Through the first seven games of the season, Edmonton Oilers winger Milan Lucic has a goal and three points. And of late, he has been showing more speed and offensive responsibility.
With that being said, the 29-year-old has to live up to high expectations in a top-six role in his second year with the team. He had a strong performance in his first 82-game season with Edmonton last year, where he racked up 23 goals and 50 points.
Coming into this year, he is looking to continue to bring a positive impact and winning culture to the locker room, while also building on his numbers. Combining that with his physicality and aggression, he is bringing plenty to the table to start the year.
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Lucic currently skates on the second line alongside Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and a variety of other wingers, including Zack Kassian, Ryan Strome and more. Looking at his game, as well as his entire line, there appears to be much more speed and stride in their game. In fact, Lucic and Nugent-Hopkins appear to be clicking and can bounce off each other a lot more.
Considering his offensive performance, he is having a pretty strong start to the year. He is driving to the net and making his presence known, and also adds a lot of physicality and aggression to the forecheck. He also has 14 shots on goal to start the year, and if continues to shoot, good things should come of it. There is also more speed and stride in his step.
Physically, the 6-foot-3, 236-pound winger makes a huge impact, as he never backs down from a fight and never shies away from battling for the puck. He will get in the tight corners and throw his weight around, and can also lay open ice hits.
To kick off the year, he has 21 hits through the first six games of the year and is a force to be reckoned with. This also makes him harder to match up against, and it is hard to stop him in the offensive zone due to his size.
Still, he could stand to take better care of the puck; he has nine giveaways and could stand to avoid turnovers and use his frame more to his advantage to protect the puck rather than battle for it.
Overall, he is showing a lot of ability already and looks ready to heat up and bring more to the table moving forward.