Ryan Nugent-Hopkins is an interesting member on the Edmonton Oilers. A long-term player in the Alberta capital, 'Nuge' was a central figure in Edmonton hockey before the start of the Connor McDavid era a couple of seasons ago. As such the veteran Oiler can draw comparisons between Edmonton's team right now and Edmonton's team in seasons from the past based on his first-hand experience. He spoke about the contrast and other hockey-related topics during a recent interview in Edmonton.

Are the 'tough years' over?

Referring to the pre-McDavid era Nugent-Hopkins said that there were "tough years" in Edmonton, but now the franchise is aiming for some "exciting times." A veteran now, Nugent-Hopkins stressed with the entourage of reporters that surrounded him that it was important for the Oilers to stay grounded: "we can't get ahead of ourselves," he claimed.

He twice alluded to a "different feeling" in Edmonton and said that the team has "the confidence of last year behind (them)," a year where they made the playoffs and won a playoff round.

Nugent-Hopkins also spoke about a couple of issues that are more particular to him than the Oilers in general. Firstly, there was the matter of his friend Jordan Eberle being traded during the offseason. Nugent-Hopkins said that Eberle was someone that he was "close" to, but the Oiler also said that it was "part of the business." The two players had been teammates since Nugent-Hopkins debuted in the NHL during the 2011/12 season.

Nuge facing questions about playing wing

Another issue that is particular to Nugent-Hopkins is one regarding the position that he will play.

This is a topic that is reoccurring for Nuge as he faced the question earlier this month in another interview that was published by OilersTV. The matter at hand is that Nugent-Hopkins is a center by trade, however the Oilers are loaded with centers. That creates a situation where Nugent-Hopkins will have to play on the wing to get high-line minutes.

Earlier this month he said that he was willing to do it and he echoed that in his more recent interview. He said he has played the wing in World Cup play and alongside Draisaitl last season. He said the transition from center to wing is not "too big of a deal."

As training camp starts in Edmonton, a lot of Oilers have made themselves available to the media.

Connor McDavid spoke with media as well, addressing topics from team expectations to the closure of Northlands Coliseum. The preseason for Edmonton is not far off as they will play a split-squad game on Monday. The regular season will start on October 4th as the Oilers host the Calgary Flames.