The NHL is a league with no shortage of young talent. In recent years, we’ve seen some of that young talent elevate their respective games up to superstar levels. Claude Giroux and John Tavares are a couple of names that come to mind. Next year, it could be Taylor Hall‘s turn to do so.
Despite the disappointing campaign that was 2013 for the Edmonton Oilers, Hall few under the radar as one of the best players throughout the league this season. Finally healthy, he turned into the dominant player that the Oilers have been expecting for the last few seasons.
Hall ended the 2013 regular season as one of the top scorers in the league, finishing with 50 points overall. That was easily tops on the team, along with his 16 goals, which was second on the team, behind only Nail Yakupov. His 34 helpers were 10 more assists than anyone else on the team.
He had four streaks of at least four games in which he managed at least one point. One of those streaks was six games, as well as the first seven games of the regular season in which he managed to notch at least one point. His 50 points, in only 45 games, were just three away from the highest of his career.
Hall has the combination of size and speed to make him a nightmare matchup for anyone. And we saw plenty of that this season. It’s incredible what he can do with a completely healthy year, as this was the first year he was able to make it through the month of April, short season or not.
Heading into the first year of his new contract, which carries a cap hit of $6 million, it’s very likely that we could see Taylor Hall reach that next level. With an improved Oilers team around him, both up front and on the blue line, Hall could very well take off and lead the Oilers back into the postseason next year.
With an improved team, and coming off of a season in which he finally managed to stay healthy, the expectations are going to be there for Hall. With an increased spotlight, he could very well take that next step towards superstardom that we saw a guy like Tavares do in 2013.