Edmonton’s Taylor Hall may have been one of the league’s best left wings last season, but he may be starting this season out at center.
TSN’s Bob McKenzie reports Oilers center Ryan Nugent-Hopkins will miss most of October rehabbing his surgically repaired shoulder and the team will try out Hall and Sam Gagner as their top two centers.
Hall playing center isn’t a totally new thing. He’s done it in a pinch the last two seasons and has even had some success at winning faceoffs. Of course, it’s not the ideal place for him as he was one of the top point producers on the left wing last year with 50 points in 45 games. Taking a player like that out of their best position isn’t optimal.
The key part for Edmonton out of this, however, is that Nugent-Hopkins comes back at 100-percent. Rushing him back to action won’t do him or his shoulder any favors.