But if the lockout continues, Nugent-Hopkins probably would be selected team captain for Canada's junior world team, likely playing on a No. 1 line with Florida Panthers' first-round pick, Jonathan Huberdeau, and Winnipeg Jets first-round pick, Mark Scheifele.
Nugent-Hopkins, 19, has never played in a junior world tournament. He was cut from Canada's national junior team in December 2010. The following year, selected No. 1 overall, he made the Oilers and skipped the world juniors.
“We support him in whatever decision he makes,” Nelson said. “If he decides he wants to play for Team Canada that's fantastic. If he'd rather come back here, that's great, too.”
Nelson said he plans to substitute Mark Arcobello in Nugent-Hopkins' slot on the Barons' No. 1 line alongside Eberle and Hall this weekend in San Antonio.