Regardless of what the outlook may be for their franchise at the moment, there’s little doubt that the Edmonton Oilers do boast one of the better core group of offensive players in the league. While the rest of their roster has some catching up to do, some of their offensive talent is top notch.
Leading the pack in terms of that offensive talent is obviously Taylor Hall. Out on the wing, Hall finally had the season that the Oilers had been waiting for from him in 2013. He was an offensive force on the ice every single night, and he was completely healthy, after his first two seasons ended with injury.
Hall finished among the league leaders in points in 2013, going for 50 points in only 45 games, easily the highest scoring rate of his career. That lends itself to the prediction that he could be a 90-100 point guy in the very near future. But there has been some talk about what spot on the ice those points could come from.
The Oilers are a team thin at center. They have Ryan Nugent-Hopkins in the middle of that top line, with Sam Gagner as the no. 2 guy in the middle. Beyond that, it’s filled with obscurity, featuring names like Boyd Gordon. Which is why a name like Hall has been thrown out there in the mix as a potential center for this team.
Hall has the skill set to be a center. One could make the argument that moving him to the middle would open up the ice for him, and allow him to use that killer speed even more to his advantage. At the same time, though, do you move someone like Gagner to the wing, or move him down to a reduced role? Either seems unlikely, given that they just signed him to a new deal.
This may very well be something that we see the Oilers mess around with in training camp, but until we actually see him make the move to the middle in a regular season game, then it’s probably nothing to be taken seriously. The idea itself is intriguing, though.