Taylor Hall had banked on playing his first NHL game, scoring his first NHL goal, but what the Edmonton Oilers young star hadn't foreseen was his first trip to the sidelines with an injury.

And not just an injury that would keep him out for a game or two but a high ankle sprain that abruptly ended his standout season.

"I've never been hurt before. I've never missed a game with an injury. I've never had to deal with this kind of stuff," said Hall, who recently dispensed with his crutches but remains in a walking cast.

"It sucks. All I can do is work out and watch the boys play."

Hall's left ankle buckled at the end of his first NHL fight — a scrap with Derek Dorsett of the Columbus Blue Jackets that unfolded at Rexall Place on March 3.

Earlier that night, the No. 1 pick from the 2010 draft had ratcheted up his point total to 42 with a goal and an assist. He was comfortably in contention for the league's rookie-of-the-year honours.