2013 Fantasy Hockey: Draft Ryan Nugent-Hopkins Early This Year

By Adam McGill
Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports

The Edmonton Oilers knew when they drafted Canadian center Ryan Nugent-Hopkins first overall in the 2011 NHL draft that they signed a special player.

However, no one expected the 19-year-old to come in and dominate the sport so quickly. RNH amazingly racked up 32 points alone in his last 31 games of the regular season and really showed his phenomenal fantasy hockey potential down the stretch.

The center is the future of the Oilers’ offensive attack and the kid has all the skill in the world to win a MVP trophy down the road. He scored 18 goals and added 34 assists (52 total points) in just 62 games in his first season in the pros. Nugent-Hopkins looked like a veteran at times and his raw speed gives him a chance to make a play on any loose puck.

The Nuge also scored three power play goals and even scored two game winners in his first NHL season. He did finish with an unflattering  +/- of -2, but that is a number that will increase as the teenager matures in the league.

After the big names come off the board this year, Nugent-Hopkins will be an amazing center to grab in fantasy drafts. He may not put up the ridiculous fantasy numbers of Evgeni Malkin or Steven Stamkos, but Nugent-Hopkins can still be an amazing fantasy asset.

RNH can certainly be counted on as a starting fantasy hockey center in 2013. He will come close to averaging a point per game and will be among the NHL leaders in minutes played this year. Look for him to easily rival his numbers from last year, even in this shortened 2013 season.

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