The Edmonton Oilers have added another forward to the COVID protocol, but this time it’s someone with a little more responsibility. Ryan Nugent-Hopkins joins Ryan McLeod and Devin Shore on the sidelines, unavailable for tomorrow night’s game against the Seattle Kraken.
Notably, Nugent-Hopkins played nearly 20 minutes last night against the Columbus Blue Jackets.
It’s a crucial time for the Oilers, who got back in the win column with a strong performance against Columbus but are still just 4-6 over their last ten games. The team has slipped out of the divisional playoff spots in the Pacific, two points behind the surging Vegas Golden Knights and struggling Calgary Flames. With the Los Angeles Kings, San Jose Sharks, and even the suddenly red-hot Vancouver Canucks nipping at their heels, losing a key player like Nugent-Hopkins certainly isn’t an ideal situation.
The 28-year-old forward is having a great season, at least in terms of point totals. Though he’s recorded just three goals, Nugent-Hopkins is among the league leaders with 22 assists in 28 games. With Edmonton struggling to score of late, someone else will have to step into that offensive role if they want to get back on track.