Born November 14, 1991 (age 19) in Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Left winger for the Edmonton Oilers
Hey, it’s almost Taylor Hall’s birthday! One-third of Edmonton’s “Kid Line,” Hall’s dad played for the Canadian Football League and Canada’s national bobsleigh team. His dad also helped maintain a backyard rink for Taylor and friends to play the sport that his mom introduced him to at the age of five. He began to play minors in Calgary, continuing after his family moved to Kingston, Ontario when he was 13. Then he made the step up to the OHL in 2007 and was drafted by the Windsor Spitfires. In his debut year, he scored a team-high 45 goals (84 points total) and was named OHL and CHL Rookie of the Year. He only improved in his sophomore campaign to 38 goals and 52 assists. That year, the Spitfires did very well, winning the OHL Championship and the Memorial Cup, all helped out by Hall, who was named playoff MVP. After that, he was actually drafted by the KHL’s Ak Bars Kazan, since they allow players to be drafted a year before the NHL. However, he stayed with Windsor, amassing 106 points (the same amount as another up-and-coming OHL player…some guy named…uh…Tyler something) and again helping the team to the Memorial Cup. Again he was tournament MVP. Now it was time for the NHL draft, with Central Scouting ranking him very high in the prospects and with him citing John Tavares as a role model. Aw!
After Hall was selected first overall, he signed the most lucrative rookie contract in Edmonton’s history: $900,000 with a potential of $2.85 million more in performance bonuses. Former Oiler Kevin Lowe gave him permission to wear the number 4; Lowe had previously been the only Oiler to ever wear that number. His NHL debut was an October 2010 game against Edmonton’s archrival Calgary. He scored his first point and goal in October too during games against Florida and Columbus. He is speedy on the ice, second to Michael Grabner in the fastest skater competition at the 2011 All-Star game. In his rookie season he also notched his first hat trick in a game against Atlanta, scoring all three goals on the power play, as well as a Gordie Howe hat trick against Columbus that ended up closing out his rookie season when he sprained his ankle. He’d played 65 games, scored 22 goals and 20 assists and had 27 penalty minutes.
Also, whenever Hall’s represented Canada internationally, it’s turned out well for them: 2008 U-17s Challenge (gold), 2008 World U-18s (gold), 2008 Ivan Hlinka (gold), 2010 World U-20s (silver). He was invited to the 2011 World Juniors but stayed behind to concentrate on making Edmonton’s roster. In his sophomore season so far, he’s already played 15 games, scored 3 goals and notched 7 assists with 10 penalty minutes. Not bad at all!