2014-15 NHL Pacific Division preview: Edmonton Oilers riding advanced stats wave and hoping their youth movement finally blossoms.

By Gabriel Baumgaertner
October 01, 2014

MORE PACIFIC PREVIEWS: Canucks | Sharks | Coyotes | Flames | Ducks | Kings

COACH:

​2013-14 RECORD: 29-44-9, 67 points (seventh in Pacific, missed playoffs)

VITAL SIGNS: 2.43 goals-for per game (T-24th); 3.26 goals-against per game (30th); 17.0 power play percentage (21st); 82.1 power play pct. (15th); shootout record: 4-3 (23rd)

NOTABLE ARRIVALS: RW Teddy Purcell, LW Benoit Pouliot, D Mark Fayne, D Nikita Nikitin, RW Steve Pinizzotto

NOTABLE DEPARTURES: C Sam Gagner, D Taylor Fedun, D Anton Belov, D Philip Larsen

PROJECTED DEPTH CHART:

Forwards
Taylor Hall — Ryan Nugent-Hopkins — Jordan Eberle
​Benoit Pouliot — Boyd Gordon — David Perron
Matt Hendricks — Anton Lander — Teddy Purcell
Luke Gazdic — Leon Draisaitl — Nail Yakupov
​Marc Arcobello

Defensemen
Justin Schultz — Mark Fayne
​Nikita Nikitin — Jeff Petry
​Martin Marincin — Andrew Ference
​Keith Aulie

Goalies
Ben Scrivens
Viktor Fasth

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Ryan Nugent-Hopkins

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PLAYER TO WATCH: Ryan Nugent-Hopkins

Yakupov is the most fascinating case study on the roster, but Nugent-Hopkins is a potential franchise center who could anchor the Oilers’ top line for years. He enters the second season of the seven-year, $42 million deal he signed in September 2013 and has shined on the ice, when healthy, since his rookie season of 2011-2012. He's determined to improve his performance in the face-off circle and take his game to the superstar level that is expected of him. If he succeeds, the beneficiary will be Taylor Hall, an established scorer who would be set up for a career year.

• Predicting the Oilers' defense pairings

PREDICTION: 78 points (sixth in Pacific)

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