By MATT WILSON
The finals roster spots on the Edmonton Oilers are still uncertain.
Anything can happen with the last preseason game Saturday against the Canucks in Vancouver, and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, is going to make the most of it.
A member of the Western Hockey League’s Red Deer Rebels, Nugent-Hopkins, along with Taylor Hall and Jordan Eberle tallied seven points and 10 shots on net Tuesday against the visiting Phoenix Coyotes in a 3-2 win. Hall had two goals while Nugent-Hopkins tallied the other goal with an assist.
It was a sneak peak of greater things to come for the Oilers down the road regardless of the skewed preseason match ups.
Most Oilers faithful are expecting Nugent-Hopkins to log more than 50 games. But, Oilers general manager Steve Tambellini says Nugent-Hopkins is an individual case who will be properly evaluated just like everyone else. That response was triggered after Tambellini was asked if he’ll come on board to help fill the void of the injured Sam Gagne.
Nugent-Hopkins was not in the lineup for Friday’s game against the Minnesota Wild, but will be ready to go Saturday against the Canucks.
There are still 32 players vying for a spot on the 23-man roster, and those not making the cut will be sent to Oklahoma City in the AHL.
Nugent-Hopkins will be lined with Eberle and Ryan Smyth for the final preseason game Saturday.
Matt Wilson is co-editor of Center Ice Chat. He can be followed on Twitter @Mattjw24.