Few teams can lean on hope the way the Edmonton Oilers can. The Oilers will kick off the shortened 2013 NHL season on Sunday Jan. 20 in Vancouver against the Vancouver Canucks.
The Oilers will hold their home opener on Tuesday, Jan. 22 against the San Jose Sharks. Check out the full Oilers 2013 schedule.
They've sat at the bottom of the NHL standings for three straight seasons, but that has put them in a position to draft some of the best young prospects into their system.
Among future NHL stars are first round picks Nail Yakupov, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Taylor Hall and Jordan Eberle, skilled players who could form the core of a dominant NHL team for years to come.
Will this be the year they meet enormous expectations?
<a href="http://canadiens.nhl.com/club/index.htm">The Montreal Canadiens</a> will kick off their 2013 season at home against the Toronto Maple Leafs on Jan. 19. (Photo by Richard Wolowicz/Getty Images)
<a href="http://senators.nhl.com/">The Ottawa Senators</a> travel to Winnipeg to take on the Jets to start their season on Jan. 19. The Senators home opener will be on Monday against the Florida Panthers. (Photo by Richard Wolowicz/Getty Images)
Toronto Maple Leafs
<a href="http://mapleleafs.nhl.com/">The Toronto Maple Leafs</a> face-off against the Montreal Canadiens on Jan. 19. Their homeopener will be against the Buffalo Sabres on Jan. 21. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
<a href="http://jets.nhl.com/">The Winnipeg Jets</a> will play the Ottawa Senators to kick off their 2013 season on Jan. 19. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
<a href="http://flames.nhl.com/">The Calgary Flames</a> will face the San Jose Sharks at home on Sun. Jan. 20 to start their 2013 season.(AP Photo/Jack Dempsey)
<a href="http://oilers.nhl.com/">The Edmonton Oilers</a> will start their season on Sun. Jan. 20 in Vancouver against the Canucks. The Oilers return home on Tue. Jan. 22 to face the San Jose Sharks. (Photo by Frederick Breedon/Getty Images)
The <a href="http://canucks.nhl.com/">Vancouver Canucks</a> will start their 2013 season on Saturday Jan. 19 against the Anaheim Ducks. (Photo by Rich Lam/Getty Images)