In a demand for recent curiosity towards how the draft and off-season will affect the Edmonton Oilers’ lineup for the 2013-14 season, I have listed my predictions for their lineup. Let it be known, this was not easy whatsoever. The amount of potential and prospects made choosing every line difficult, even the first line:
Hall Gagner Eberle
These three were the top scorers for the Oilers last season, while the oldest two players are 23 years of age. Gagner over Nugent-Hopkins is a debatable choice; however, Nugent-Hopkins has been injury prone and may hinder some of the chemistry required for the top line.
Perron Nugent-Hopkins Yakupov
Perron offers dominance to a really young second line for the Oilers. Nugent-Hopkins and Yakupov both have limited NHL experience while Perron has been in the NHL since the 2007 draft. The newly acquired Perron isn’t necessarily as flashy as his two projected line-mates, yet his aggressiveness will be crucial for the others’ success.
Ryan Nugent-Hopkins’ injury-proneness may leave him off of the top line.
Smyth Gordon Hemsky
The third line is where season can be made, or broke. The questions arise whether Smyth can survive an 82 season in the NHL. All three of these forwards proved to be consistent players throughout their careers, but can they prove to remain consistent for the next season as age continues to take a toll on their bodies compared to the younger players that could be in the line-up instead? The better question for the Oilers organization is whether they want to give other prospects the chance to prove themselves in the Oilers organizations.
Jones Petrell Brown
The fourth line players’ ages consist of 29, 29, and 28 respectively. This line represents some of the older members of the Oilers’ roster. Having a matured fourth line may allow it to be more reliable than a fourth line consisting of young, inexperienced prospects.
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