigious passing talent on the WHL's Plays of the Week video.

But check out the No. 1 play- made by Regina Pats defenseman Myles Bell. Just beautiful. And, you can now see where some of the Mike Green comparisons come from after watching him finish off that rush. He may or may not have Green's NHL ceiling, but that's definitely a dangerous offensive d-man in development there with Bell. Last year, he had 4 goals in 61 games for the Pats. It took him just seven games to pot his fourth this season.

Keep an eye on him, because with his offensive production, he's going to be moving up the draft boards for sure.


On a more somber note-- thoughts and prayers to Atlanta goalie Ondrej Pavelec, who lost consciousness and collapsed to the ice just 2:25 into the season opener at Philips Arena. He was wheeled out in a gurney and no other updates have been forthcoming. Obviously, we hope he's going to be OK, but he was largely motionless and it didn't look good at all. The play had been stopped on an icing and all the players were at the other end, so it wasn't a result of contact or anything related to game action.

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