Ryan Jeremy Noel Nugent-Hopkins (born April 12, 1993) is a Canadian ice hockey centre for the Edmonton Oilers of the National Hockey League. He was selected first overall by the Oilers in the 2011 NHL Entry Draft.
Nugent-Hopkins played most of his minor hockey for the Burnaby Winter Club in his hometown, while attending Burnaby North Secondary. In 2005, he led his team to a quarter-final berth in the annual Quebec Pee-Wee Tournament, and later in the season captured a provincial championship. He was the captain of the Burnaby Winter Club Bruins when he was drafted first overall in the 2008 Western Hockey League (WHL) Bantam Draft by the Red Deer Rebels. In 2007 and 2008, he played in the Western Canada Bantam Championships. The Burnaby Winter Club Bruins captured the gold medal in 2007 and the silver medal in 2008. Nugent-Hopkins was named the tournament MVP in 2008. After being drafted, Nugent-Hopkins played midget hockey for the Vancouver NW Giants during the 2008–09 season. During the 2008 Mac’s AAA midget hockey tournament, Nugent-Hopkins was named the Tournament MVP and earned a spot on the All-Star Team. Nugent-Hopkins was named the 2008 BC Minor Hockey Player of the Year, in recognition of his sportsmanship, leadership and hockey skill.
Nugent-Hopkins made his WHL debut with the Rebels as an underage player during the 2008–09 WHL season. He played in five games, scoring two goals and adding four assists. During the 2009–10 WHL season, Nugent-Hopkins played in 67 games, scoring 24 goals and adding 41 assists. He was awarded the WHL rookie of the year award. He was a finalist for the CHL rookie of the year but lost to Matt Puempel of the Peterborough Petes.
In their pre-season rankings for the 2011 National Hockey League (NHL) Entry Draft, the International Scouting Service ranked Nugent-Hopkins sixth overall, the second highest WHL player after Vancouver Giants defenceman David Musil. E.J. McGuire, the director of the NHL Central Scouting Bureau said of Nugent-Hopkins: “He’s got great skill and a knack for offense,” while Cam Moon, the Rebels play-by-play announcer called him the best player the team had ever seen.
On June 24, 2011, Nugent-Hopkins was selected first overall in the 2011 NHL Entry Draft by the Edmonton Oilers. On July 2, 2011, he agreed to terms with the Oilers on a three-year NHL entry level contract. He played his first game for the Oilers in the team’s first game of the 2011-2012 season, a shootout win over the Pittsburgh Penguins. Nugent-Hopkins scored the game-tying goal with less than 5 minutes remaining against Brent Johnson for the only Oilers tally in regulation. He also blocked two shots and was named the game’s No. 3 star by sportswriters and broadcasters.
|Competitor for Canada|
|Ivan Hlinka Memorial Tournament|
Nugent-Hopkins started his experience with Hockey Canada by representing Team Pacific at the 2010 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge. He finished the tournament with one goal and four assists in five games. Team Pacific finished the tournament in fifth place. He had the chance to represent Canada at the 2010 Ivan Hlinka Memorial Tournament held in Slovakia during the summer. He served as an alternate captain on the team, and scored the game winning goal in the gold medal game against the United States. Nugent-Hopkins finished the tournament as Canada’s leading scorer with five goals and two assists in five games. He was also selected to play for the WHL team in the 2010 Subway Super Series. During the 2010-11 season, Nugent-Hopkins was invited to try out at Canada’s 2011 National Junior Team selection camp, but was amongst the final players cut.
Nugent-Hopkins’ parents are Roger Hopkins and Deb Nugent. He has one older brother, Adam. He was born in Burnaby, British Columbia and attended Suncrest Elementary School, and attended Burnaby North Secondary School where he participated in the school’s hockey academy