Oilers' Taylor Hall cleared to make AHL season debut Friday
Oklahoma City plans to pair young star with Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Eberle
Houston, you might have a problem come Friday night.
That’s when the Oklahoma City Barons reportedly will put Edmonton Oilers youngsters Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Jordan Eberle and a healthy Taylor Hall on the same line against the visiting Aeros. Other reports suggest they won't skate together for a week or two.
The game will mark the American Hockey League season debut for Hall, who had his 2011-12 NHL season cut short on March 17 when he suffered a shoulder injury that required surgery and seven months of rehabilitation.
The 20-year-old Calgary native, who had been working out with the Barons while waiting to be medically cleared, has received the good word and also signed a contract Thursday.
"It's a relief," Hall told reporters. "I worked so hard this summer. I haven't played a game in 7 1/2 months. To finally get into a game and try and prove myself is very exciting."
Hall reportedly will be brought along slowly in Oklahoma City, where he isn’t expected to play in back-to-back games. The NHL's 2010 first overall draft pick has 49 goals and 95 points in 126 games.
"What he [will] add is speed," said Oklahoma City head coach Todd Nelson. "He's a tremendous skater. He's exciting to watch. He's fearless. He finds ways to score goals."
Hall signed a seven-year, $42-million US contract with the Oilers in August after collecting 53 points in 61 contests last season.
He said there will be an adjustment to the AHL.
"It helped me a lot just to sit in the stands and watch games here," he said. "It's not an easy league by any means. People don't give it as much respect as it should get."
Oklahoma City is third in the AHL’s South Division with a 4-3-0 record.