EDMONTON OILERS BLOGShttp://www.edmontonoilers.com/rssEDMONTON OILERS BLOGSNHL Enterprises, L.P. (c) 2015 NHL. All Rights Reserveden-usMon, 25 May 2015 10:48:15 EDTBLOG: Khaira reflects on first pro seasonhttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=39909Jujhar Khaira had just finished his first professional season, which ended in a 1-0 game seven loss to the Utica Comets in the Calder Cup Playoffs. He couldn’t help but mention his teammates when summing up the season that was. “With the group of guys we had this year, I’ve been on a few teams in different leagues, and I’ve never been on a team with a group of guys like this," Khaira said after the game. "Everybody was close, there were no groups or anything.” As a 20-year-old making the jump to the professional game, having a group like he did in Oklahoma City helped Khaira grow as a player and as a young man. “I thought it went really well,” Khaira said of his first pro year. “I thought I learned a lot this year just with information coming from the older guys and the coaches and watching video and all that. It was a disappointing loss (in the playoffs) but overall I had a lot of fun and a pretty good season.” Playing with the Barons and those in that locker room was his favourite part of the 2014-15 season. “I just liked being around the guys,” said Khaira. “I think any time you’re around the guys, it’s always a blast. I can’t really pinpoint one part of the season, but the whole season was a lot of fun.” Khaira finished his first pro season with four goals and six assists in 51 games, adding 62 penalty minutes. The 6-foot-4, 215-pound centre came up big in the playoffs. After missing time due to an elbow injury, Khaira returned to the lineup for game three against the San Antonio Rampage. Up 2-0 in the best-of-five series, Khaira would help the Barons advance. The Oilers 2012 third-round pick scored a goal at 5:01 of overtime to clinch the series. Even with scoring that big goal, the time spent with his teammates after the win sticks out even more in his mind. “I think just beating those guys,” said Khaira. “All year, it was just a war against them and it was just nice to beat them and move on. Just the feeling after with the guys, I’ll remember that a lot more than scoring.” Khaira scored two goals in game four of their second round series against Utica. His performance helped the Barons win 7-4 and tie the series at 2-2. Heading into his second professional season, Khaira has a few areas of his game he looks to focus on this summer. “I’m always going to be working on my skating, just protecting the puck, my stick handling in small areas, making plays at full speed,” he said. “I’m going to try and do a lot of that this summer.”Chris WescottSun, 24 May 2015 16:01:00 EDThttp://3.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2015/05/20150524_khaira.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3990939909BLOG: Tournament raises over $94,000http://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=39910The third annual Dirty Birds Charity Hockey Tournament raised a total of $94,167 for the Neurosurgery Kids Fund at the Stollery Children’s Hospital. The “12 hours of hockey” tournament took place on Saturday, at Argyl Arena in Edmonton. Oilers TV Reporter and Host Tom Gazzola and edmontonoilers.com Head Writer Chris Wescott participated, playing on Team Brain. Oilers In-Game host and 630 CHED’s Ryan Jespersen was also on Team Brain. "It truly is an honour to be a part of this tournament,” said Gazzola. “To see how much this group has raised for the NeuroKids Fund in just three years is spectacular." Gazzola went first overall in the “media draft,” which took place at the silent auction on Friday night. “This was my second year involved with the tournament and I already cannot wait for next year,” said Wescott. “Meeting the kids, the people involved and seeing the money raised for a great cause is really special.” Other media personalities involved in the tournament and fund raising efforts were CBC’s Min Dhariwal and TSN 1260’s Dustin Nielson. Over its three years of existence, the event has raised $263,000.edmontonoilers.com staffSun, 24 May 2015 15:56:00 EDThttp://1.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2015/05/20150524_DIRTYBIRDS.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3991039910Draisaitl scores late, Kelowna falls to Quebechttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=39900A shorthanded goal at 2:08 of the third period gave the Quebec Remparts 3-1 lead. Although it got tight at the end, they eventually beat Leon Draisaitl and the Kelowna Rockets, 4-3 in the opening game of the 2015 Memorial Cup. Nikolas Brouillard opened scoring at 5:18 of the first for Quebec. Matt Murphy gave the Remparts a 2-0 lead with a point shot that snuck past Jackson Whistle at 13:22 of the second. Oilers 2013 second-round pick Marc-Olivier Roy got the second assist on the goal. Kelowna drew within one at 17:56 of the middle frame as Cole Linaker dished the puck in front of the net and Nick Merkley put it away, shorthanded. The Remparts responded with a shorthanded goal of their own. Anthony Duclair had a breakaway and the rebound from his shot was buried by Ryan Graves. Kelowna again responded, scoring on the power play at 12:43 of the third. An empty-bet goal by Quebec’s Adam Erne gave the host team a 4-2 lead. Draisaitl, the Oilers fourth-overall pick in 2014, scored backdoor with 36 seconds remaining in the game to draw within one, but Kelowna could not find the equalizer. The Remparts face Oshawa on Sunday and the Rockets play Rimouski on Monday.Chris WescottFri, 22 May 2015 22:32:00 EDThttp://2.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2015/05/20150522_drai1.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3990039900Oilers reporters suit up in charity tournamenthttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=39875Oilers TV Reporter and Host Tom Gazzola and edmontonoilers.com Head Writer Chris Wescott are among a handful of local media personalities participating in the third annual Dirty Birds Charity Hockey Tournament this weekend. The tournament is a two-day event, including a silent auction this Friday. The tournament takes place on Saturday, helping raise awareness and funds for the Neurosurgery Kids Fund at the Stollery Children’s Hospital. In its first two years, the event raised over $200,000. Both Gazzola and Wescott participated last year. This will be Gazzola’s third tournament. A member of the Oilers coaching staff, Video Coordinator Myles Fee, will also be playing in his first tournament. In 2013, the goal was to raise $15,000. The tournament ended up raising $68,000, which was matched by CN Miracle for a total of around $140,000. Last year, the tournament raised $100,212, on its own, without being matched. “The Dirty Bird Hockey Tournament means so much to my family and every family impacted by paediatric neurosurgery at the Stollery,” said Melissa Da Silva of the Neurosurgery Kids Fund. “This tournament is a true testament to how generous and compassionate people can be. A group of people who came together to create something extraordinary to help our children and families. We give our deepest heartfelt gratitude to everyone who organizes, donates and participates. The smiles at camp this year will be because of you! This event began when a local men’s hockey team decided to play for more than just fun, choosing to support a great cause. “This tournament is more than hockey. It's about the friendship the Dirtybirds have created with the kids and families of the Neurosurgery Kids Fund,” said Chris Branco, captain of the Dirty Birds and one of the founding members of the event. Branco, and his wife Julie, created the charity tournament. “Where this tournament is today is truly amazing. Never once did I think that in two years, over $200,000 would be donated,” Branco said. “The support from the community, family, friends and of course my wife Julie, who has put in countless hours, is what makes this a successful event.” In addition to the Oilers staffers participating, Dustin Nielson (TSN 1260), Ryan Jespersen (630 CHED) and Min Dhariwal (CBC) will suit up for the cause. Friday night’s silent auction will take place at Average Joes Sports Bar in Sherwood Park (390 Baseline Road), at 7 p.m. Auction items include a Wayne Gretzky stick, a Jordan Eberle stick and jersey, a Taylor Hall jersey and a Connor McDavid Erie Otters and World Junior Championship jersey, all signed. Tickets are $20 at the door. The tournament will take place on Saturday, beginning at 8 a.m. at Argyl Arena (9933 63 Avenue Northwest, Edmonton). This year, prior to the auction or tournament, over $67,000 has been raised.edmontonoilers.com staffFri, 22 May 2015 15:37:00 EDThttp://2.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2015/05/20150521_tom2.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=39875398752015 Young Stars Classic Schedule Announcedhttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=39871Edmonton Oilers 2015 Rookie Camp will once again include a trip to Penticton, B.C. for the annual Young Stars Classic, hosted by the Vancouver Canucks. The Canucks announced today the details and schedule for the 2015 event, which will run September 11-14 at the South Okanagan Events Centre in Penticton. The Oilers Rookies will play three games against fellow rookie squads from the Canucks, Calgary Flames and Winnipeg Jets. While the Oilers Rookie Camp schedule and roster are still to be determined, players typically congregate in Edmonton two days prior for medicals and fitness testing before flying to Penticton for the Young Stars Classic. The Oilers Rookies posted a 2-1 record at last year’s Young Stars Classic, with first-round draft picks Leon Draisaitl and Darnell Nurse in the lineup. All 2015 Young Stars Classic games will be streamed live on edmontonoilers.com. Young Stars Classic Penticton, B.C – September 11-14, 2015 GAME TEAMS DATE TIME Game 1 Calgary vs. Winnipeg Sept. 11 5:00pm Game 2 Vancouver vs. Edmonton Sept. 11 8:30pm Game 3 Calgary vs. Edmonton Sept. 12 8:30pm Game 4 Vancouver vs. Winnipeg Sept. 13 3:00pm Game 5 Edmonton vs. Winnipeg Sept. 14 12:30pm Game 6 Vancouver vs. Calgary Sept. 14 4:30pm *Game dates, times and opponents subject to change **All times converted to Mountain Daylight Time (MDT) For information and details on VIP packages and other ticket options, visit canucks.com/youngstars and SOEC.ca. Tickets are available online at www.valleyfirsttix.com, by phone at 1-877-763-2849, in person at the Valley First Box Office at the SOEC or Wine Country Visitor Centre.Ryan FranksonThu, 21 May 2015 13:27:00 EDThttp://2.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2014/09/644-edm-cgy1.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3987139871Barons season ends in 1-0 losshttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=39869UTICA, N.Y. — The Oklahoma City Barons fell 1-0 to the Utica Comets Wednesday night at the Utica Memorial Auditorium in the seventh and final game of the Western Conference Semifinals series, ending Oklahoma City’s 2015 Calder Cup Playoffs run. The game’s lone goal was scored in the third period, when Alexandre Grenier pushed the rebound of a Travis Ehrhardt shot past Barons goaltender Richard Bachman at 7:11 of the frame. Bachman finished the game with 39 saves, while Utica goalie Jacob Markstrom stopped all 35 shots he faced. Bachman finishes the postseason in a tie with Providence’s Malcom Subban for the highest save percentage of the playoffs at .953. Subban played in two games before Providence was eliminated. Despite holding the second-highest power play percentage in this year’s playoffs, Oklahoma City was held scoreless on three power play chances. With the win, Utica moves on to the Western Conference Finals round, where they will face the Grand Rapids Griffins in a best-of-seven series for the opportunity to represent the Western Conference in the Calder Cup Finals. Oklahoma City’s playoff run ended with a 6-4 record after a three-game sweep of San Antonio in the quarterfinal round and a 3-4 record against Utica in the semis.George DarkowThu, 21 May 2015 01:03:00 EDThttp://1.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2015/05/20150520_post1.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3986939869BLOG: What McLellan bringshttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=39837There is no doubt that Todd McLellan brings experience and name recognition to the Oilers organization. The long-time coach has worked his way up through the hockey ranks, with stops in the SJHL, WHL, IHL and AHL on his way to the NHL as an assistant and head coach. His winning record (311-163-66) as the bench boss in San Jose the past seven seasons is also a plus. But Oilers President of Hockey Operations and General Manager Peter Chiarelli spoke more specifically about McLellan, following the hiring announcement. McLellan becomes the 14th coach in Oilers franchise history. “Todd brings with him a wealth of experience, a level of energy and intellect I haven’t seen in a long time,” Chiarelli said. “He’s been a coach for a number of years, most recently a couple of days ago where he won the gold medal with Team Canada over in Prague. I had a chance to meet with him over there and talk at length on a number of different levels. I’m very impressed with him, meeting him face to face. I had been very impressed with his teams over the years in the NHL with Detroit and with San Jose.” When Chiarelli came to Edmonton, he spoke about wanting the Oilers to play harder. That doesn’t necessarily mean getting bigger or more physical, and Chiarelli feels McLellan gets that. “We talked a couple of weeks ago at my press conference about different ways of playing hard, rather than switching out a whole team’s roster. Both those teams in Detroit and San Jose, you look at them and how they play, the personnel, and they know how to play hard. Todd is one of the main reasons for that, instilling a level of confidence, energy and discipline into these players,” said Chiarelli. Chiarelli says McLellan was the top target for the Oilers. “His level of energy and his level of thinking really impressed me,” said Chiarelli. “If you look at him behind the bench, he’s active. I think he’s a terrific bench manager. A lot of reasons. My time in Boston, we didn’t play the Sharks a lot, but whenever we played them they were hard games, they were games where adjustments would be made all the time. They were heavy on the puck and he really looked like he enjoyed coaching. A number of those reasons helped me make my decision in choosing Todd.”Chris WescottTue, 19 May 2015 18:55:00 EDThttp://2.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2015/05/20150519_mclellanscrum306.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3983739837BLOG: Coaching stabilityhttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=39835The Oilers have had five head coaches since the start of the 2009-10 season. Stability is something the Edmonton organization would like to have with Todd McLellan, who was announced as the 14th head coach in franchise history on Tuesday. McLellan most recently coached seven seasons in San Jose, posting a record of 311-163-66 in 540 games. Six of those seven seasons, McLellan and the Sharks made the playoffs. His record indicates that he could be a more long-term fixture for the Oilers. Oilers President of Hockey Operations and General Manager Peter Chiarelli talked about stability at that position and all that goes into developing a long-term relationship. “By no means, is there a perfect amount of time for a coach. I think from a consistent messaging viewpoint, that’s important,” said Chiarelli. “In delivering your message and from a coaching perspective, he’s the main messenger and I think to have it over time, with more or less the same group, you’ll see it reaps tremendous rewards. Having said all that, there’s a lot of stuff in between. Not just having a stable coach for a certain number of years. You have to work well together, you have to have a plan and it has to be laid out and executed. Todd’s one of the top coaches in the league and we’re fortunate to have him here.” Prior to San Jose, McLellan coached the Swift Current Broncos in the WHL, the IHL’s Cleveland Lumberjacks and the Houston Aeros in the AHL. He was also an assistant in Detroit for three seasons. “Todd brings with him a wealth of experience, a level of energy and intellect I haven’t seen in a long time,” said Chiarelli.Chris WescottTue, 19 May 2015 18:53:00 EDThttp://2.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2015/05/20150519_mclellan644-2.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3983539835BLOG: Timeline for Toddhttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=39834The search was a relatively short timeline from start to finish. The Oilers season ended on April 11, and on the 20th Todd McLellan and the San Jose Sharks mutually parted ways after seven seasons. Now, one month later, McLellan has found his new home in Edmonton. Oilers President of Hockey Operations and General Manager Peter Chiarelli didn’t waste any time in meeting with McLellan following the season. Chiarelli knew the free agent coach would be sought after for multiple vacancies around the league. So Chiarelli, trying to get a head start on the competition, got on a plane and travelled to the Czech Republic to meet with McLellan, who was coaching Team Canada at the IIHF Men’s Hockey World Championship. “It happened fairly quickly, as far as trying to set something up,” said Chiarelli. “We wanted to get ahead of it with Todd. I went over to Prague and we spent three or four hours on a number of different things. I had a fairly exhaustive checklist to go through with him and he had a lot of questions for me. We felt it was a better time in the tournament, earlier on. The competition, the pace, the daily schedule grind wasn’t quite up to speed yet. It was a good time to do it. I knew there would be a lot of teams that would want to talk to Todd so I wanted to be kind of first in to let him digest it and get to know me and what we’re about here and what we’re trying to do here. Timing and opportunity was good and the fact that he had the time was good too. He’s the guy we wanted and wanted to get on to in a hurry.” The 2015 Worlds ended on Sunday, with McLellan and Canada taking home gold and finishing 10-0 in the tournament. Barely off the plane from Prague, McLellan was announced as the 14th coach in Oilers franchise history, concluding the short hiring process.Chris WescottTue, 19 May 2015 18:51:00 EDThttp://3.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2015/05/20150519_mclellan644-1.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3983439834BLOG: "It's going to go up"http://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=39833Todd McLellan was asked what his plans were as he takes the reigns as the new head coach of the Edmonton Oilers. “It’s going to go up. That’s what the plan is,” said McLellan. “It’s to take it up. It’s to take the organization and begin to climb the mountain. We have to chart our path to begin with. We have to determine what we want to be and how we want to look. We have to find the players within the organization right now — not going outside but in the organization — and put them in the right spots. With all of that, there’s pain. There’s nights we’re not going to be pleased. But there’s four teams that are playing right now that just experienced it, too. They have painful nights. They just have fewer of them. And that’s what we’re trying to do. Take those painful nights and diminish them throughout the years to the point where we can be at the top of the mountain.” McLellan has high hopes for the franchise, but did want to temper expectations for next season. “To come in and say hey we’re winning a Stanley Cup next year, that’s not the case. There’s some auxiliary pieces — and what I mean by auxiliary is not on the ice surface — that have been added. Bob’s obviously been named to oversee everything, Peter, myself. It’s been an exciting time for all of us.” He was quick to point out that he knows that he will ultimately be judged on whether or not the organization can get on the winning track. “The product on the ice — the wins and losses — still drive the organization. That’s how it is in any team. And we have to make sure that that product and those players are driving it upwards. “There will be hills and valleys but over time it has to keep going upwards.”Marc CiampaTue, 19 May 2015 18:43:00 EDThttp://3.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2015/05/20150519_mclellan644-1.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3983339833BLOG: McLellan looking to build a foundationhttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=39836Todd McLellan was asked about his playoff record with the Sharks, but McLellan was quick to point out that the Oilers were looking to get better in many aspects, not just postseason. “We’re not going to talk about playoffs here. We’re going to talk about foundation. We’re going to talk about creating an identity and building towards it. The playoff part of it exists after you accomplish those regular season things and we’ve got work to do there first of all,” McLellan began. He added that he felt that the Sharks got a bad rap when people referred to their playoff failures, noting that often the team that eliminated them went on to win the championship. “As far as San Jose goes, we had a lot of successes in the playoffs in my opinion. We ended up losing to some very good teams. Chicago, Los Angeles, teams that went on to win the Stanley Cup. And sometimes you get beat by a better team. It’s as simple as that. “Maybe you’re not at the top of your game. Maybe you’re short in some areas. Whether it’s skill, strength, toughness. It’s what the playoffs are about. You play, you find out what went right, what went wrong as an organization. Then you evaluate it and try to go out and fix it the next year. “We were close. We had really good teams. They still have a tremendous team there. They’ve got some tremendous athletes in that locker room. They’ll be a force to be reckoned with. But it was just time for the players and the coach to refresh, I guess is the best word.”Marc CiampaTue, 19 May 2015 18:39:00 EDThttp://3.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2015/05/644mclellan.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3983639836BLOG: Oilers announce news conference todayhttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=39830The Edmonton Oilers announced this morning that there will be a press conference later today (2:00 PM). You can watch the press conference LIVE on the Oilers Mobile App and also at edmontonoilers.com.Marc CiampaTue, 19 May 2015 12:11:00 EDThttp://3.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2015/04/644oeg.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3983039830Barons hold on, force game sevenhttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=39828UTICA, N.Y. — Behind a 33-save performance by goalie Richard Bachman, the Oklahoma City Barons defeated the Utica Comets 2-1 Monday night at the Utica Memorial Auditorium to force a seventh game in the best-of-seven AHL Calder Cup Playoffs Western Conference Semifinal round. Game seven is Wednesday at Utica. Despite the Comets outshooting the Barons 34-21 for the game, and 25-8 in the final two periods, Bachman didn’t allow a goal until 14:13 of the final frame. Near the end of the second period, Utica managed to put a puck into the OKC net, but the goal was waved off due to interference. Oklahoma City took an early 1-0 lead, when Brad Hunt picked up a loose puck in the neutral zone and maneuvered around several Utica defenders before shoveling a backhand shot that trickled past Comets goalie Jacob Markstrom. The goal at 5:23 of the first period was Hunt’s third of the postseason. After more than two periods worth of scoreless play, the Barons increased their lead to 2-0 at 8:26 of the third period. Following a Brad Hunt dump of the puck into the Utica zone, a carom off the end boards brought the puck back to a streaking Hamilton, who wristed a shot past Markstrom from the left-wing side. The goal was Hamilton’s team-high fifth postseason goal. Utica cut Oklahoma City’s lead to 2-1 with 5:47 to play in regulation, when a save by Bachman on a shot by Alex Friesen was rebounded by Sven Baertschi, who flipped the puck past the Barons net minder as he dived to cover the vacated side of the net. Despite a flurry of shots in the final moments of play, key blocks by Barons defenseman Dillon Simpson and center Connor Jones helped preserve Oklahoma City’s one-goal lead. Game Six marked the eighth time in franchise history the Barons faced elimination in the Calder Cup Playoffs, with all eight occurring on the road. After Monday’s win, Oklahoma City is now 4-4 all-time in elimination games. Oklahoma City has played one Game Seven in franchise playoff history, a 5-4 loss at Grand Rapids in the 2013 Western Conference Finals. Current Barons C.J. Stretch, Brandon Davidson and Martin Marincin took part in the game, with Davidson recording an assist. Wednesday’s winner-take-all seventh game of the series is a 6 p.m. CDT start at the Utica Memorial Auditorium.George DarkowTue, 19 May 2015 00:24:00 EDThttp://1.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2015/05/644396-uti-okc.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3982839828BLOG: McDavid wins MVP but Otters eliminatedhttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=39796Connor McDavid won the Wayne Gretzky '99' Award as MVP of the playoffs despite the Erie Otters dropping a 6-2 decision to Oshawa, losing the championship series in five games. From the OHL's press release: The top 2015 NHL Draft prospect led the OHL Playoffs in scoring with 21 goals, 28 assists and 49 points in 20 games, the most points in a postseason since Justin Papineau's OHL record of 51 in 1999. McDavid, an 18 year-old centreman from Newmarket, ON, had two goals, four assists and six points in five games during the Rogers OHL Championship Series, leading the Otters deep into the playoffs for the second straight season. He had points in 18 of his 20 playoff contests. The Otters captain recorded a total of five multi-goal games throughout the 2015 OHL Playoffs, highlighted by a five-goal performance in a 7-3 win over the London Knights on April 10. McDavid becomes the second Otters player to win the award after Brad Boyes earned the distinction in 2002. The OHL introduced the Wayne Gretzky 99 Award in 1999 to honour the Most Valuable Player in the OHL Playoffs as selected by the media. Gretzky, a native of Brantford, graduated from the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds to become the most prolific scorer in the history of the NHL. The league created the award in tribute of 'The Great One' shortly after he announced his retirement from the NHL in 1999.Marc CiampaSat, 16 May 2015 01:35:00 EDThttp://3.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2015/05/644mc2.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3979639796Barons face elimination after 3-1 losshttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=39784Jacob Markstrom stopped 33 shots for the Utica Comets, who downed the Oklahoma City Barons 3-1 Thursday night at the Cox Convention Center to take a 3-2 lead in the best-of-seven AHL Calder Cup Playoffs Western Conference Semifinals series. The loss puts Oklahoma City on the brink of elimination from the 2015 Calder Cup Playoffs, with the team needing wins in Game Six and Game Seven next week in Utica to advance to the Western Conference Finals. Utica can clinch a series win with a victory in either of the remaining two games. After surrendering six goals in Game Five, Markstrom allowed the Barons just a Brad Hunt goal with 1:09 left in the game, despite Oklahoma City outshooting Utica for the first time since Game One, 34-32. Barons goalie Richard Bachman made 30 saves. Utica registered a goal in all three periods and took a 1-0 lead at 12:13 of the first when Bobby Sanguinetti sent a turnaround shot from the right circle that Bachman knocked away with his blocker, but Wacey Hamilton was able to flip behind the sprawling Barons net minder. The Comets increased their lead to 2-0 at 3:54 of the second period after Peter Andersson skated into the Oklahoma City zone before taking a wide open pass from Alex Friesen and wristing a shot over Bachman’s blocker. A power play chance and an empty net gave the Barons 6-on-4 advantage in the waning minutes of play, and Hunt converted on a slap shot from the left point to get the Barons on the board at 18:51 of the third. Alexandre Grenier added an empty net goal at 19:44 of the third to secure the win for Utica. Game Six is at 6 p.m. CDT Monday, May 18, at the Utica Memorial Auditorium.George DarkowThu, 14 May 2015 23:52:00 EDThttp://2.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2015/05/20150514_postjpg.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3978439784BLOG: Draisaitl's Rockets sweep to WHL titlehttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=39770Leon Draisaitl was named the WHL MVP as his Kelowna Rockets defeated the Brandon Wheat Kings 3-0, sweeping their way to the WHL Championship. The first two periods went scoreless but 1:10 into the third, Draisaitl scored shorthanded to give the Rockets a 1-0 lead. That goal would turn out to be the game winner as 19 seconds later, Rourke Chartier scored shorthanded on the same penalty. With 5:30 to go, Draisaitl assisted on a goal by Nick Merkley to make it 3-0 and that was how the game would end.Marc CiampaThu, 14 May 2015 01:32:00 EDThttp://2.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2015/05/644rocketswin.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3977039770Offence and Nurse shine as OKC evens serieshttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=39747Jujhar Khaira and Darnell Nurse teamed up for a pair of goals and Brad Hunt added a goal and three assists to lead the Oklahoma City Barons to a 7-4 win over the Utica Comets Wednesday night at the Cox Convention Center, evening the best-of-seven AHL Calder Cup Western Conference Semifinals series at 2-2. In his first game of the playoffs, Nurse recorded three assists. His first gave the Barons a 1-0 lead at 9:30 of the first period, when he centered a pass to the front of the net, where Khaira chipped the puck past Utica goalie Jacob Markstrom. Khaira and Nurse combined once again for Oklahoma City’s fourth goal at 17:34 of the second period, when again Nurse skidded the puck toward the net and Khaira redirected it past Markstrom to give the Barons a 4-3 lead. Hunt assisted on the Barons’ second, third and fifth goals, and scored an empty-netter at 17:15 of the third, firing a slap shot from the left circle of the OKC zone that sailed into the center of the vacant Utica net, making the score 7-4. Nurse tallied his third assist on the play. Oklahoma City was 4-for-7 on the power play, with Khaira’s and Hunt’s goals the even-strength scores. For a third consecutive game, the Barons were outshot by Utica, 42-24. Barons goaltender Richard Bachman made 38 saves, while Markstrom stopped a pedestrian 17. Utica played the final 5:30 with an empty net and extra attacker. After Khaira’s first goal gave the Barons a 1-0 lead, Utica’s Hunter Shinkaruk tied the game at 16:21 of the first period, when he wristed a shot from the left-wing circle that caromed off the post and Bachman’s back before trickling into the net. The play was reviewed and upheld by officials. The Barons took a 2-1 lead 1:16 into the second period. On the power play stemming from a cross-checking penalty to Utica’s Alex Biega in the final second first period play, Hunt sent a shot from the point that was initially knocked down by Markstrom, but OKC’s Andrew Miller jammed the puck through the goalie’s pads for the Barons’ first power play score of the game. Goals by Utica’s Sven Baertschi at 6:50 and Alex Friesen at 11:34 of the second period gave the Comets a 3-2 lead. At 13:08 of the second, Hunt sent a shot on net from the right circle that bounced high off Markstrom’s chest, allowing Matt Ford to bat the puck out of the air and past the Utica net minder, knotting the score at three. The goal extended Ford’s playoff point streak to seven games – the entirety of the Barons playoff schedule thus far. Following Khaira’s second goal that gave the Barons a 4-3 lead, Oklahoma City’s lead grew to 5-3 when Markstrom chased a puck behind the Utica net and his clearing attempt slid to OKC’s Ryan Hamilton, who pushed the puck toward the vacant net, giving the Barons their first multi-goal lead of the series. Two minutes, seventeen seconds later, Brandon Davidson scored on a wrist shot from the right circle that found its way through Markstrom’s pads to extend the Barons’ lead to 6-3. Playing with an extra attacker late in the third period, Utica’s Brendan Gaunce cut Oklahoma City’s lead to 6-4, grabbing a pass from Friesen in the right circle and rifling a shot over Bachman’s glove. The late empty-netter was the first goal of the playoffs for Hunt, who tied for the lead in goals among AHL defenseman during the regular season with 19. Game Five is scheduled for 7 p.m., Thursday at the Cox Convention Center.George DarkowWed, 13 May 2015 23:59:00 EDThttp://3.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2015/05/20150513_baronswin.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3974739747BLOG: 4 points for McDavid, but Erie falls in OThttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=39771The Erie Otters have been pushed to the brink after falling 6-5 to the Oshawa Generals on Wednesday night. Top-ranked CSS prospect Connor McDavid had a goal and three assists for four points in a losing cause. Oshawa stormed out to a 2-0 lead in the first period but before the period would end, the Otters came back to tie it at 2-2 with McDavid assisting on both goals. The Generals then scored two more to open the second and take a 4-2 lead. 10 seconds after Oshawa's fourth goal, Jake Marchment scored to make it a one-goal affair. Then McDavid assisted on a goal by Taylor Raddysh to tie it up at 4-4. Erie took a 5-4 after McDavid ripped a shot from the high slot top corner. Oshawa tied the game at 5-5 with one second left in the middle frame. Neither team scored in the third, sending the match-up to overtime. In OT, Cole Cassels scored 8:19 in to give Oshawa the win.Marc CiampaWed, 13 May 2015 23:30:00 EDThttp://1.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2015/05/644mc1.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3977139771BLOG: New AHL alignment for 2015-16http://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=39705The American Hockey League has announced approval for their new alignment for the 2015-16 season. The Western Conference’s Pacific Division will be the home of Bakersfield, the Oilers affiliate. They will compete against fellow Pacific Division teams; the Ontario Reign, San Antonio Rampage, San Diego Gulls, San Jose Barracuda, Stockton Heat and the Texas Stars. The format for the 2016 Calder Cup Playoffs will be finalized at the Board of Governors annual meeting in July. Bakersfield will become the Oilers primary development team, starting next season.Chris WescottTue, 12 May 2015 18:37:00 EDThttp://2.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2015/05/644pacdiv.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3970539705RECAP: Barons drop game three, 3-2http://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=39678Mike Zalewski scored the game-winning goal in the third period to lift the Utica Comets to a 3-2 win over the Oklahoma City Barons and 2-1 lead in the best-of-seven Western Conference Semifinals series of the AHL’s Calder Cup playoffs Monday night at the Cox Convention Center. One minute, forty-two seconds after Oklahoma City’s Josh Winquist knotted the game at two with a power play goal at 3:08 of the third period, Utica’s Alex Biega sent a shot from the right point that deflected off Zalewski’s stick and past Barons goalie Richard Bachman for the game’s deciding score. For a second straight game, the Barons were outshot by Utica, registering just 22 shots on net minder Jacob Markstrom to the Comets’ 28. Unlike the series’ first two games in which the initial scoring team lost, Utica tallied the first goal of Monday’s game early in the first period. After a flurry of shots by the Barons, Utica scored on its first shot of the game when Alexandre Grenier sent a centering pass to Sven Baertschi, who shuffled the puck to Alex Friesen for a backhanded score at 1:20 of the first. At 12:25 of the first, Grenier gave the Comets a 2-0 lead, grabbing a pass in the slot from Bobby Sanguinetti and spinning around before flipping the puck past a sprawling Bachman. Oklahoma City got on the board at 15:10 of the first with a shorthanded goal by Andrew Miller, scoring moments after Zalewski left the penalty box during four-on-four play. After Winquist’s goal tied the game at two, an errant clearing attempt by Oklahoma City’s Martin Marincin led to an icing call, setting up a faceoff in the Barons zone. On the ensuing play, Zalewski netted the game-winner for Utica. With an assist on Winquist’s goal, Matt Ford registered his eighth point of the postseason, collecting at least one in all six of Oklahoma City’s playoff games. The teams meet again for Game Four on Wednesday, May 13, in a 7 p.m. start at the Cox Convention Center.George DarkowTue, 12 May 2015 00:53:00 EDThttp://1.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2015/05/20150511_post1.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3967839678BLOG: Draisaitl's goal helps lift Rockets to winhttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=39690Leon Draisaitl had a goal and an assist as the Kelowna Rockets won 5-3 to take a 3-0 series lead over the Brandon Wheat Kings on Monday night in Kelowna. With the win, the Rockets are only one win away from a WHL Championship and an appearance in the Memorial Cup. Their next two games are on home ice in Kelowna. Draisaitl opened the scoring with a shorthanded goal 6:35 into the first period. Morgan Klimchuk responded 1:13 later for Brandon to get the game on even terms. Gage Quinney regained the lead for the Rockets only 59 seconds after that, sending the home team into the first intermission with a 2-1 lead. Dillon Dube's goal 4:15 into period two increased Kelowna's advantage to 3-1 and before the period would end, Rourke Chartier's 11th of the postseason made it a three-goal game. 26 seconds after Chartier's goal, Brandon responded to send the game into the final frame down a pair. Brandon made a game of it in the third period after Tim McGauley's goal midway through made it a 4-3 contest but Chartier's second of the night and 12th of the playoffs -- assisted by Draisiatl -- was the insurance marker. The two teams play again on Wednesday in Kelowna. Game time is 8:05 p.m. MDT and it can be seen on Shaw TV (channel 10).Marc CiampaTue, 12 May 2015 00:41:00 EDThttp://2.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2015/05/20150503_drai.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3969039690BLOG: Erie, McDavid bounce back in a big wayhttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=39689Connor McDavid and the Erie Otters won on home ice Monday 4-3 to narrow their gap in the series to two games to one over the Oshawa Generals. McDavid had a goal and an assist to help lead the Otters to the win. Erie had a 2-0 lead after two late first-period goals by Remi Elie and Alex DeBrincat. That lead carried over through a scoreless middle frame and into the third. In the third, McDavid scored five minutes in to make it 3-0 for the home team. 1:15 later, Cole Cassels scored to bring the Generals within a pair. With 7:36 to go in the game, Nick Betz scored to give the Otters a 4-1 lead. Late goals by Sam Harding and Cassels made it 4-3 but that was as close as Oshawa would get. Game 4 goes Wednesday at 5:35 p.m. MDT. Game 5 will be televised on Sportsnet and is Friday at 5:35 p.m. as well.Marc CiampaMon, 11 May 2015 22:28:00 EDThttp://3.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2015/05/644mc2.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3968939689BLOG: Confidence gained helping Bachman thrivehttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=39684Playing in relief of Laurent Brossoit in game two against San Antonio, Richard Bachman was on point. The Barons goaltender stopped all 16 shots as Oklahoma City rallied for the win, pushing the Rampage to the brink of elimination. Bachman stopped 35 of 36 in game three, as the Barons advanced to the Western Conference Semifinals of the Calder Cup playoffs. Again, Bachman was sensational. The netminder made 56 saves as the Barons and Utica Comets went through three full overtime periods before Curtis Hamilton potted the winner 16 seconds into the fourth. Despite losing to Utica in overtime, 2-1 in game two, Bachman gave them a chance with 36 saves. “He’s amazing back there,” said Barons forward Connor Jones. “He’s calm, he’s cool and he’s made some incredible saves. Like in game three against San Antonio, he made some big saves. Same as game two. When we’ve made mistakes, he’s been there to back (us up) and you can’t say enough about him.” The Barons goaltender is leading the AHL with a .84 GAA and .973 save percentage this post-season. Bachman says his performance is a result of multiple factors, but one is the confidence he gained from a call-up with the Oilers. “I think it’s a number of different things. I’ve had some pretty good confidence from the time spent up in Edmonton at the end of the year there, to bring that back down with me,” said Bachman. “Part of it is seeing the puck well and a lot of it goes to our defence and our forwards. They’re blocking shots and letting me see the puck and really battling hard in front of the net for me.” Bachman played six games with the Oilers this season, posting a 2.84 GAA and .911 save percentage. He finished his time in Edmonton with three-straight wins, making 83 saves on 86 shots in that span. Bachman is expected to start tonight in game three against Utica, in Oklahoma City.Chris WescottMon, 11 May 2015 15:26:00 EDThttp://1.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2015/05/20150511_game3.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3968439684BLOG: Nurse comments on McDavidhttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=39638It was a battle that a lot of people around the hockey community were eager to watch— Oilers prospect Darnell Nurse and the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds against Connor McDavid and the Erie Otters. Nurse played huge minutes against the Otters, drawing some big responsibilities. Unfortunately, the Greyhounds lost to the Otters, 4-2 in the Ontario Hockey League Western Conference Final. McDavid is the OHL playoffs’ leading scorer with a whopping 43 points (19-24-43) in 17 games. He’s NHL Central Scouting’s top-ranked North American skater ahead of the 2015 NHL Draft. Nurse says, after playing him, the hype is deserved. “Obviously, he has a lot of hype but it’s something that he’s earned,” said Nurse. “Obviously, he’s such a great player. He showed in our series the way he’s able to make plays. He’s a special player. It was good to play against him. It was a good challenge for myself and it was good just to go out there and play and have a lot of fun.” Erie is down 2-0 in their OHL Final best-of-seven series against the Oshawa Generals. Nurse is in Oklahoma City with the Barons for the Calder Cup Playoffs. OKC takes on Utica in game three of the Western Conference Semifinal on Monday. The series is currently tied 1-1.Chris WescottSun, 10 May 2015 18:46:00 EDThttp://3.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2015/05/2015003_mcNurse.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3963839638BLOG: Kelowna, Draisaitl take 2-0 series leadhttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=39664Leon Draisaitl had a goal and an assist as the Kelowna Rockets won 5-3 to take a 2-0 series lead over the Brandon Wheat Kings despite having played the first two games on the road. Brandon opened the scoring only 1:20 into the game before Draisaitl set up Rourke Chartier about 10 minutes later to tie it at 1-1. With three seconds to go in the first, Nick Merkley scored to make it 2-1. Kelowna extended their lead to 3-1 only 27 seconds into period two. Peter Quenneville scored two goals four minutes apart early in the third to make it a 3-3 game, however. Midway through the third, Nick Merkley scored his second of the game shorthanded to make it 4-3 and Draisaitl added an empty-netter to wrap it up.Marc CiampaSun, 10 May 2015 00:43:00 EDThttp://2.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2015/01/644draisaitl3.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3966439664BLOG: Erie falls behind 2-0 in serieshttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=39663The Erie Otters have fallen behind 2-0 in their best-of-seven Ontario Hockey League Championship Series to the Oshawa Generals after losing Game 2 5-1 on Saturday night. Top-ranked prospect Connor McDavid had no points and was a -2. It was the first time in these playoffs that McDavid came away without a point. He had a point in each of his first 16 playoff games, scoring 19 goals and 43 points in those games.Marc CiampaSun, 10 May 2015 00:27:00 EDThttp://1.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2015/01/644mcdavid.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3966339663BLOG: Draisaitl & the Rockets outlast Brandonhttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=39654Oilers prospect Leon Draisaitl and the Kelowna Rockets were able to hang on to their one-goal lead in the third period, on the way to a 4-3 win over Brandon in game one of the Western Hockey League Final. Draisaitl, taken third overall in 2014, finished the game +2 with a goal. His score came at 18:50 of the second period, proving to be the game-winner. Tyson Baillie, Justin Kirkland and Chance Braid also scored for Kelowna. Rihards Bukarts (2) and Peter Quenneville both scored for Brandon. Kelowna outshot the Wheat Kings 40-28. Game two is on Saturday, in Brandon.Chris WescottFri, 08 May 2015 23:16:00 EDThttp://3.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2015/05/644draisaitl.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3965439654BLOG: McDavid, Otters fall in game onehttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=39653In game one of the Ontario Hockey League Final, the Erie Otters were overwhelmed by the Oshawa Generals, 4-1. Top-ranked 2015 draft prospect Connor McDavid was -2 with an assist and two penalty minutes. The Generals had a 2-0 lead in the second period when Remi Elie scored on the power play, assisted by McDavid and Travis Dermott. The Generals outshot the Otters 12-5 in the third period and 31-19 for the game. Hunter Smith scored the insurance goal at 17:39 of the final frame to give Oshawa to a 4-1 lead.Chris WescottFri, 08 May 2015 22:24:00 EDThttp://1.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2015/01/644mcdavid.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3965339653BLOG: Barons drop tight game twohttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=39652Despite a first-period lead and another outstanding performance by Richard Bachman in net, the Oklahoma City Barons came out on the losing end of a 2-1 decision to the Utica Comets. The series is now split at one game a piece and will transition to Oklahoma City for games three, four and five. Kellen Jones fed his twin brother, Connor, for the game’s opening goal. Connor Jones potted his third of the playoffs at 8:50 of the first period for the 1-0 OKC lead. Barons goaltender Richard Bachman was hot early and made some big saves in the second period. Unfortunately, his efforts were spoiled in the third with Adam Clendening’s shot getting deflected in, through traffic, at 1:31 of the third period. The goal snapped Bachman’s shutout streak at 144 minutes and 37 seconds, dating back to game one. To close out the third period, Bachman was run into as Wacey Hamilton was hauled down in front, while crashing the net. Bachman made the save but was shaken up with 1.8 seconds left. He’d stay in until the finish. Utica’s Alexandre Grenier tipped the puck past Bachman at 3:32 of overtime to even the series. Bachman made 36 saves in the loss. Game three is Monday, at 7 p.m. CDT in Oklahoma City.Chris WescottFri, 08 May 2015 22:06:00 EDThttp://3.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2015/05/20150508_post1.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3965239652BLOG: Hamilton scores in fourth OT to lift Baronshttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=39601Curtis Hamilton scored 16 seconds into the fourth overtime period, lifting Oklahoma City to a 2-1 win over Utica in game one of their Western Conference Semi Final series. Richard Bachman made 56 saves for the Barons, and Jacob Markstrom made 65 saves for Utica. The game lasted 120 minutes and 16 seconds, as the sixth longest game in AHL history. Mitch Moroz nearly potted his first of the playoffs in a scoreless first period, however, the goal was waved off by officials due to a hand pass. Utica’s Kent Huskins scored at 17:10 of the opening frame for the 1-0 lead. Huskins has played over 300 NHL games and won a Stanley Cup with Anaheim in 2007. Although the Barons doubled up the Comets in shots during the opening period, 14-7, they trailed heading into the first intermission. Kellen Jones, a seventh-round pick of the Oilers in 2010, scored the Barons first of the game at 4:13 of the second. Jones showed great finish, burying a breakaway chance to draw OKC even with the Comets. The Barons put up 40 shots in regulation, but couldn’t solve Utica goaltender Jacob Markstrom again to end things early. The game went to overtime. 8:10 into overtime, Andrew Miller had a great power play chance to end the game, alone in front of the net, but was denied by Markstrom. With 7:11 remaining in OT, Kellen Jones’ backhand try was stopped by a brilliant save by Markstrom. Utica outshot the Barons 11-8 in the first overtime period as the game stayed knotted at one. Double overtime meant it became the longest game in Barons history. The Comets had a glorious opportunity in that period to take the win, as Matthew Ford was whistled for hooking at 17:14. However, the Barons killed off that penalty and a third overtime was necessary. The first five minutes of triple overtime belonged to the Barons, who had numerous opportunities to end the game. That included a long shift, in which they hemmed the Comets in their zone. Brandon Davidson took a high-sticking call at 9:22 of the third overtime, giving Utica another opportunity to close it out. To that point, OKC had outshot the Comets by a 6-0 margin in that period. One again, the Barons were able to kill off the Comets man advantage. The Barons ensuing power play went by without a goal as well, despite a big chance by Ford in deep. With under 4:30 to play in the third overtime, Bachman turned away a 2-on-1 drive to keep the Barons alive. And again, the game needed more time. Hamilton, chosen 48th overall by the Oilers in 2010, spun around and whipped a shot on net that found twine just 16 seconds into the fourth overtime period to lift OKC to victory. Game two is on Friday, in Utica at 5 p.m. MDT.Chris WescottFri, 08 May 2015 09:28:00 EDThttp://1.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2015/05/20150507_win.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3960139601BLOG: McLellan has good things to say about Oilershttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=39603Team Canada Head Coach Todd McLellan has had a chance to watch two of the Oilers most talented players in action at the 2015 IIHF World Hockey Championship in Prague, Czech Republic. Taylor Hall has four goals and two assists in three games for Canada. Jordan Eberle has a goal and three assists. The Edmonton Sun caught up with McLellan at Worlds and he had some positive things to say about the talent already on the roster and the additions and changes to their front office. Bob Nicholson coming in as CEO and Peter Chiarelli as President of Hockey Operations and General Manager are two of those changes that McLellan approves of. And of course, winning the lottery in a year with two franchise talents at the top of the draft is always a plus. “It’s a team with a rich history and they have some good players there,” McLellan told the Edmonton Sun. “Now you add in (top-ranked 2015 draft prospect Connor) McDavid, Bob taking over and Peter coming in. I really do think there were good people there before. What job descriptions they end up in, I’m not sure. But there will be a very strong team and group of people there.” Canada takes on Sweden today at 12:15 p.m. MDT.Chris WescottWed, 06 May 2015 12:24:00 EDThttp://1.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2015/05/20150503_hall1.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3960339603BLOG: Barons second round schedulehttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=39542The Oklahoma City Barons will take on the Utica Comets in the Western Conference semifinals of the American Hockey League’s Calder Cup playoffs, the Barons front office announced today. Games 1 and 2, as well as Games 6 and 7 (if necessary) of the best-of-7 series are scheduled in Utica, NY beginning on Thursday, May 7 and Friday, May 8 at 6 p.m. (CT). The series shifts to Oklahoma City for Games 3, 4 and 5 (if necessary). Game 3 is scheduled for Monday, May 11 and Game 4 is scheduled for Wednesday, May 13 at 7 p.m. (CT). Should the series require a Game 5, it is scheduled for Thursday, May 14 at 7 p.m. (CT). If the series would require a Game 6, it is scheduled for Monday, May 18 at 6 p.m. (CT) in Utica. If necessary, Game 7 is scheduled for Wednesday, May 20 at 6 p.m. (CT), also in Utica. A complete schedule is listed below: Game 1 May 7 Oklahoma City @ Utica 6 p.m. Game 2 May 8 Oklahoma City @ Utica 6 p.m. Game 3 May 11 Utica @ Oklahoma City 7 p.m. Game 4 May 13 Utica @ Oklahoma City 7 p.m. *Game 5 May 14 Utica @ Oklahoma City 7 p.m. *Game 6 May 18 Oklahoma City @ Utica 6 p.m. *Game 7 May 20 Oklahoma City @ Utica 6 p.m. * if necessary all times listed as CDT Oklahoma City and Utica met twice during the regular season. Oklahoma City posted a 1-1-0-0 mark, while Utica posted a 1–0-1-0 record against Oklahoma City. This is the first Calder Cup Playoff meeting between Oklahoma City and Utica. In the regular season series, Oklahoma City was led in scoring by forward Jason Williams who tallied 2 points (2–0-2). The Comets were led in scoring against Oklahoma City by Hunter Shinkaruk who tallied 2 points (1-1-2).OKC Barons Press ReleaseMon, 04 May 2015 16:28:00 EDThttp://3.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2015/04/20150423_post1.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3954239542BLOG: Draisaitl & Kelowna advancehttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=39534Leon Draisaitl and the Kelowna Rockets are WHL Western Conference Champions after an 8-4 win over the Portland Winterhawks in game six. They will now face the Brandon Wheat Kings for the title. The Winterhawks didn’t make it easy on the Rockets. Portland took a 3-0 lead in the first period, courtesy of two goals by Chase DeLeo and one by Adam Henry. Kelowna scored the game’s next four with Draisaitl, the third-overall pick by the Oilers in the 2014 draft, recording an assist on Madison Bowey’s shorthanded goal at 12:18 of the second period. Portland drew even with Kelowna at 8:12 of the third, but the Rockets scored four more in the game’s final 10:35, including two empty-netters. Draisaitl has 21 points (6-15-21) in 15 games these playoffs.Chris WescottSun, 03 May 2015 22:50:00 EDThttp://2.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2015/05/20150503_drai.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3953439534BLOG: Nurse scores, but McDavid's Otters close out serieshttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=39504Top-ranked draft prospect Connor McDavid had five points in a 7-3 win as the Erie Otters closed out their series with Darnell Nurse and Sault Ste. Marie in six games. Nurse, chosen seventh overall in 2013 by the Oilers, finished with a goal for the Greyhounds. McDavid, NHL Central Scouting’s top-ranked North American skater, had a goal and four assists. Nick Betz put Erie on top with a redirection at 2:49 of the first period. Sault Ste. Marie rallied for two-straight goals, including a terrific shot by Jared McCann through traffic, at 8:45 of the opening period. That goal came on a 5-on-3 power play. Jake Marchment scored the equalizer, coming out of the penalty box. Marchment’s shot went in off the crossbar, at 10:12 of the first. McDavid dished the puck with a backhanded pass to Alex DeBrincat who scored to give Erie a 3-2 lead at 8:46 of the second, on the power play. McDavid scored on the power play as well, with a nice wraparound at 10:19 of the middle frame. Nurse scored a big goal to draw Sault Ste. Marie within one again, with a fluttering shot from the point at 4:04 of the third period. Unfortunately for Nurse and the Greyhounds, Erie would score the game’s final three goals. Nicholas Baptiste put away a power play goal at 11:53 of the third. DeBrincat finished off a nice tic-tac-toe play at 14:32 and he scored an empty-netter at 17:08.Chris WescottSat, 02 May 2015 22:17:00 EDThttp://2.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2015/04/20150428_1.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3950439504BLOG: Draisaitl's Rockets take Game 5 in OThttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=39478A goal by Tyson Baillie with 5:05 remaining in the first overtime lifted the Kelowna Rockets to a 2-1 win over the Portland Winterhawks on Friday night, giving the Rockets a 3-2 series lead in Game 5 of the WHL Western Conference Final. Oilers prospect Leon Draisaitl assisted on Riley Stadel's goal to opening scoring with 2:25 to go in the first period. That goal looked like it was going to be enough but with 3:33 to play in the third, Nic Petan scored to force overtime. After three periods, shots on goal were 39-29 for Portland, but Kelowna found an extra gear in OT, outshooting the Winterhawks 20-4 in the fourth period. Draisaitl's assist gave him 20 points so far in these playoffs with six goals and 14 assists in 14 games to lead all Rockets and rank fourth in the WHL in postseason scoring. Kelowna can wrap up the series with a win on Sunday night in Portland. Game time is 6:00 p.m. MDT.Marc CiampaSat, 02 May 2015 01:18:00 EDThttp://3.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2015/05/644draisaitl.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3947839478BLOG: MacTavish stays on as Chiarelli's No. 2http://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=39474The Oilers announced the hiring of Peter Chiarelli as President of Hockey Operations and General Manager on April 24. Until now, it was unknown what former GM Craig MacTavish’s next move would be or if he would stay on with the Oilers. Chiarelli, who is in Prague for the 2015 IIHF World Hockey Championship, confirmed to media that MacTavish would stay on his staff. “He’ll be the No. 2 guy,” Chiarelli said, per the Edmonton Sun. Chiarelli says he hasn’t settled on a title yet, but it is clear that he wants MacTavish on board. “He’ll be my eyes and ears in all areas,” said Chiarelli. “I want to have strong people with strong opinions.” Chiarelli said MacTavish was upset at first, but the new hockey ops boss wanted to reach out and discuss options moving forward. Ultimately, MacTavish agreed to stay. “I explained how much I’d like to have him in the mix and I’m glad he’s come around and decided to stay with us,” said Chiarelli.Chris WescottFri, 01 May 2015 14:13:00 EDThttp://1.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2014/12/20141215_macT-644.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3947439474BLOG: Sault Ste. Marie stays alive, beats Erie 4-2http://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=39468The Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds avoided elimination and forced game six with a 4-2 win over the Erie Otters. Nicholas Baptiste opened scoring at 2:06 of the first period, giving Erie a 1-0 lead. A turnover right out in front of Sault Ste. Marie goaltender Brandon Halverson led to that score. The Greyhounds responded, on the power play, at 12:09 of the same period. Jared McCann’s one-timer found twine, assisted by Anthony DeAngelo and Sergey Tolchinsky. A scoreless second period followed. A turnover in the neutral zone gave the Greyhounds a 3-on-1 rush. Michael Bunting put it away, at 3:36 of the third to put Sault Ste. Marie up 2-1. Travis Dermott tied the game for Erie at 5:13 of the third. It was Bryan Moore who broke the tie and scored the winner, at 12:55. Moore came down the ice from his own blueline and picked the corner behind Devin Williams. Gabe Guertler buried an empty-netter at 19:58 to put the icing on the cake. Oilers prospect Darnell Nurse finished the game +1, with no points. Top-ranked draft prospect Connor McDavid had an assist on the Dermott goal. Game six of the OHL Western Conference Final takes place in Erie on Saturday. Game six is on Sportsnet 360.Chris WescottThu, 30 Apr 2015 22:06:00 EDThttp://2.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2015/04/20150428_1.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3946839468BLOG: Hendricks named captain of Team USAhttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=39466Oilers winger Matt Hendricks has been named captain of the 2015 U.S. Men’s National Team for the 2015 IIHF World Championships. Hendricks, 33, played in 71 games for the Oilers this season, recording 16 points (8-8-16) and 76 penalty minutes. The 2015 World Championships take place in Prague and Ostrava, Czech Republic from May 1-17. The U.S. team is in Group B. Hendricks is from Blaine, Minnesota.Chris WescottThu, 30 Apr 2015 18:01:00 EDThttp://3.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/gallery/2014/03/406136_1393735003654.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3946639466BLOG: Khaira lifts Barons to OT win & series sweephttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=39457An Oilers prospect, in his return from injury, scored the overtime winner and lifted the Oklahoma City Barons to a 2-1 win and a 3-0 sweep of the San Antonio Rampage. Jujhar Khaira, playing in his first game since March 4, scored the game-winning goal at 5:01 of the overtime period. In the first, there was a scramble in front of the San Antonio net. The puck slid behind Rampage goaltender Dan Ellis, but was covered up by bodies. Following an official review, it was confirmed to be no goal. Kellen Jones jammed a rebound past Ellis at 18:51 of the second period to give OKC a 1-0 lead. Matthew Ford and Jason Williams earned the assists. Kellen’s twin brother, Connor, scored the overtime winner in game two and came close to giving the Barons a 2-0 lead with 1:30 left in the game but his one-on-one chance was stopped by Ellis. Ellis left the ice, giving San Antonio an extra attacker, with about 80 seconds left in the third. Dylan Olsen potted the equalizer with 58.3 seconds left in the game, assisted by Vincent Trocheck and Garrett Wilson. That goal sent it to overtime. Bachman had his work cut out for him in regulation, making 35 saves through 60 minutes. In overtime, it was the Oilers 2012 third-round pick, Khaira, who brought the brooms out for the sweep. Mitch Moroz, the 32nd overall pick in 2012, set that play up. Moroz came down the wing and centred a pass through two Rampage bodies. The puck reached Ford, who fired it over the net. Khaira banked the rebound in off of a sprawled Ellis for the win. Bachman made 35 saves in his first start of the 2015 playoffs. The Barons second-round opponent is yet to be determined.Chris WescottThu, 30 Apr 2015 13:14:00 EDThttp://2.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2015/04/20150429_bachman1.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3945739457BLOG: Draisaitl finishes with two points in Kelowna winhttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=39458A three-goal run in the first and second periods lifted the Kelowna Rockets to an important 3-2 win over Portland, tying their WHL Western Conference Final series at 2-2. Oilers prospect Leon Draisaitl scored a goal at 7:50 of the first period, tying the game at 1-1. That goal sparked two more from Kelowna, giving them a 3-1 lead. Nicolas Petan scored at 12:03 of the second, but that’s as close as the Winterhawks would get to completing their comeback bid. Jackson Whistle made 14 saves in the third period for Kelowna to help seal the win. Draisaitl also chipped in an assist on Kelowna’s third goal of the night, at 9:16 of the second on the power play. Draisaitl leads Kelowna in playoff scoring with 19 points in 13 games.Chris WescottThu, 30 Apr 2015 00:40:00 EDThttp://1.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2015/01/644drai2.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3945839458BLOG: Draisaitl scores, Kelowna falls behind in serieshttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=39409Oilers 2014 third-overall pick, Leon Draisaitl, scored a goal in Kelowna’s 7-3 loss to Portland in game three of the WHL Western Conference Final. Draisaitl’s goal was his fifth of the playoffs and 17th point in 12 games so far. He finished game three -1 with two penalty minutes. Kelowna outshot Portland 44-40, but the Winterhawks got the early jump on the Rockets. Portland scored the game’s opening three goals, and had a 5-1 lead at one point. The Winterhawks lead the best-of-seven series, 2-1. Game four is in Portland on Wednesday night.Chris WescottWed, 29 Apr 2015 01:14:00 EDThttp://2.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2015/01/644draisaitl3.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3940939409BLOG: Erie takes 3-1 series lead over Nurse’s Greyhoundshttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=39408The Erie Otters took a 3-1 series in the Ontario Hockey League Western Conference Final, with a 7-5 win over Darnell Nurse and the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds. The first period scoring began with Jean Dupuy’s goal just 38 seconds into the game to give Sault Ste. Marie a short-lived 1-0 lead. Dupuy was assisted by Oilers prospect Darnell Nurse and Justin Bailey. Nicholas Baptiste answered for Erie at 2:35 of the opening frame, assisted by the top-ranked 2015 draft prospect, Connor McDavid, and Remi Ellie. Although McDavid couldn’t find twine, he finished the game with four assists. “(McDavid is) a heck of a player, he’s a dynamic player, he competes, he wins battles, he’s great to watch. I’m glad I’m able to watch him tonight,” said Oilers President of Hockey Operations and General Manager Peter Chiarelli, who was at the game and was interviewed on the broadcast. The Otters and Greyhounds exchanged goals to make it 2-2 heading into the second. Nick Ritchie passed the puck out in front to Gabe Guertier for the Sault Ste. Marie lead at 8:09 of the second period. Baptiste, a 2013 third-round pick of the Buffalo Sabres, scored his second of the night at 11:24 of the second, on the power play, to even things up at three. After a Jared McCann third-period goal for the Greyhounds, Erie tied things up once again when NHL Central Scouting’s fourth-ranked North American skater, Dylan Strome, scored on the power play, assisted by McDavid and Travis Dermott. Nurse came to the defence of a teammate who was hit after the whistle and went to the box for roughing, which gave Erie that power play. McDavid tossed it in front and Strome scooped and scored at 3:32 of the third. Strome finished the game -1 with a goal and an assist. Nurse finished +1 with two penalty minutes and a helper. Baptiste earned the hat trick at 13:23 of the third, giving Erie a 6-4 lead. Sault Ste. Marie did get within one again, but Baptiste’s fourth goal of the night sealed the Erie win at 19:22 of the final frame. Game five is on Thursday, in Sault Ste. Marie.Chris WescottTue, 28 Apr 2015 22:35:00 EDThttp://2.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2015/04/20150428_1.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3940839408BLOG: Aquila receives 12 nominationshttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=39386Oilers Entertainment Group announced today that Aquila Productions has received 12 nominations for the 2015 Alberta Film & Television (Rosie) Awards. Aquila Productions is owned by OEG and based in Edmonton. Aquila received four nominations for “Oil Change: Game On,” a documentary series covering the Oilers franchise. They also received six nominations for “Scout’s Honor,” one nomination for their live production of Tour of Alberta and one nomination for their production of the 1984 Legacy Reunion Gala. The Alberta Media Production Industries Association Awards celebrate excellence and outstanding achievement in Alberta film, television and new media.Chris WescottTue, 28 Apr 2015 16:02:00 EDThttp://2.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2013/01/aquila_644.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3938639386BLOG: McDavid scores twice, Nurse logs assisthttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=39356Connor McDavid showed, once again, why he is NHL Central Scouting’s top-ranked North American skater heading into the 2015 NHL Draft. McDavid scored two goals, including a beautiful shorthanded tally, as the Erie Otters took a 2-1 series lead over Darnell Nurse and the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds, with a 4-2 win. On a shorthanded breakaway in the first period, McDavid went full-Forsberg. In a throwback to Hall of Famer Peter Forsberg, McDavid slipped the puck past Greyhounds goaltender Brandon Halverson, one-handed. That goal at 10:51 was assisted by Remi Ellie and gave Erie a 2-0 lead. McDavid’s second goal came at 1:01 of the second period as he flipped a backhand behind Halverson, unassisted. That goal made it 3-1, Erie. McDavid now has 18 goals and 32 points in 12 playoff games, leading the OHL. The Greyhounds made a push, making it a 3-2 game at 14:57 of the second. Anaheim Ducks 2014 first-round pick, Nick Ritchie, scored his 13th goal of the playoffs, assisted by Tyler Ganly and Oilers prospect Darnell Nurse. Nurse, taken seventh overall in 2013, logged a lot of ice time, rarely leaving the game for long, and had an assist and two penalty minutes. It was Nick Betz who opened the scoring for Erie at 5:55 of the first period, assisted by Cory Genovese and Troy Donnay. Nicholas Baptiste closed out the 4-2 win for Erie with an empty-net goal at 18:21 of the third. Ganly was the other goal scorer for Sault Ste. Marie, potting one at 16:39 of the first. Dylan Strome, NHL Central Scouting’s fourth-ranked North American skater, finished the game with no points. Game four of the Ontario Hockey League Western Conference Final will be played in Erie again this Tuesday at 5 p.m. MDT. Fans can tune in on Sportsnet 360.Chris WescottSun, 26 Apr 2015 21:50:00 EDThttp://1.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2015/01/644mcdavid.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3935639356BLOG: Jones completes comebackhttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=39318The Oklahoma City Barons continued their comeback ways in game two against San Antonio, battling back from down 3-0 to tie in the game’s final minute, and Connor Jones made no mistake in overtime, netting the winner and lifting OKC to a 2-0 series lead. The Barons got the 4-3 win, but it was a tough road to that finish. For the first few shifts of the game, the Barons seemed to have the jump. Right off the opening draw, 10 seconds in, Jason Williams had a breakaway on the new Rampage starter, Michael Houser. Dan Ellis started in San Antonio’s game one loss. Despite the quick start for OKC, the Rampage took over in the first period. Connor Brickley tipped a shot in past Laurent Brossoit at 9:16. Brett Olson and Corban Knight earned the helpers. On the power play, San Antonio took a 2-0 lead at 12:34 of the first. Knight put away a rebound, assisted by Brickley and Jesse Blacker. Brossoit had his work cut out for him in the first, as the Barons were outshot 18-9 in the opening 20 minutes. It didn’t get much easier in the second. John McFarland worked his way around Martin Marincin and put the puck through Brossoit’s legs for the 3-0 Rampage lead at 6:44 of the middle frame. Edmonton native Alex Petrovic recorded the lone assist. Brossoit was pulled in favour of Richard Bachman, in the hopes that a change would spark a reaction from the team. The Barons hit the post moments later, with players celebrating as if it was a goal. Unfortunately, it never crossed the line. Bachman made a good save following a scramble in front with six minutes remaining in the second period. Andrew Miller set up Barons Captain Ryan Hamilton for OKC’s first goal of the game at 17:27 of the middle frame to make it 3-1. Joshua Winquist earned the second assist on the power play goal. The Barons inched even closer when Jordan Oesterle struck on the man advantage with 3:17 remaining in the third period. C.J. Stretch and Williams had the assists. Matthew Ford netted the equalizer with a tip in front of the Rampage net with 36 seconds remaining in the game. It was Jones who scored the winner at 4:01 of the overtime period, assisted by Ford and Oesterle. The Barons hope to get the sweep, of the best-of-five series, in game three on Wednesday night.Chris WescottSun, 26 Apr 2015 00:09:00 EDThttp://2.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2015/04/20150425_jones1.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3931839318BLOG: Keeping track of the moveshttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=39327The Oilers announced some significant changes to the structure of their organization on Friday. Newly appointed CEO of Oilers Entertainment Group Bob Nicholson introduced Peter Chiarelli as President of Hockey Operations and General Manager at a press conference at the Hotel Macdonald. “We are delighted to bring a person of Peter’s considerable hockey knowledge and experience to the Edmonton Oilers,” said Nicholson. “Peter has had success at all levels of the game and we look forward to his leadership.” In addition, it was announced that Kevin Lowe would have his responsibilities transition out of hockey operations, but he remains Vice Chair of OEG. “I support Bob in the changes he has implemented and I am very excited about the bright future for the Edmonton Oilers, the City of Edmonton and Oilers fans everywhere,” Lowe said in a press release. “It has been an honour to represent the Oilers both on and off the ice, and I look forward to my new role in the organization. Nicholson says the transition with Lowe was not difficult. The two were in the meetings with Chiarelli together and both decided to bring in the former Boston Bruins GM. “It was not difficult at all,” said Nicholson. “I can tell you that Kevin was in those discussions, with myself, when we talked to Peter and we both agreed through the process that Peter should be the guy that runs hockey top to bottom in this organization. I can’t say enough, the help Kevin has given me through this process and it’s very, very clear that Peter should have the title of President of Hockey Operations and General Manager.” Former General Manager Craig MacTavish’s role is yet to be defined. OEG also announced that Patrick LaForge has stepped down as President & COO. “We thank Patrick for his dedication to the Oilers and Oil Country over the last 15 years. He made a significant mark on the organization and was the driving force behind many successful initiatives,” Nicholson said in a press release. The trio of executives helping Nicholson grow OEG will be Stew MacDonald, responsible for marketing and revenue, Darryl Bossenkool, who will oversee finance and OEG transition business, and Bob Black, who will continue as Executive Vice President of the Edmonton Arena Corporation, and will head up new business for OEG.Chris WescottFri, 24 Apr 2015 19:48:00 EDThttp://1.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2015/04/20150424_chiarellinicholsonv2644.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3932739327BLOG: Chiarelli not afraid to make tradeshttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=39328The Oilers new President of Hockey Operations and General Manager Peter Chiarelli doesn’t shy away from taking phone calls from his peers. When it comes to making trades, Chiarelli has a history of being willing. “In this business, you can’t be afraid to make trades,” he said. “The parity is developing. The way the cap is closing in, the margins are really small so those are ways to improve your team. I’m not afraid of doing it. It has to be the right moment. There are some very good young players on this team. It doesn’t mean I’m going to trade any of them. But those are deals you can’t be afraid to make. They have to be well-measured, you have to be well-informed.” His most publicized trade is likely the one that sent Tyler Seguin, Rich Peverley and Ryan Button to Dallas, in exchange for Loui Eriksson, Joe Morrow, Reilly Smith and Matt Fraser. The trade showed he is willing to trade a player of Seguin’s talents if it seems like the right time and fit. “That deal, obviously he’s a very good player and there were reasons for doing it,” he said. “I’ve actually made a few trades of good, young forwards so that’s something I won’t shy away from. That was a trade that had underlying reasons that I won’t get into, but (Seguin is) a terrific player. He was our leading scorer. That’s what I’ll say about that one.”Chris WescottFri, 24 Apr 2015 19:43:00 EDThttp://3.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2015/04/20150424_chia2.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3932839328BLOG: Hockey Canada relationships come up bighttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=39326The process to hire Peter Chiarelli as President of Hockey Operations and General Manager happened very quickly. Chiarelli became available on April 15. Bob Nicholson became the CEO of Oilers Entertainment Group on Monday and by Friday, Chiarelli had a new home. The two were very familiar with each other from their time together at Hockey Canada. Nicholson is the former President and CEO of Hockey Canada, and worked with Chiarelli at the 2014 Olympics. “I really got to know him when we went to Sochi, through the Olympic games, and I really like the way he communicates,” said Nicholson. “He’s a clear communicator, he’s obviously worked in Ottawa and worked in Boston and built those teams together. And how he looks at the game, he sees the game changing and I think he’s going to be flexible to make sure he makes the right changes to put this team going in the right direction.” OEG Vice Chair Kevin Lowe, who was also part of Team Canada’s management team at the 2014 Olympics, was sitting next to Nicholson in the meetings with Chiarelli. It seemed like the right match for the former Bruins GM. “One of the reasons it happened really quickly is because I’d known them from before and I really like them, I respect them and I respect their hockey minds and I respect them as people. It made it very easy to be comfortable with the situation,” said Chiarelli. The process was fast-moving and that’s just fine for Nicholson. “This has gone so quickly, one of the keys that we talked about was how is your team going to play? If the team is as quick as we got this contract done I think that will be great for the fans,” said Nicholson.Chris WescottFri, 24 Apr 2015 19:42:00 EDThttp://3.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2014/06/20140613_nicholson644.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3932639326BLOG: Barons take game one against Rampage, 5-2http://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=39288A big third-period goal by the Barons captain helped spark Oklahoma City to a 5-2 win over the San Antonio Rampage, giving them the 1-0 series lead in the American Hockey League’s Western Conference Quarterfinal. “I thought overall, our game was good,” said Barons Interim Coach Gerry Fleming. “The chances that we created or gave them, I think we created ourselves. We just turned the puck over. Then we started managing the puck and sticking to the game plan, and our special teams were good tonight. We were fortunate, got some bounces and hopefully we’ll get some guys rested up and ready for Saturday.” The Barons scored on a power play at 12:04 of the opening period for the 1-0 lead. Although Brad Hunt was credited with the goal, it may have been tipped in front. Vincent Trocheck tied it up at 15:56, assisted by Shane O’Brien and Garrett Wilson. The Rampage outshot the Barons 12-8 in the opening period, but OKC led 38-31 in that category at the final buzzer. Oilers prospect Laurent Brossoit made 29 saves for the Barons. “It’s a lot of emotion. We’re very happy, but at the same time we’re trying to stay as even-keeled as possible,” said Brossoit. “You don’t want to have your emotions ride high and low too much. You’re trying to keep it even. I was just glad that I was seeing the puck, and when they did come I made a couple timely saves and I’m glad I contributed.” A turnover at the Rampage blueline went the other way and San Antonio potted their second of the game to take a 2-1 lead. That goal, at 8:01 of the second, came off a tip by Rocco Grimaldi, assisted by Jonathan Racine and Quinton Howden. Hunt fired a great chance off the crossbar later in the period that could have tied things up. OKC did tie the game following the midway point of the third. Barons Captain Ryan Hamilton toe dragged out in front of the Rampage net, forcing Greg Zanon to take a slashing penalty at 9:33 of the third. Winquist walked in from the point to the top of the circle and fired a wrist shot past Dan Ellis at 10:22, on the power play, to tie the game at 2-2. Hunt and Andrew Miller each earned assists. Hamilton put home his own rebound with a great individual effort, with 5:55 remaining in the third, giving the Barons a 3-2 lead. Unfortunately, a questionable hit would take the Barons captain out of the game shortly after. Hamilton beat Shane O’Brien to the puck behind the net by a wide margin and the Rampage forward sent him into the boards with a heavy hit. O’Brien took a boarding penalty and a game misconduct, and was escorted off the ice. Hamilton had to be helped off by teammates. Connor Jones scored on the empty net at 18:39 of the final frame for some insurance. The Barons, visibly upset by the O’Brien hit, engaged in some pushing and shoving in the game’s final minute. With 7.6 seconds left in the game, Matthew Ford potted a second empty-net goal for the 5-2 win. “I don’t think we went into this series thinking they’re a better team than us,” said Brossoit of the team’s confidence, following the win. “They beat us more (in the regular season) than we beat them, but I honestly think it was because we were short staffed and had injuries and all that. When we’re a full lineup and we’ve got all our players back I think we have the edge.” Game two is on Saturday night at 6 p.m. MDT in Oklahoma City.Chris WescottFri, 24 Apr 2015 00:10:00 EDThttp://3.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2015/04/20150423_post1.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3928839288BLOG: Draisaitl enjoying the playoffshttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=39246Leon Draisaitl is having fun in the WHL, and why wouldn’t he? It’s a chance to play longer, with the Oilers out of the playoffs, and it’s a real shot at winning a championship. The Kelowna Rockets have advanced to the Western Conference Final and Draisaitl is headed there with them. “It’s been good. It’s been very good,” said the Oilers 2014 third-overall pick, who joined Bob Stauffer on Oilers Now on Wednesday. “Obviously, winning is a lot of fun. We have a special group this year and so far the playoffs have been great for us.” Draisaitl and the Rockets are a good team that got even better as the season went on. There are expectations that they could go all the way, even competing for a Memorial Cup. The Oilers prospect feels the pressure. “Yeah, there definitely is (pressure),” said Draisaitl. “Teams, or people around the league, always say the Rockets are stacked and it’s almost unfair. For us, it’s playing with pressure that’s for sure. But I think so far we’ve been doing a very good job. All we do is take it game by game and try to not look too far ahead.” Draisaitl has 15 points in nine games this post-season. After playing 37 games for the Oilers this season, Draisaitl went down to junior and lit up the scoresheet, tallying 53 (19-34-53) points in 32 games.Chris WescottWed, 22 Apr 2015 18:18:00 EDThttp://2.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2015/01/644draisaitl3.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3924639246BLOG: Draisaitl on lottery & looking aheadhttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=39245Leon Draisaitl was nervously watching the draft lottery a year ago, without knowing where he would be selected in the first round. The centre was taken third overall by the Oilers in the 2014 Draft. Flash forward to this year, and Draisaitl was able to watch casually as a fan. He did so on Saturday night and was wide-eyed at the outcome as the Oilers won and will now draft first overall in June. “I was surprised a little bit, but at the same time I think it’s great for the Oilers and the organization to most likely get a game-changing player. It’s very exciting and I’m looking forward to what’s ahead,” said Draisaitl, who joined Bob Stauffer on Oilers Now, Wednesday afternoon. The consensus is the top two players on draft boards across the league are Connor McDavid and Jack Eichel. Selecting one of those two adds another young centre to the Oilers mix, which could mean someone plays on the wing or has a harder time immediately making the roster out of camp. Draisaitl isn’t worried about that. “I think that comes down to camp when the time (comes),” he said. “That’s all going to show with the way we are, the way we play in camp, the way we present ourselves. There are obviously going to be battles there for spots and, no matter what for me personally, wherever that will be if it’s on the wing or as a centre I think I’m willing to do whatever it takes to be on that team.”Chris WescottWed, 22 Apr 2015 18:16:00 EDThttp://2.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2014/10/20141028_draistop5.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3924539245BLOG: Gretzky & Coffey on McDavidhttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=39243A pair of Oilers legends have expressed high praise for 2015 NHL Draft top prospect Connor McDavid this week. On Tuesday, Wayne Gretzky told the media that McDavid is the best to come into the draft in a long time. "He's as good as I've seen in the last 30 years, the best player to come into the League in the last 30 years, the best to come along since (Mario) Lemieux and (Sidney) Crosby," Gretzky said. "He can definitely change a franchise's fortunes.” The Oilers won Saturday’s draft lottery and the right to choose first overall in the draft. McDavid is NHL Central Scouting’s top-ranked North American skater. Gretzky’s old teammate, Hockey Hall of Famer and former Oilers star defenceman Paul Coffey, also has great things to say about McDavid. The 18-year-old played minor hockey with the Toronto Marlboros of the Greater Toronto Hockey League. It just so happens that Coffey, who has coached the Marlboros AAA team, has watched McDavid play for a while. “I’ve watched him for four years,” said Coffey. “He was a Toronto Marlie and I coached the Marlie team all the way up to a couple years younger than him. Marlie night is Marlie night. It’s Friday night and we play and my boy, who is a year younger, would always want to stay and watch those guys play.” His observations fall in line with the public opinion. “Connor is special. He’s the real deal,” Coffey said. “I’m not saying this to put any added pressure on him or say things people have already said, but he’s definitely the real deal. Great kid, great family. It’s exciting. I sent him a note that, as a former Oiler, we’d be happy to have him here for sure.” If he is an Oiler, Coffey says it’s just more motivation for him to continue watching McDavid’s career. “I’m not big on staying up anymore, because I get the early start in the morning. But I’ve got to tell you, I’ll be staying up and watching more than a period now that’s for sure. I used to try and catch one period of Oilers games but (there would be) a reason to stay up longer for sure.” When asked if McDavid is the game-changer for a franchise that most believe he could be, Coffey leaves no doubt to his opinion but stresses the need to surround a talent like him with the right support. “100%, but he can’t do it by himself,” said Coffey. “Wayne (Gretzky) couldn’t do it by himself. That’s the way it is. You can’t do it by yourself. Everyone has to (help). When you get a talent like him or you get a talent like Wayne or a talent like Mario (Lemieux), it’s up to everyone else to keep up and get going because you don’t want him to come back down. You don’t want the special talent to come back down to anyone’s level. It’s up to everyone else to pick their game up higher. You get those special players in any sport and it’s up to everyone else to pick up their game and keep pace. Nobody can do it by themselves.”Chris WescottWed, 22 Apr 2015 18:01:00 EDThttp://1.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2014/12/644mcdavid1.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3924339243BLOG: Coffey on his inductionhttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=39240On Wednesday, it was announced that Paul Coffey was named to Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame’s Class of 2015. The former Oiler star defenceman has seen and done a lot of things in his life, including four Stanley Cups and a sport in the Hockey Hall of Fame. This new recognition is not just one to add to the pile. “It’s not just another achievement,” Coffey said in a phone interview Wednesday afternoon. “The Hockey Hall of Fame is great, getting your number retired by a team is great, but Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame, involved with all sports across the country, is not better but it has a different ring to it.” Coffey looks back on his career, and when asked to rank his memories and achievements he couldn’t just pick one. “They all rank the same,” said Coffey. “I said to somebody today, ‘as you get older and you’re lucky enough to achieve different things, it always comes back to the places you’re most comfortable and the championships you won.’ You could lead the league in scoring every year and get a billion goals, but to be a champion you share something with (others). The city of Edmonton, the Canada Cups, the Stanley Cup in Pittsburgh, (those are) to me, the most special.” Coffey is a three-time Norris Trophy winner and four-time Stanley Cup champion (’84, ’85. ’87 with Edmonton and ’91 with Pittsburgh). He played in 14 NHL All-Star Games and won four Canada Cups in ’84, ’87 and ’91. Coffey was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2004, following a NHL career in which he played 1409 regular season games and 194 playoff games.Chris WescottWed, 22 Apr 2015 17:38:00 EDThttp://3.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2015/04/644coffeey1.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3924039240BLOG: Coffey’s memories of Edmontonhttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=39241Paul Coffey was named as a member of Canada’s Hall of Fame Class of 2015 on Wednesday and had a chance to reflect on his time in Edmonton in a phone interview following the announcement. “That’s where we all cut our teeth, so to speak,” Coffey said of Edmonton. “That’s where we all learned to do a lot of things on and off the ice. Your independence. We were all young, we were learning as we went. There are no instructions, no directions, there’s no book on how to act as an 18-year-old playing hockey in the NHL, you’ve got to figure it out by yourself.” Coffey said the city of Edmonton and playing for the Oilers is a long list of memories he keeps close to him even now. It was the team that drafted him sixth overall in 1980, and gave him a chance to become a professional. The Hockey Hall of Famer and superstar defenceman returned to the city this past fall for the 1984 Stanley Cup reunion at Rexall Place. “You know what the best part was? Nobody has changed,” said Coffey of the reunion. “Everybody is the same. We’re all older, but everybody is the same. Everybody has the stories and fortunately or unfortunately, everybody remembers them a little different. But the conversations were easy. The genuine concern about how everybody is doing was real. Everybody was interested in other guys’ families and how they’re doing, where they’re living and what they’re doing to keep busy. I enjoyed that the most. I don’t need to chat to a guy about what happened 30 years ago. That’s all fun for a short chuckle, but I think the interesting thing for me was to chat with everybody and see how they’re doing. Everybody is great and everybody was proud to come back to Edmonton.” Coffey finished his career with over 1400 regular season NHL games under his belt, along with four Stanley Cup championships and 194 playoff games.Chris WescottWed, 22 Apr 2015 17:38:00 EDThttp://2.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2015/04/644coffey2.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3924139241BLOG: MacTavish talks McDavid & Eichelhttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=39239Oilers General Manager Craig MacTavish joined Bob Stauffer on Oilers Now to discuss winning the draft lottery and the path ahead for the club. MacTavish was asked to describe the runaway top two prospects in the draft, Connor McDavid and Jack Eichel. McDavid is NHL Central Scouting’s top-ranked North American skater for the 2015 NHL Draft. He recorded 120 points in just 47 games this season for the Erie Otters of the OHL. He leads the OHL in playoff scoring with 23 points in nine games. He also helped lead Team Canada to gold at the 2015 World Junior Championships. “I think the most productive player the CHL has had in a number of years, but the most dynamic, the most electrifying,” said MacTavish of McDavid. “He is a guy that he looks like a shark when he’s playing hockey. He’s just looking to pounce at any time and he’s looking to get the puck and be in a position that he can get the puck at full speed. He’s got the most dynamic skill set that I’ve seen in a number of years, in terms of just bringing people out of their seats with open-ice plays.” Eichel is the top American player, and second-ranked North American Skater by Central Scouting. Eichel won the Hobey Baker Award as the NCAA’s top player this season. As a freshman at Boston University, Eichel compiled 71 points in 40 games. “Jack Eichel, his open-ice game is excellent as well,” said MacTavish. “He maybe doesn’t put himself in as many positions as Connor would, but he’s a big guy that’s got electrifying speed. He’s at full speed in three strides and he shoots the puck like a BB. What he’s done at the NCAA level, in a more mature league, has been quite incredible for a 17-year-old.” The Oilers will select first overall at the 2015 NHL Draft in Sunrise, FL (June 26-27). “So much work goes into the draft and so forth. When you get lucky enough to win the lottery, in a year when you have franchise players at the top like you have this year, it’s quite incredible,” said MacTavish. With the “generational” talents at the top of the draft, MacTavish wasn’t even entertaining the thought that the Oilers might trade the pick. “No. That would be crazy in my mind.”Chris WescottWed, 22 Apr 2015 17:17:00 EDThttp://1.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2015/01/644mcdavid.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3923939239BLOG: Timeline & plans change slightlyhttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=39238At his end-of-season press conference, Oilers General Manager Craig MacTavish declared next season a, “development” year. This, because of all of the youth currently on the roster and the potential of more on its way. After winning the draft lottery and being gifted with the first-overall pick in the 2015 NHL Draft, the Oilers might have altered their timeline just a bit. Oilers General Manager Craig MacTavish was on Oilers Now with Bob Stauffer on Wednesday afternoon and he said that things “marginally” change now that they have the opportunity to add one of two “generational” talents that sit at the top of the draft. If the Oilers selected Connor McDavid, MacTavish says it would give them three of the best, if not the best, players in the CHL playoffs. Leon Draisaitl and his Kelowna Rockets advanced to the WHL Western Conference Final. Darnell Nurse and his Sault Ste. Marie team will tango with McDavid’s Erie Otters in the OHL Western Conference Final. “I think it marginally changes,” said MacTavish. “I said at the end of the year, before we were fortunate enough to win the lottery, it’d be a very important developmental year for us. I still believe that. We arguably have the three best players in the CHL right now and they’re going to be flowing into the program, certainly Leon. All three will. Next year, Leon is done with his junior eligibility, as is Darnell. The player we pick will be on our team next year.” All that said, there is still work to do for the Oilers, and MacTavish believes it will be, “a very important developmental year.” “We also talked about some very critical positions that we need improved upon,” said MacTavish. “Without getting into those specific too much, we’re highly motivated to improve our club so we can make the step everybody has been waiting for for quite some time. I think with a few critical adds, it will still be largely determined by the internal growth of our team and the guys that are flowing into the system for next year. We’ve got to make a few key personnel changes and improvements and I think that could ignite it quickly. It’s not as simple, in our minds, as we got the first pick, we’re off and running. We still need to do the things that we talked about at the end of the year.”Chris WescottWed, 22 Apr 2015 16:29:00 EDThttp://1.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2015/04/644396-mact-644.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3923839238Chase assigned to OKChttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=39207The Edmonton Oilers announced today, they have assigned centre Greg Chase to the American Hockey Leagues Oklahoma City Barons. Chase, 20, spent time with the Calgary Hitmen and Victoria Royals of the Western Hockey League this season, accumulating 59 points (20G, 39A) and 59 penalty minutes in 61 games. He tied for second on the Royals in assists (39) and ranked fifth on the team in points (59) and goals (20). The Sherwood Park, Alberta native also notched 11 points (7G, 4A) and six penalty minutes in 10 games during the 2014-15 WHL Playoffs. The 6’0”, 188-pound centre has posted 221 points (78G, 143A) and 247 penalty minutes in 265 career WHL games. He has also appeared in 38 career playoff games, recording 32 points (15G, 17A) and 43 penalty minutes. Chase appeared in five games with the Barons in 2013-14, posting one goal, four penalty minutes and a plus one rating. The Edmonton Oilers selected Chase in the 7th round, 188th overall in the 2013 NHL Draft.Edmonton Oilers Press ReleaseWed, 22 Apr 2015 14:29:00 EDThttp://3.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2014/12/20141231_Chase2.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3920739207Monday coveragehttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=39102Chris WescottMon, 20 Apr 2015 16:23:00 EDThttp://1.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2014/06/20140613_nicholsonoilers644.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3910239102BLOG: Nicholson on winning the lotteryhttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=39125On Saturday, the Oilers were the winners of the NHL Draft Lottery and will pick first overall in the 2015 NHL Draft. With two “generational” talents at the top of draft boards, the Oilers are in prime position to make a turnaround. “When this was drawn, I think every fan in this city, every Oilers fan in the country jumped through the roof and we’re so excited. I can tell you, I was sitting at home by myself and all I did was start to smile,” said Oilers Entertainment Group CEO Bob Nicholson. The Oilers haven’t made any definitive announcements on who they will take with the first-overall pick. There are steps left to complete before the draft is held in Sunrise, FL in June. “In regards to the draft, there are playoff series going on right now and they should be focused on that,” Nicholson said of the top prospects. “We certainly know where we’re going to be picking on draft day, but there’s a process here and we want to live with that process. Saturday was a huge part of the Oilers here in the future. But from where I’m sitting, we have a lot of other things we’re going to look at and we have to make sure we take our time and make sure we get this right.”Chris WescottMon, 20 Apr 2015 16:13:00 EDThttp://3.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2014/06/20140613_NICHOLSONpress2644.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3912539125BLOG: Nicholson takes overhttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=39124On Monday, Oilers Entertainment Group announced that Bob Nicholson has been named Chief Executive Officer of OEG, effective immediately. “Today I speak as the CEO of Oilers Entertainment Group and firstly, I want to thank to Daryl Katz,” said Nicholson. “Thanks for this honour. It’s a privilege and there’s a lot of responsibility that goes with this. I’m going to step to the plate and do the best job that I can do and I’m going to really trust my instincts. Nicholson joined the organization as Vice-Chair of OEG in June of 2014. He will now expand his responsibilities and be much more hands on when it comes to every aspect of the organization, including hockey operations. Nicholson, who retired as President & CEO of Hockey Canada in 2014, has a history of success overseeing the Canadian Men’s and Women’s National Teams. As OEG continues to formulate their plan of attack moving forward, Nicholson says there are some pillars he wants to build around. “There are a few words I want to throw out right now: loyalty, trust, teamwork, and that’s not with just the players on the ice. We’re going to have that through our whole organization. As we start to define what this organization is going to be we’re going to build around those words,” he said. Everyone in the organization will now work under Nicholson moving forward. “Really, the last 10 months, I’ve been Vice Chair really looking over the whole organization,” said Nicholson. “Now everyone in the organization reports directly to myself so I’m going to be rolling up the sleeves and being much more hands on with every part of the organization.”Chris WescottMon, 20 Apr 2015 16:11:00 EDThttp://1.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2014/06/20140613_nicholsonbts_644.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3912439124BLOG: Barons first-round schedulehttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=39101The Oklahoma City Barons will play the San Antonio Rampage in the first round of the American Hockey League’s Calder Cup playoffs. The series will be a best of five, with the first two games in Oklahoma City on Thursday, April 23 and Saturday, April 25. The rest of the series will be played in San Antonio. Game 1: April 23, 2015 - 6 p.m. - San Antonio at Oklahoma City Game 2: April 25, 2015 - 6 p.m. - San Antonio at Oklahoma City Game 3: April 29, 2015 - 6 p.m. - Oklahoma City at San Antonio Game 4*: May 1, 2015 - 6:30 p.m. - Oklahoma City at San Antonio Game 5*: May 2, 2015 - 6:05 p.m. - Oklahoma City at San Antonio * If Necessary all times listed as MDT The Barons posted a 3-5-2-2 record against San Antonio this season. This will be the second time the Barons have played the Rampage in the post-season. OKC beat San Antonio in five games (4-1) in 2012. All Barons games will be available, for a cost, at AHLlive.com.Chris WescottMon, 20 Apr 2015 14:14:00 EDThttp://2.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2014/12/20141205_cellybarons.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3910139101BLOG: McDavid gives his thoughts on Edmontonhttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=39040Following the Draft Lottery, Connor McDavid took part in a conference call with other top prospects Jack Eichel, Noah Hanifin and Dylvan Strome to discuss a variety of topics. One topic that came up right off the hop for McDavid was his thoughts on Edmonton and the potential of being drafted by the Oilers. “It’s a dream come true. It’s a great city to be in," McDavid began. "They’ve got the fans supporting them through a bit of a tough slide the last couple of years. The support they’ve received is amazing. That speaks volumes to the fan support they get in Edmonton. It’s pretty special.” McDavid was then asked about what was going through his mind as Bill Daly drew cards 14 through 3, ultimately landing on Edmonton with the gold card. “It’s been a weird day. At the same time, it’s been exciting. When they pulled the cards it’s the fastest my heart’s ever beaten. It’s sure exciting. If Edmonton selects me it would be a tremendous honour.” The 18-year-old centre was asked about the top talent on the Oilers and the possibility of playing with them. “They have younger talent, names like Hall, Eberle, (Nugent) Hopkins and Yakupov. And on D with Schultz. They have such a good group there, it’s hard to pick anyone. That’s going a little too far ahead of ourselves, obviously. The draft hasn’t started. We’ll see what happens.”Marc CiampaSat, 18 Apr 2015 23:57:00 EDThttp://1.cdn.nhle.com/devils/images/upload/2015/04/0417mcdavid2.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3904039040BLOG: Crosby talks about Oilers winning the lotteryhttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=39041Pittsburgh Penguins centre Sidney Crosby, himself a first-overall pick in 2005, talked to the media tonight about the Oilers winning the draft lottery, the possibility of Connor McDavid going to Edmonton and why that's a good thing for him. “The great thing for him is that they have a lot of young guys there already,” Crosby said to Josh Yohe of the Pittsburgh Tribune. “That's a big thing for him. It's not like he's going to an older team or anything like that. He'll be able to grow with those guys. They have a ton of young talent there already, so it should be a good thing for him to be there.” Crosby also talked about the potential comparisons to Wayne Gretzky, as he himself had to deal with in Pittsburgh with Mario Lemieux. “He's definitely going to hear about that, and he'll have to deal with all the comparisons to him. It's to be expected.”Marc CiampaSat, 18 Apr 2015 23:43:00 EDThttp://3.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2015/02/644crosby.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3904139041BLOG: Craig MacTavish Post-Lottery Interviewhttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=39038Oilers GM Craig MacTavish spoke with us from Switzerland shortly after the announcement that the Oilers had won the 2015 NHL Draft Lottery. Here is a transcript of the interview: * What were your thoughts when you first saw that the Oilers had won the Draft Lottery? “We just started yelling. We were all in Switzerland, watching it on the iPad and then started to get nervous after it got by Carolina and got by Toronto. Then the palms started sweating. That was a great pronouncement by Bill Daly for sure.” * How does winning the lottery change any plans you may have had for this upcoming off-season and/or at the draft? “We’re going to enjoy this for now. It’s a pretty special night for all the Oilers fans. It’s a game-changer for the franchise. I feel great for the players and I feel really good for the fans. We’ll enjoy that for an evening and then figure out how this all works going forward.” * Talk about Connor McDavid and Jack Eichel, the type of players that they are and what they could potentially bring to the Oilers. “Both are great, great players. These players have been looked at and sought after for the last three years. It’s been earmarked an epic draft for the last three, four years with these players coming in. “We’re extremely fortunate to be in this position. We’re going to relax and enjoy it tonight and we’ll let the Oilers fans celebrate and we’ll get onto the business of hockey tomorrow.” * What does it mean to have the ability to land a franchise player of this type with the Oilers in the situation that they’re in: emerging team, new arena being built, etc. “Any one of the 14 teams would make a great case for being the best spot for this player. In particular, our situation with the new building, I’m not thinking about it so much from a building standpoint but just what it’s going to mean for the hockey club. I’m really happy for the players. Really happy for the fans. It gives the Oilers a real shot in the arm going forward. “I could stand up there and talk about optimism and a bright future but I think everyone can share in that vision now with us winning the Lottery. * Last question, and only because I have to ask, what are the chances that you would consider trading the pick? “What's less than zero? ... No chance."Marc CiampaSat, 18 Apr 2015 23:28:00 EDThttp://1.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2014/12/20141215_macT-644.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3903839038BLOG: Magic numbers for Oilers were 1, 5, 6 and 14http://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=39083The numbers which came up for the Oilers in their successful draft lottery were (in order drawn) 5, 14, 6 and 1. Each team was given a designated number of the 1,000 possible valid combinations and since the Oilers had an 11.5% chance of winning, they had 115 potential four-ball sets which would gain them the win.Marc CiampaSat, 18 Apr 2015 23:20:00 EDThttp://3.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2009/04/draftlottery.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3908339083BLOG: Oilers win draft lotteryhttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=39036The Edmonton Oilers won the draft lottery and will choose first overall in the 2015 NHL Entry Draft. More coverage to come, including an interview with Craig MacTavish and some of the prospects for the draft including Connor McDavid and Jack Eichel. More details to follow! Oilers official press release: EDMONTON OILERS WIN DRAFT LOTTERY, EARN FIRST SELECTION IN 2015 NHL DRAFT The Edmonton Oilers won the 2015 NHL Draft Lottery tonight and earned the first drafting position for the First Round of the 2015 NHL Draft. This will be the fourth time the Oilers have selected first overall, after drafting Taylor Hall (2010), Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (2011) and Nail Yakupov (2012) in consecutive years. The order of selection for the first 14 drafting positions in the First Round, only, of the 2015 NHL Draft is as follows: 1. Edmonton Oilers 2. Buffalo Sabres 3. Arizona Coyotes 4. Toronto Maple Leafs 5. Carolina Hurricanes 6. New Jersey Devils 7. Philadelphia Flyers 8. Columbus Blue Jackets 9. San Jose Sharks 10. Colorado Avalanche 11. Florida Panthers 12. Dallas Stars 13. Los Angeles Kings 14. Boston Bruins The remaining positions are determined by the results of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. The drawing was conducted at Rogers Sportsnet’s studio in downtown Toronto and the winning team was revealed live on CBC and TVA Sports in Canada and NBC in the U.S. prior to their broadcast of Game 2 of the Penguins-Rangers First Round series. Fourteen balls, numbered 1 to 14, were placed in a lottery machine. The machine randomly selected four balls. The resulting four-number series (without regard to selection order) was matched against a chart that shows all possible combinations and the Clubs to which each was assigned. The chart (available on NHL.com) showed that the Oilers had been assigned the numbers (1-5-6-14) that were expelled. The Oilers would have picked third based on inverse order of regular season finish, representing an 11.5% likelihood that their combination would emerge. Full odds of winning can be found here. The 2015 NHL Draft will be hosted by the Panthers at BB&T Center in Sunrise, Florida from June 26-27. Results of Draft Drawings Year Selected Effect on Draft Order Player Selected 1995 Los Angeles Moved from 7th to 3rd D Aki Berg 1996 Ottawa Retained 1st selection D Chris Phillips 1997 Boston Retained 1st selection C Joe Thornton 1998 Tampa Bay Moved from 3rd to 1st via trades C Vincent Lecavalier 1999 Chicago Moved from 8th to 4th RW Pavel Brendl * 2000 NY Islanders Moved from 5th to 1st G Rick DiPietro 2001 Atlanta Moved from 3rd to 1st LW Ilya Kovalchuk 2002 Florida Moved from 3rd to 1st LW Rick Nash ** 2003 Florida Moved from 4th to 1st G Marc-Andre Fleury *** 2004 Washington Moved from 3rd to 1st LW Alex Ovechkin 2005 Pittsburgh n/a C Sidney Crosby 2006 St. Louis Retained 1st selection D Erik Johnson 2007 Chicago Moved from 5th to 1st RW Patrick Kane 2008 Tampa Bay Retained 1st selection C Steven Stamkos 2009 NY Islanders Retained 1st selection C John Tavares 2010 Edmonton Retained 1st selection LW Taylor Hall 2011 New Jersey Moved from 8th to 4th D Adam Larsson 2012 Edmonton Moved from 2nd to 1st RW Nail Yakupov 2013 Colorado Moved from 2nd to 1st C Nathan MacKinnon 2014 Florida Moved from 2nd to 1st D Aaron Ekblad 2015 Edmonton Moved from 3rd to 1st * NY Rangers obtained Chicago's pick in a trade (via Vancouver and Tampa Bay). The Rangers selected RW Pavel Brendl fourth overall. ** Columbus obtained Florida's pick in a trade. The Blue Jackets selected LW Rick Nash first overall. *** Pittsburgh obtained Florida's pick in a trade. The Penguins selected G Marc-Andre Fleury first overallMarc CiampaSat, 18 Apr 2015 21:41:00 EDThttp://2.cdn.nhle.com/nhl/images/upload/2014/08/lottery_082014_672.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3903639036BLOG: Oilers alumni to take on RCMPhttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=38936RCMP Const. David Wynn, 42, passed away in January following a gun shot wound suffered in St. Albert. Aux. Const. Derek Bond was also shot during the routine license plate check that led to the confrontation, but survived the attack. This Saturday, Oilers alumni will faceoff against a team of Mounties in a game to support the families of Wynn and Bond at 7:15pm at Servus Place in St. Albert. The alumni team will include Ryan Smyth, Jason Strudwick and Fernando Pisani. The goal is to help raise funds in support of the families. On January 27, there was a moment of silence held ahead of the Oilers game at Rexall Place. Wynn’s three sons performed the ceremonial puck-drop to an emotional display of support by the fans in attendance. Saturday’s game in St. Albert is free to attend; however, chuck-a-puck and cash donations will be collected on site.Chris WescottWed, 15 Apr 2015 21:35:00 EDThttp://2.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2015/04/20150415_1.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3893638936RNH to miss Worlds due to injuryhttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=38931After meeting with Oilers medical staff, forward Ryan Nugent-Hopkins will not play for Canada at the upcoming World Hockey Championship due to a fracture in his right foot. Nugent-Hopkins' injury requires more time to heal, therefore he will be unable to participate.Edmonton Oilers Press ReleaseWed, 15 Apr 2015 17:00:00 EDThttp://1.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2015/01/644rnhh.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3893138931Yakupov to miss Worlds due to injuryhttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=38930After meeting with Oilers' medical staff, forward Nail Yakupov will not attend Russia's training camp for the upcoming World Hockey Championship due to a hip injury. Oilers Head Team Physician, Dr. Dhiren Naidu says "Nail has been suffering from bilateral hip injuries this season and after further examination and MRI imaging, he requires additional treatment and rehabilitation."Edmonton Oilers Press ReleaseWed, 15 Apr 2015 16:20:00 EDThttp://3.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2015/03/20150314_indepth2.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3893038930BLOG: Seven Oilers invited to Worldshttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=38906Seven Oilers players could represent their home countries at the 2015 IIHF World Championship in Czech Republic. Taylor Hall, Jordan Eberle and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins have been invited to join Team Canada. Hall played 53 games this season for the Oilers, recording 38 points (14-24-38). Eberle led the Oilers in scoring with 63 points (24-39-63) in 81 games. He recorded 34 points in the final 35 games of the season. Nugent-Hopkins established a new career high in goals with 24. He finished the season with 56 points (24-32-56) in 76 games. The centre will only play for Team Canada if and when he has recovered from a foot injury that caused him to miss the final four games of the regular season. Nail Yakupov has been invited to Team Russia’s selection camp and will try out for a spot. The 21-year-old winger recorded a new career high in points with 33 (14-19-33) in 81 games. He had 21 points after the All-Star break. Matt Hendricks will join Team USA. The 33-year-old was a locker room leader for the Oilers. He played 71 games this season, scoring eight goals and adding eight more assists with 76 penalty minutes. He also had 220 hits and 72 blocked shots. Anton Lander and Oscar Klefbom have been invited to join Sweden. Lander is fresh off the best NHL season of his career. The centre recorded six goals and 14 assists for 20 points in 38 games. He had eight points in his previous 94 NHL games coming into this season. Klefbom developed nicely into the Oilers Defenceman of the Year, as voted upon by the Edmonton media. He finished the season with 20 points (2-18-20) in 60 games. The World Championship is scheduled for May 1-17 in Prague and Ostrava, Czech Republic. San Jose Sharks Head Coach Todd McLellan was named the bench boss for Team Canada for the tournament.Chris WescottTue, 14 Apr 2015 17:48:00 EDThttp://2.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2015/04/20150414_worlds.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3890638906MacTavish press conference coveragehttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=38874Chris WescottMon, 13 Apr 2015 21:52:00 EDThttp://1.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2015/04/644396-mact-644.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3887438874BLOG: Oilers to take time with coaching hirehttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=38877Oilers General Manager Craig MacTavish fielded questions about the team’s coaching search at his season debrief press conference at Rexall Place on Monday. Todd Nelson, who led the team to a 17-22-7 record as interim coach, is certainly in the mix. However, MacTavish and the Oilers are determined to take their time with this decision, and that includes waiting for the dust to settle in the coming weeks and possible candidates to show themselves. “Before I talk about that, I’d be crazy not to acknowledge the good job I feel that Todd did since he took over,” said MacTavish. “I don’t want to get into too much about specifics about what the next coach will look like, but I’ve been consistent in what I’ve said about coaching. I’ve got to let the emotion die down from the season. We’re going to give a fixed amount of time going forward to see what that landscape looks like and then we’re going to make a decision. It really is my experience that you’re better off buying some time before we get to that conclusion.” MacTavish emphasized development as a key piece to the team getting better in the coming years. That just so happens to be a strength of Nelson’s coaching. Nelson worked down in the American Hockey League on the Oilers farm team in Oklahoma City from 2010 to this season. Strides were made in the games of Anton Lander, Jordan Eberle, Nail Yakupov and others under Nelson’s watch. That is something that is not lost on MacTavish, although the club will still take its time with the hiring process. “It’s not a wide net, for sure, and I’m not saying we won’t catch Todd in that net ultimately,” MacTavish said of the net they’ll cast for a new coach. “There is no downside for me to take time to make this decision. I’ve had that dialogue with Todd, I’ve communicated very clearly to Todd that I’ve admired the job and respected the job that he’s done. I’ve seen it, much like you have, there has been an improvement in the on-ice performance. Todd gets the lion’s share of the credit for that. There has been personnel changes, that I think have helped as well that I wasn’t able to do with Dallas (Eakins) here. But Todd is a laid-back guy that his messaging has really resonated with this team. Having said all that, I still want to give myself some time to see exactly what the landscape is going forward.”Chris WescottMon, 13 Apr 2015 21:51:00 EDThttp://3.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2015/02/20150221_nelly5.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3887738877BLOG: Draisaitl & Nurse have chance to earn spotshttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=38876The Oilers have two promising prospects coming up the pipeline next season who are that much closer to earning a roster spot. Darnell Nurse, who was taken seventh overall in 2013, is seen as the Oilers top defensive prospect. Leon Draisaitl is an offensively gifted centre, taken third overall in the 2014 draft. Draisaitl, 19, played 37 games for the Oilers this season, recording nine points (2-7-9). He then finished the season with the Kelowna Rockets in the WHL and lit up the score sheet. He had 53 points, including 19 goals and 34 assists, in 32 games for the Rockets. He has nine points (2-7-9) in six playoff games. Nurse, 20, was named Canada’s player of the game in the gold medal round of the 2015 World Junior Championships. He was also named Sault Ste. Marie’s MVP, despite playing only 36 games for the Greyhounds. He recorded 33 points (10-23-33) and 58 penalty minutes in 36 games this season in the OHL. Each will be given the opportunity to earn their spot in training camp, which is why Oilers General Manager Craig MacTavish wouldn’t commit to sending them to the AHL right away for more seasoning. “They wouldn’t want to hear that in a press conference, and what I’ve said about them for the last quite some time is that they’re going to determine their own level,” said MacTavish. “I don’t want to put a ceiling on them that they have to go to the American Hockey League. But they’re going to determine that, and there’s nothing wrong with going to the American Hockey League. It’s a great developmental league, a great developmental tool, it enhances development, it speeds up development in a lot of ways. The challenge for both Darnell and Leon will be to come in here and prove that they’re ready, because it takes an exceptional athlete to make that transition right into the NHL. We need players that think the game well and have experience so that will be on both Darnell, who has a lot of experience, and Leon, who is going to get a lot of experience here in this CHL playoffs and hopefully into the Memorial Cup.”Chris WescottMon, 13 Apr 2015 21:49:00 EDThttp://1.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2015/02/20150228_nurse1.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3887638876BLOG: MacTavish on Klefbom & adding defencehttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=38875The strides Oscar Klefbom has made on the ice in just his second professional season here in North America have been documented throughout the last year. The 21-year-old defenceman increased the number of NHL games played from 17 in his rookie year to 60 this season, recording 20 points (2-18-20). In the second half of the season, Klefbom was paired often with Justin Schultz as the top duo on the Oilers blueline. Klefbom, the 19th overall pick in the 2011 NHL Draft, has shown glimpses of what he could become for the organization and that has his general manager excited. “When you talk about Oscar, I don’t think there is one facet of the game where you can put him in and hurt his development,” said Oilers GM Craig MacTavish. “There are guys that I see that are just going to be really good players and potentially star players. I see that in him. I don’t think there is one area, when you have meetings with players at the end of the year, there are normally four or five things you can point out that they’ve got to do better. You’ve got to improve on your fitness. But I’m at a bit of a loss for him, with the exception of experience.” Klefbom figures to get more and more of that much-needed experience as he continues his career. But the experienced gained this season has the organization salivating at the future of their blueline. “I think, offensively, he’s grown the last 20 or 25 games,” said MacTavish. “I don’t know what everybody in here feels, but I feel a whole lot of comfort when he is going back and defending and going to break the puck out. When I look at Oscar, all I think is we need a couple more of him. I think we’ve got one in the system and that will move the dial too as well.” The other defenceman that MacTavish alluded to was most likely Darnell Nurse. The Oilers top defensive prospect, taken seventh overall in 2013, is currently in the second round of the OHL playoffs, captaining the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds. MacTavish is comfortable with Klefbom and Schultz as an important pair heading into next season, but did explain the need to add to the roster on defence. The question is whether or not the price will be right and what will come available, in terms of top defencemen. “I think we can be a competitive team, for sure, but we’ve got to make additions there,” the general manager said. “For me, it gets to how much we’re going to pay in terms of developing assets for proven assets that are declining assets, potentially declining assets. The minute that developing asset intersects with that declining asset, that’s when you regret it. That’s really the gist and the crux of our decision making now going through to next year, because make no mistake, we have the assets that we can go out and acquire more proven players. But these players are going to be, in all likelihood, declining players and is that going to be the best strategy for our hockey club?” MacTavish thinks that, should one of those players become available, the Oilers have the assets to make something happen. “Do I envision a scenario where a proven top one or top two defenceman becomes available? Potentially. I think there are going to be some very unhappy teams here in the next couple of weeks. There are going to be some teams that are up against a very tight salary cap and that’s going to create an environment where they could potentially be looking to off-load some high-end assets and we’d be in a position, because of some of the developing assets we have, that we’d be able to acquire them, and the money that we have.”Chris WescottMon, 13 Apr 2015 18:35:00 EDThttp://2.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/gallery/2015/03/496700_1425574902847.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3887538875BLOG: MacTavish comments on Yakupovhttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=38872Oilers General Manager Craig MacTavish opened the question-and-answer segment of his year-end press conference with comments on Nail Yakupov, who the organization agreed to terms with on a two-year contract extension this morning. MacTavish was impressed with the turnaround that Yakupov had in his game from the first half of this season to the last half. “I don’t know that I’ve seen any transformation like that in all my years in hockey,” said MacTavish. “He really did become a very valuable player down the stretch. Whatever ignites that, whether it’s a conversation, a linemate or a coach or a level of experience, it’s really hard to identify what ignites that but there’s no denying that Yak has turned a corner.” Yakupov also spoke to the media, and was asked if he sees himself as part of the “core” group of Oilers youth. “I’m just trying to do my best and trying to make my team happy and get some points every game and just trying to improving my game every day, every game, every practice and everywhere. Of course, I just want to be the best player and just want to work every day. That’s it,” said Yakupov. MacTavish says Yakupov has shown the potential and growth that made him the first-overall pick in the 2012 NHL Draft. That makes him an integral part of the organization moving forward. “From what I talked about before, our growth is going to be internal growth and incremental growth and Yak in his development is a byproduct of that strategy and something that’s going to be continued,” said MacTavish. “We’ve talked about, there was a lot of discussion involving, Yak and about the potential to trade but, again, I’ve said and I’ve been consistent in what I’ve said that it’s not my preference, I don’t think it’s good strategy, to trade developing players. I think that’s been rewarded and Yak has been rewarded with a two-year contract.”Chris WescottMon, 13 Apr 2015 17:07:00 EDThttp://3.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2015/03/2015314_indepth1.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3887238872BLOG: Oilers agree to terms with Yakupov on extensionhttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=38860The Oilers have announced that they have agreed to terms with forward Nail Yakupov on a two-year contract extension. The 21-year-old established a new career high in points with 33 (14-19-33) in 81 games this season. The second half of the season is where Yakupov really put up numbers. Post All-Star break, Yakupov recorded 21 of those 33 points, including nine of his goals. From February 9-18, Yakupov had a point streak of six games. He had a five-game streak from March 9-18. At the trade deadline, Oilers General Manager Craig MacTavish said he was pleased with the improvements Yakupov was making and that they were eager to extend him following the completion of his entry level contract. “I see it to continue to evolve the way that it has,” said MacTavish. “We all see the promise now that we had when we drafted him. I had zero interest in trading Nail Yakupov. I think we’ve gone this far, we’ve got to see the end now. It has been some ups and downs, some sideways play and some head-scratching stuff and he’s on top of his game now. He shows all the assets that we saw when we drafted him: the speed, the physical power, the shot, he’s making good plays with the puck and who knows what unlatches all that for him, but he’s really figured it out. He’s playing with confidence, he’s a hardworking guy and we’ve got to see how it finishes. I’ve have no question that Yak is going to continue to develop and he’s got a reference point of what he needs to do now because he’s hit a new level. I’m as curious as anybody to see where that level goes because I think it’s sky high.” Yakupov's centre, Derek Roy, says he saw strides in his linemate's game. “Even the last couple of games, he was flying,” said Roy. “He was skating really good and moving the puck and making plays, getting shots through to the net and doing some of the small things that are going to make you successful in the league. The more he learns and the more he gets better, he’s going to be a dynamic player in the NHL. I believe that. That’s why I’ve just tried to help him as much as I could.” Yakupov was taken first overall in the 2012 NHL Draft. He has 88 points (42-46-88) in 192 NHL games. He finished the season on a three-game point streak, including scoring his 14th goal of the season in Saturday's finale in Vancouver.Chris WescottMon, 13 Apr 2015 11:49:00 EDThttp://3.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2015/03/465725808_fullSize(1).jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3886038860Year end coveragehttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=38848Chris WescottSun, 12 Apr 2015 19:52:00 EDThttp://3.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2015/04/20150412_ference644.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3884838848BLOG: Schultz on getting strongerhttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=38855Oilers defenceman Justin Schultz wasn’t very pleased with how the 2014-15 season played out. “It obviously wasn’t a good year for me and the team,” he said. “I’ve got a lot of improvement to work on this summer. I thought there were times where I thought I was improving and times where I wasn’t. It’s going to be a big summer for me to come back and be ready to play in the fall.” The improvement he talked about starts with the battles in the corners and along the wall. That is an area of Schultz’s game that he wants to improve. Oilers Interim Coach Todd Nelson sees that as an area for growth as well. “Everybody can up their battle level and that’s one thing we talked with Justin about,” said Nelson. “He’s been making the conscience effort to do so. You can see him, with the battle drills in practice, make an effort to get better. That has improved, especially over the last couple of weeks. That’s a focal point.” For Justin to be able to win more of those battles, he intends to hit the gym and put an emphasis on getting stronger and upping the intensity this off-season. “For me, it’s obviously building some more strength to help me in the battles in the corners and my defensive game, which is obviously something I need to improve on. That’s going to be my focus and hopefully I can make some strides this summer,” Schultz said. The defenceman played 81 games this season, recording 31 points (6-25-31) and 31 penalty minutes. He was -17.Chris WescottSun, 12 Apr 2015 19:51:00 EDThttp://1.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2015/01/644jultz.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3885538855BLOG: Nelson reflectshttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=38854Todd Nelson coached the Oilers, under the interim tag, to a record of 17-22-7 since taking over full-time on December 30. Time has flown by for Nelson in his first NHL head coaching action. “Well, personally, it’s been great,” said Nelson. “It’s been a great experience ever since I got the call from  (Oilers GM Craig MacTavish). I was grateful for the opportunity and I think that we’ve made some positive strides moving forward. There are some building blocks we can lean on moving forward.” The Oilers will continue their evaluation process moving forward into the off-season. That evaluation includes the head coaching position and the future of that office for the Oilers. Nelson is sure to be a candidate for that job, and thinks he put his best foot forward. “I have no regrets about how I handled things,” he said. “I went about it day by day and, like I’ve said before, there’s a lot of work to do here but I think that we made some positive strides in certain areas. I was happy for the experience and I had a great time.” Under his watch, Nelson feels there were improvements. “Some of the positive things I saw was when I first got here there were some situations where we’d be up a few goals and then a team would score a goal and we’d get a bit rattled,” said Nelson. “We saw the team grow as the season went on where when that happened again we hunkered down and preserved the victory. I think as a group, I saw some positive signs with that and it has to continue moving forward. There are some building blocks that we can work on next season.” Nelson spoke with the team before they depart to various homes and vacation spots. His message was simple. “I didn’t say much. I just said, ‘thanks for the work that you put in and thanks for doing the things or trying to do the things I wanted (you) to do, and have a good summer.’ I thanked them for their time. For the most part, they gave me what they had and that’s all I can ask for,” said Nelson. As for whether or not Nelson would return to the Oilers in some capacity other than head coach, he wasn’t ready to say. “I haven’t really given much thought to that,” he explained. “Everything is pretty fresh, but I enjoy working here, I enjoy the people I work with, they’re fantastic people and it’s always a great day to come to the rink.” So what’s next for Nelson? “A lot of fishing,” he says. Fishing and waiting, as the two go hand in hand. But as for if he wants to be back next year, Nelson says, “absolutely.” Nelson will head to Oklahoma City to offer his support to the Barons during their Calder Cup playoff run.Chris WescottSun, 12 Apr 2015 19:16:00 EDThttp://3.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2015/02/20140221_nelly2.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3885438854Oilers assign threehttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=38853The Edmonton Oilers announced today they have assigned defencemen Brandon Davidson, Martin Marincin and David Musil, to the American Hockey League's Oklahoma City Barons. Davidson, 23, appeared in 12 games with the Oilers this season, posting his first career National Hockey League goal on March 30th against the Colorado Avalanche. Marincin, 23, registered five points (1G, 4A) and 16 penalty minutes in 41 games with the Oilers. He recorded his first NHL goal on March 25th against the Colorado Avalanche. Musil, 22, appeared in four games with the Oilers, posting two assists and two penalty minutes, including his first NHL point that came on April 7th against the Los Angeles Kings.Chris WescottSun, 12 Apr 2015 17:42:00 EDThttp://2.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2015/04/20150403_musil.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3885338853BLOG: Improvement in Yakupovhttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=38852Nail Yakupov’s centre has been credited with helping the winger turnaround his game. The two developed chemistry over the last half of the season and Yakupov’s production shot up. “Even the last couple of games, he was flying,” Derek Roy said of Yakupov’s improvement. “He was skating really good and moving the puck and making plays, getting shots through to the net and doing some of the small things that are going to make you successful in the league. The more he learns and the more he gets better, he’s going to be a dynamic player in the NHL. I believe that. That’s why I’ve just tried to help him as much as I could.” Yakupov finished the season with 33 points, a new career high. He scored 14 goals and added 19 assists. It was the second half of the season that was the best for the 21-year-old Russian winger. Post All-Star break, Yakupov recorded 21 of those 33 points, including nine of his goals. From February 9-18, Yakupov had a point streak of six games. He had a five-game streak from March 9-18. Yakupov looks back on his season and says that Interim Coach Todd Nelson had an impact as well. Nelson took over solo responsibility as head coach behind the Oilers bench on December 30. “Yeah, I think my last half of the year was pretty good,” said Yakupov. “I’m really happy to have Nelly. He gave me kind of a second life. I was really enjoying to play, really enjoying practice and to be around the hockey rink and play the game. I think that’s really the important thing in your favourite job. It was really, really good. I just want to thank Nelly too for giving me support. He was so nice to me and it just helps a lot, you know? I really enjoyed the (second half) of the year.”Chris WescottSun, 12 Apr 2015 17:40:00 EDThttp://2.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2015/03/20150214_indepth3.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3885238852BLOG: Roy has had talks with Oilershttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=38851At the trade deadline, Oilers General Manager Craig MacTavish said the team was unlikely to deal pending unrestricted free agent Derek Roy. They were in the, “process of reaching out to him to see what his feeling is in terms of getting into a relationship” with the team moving forward. They, in fact, did not deal Roy and he finished out the 2014-15 season, having played 46 games for the Oilers since being acquired from Nashville on December 29. He averaged just under a half point per game with Edmonton, recording 11 goals and 11 assists for 22 points. “I think I just came in here and tried to work as hard as I can in all areas of the game and got better as the season went on and felt really comfortable with myself on the ice. And I was healthy, which is the main thing. Going into the off-season, I’m healthy so that’s a great start and I’m going to get back to work and get ready,” said Roy. Now the sights turn to potentially locking up the 31-year-old centre, who has provided a much-needed veteran presence beside Nail Yakupov. Roy confirmed on Sunday that his representation has had talks with the Oilers. “Yeah, there have been some talks and I’m just sitting in the background and waiting for some news. Hopefully, we’ll get something done,” he said. Roy felt welcome in the Oilers locker room right from the first day. It is well-documented the impact he has had on an individual like Yakupov and on the team, as a veteran. “The guys were welcoming right away, so that was great. I came in and then right away the guys were great from the practice to the game on the first day and I felt welcome right away, which is a huge thing. My competitiveness and the way I work hard every day in practice, I don’t know, maybe rubs on some of the guys and it was a fun process,” said Roy. The centre has played 738 regular season NHL games in his career, scoring 189 goals and adding 335 assists. He has 49 games of NHL playoffs experience, recording 27 points in the post-season. Whether or not the two sides reach an agreement is yet to be determined.Chris WescottSun, 12 Apr 2015 16:50:00 EDThttp://3.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/gallery/2015/04/514221_1428808783306.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3885138851BLOG: Ference on his recoveryhttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=38850Oilers Captain Andrew Ference suffered a concussion on March 23, in a game against the Winnipeg Jets. He played just 2:27 before missing the remainder of that game. He has not played since, as it has been a long road to recovery. But he may be out of the worst part, speaking to the media about his health on Sunday. “It’s coming along,” said Ference. “I’ve been lucky in my career, I think this is only my second, questionably third, concussion. They’re difficult. For about two weeks, you get that feeling like you’ve been on a fishing boat for eight hours and you come off and you just get a rocking (feeling). The balance and stuff like that is messed up. If you’ve never had one before it’s kind of hard to explain. It’s kind of a mix between coming off a boat and being hungover and it doesn’t go away. Luckily, over the last couple of days it’s been good. I was able to skate quite a bit, just to measure if it’d get worse from activity and it’s coming along just fine.” Ference spoke about the protocol the NHL has for dealing with concussions, saying there has been progress since he came into the league during the 1990-2000 season, and even just over the last few years. “There are two ways to look at it. It’s scary when you feel that way, but it’s also amazing the difference that four or five or six years makes with the way that they handle them as well,” he said. “Earlier in my career, there’s no way that a trainer would have held you back to say, ‘slow down, take your time and make sure we’re doing this the right way.’ Now, any symptoms whatsoever and they’re holding you out and making sure that you’re back to 100%. The progress is there and I think that’s the important thing. As far as prevention and the rules and trying to do it, it’s tough. When it does happen, getting the full recovery from doctors and trainers and making sure that the clubs are taking care of it, that message has obviously gotten through and they’re doing as good a job as they can with it. That’s progress.” Ference, 36, has played in 901 NHL games over the course of his career for the Penguins, Flames, Bruins and Oilers. He played 70 games this season, scoring three goals and adding 11 assists and 39 penalty minutes.Chris WescottSun, 12 Apr 2015 15:51:00 EDThttp://2.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/gallery/2014/03/413733_1395371991897.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3885038850BLOG: Morning skate update in VANhttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=38823The Oilers are on the ice for morning skate in Vancouver. Andrew Ference, Iiro Pakarinen, Mark Fayne, Nikita Nikitin and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins are not on the ice. Matt Hendricks is skating with the team. Line combinations: Pouliot-Hall-Eberle Purcell-Roy-Yakupov Fraser-Lander-Pitlick Gazdic-Hendricks-Klinkhammer (Hamilton rotating) Defensive pairings: Klefbom Schultz Marincin-Musil Davidson-AulieChris WescottSat, 11 Apr 2015 14:47:00 EDThttp://3.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2015/04/644hendy.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3882338823Oilers assign Brossoit, activate Fasthhttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=38793The Edmonton Oilers announced today they have assigned goaltender Laurent Brossoit to the American Hockey League's Oklahoma City Barons. Brossoit, 22, made his National Hockey League debut on April 9th against the San Jose Sharks, stopping 49 of 51 shots.  His 49 saves were the most in a debut since Manny Legace made 49 saves on October 21, 1998. The 6’3”, 202-pound netminder has appeared in 49 games for Oklahoma City this season, posting a 22-21-4 record with a 2.65 goals against average, a .916 save percentage and two shutouts. The Oilers also announced they have activated goaltender Viktor Fasth from the injured reserve list.Edmonton Oilers Press ReleaseFri, 10 Apr 2015 14:30:00 EDThttp://2.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2014/09/644396lb1.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3879338793BLOG: Hunt named AHL First Team All Starhttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=38784Oklahoma City Barons defenceman Brad Hunt has been named a First Team AHL All Star, the league announced today. Hunt has tallied 48 points in 57 games for OKC this season, good for second in the league among defencemen. He has played 11 games this season for the Oilers, scoring a goal and adding two assists. When he was assigned to OKC in November, Hunt quickly amassed 15 points in his first eight games. His 17 goals this season in the AHL are more than he had in 145 previous AHL games. The 26-year-old defenceman was a Second Team All-Star selection last season. He played in his second career AHL All-Star Classic in January.Chris WescottThu, 09 Apr 2015 15:05:00 EDThttp://1.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2014/12/Brad-Hunt.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3878438784BLOG: Wednesday practice updateshttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=38748The Oilers have taken the ice for practice at Rexall Place. Andrew Ference, Boyd Gordon, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Matt Hendricks are absent. Line combinations: Pouliot-Hall-Eberle Purcell-Roy-Yakupov Fraser-Lander-Pitlick Gazdic & Klinkhammer (Hendricks is absent) Defensive pairings: Klefbom-Schultz Marincin-Musil Davidson-Aulie Mark Fayne is participating and rotating in.Chris WescottWed, 08 Apr 2015 18:34:00 EDThttp://3.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2015/01/644pouliotpracticd1.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3874838748BLOG: Brossoit to make NHL debut with first starthttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=38755Laurent Brossoit is set to make his first start at the NHL level tomorrow against the San Jose Sharks. The 22-year-old is the Oilers top goalie prospect. He was acquired in a trade on November 8, 2013, which sent Olivier Roy and Ladislav Smid to the Calgary Flames in exchange for the young goaltender and Roman Horak. Brossoit has been recalled on emergency basis with Richard Bachman being returned to Oklahoma City on loan to join his wife, as they are expecting their first child. Brossoit had a standout season for the Bakersfield Condors in the ECHL last year, playing 35 games (24-9-2) and posting a 2.15 GAA and .923 save percentage to go along with six shutouts. He also played 16 playoff games for Bakersfield, finishing with a 10-6 record, a .921 save percentage and 2.27 GAA. Coming up to the AHL, it took time for him to adjust. However, he seems to be progressing nicely now with an increased workload. “With his progression, last year he had a really good year down in the ECHL and he’s done the same thing coming up in the American League. As I mentioned before, he was a bit inconsistent just as every young goalie is getting their feet wet,” said Oilers Interim Coach Todd Nelson. “Lately, he’s been controlling his play, he’s been very efficient in net and his progression has been great. He was thrown into a position where he had to play all those games, but that’s great because he got a wealth of experience and I think it’s going to help him tomorrow night.” With injuries to the big club and Bachman being recalled, Brossoit became the workhorse down in OKC. He has started 25 straight games heading into this call-up. Over the course of that stretch, he has a 2.70 GAA and .915 save percentage. He has averaged 30.68 saves per game in that time. “It was a very heavy workload for him,” said Oilers Interim Coach Todd Nelson. “When you play back to backs and three in threes, it takes its toll on everybody, but especially goalies. He’s a big, strong guy, he’s very athletic and he handled it fine. I know for a fact that he’ll be very excited to play tomorrow.”Chris WescottWed, 08 Apr 2015 18:31:00 EDThttp://3.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2014/03/Brossoit032214.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3875538755BLOG: Curtis Hamilton gets the callhttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=38754The Oilers used the 48th overall pick in 2010 to select Curtis Hamilton from the Saskatoon Blades. Hamilton is now expected to make his NHL debut on Thursday, after being recalled from Oklahoma City on emergency basis. Matt Hendricks got a bit “banged up” on Tuesday night against Los Angeles and is “very unlikely” to play. Oilers Interim Coach Todd Nelson is very familiar with Hamilton, having coached him for three full seasons and the first half of this year down in the American Hockey League. “He’s a player that I’ve seen quite a bit of over the last four years,” said Nelson. “He’s matured into a player where he feels more comfortable on the ice. He’s a big body out there, he can play a physical brand and I think he’s playing with a lot of confidence this season. He had a pretty good experience over at the Spengler (Cup), so he’s doing a lot of good things. He got a bit banged up in February, but he’s been playing well as of late and he’s earned his opportunity to come up here and play.” Hamilton is playing some of his best professional hockey to date, blowing away his previous career high in points with 29 in 60 games this season. That includes 12 goals and 17 assists, also career highs. The 23-year-old winger is 6-foot-3 and over 200 pounds.Chris WescottWed, 08 Apr 2015 18:30:00 EDThttp://2.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2014/01/CurtisHamilton4.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3875438754BLOG: NHL Central Scouting Final Rankings releasedhttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=38743The final 2015 NHL Central Scouting rankings have been released and it is no surprise to see who is at the top of the list. Erie’s Connor McDavid and Boston University’s Jack Eichel take the top two spots. McDavid is regarded as the top NHL Draft prospect since Sidney Crosby was taken by the Penguins, first overall in 2005. Eichel is the Hockey East Rookie of the Year, Player of the Year and Tournament MVP. He is one of the top three finalists for the Hobey Baker Award. 6-foot-3, 203-pound Boston College defenceman Noah Hannifan is third on the list. Erie’s Dylan Strome and Kingston’s Lawson Crouse swapped places from the midterm rankings to round out the top five. London Knights centre Mitchell Marner came in sixth in the final rankings, jumping from seventh in the midterm.Chris WescottWed, 08 Apr 2015 12:38:00 EDThttp://1.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2015/01/644mcdavid.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3874338743BLOG: Oilers play for Bachmanhttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=38722It has been an emotional week for Oilers goaltender Richard Bachman, who left the team to mourn the loss of his brother. Upon his return, Bachman made 25 saves in a 4-2 win over Los Angeles, his third-straight victory. “What do you say? Everyone has lost a family member. It’s not easy, and how he came in here, was professional about everything and showed up to the rink, you can’t say enough about the guy and his performance today,” said Oilers winger Matt Fraser, who scored twice in the win. “Obviously, you take your time to mourn or whatever, but he wanted to be back here and we’re glad to have him back.” “Absolutely,” said winger Tyler Pitlick on if he thought the team was playing for Bachman. “Everyone knows how tough it has been for him. To come back like that so quick, we just wanted to play hard for him. I think it was huge for him to have that good game.” Oilers Interim Coach Todd Nelson says that Luke Gazdic gave the goaltender the game puck following the victory. “I was proud of the way the guys played, the way they helped me out tonight. It was nice,” said Bachman. “Especially, with not playing in a week and having pretty much one practice before doing that. So I was super proud of the guys and their effort. I thought they did a great job of matching the physicality of a big LA team. I thought it was great.”Chris WescottWed, 08 Apr 2015 01:28:00 EDThttp://1.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2015/04/20150408_bach.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3872238722BLOG: Nelson impressed with play of young defencemenhttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=38720The average age of the Oilers defencemen on the ice against Los Angeles was 22.8. That comes due to injuries to Mark Fayne, Andrew Ference and Nikita Nikitin. But those youthful blueliners did just fine against the physical Kings, helping the Oilers skate to a 4-2 victory. Oilers Interim Coach Todd Nelson said he thought they played, “outstanding.” “I liked the battle,” said Nelson. “I liked the way that the big guys back there battled hard. Musil was strong. Everyone of them. Justin Schultz was battling, and it was a situation where our young D made it very difficult to maybe penetrate the net. We talked about winning battles in the corners and we did a great job. All six guys battled hard tonight.” Oscar Klefbom, 21, played the most minutes, logging 25:50 of ice time. In just his second NHL game, 21-year-old David Musil logged 19:47 of ice time and recorded his first NHL assist.Chris WescottWed, 08 Apr 2015 01:23:00 EDThttp://2.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2015/04/20150403_musil.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3872038720BLOG: Oilers outstanding in the dothttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=38721The Oilers took on the NHL’s 10th best (coming into the game) faceoff team, without the help of two of their centres. Without Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Boyd Gordon in the lineup, the Oilers went 65% in the faceoff dot against Los Angeles in a 4-2 win. Taylor Hall, playing out of position, was 65%, with 11 wins and six losses. Anton Lander was fantastic at 78% and Derek Roy was even better at 82%. “I had my match-ups the way I wanted them for the most part,” said Oilers Interim Coach Todd Nelson said. “I thought our centremen did a great job. It didn’t matter if it was on the strong side or weak side. Taylor was very good in the faceoff dot, actually everybody was. Maybe it was a little fatigue on Los Angeles’ part.” Tyler Pitlick’s game-winning goal came after a big Lander faceoff win in the offensive zone.Chris WescottWed, 08 Apr 2015 01:23:00 EDThttp://1.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2015/04/20150408_bach.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3872138721Oilers assign Miller, activate Pitlickhttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=38642The Edmonton Oilers announced today, they have assigned centre Andrew Miller to the American Hockey League's Oklahoma City Barons. Miller, 26, appeared in nine games for the Oilers, posting six points (1G, 5A). He scored his 1st National Hockey League goal on a penalty shot against the Dallas Stars on March 27th; becoming the first player in Oilers history to score his 1st NHL goal on a penalty shot. The 5’10”, 181-pound centre leads Oklahoma City in points (56), goals (25) and assists (31) in 58 games with the Barons this season. The Edmonton Oilers also announced they have activated winger Tyler Pitlick off injured reserve.Edmonton Oilers Press ReleaseTue, 07 Apr 2015 12:15:00 EDThttp://1.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2014/09/20140903_pitlick2.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3864238642BLOG: Monday updateshttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=38630The Oilers have taken the ice for practice at Rexall Place. Richard Bachman has returned to Edmonton, following an absence due to a death in the family this past week. Mark Fayne (shoulder) and Viktor Fasth (knee) are also skating today. Tyler Pitlick is in non-contact yellow. Boyd Gordon and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins are not on the ice. Forward lines based on jersey colour: Pouliot-Hall-Eberle Purcell-Roy-Yakupov Fraser-Lander-Miller Gazdic-Hendricks-Klinkhammer Defensive Pairings: Klefbom-Schultz Davidson-Aulie Marincin-MusilChris WescottMon, 06 Apr 2015 16:48:00 EDThttp://2.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2015/04/20150406_bachman.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3863038630BLOG: Fayne “really close” to returnhttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=38636The Oilers took the ice at Rexall Place for Monday practice with Mark Fayne joining his teammates. The defenceman has missed time since March 25, with a shoulder injury. “It feels good getting out there in practice. It felt a lot better once it got warm so we’ll see where it goes,” said Fayne. Fayne couldn’t provide a timeline for his return to game action, but his head coach seems to think it won’t be long. “He’s really close,” said Oiler Interim Coach Todd Nelson. “He had a good day today. Both him and Viktor (Fasth) fall in the same category, where they had a good day. We’ll see how everything reacts tomorrow and then we’ll move forward from there.” Fayne has played 74 games for the Oilers this season, scoring two goals and adding six assists. The Oilers host the Los Angeles Kings tomorrow night.Chris WescottMon, 06 Apr 2015 16:47:00 EDThttp://1.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2014/12/20141219_practice.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3863638636BLOG: Young defencemen have opportunityhttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=38637Injuries have hit the Oilers defencemen as of late. Veteran blueliners Andrew Ference (concussion) and Nikita Nikitin are not practicing with the team. With Mark Fayne, 27, skating with the team today at practice, the average age of the seven Oilers defencemen on the ice was 23.4. Take him out of the lineup, like he was last game with a shoulder injury, and the average age of the remaining six is 22.8. Youth on the blueline can be an obstacle for NHL clubs. For those players however, it is an opportunity to grow and develop. Trial by fire. “I think it’s great for those guys, getting experience when they’re that young,” said Fayne. “It’s a tough league for a defenceman to come in right away, every game in the playoff season. I think it’s good that they’re starting to get experience now, playing a lot of different positions and a lot of different match ups. I think, as a team, it might be a little tough of a transition when you have so many but this is the time of year to do it.”Chris WescottMon, 06 Apr 2015 16:47:00 EDThttp://1.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2015/03/20150331_brandon.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3863738637Oilers agree to terms with Platzerhttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=38644The Edmonton Oilers announced today, they have agreed to terms with centre Kyle Platzer on a three-year entry level contract. Platzer, 20, has appeared in 68 games with the Ontario Hockey League's Owen Sound Attack this season, posting 81 points (34G, 47A), 46 penalty minutes and a plus 13 rating. He led the team and established career highs in points (81), goals (34), assists (47) and plus/minus (+13). He also played in five playoff games, registering five points (1G, 4A) and four penalty minutes. The 6’0”, 180-pound centre has accumulated 140 points (61G, 79A) and 87 penalty minutes in 203 career OHL games. He has also appeared in 31 career playoff games, recording 14 points (4G, 10A) and 18 penalty minutes. Platzer was selected by the Oilers in the 4th round, 96th overall in the 2013 NHL Draft. Platzer will report to Oklahoma City (AHL) and sign an Amateur Tryout agreement with the Barons.Edmonton Oilers Press ReleaseSun, 05 Apr 2015 14:00:00 EDThttp://2.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2014/11/644platzer.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3864438644Oilers assign Bunzhttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=38643The Edmonton Oilers announced today, they have assigned goaltender Tyler Bunz to the American Hockey League's Oklahoma City Barons. Bunz, 23, appeared in one game for the Oilers, in relief of starting goaltender Ben Scrivens on April 2nd in the Oilers loss to the Los Angeles Kings.Edmonton Oilers Press ReleaseSun, 05 Apr 2015 13:00:00 EDThttp://3.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2015/04/20150404_bunz.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3864338643BLOG: Nugent-Hopkins not in the lineup vs. Calgaryhttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=38593The Oilers announced that centre Ryan Nugent-Hopkins will not play tonight against the Flames due to a lower body injury.Sat, 04 Apr 2015 21:12:00 EDThttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3859338593