If he had his druthers, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins would probably rather be wearing an Edmonton Oilers' sweater than a Canadian Maple Leaf at Christmas, but maybe he can have the best of both worlds. Maybe he makes the NHL team, but the Oilers loan him to the Canadian junior team for the world junior championship at Rexall Place and in Calgary. "If I did play for the Oilers and they wanted to have me play for Canada, that's what I'd definitely do. Every kid watches the world juniors. But as I've said, my goal is making the Oilers," said the Red Deer Rebels centre, who was the No. 1 pick in June's NHL entry draft. Nugent-Hopkins has a jam-packed summer schedule — the Oilers prospect camp, this Hockey Canada summer development camp, the Rebels training camp, and Oilers rookie camp in Penticton, B.C. He says he's turned off the Oilers for this week. "It's just a week-long camp here. All my attention is on working my hardest now and making a good impression on the coaches. After this, I'll get back to training for a couple of weeks," he said. Nugent-Hopkins was at the summer development camp and December evaluation camp last year, but didn't make Canada's team as a 17-year-old.
Nugent-Hopkins's Christmas wish: On Oilers roster and loaned to national junior team
Edmonton Journal | Aug 4