A feat that Ryan Nugent-Hopkins no longer expected

A feat Ryan Nugent-Hopkins no longer expected


To the surprise of many, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins hit the 100-point plateau in a season on Wednesday night. The Edmonton Oilers forward, first pick in the 2011 draft, has finally fulfilled his promise.

At 29, the British Columbian had nothing to be ashamed of in his career in the National League so far, but he had never crossed 70 points. He himself was beginning to believe that he would never expect that kind of number.

“I didn't really expect to achieve it, to be honest, but I'm really proud to do it with this group” , he mentioned in the press scrum on Wednesday night.

Nugent-Hopkins is the Oilers' third 100-point scorer this year, after Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl. They are the first trio of teammates since the Pittsburgh Penguins of 1995-1996 (Mario Lemieux, Jaromir Jagr and Ron Francis) to accomplish this feat.

“I think it's pretty special. Connor and Leon do it every year. They're amazing players and teammates, but to see them do that consistently every year is something you don't see often. Personally, I try to help as best I can and I'm happy to be part of this group”, humbly recalled “RNH”.

A dozen years >

The center player had to wait 12 campaigns before registering 100 points. Last year, Steven Stamkos had experienced a similar scenario by achieving it after 14 years. Obviously, the record belongs to Gordie Howe, who waited until his 23rd season before collecting 103 points, in 1969-1970, at the age of 40.

“I can tell you that I seen a lot of progress in his game this year, not just in terms of points, assured head coach Jay Woodcroft. Getting to 100 points is so special, but it gets used all over the place and goes a bit under the radar because we have other special players here. But you know what? He is certainly appreciated here by the coaching staff and his teammates, since he is a winner. He does all kinds of little things that help the team win and we're lucky to have him.”

Nugent-Hopkins and the Oilers have three more games to play this regular season. McDavid will look to capitalize on Saturday's visit to the San Jose Sharks for a 150th point.