By Michael Joachim
When Ryan Nugent-Hopkins was drafted first overall, the Edmonton Oilers knew they were getting a future NHL superstar. The youngster is just 18 years old and was drawing comparisons to Wayne Gretzky for his outstanding vision on the ice while in the WHL for the Red Deer Rebels.
After he was drafted, there were a few questions that arose concerning Nugent-Hopkins. First, would he be able to handle the rigors of an 82 game NHL season? Nugent-Hopkins weighs in at a meager 175 pounds. Many wondered if the physicality of the league would mean that he would need to spend another season in the WHL to put on some muscle. Some wondered if he would be better served to spend another season in the WHL to continue to gain more hockey experience before making the big jump to the NHL.
However, the Oilers not only had him on their opening night roster, but after the 9 game window they had to send him back to the WHL. They certainly made the right decision. While certainly his sma...