Oilers' Nugent-Hopkins to return Monday

The SportsXchange

Edmonton Oilers center Ryan Nugent-Hopkins will make his season debut Monday when the Oilers host the New Jersey Devils, the Oilers announced on Friday.

Nugent-Hopkins had surgery on his left shoulder April 23, and general manager Craig MacTavish said last month the worst-case scenario for Nugent-Hopkins' return was Nov. 1.

He has recovered more quickly than expected, however.

"He's been cleared by all of our doctors," Oilers coach Dallas Eakins said, according to NHL.com. "He's been working hard in practice. He's fit and ready to go."

Nugent-Hopkins, the first player taken in the 2011 NHL Draft, agreed to a seven-year, $42 million contract extension last month that takes effect next season.

He had four goals and 20 assists for the Oilers last season.
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