Who is the Player to Watch?

For a lot of fans, when a topic with this kind of title gets posted, people usually expect to see a prediction for which Oiler is going to have the best season. That's not exactly what I'm going for here.

When I ask, who is the player to watch; I wondered who on the current Oilers roster is going to be a part of the headlines in the next few weeks more often than any other and in possibly more than one way. Either via trade, demotion, promotion and/or finally living up to his ability or change in attitude under new coaching that seems to directly affect the team more than any other player. I think that player is Robert Nilsson.

Do I believe that Nilsson should be an Oiler if the possibility of improving this team exists? No. Nilsson is the odd man out in a number of situations and I think much like Cogliano would do better on a team that has a defined role for him and not a lot of similar style players as the Oilers do. That said, I do like what he brings when he's play at his potential or for that matter what he brings in terms of moving a player like him to another destination.

Despite most people jumping on to suggest that Nilsson is the one Oiler above all others the team should get rid of, I tend to think that people ignore his stats more often than not before they rush to judgement.

2008/2009 - 64 GP 9 g 20 a for 29 points. (not great) plus/minus 1 which is surprising to many people I'm sure. 4 powerplay goals. and 11 points. Not bad considering he wasn't on the man-advantage as often as a player who can set-up his teammates as well as Nilsson can. And his numbers the year before were much better. 41 points in 71 games... yada yada.

I'm not trying to make a case for Nilsson, but should he be an Oiler, there are some areas in which Nilsson has the potential to live up to his contract and I don't see him as the biggest let down of the year by any stretch.

Should he not stay with the team, I see him as a part of something big. Whether in a package for a top forward along with a defenceman, or being waived or buried in the minor strictly due to cap questions, Nilsson has the potential, above all other to headline team news over the next couple weeks to a month.

I'm simply saying, if I were to make a guess; something involving Nilsson will be a part of future news for Edmonton. Who would you suggest?


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