SUN Hockey Pool

Hall starting to produce

Oilers forward Taylor Hall celebrates a goal against the Maple Leafs at the Air Canada Centre in...

Oilers forward Taylor Hall celebrates a goal against the Maple Leafs at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto on December 2, 2010. (MIKE CASESSE/Reuters)

TERRY JONES, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 8:20 PM ET

Taylor Hall, three weeks ago, volunteered it.

“I have seven points in my first 17 games. I expect myself to get a lot more than seven points in the next 17 games,” he said.

That was nine games ago.

He’s had eight points since.

For his four goals in the current four-game winning streak, Hall was Monday named one of the NHL’s three stars of the week.

Sidney Crosby and Ryan Miller were the others.

“That’s pretty good company, I’d say,” he laughed.

After 17 games, he felt he was figuring out the league a little and really starting to get chances.

“At the start of the year it took me eight games to score and obviously my confidence wasn’t where it’s at now. And confidence is huge, especially for someone who needs to score points. It’s definitely a good feeling right now.”

At the end of the first period Friday night against Tampa Bay, the No. 1 draft pick will have completed his first third of his first season. With nine goals and six assists how do you now project what he’s likely to end up with?

Multiply by three?

Or create a much more complicated formula based on the giant strides he’s taken lately?

Hall, you should know, realizes exactly how many points different rookies have produced. He doesn’t pretend he didn’t look that stuff up over the summer. But he says he isn’t paying much attention to it and makes you believe him.

“I’ve looked at all the rookie stats and there is no set pattern. Guys who are superstars today in their rookie years were not scoring. Who knows how it’s going to go? In two weeks I might not be scoring,” said Hall.

Coach Tom Renney figures onward and upward.

“My hope is for Taylor to kind of push this plateau up. I’m not sure. He hasn’t seen enough of the league yet to maybe get a feel for that yet.

“Teams will start to check him. Game plans will now have his name circled, so that’s going to be a new dynamic for him. It’ll be interesting to see how he plays through that but also how our plan elevates what he’s got going.”

Whatever formula you use, it’s obvious from the accompanying chart that Hall is trending favourably to have a season which would position him well with other rookie seasons, by anybody other than Sidney Crosby and Alexander Ovechkin, of any of last 10 forwards picked No. 1 in the draft.

For Hall, Jordan Eberle and Magnus Paajarvi, there’s also the Oilers rookie scoring records chart to start to follow. All three are on pace to meet or beat Ales Hemsky’s rookie totals of six goals and 30 points, for example.

With every day we watch what’s happening here, it’s becoming more and more apparent that Renney is the perfect coach to develop these kids, the way he’s been able to spank them here and there, but never waver on his backing or belief and create the atmosphere around them to survive the challenges and thrive on the opportunity while limiting the pressure and keeping it fun.

“I’m big on biology but I’m even bigger on chemistry,” said Renney.

“I love a natural athlete but I think it’s the environment you create. That’s huge for me.”

Renney admits the situation makes it easier to do that.

“Maybe a year from now when we’re starting to contend, for example, or two years from now when we’re right there, who knows?”

Whatever, he suggests, right now the kids should be given more credit than the coach, and double that for their parents and others along the journey.

“It’s amazing. I think his parents should be awfully proud of their son. That tells you a little bit about how he’s been brought up. Also, I think you have to make reference to the people who have coached this kid along the way.

“All three of those young fellas are very similar that way and I think would be the first to tell you there were people who helped them out along the way there. And I would take the opportunity to illuminate that myself.”

Follow me on Twitter.com/sunterryjones

terry.jones@sunmedia.ca

- - -

No. 1 picks rookie season points (last 10 forwards selected first overall)

John Taveres..................24-30 – 54

Steven Stamkos.............23-23 – 46

Patrick Kane..................21-61 – 72

Sidney Crosby................39-63 – 102

Alex Ovechkin................52-54 – 106

Rick Nash......................17-22 – 39

Ilya Kovalchuk..............29-22 – 51

Patrick Stefan.................5-20 – 25

Vincent Lecavalier..........13-15 – 28

Joe Thornton..................3-4 – 7

Top Oilers rookie scorers

Jari Kurri.......................32-43 – 75

Jason Arnott..................33-35 – 68

Dave Lumley..................20-38 – 58

Glenn Anderson..............30-23 – 53

Sam Gagner...................13-36– 49

Andrew Cogliano............18-27 – 45

Raimo Summanen...........19-18 – 37

Miroslav Satan................18-17 – 35

Jaroslav Pouzar...............15-18 – 33

Tom Gilbert....................13-20 – 33

Mike Grier......................15-17– 32

Paul Coffey.......................9-23 – 32

Rem Murray....................11-20– 31

David Oliver....................16-14 – 30

Ales Hemsky.....................6-24 – 30

Current totals

Jordan Eberle...................5-13 – 18

Taylor Hall.......................9-6 – 15

Magnus Pajaarvi...............2-7– 9


Videos

Photos