EDMONTON OILERS BLOGShttp://www.edmontonoilers.com/rssEDMONTON OILERS BLOGSNHL Enterprises, L.P. (c) 2014 NHL. All Rights Reserveden-usMon, 22 Sep 2014 17:48:19 EDTBLOG: Oilers return Baltisberger to Zurichhttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=31840The Oilers have returned forward Chris Baltisberger to Zurich of Switzerland's National League A. He was on a tryout with the team. Baltisberger, 22, scored nine points (3-6-9) in 48 games for Zurich last season. This year, he already has two goals and three assists in three games. Baltisberger recorded two shots on goal in Sunday night’s pre-season game against the Flames in Calgary.Chris WescottMon, 22 Sep 2014 17:29:00 EDThttp://2.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2014/09/20140921_CGY2.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3184031840BLOG: Fasth puts in work during opening pre-season gamehttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=31823Oilers goaltender Viktor Fasth got the start in net on the road in Calgary for the split-squad pre-season game on Sunday night. As the horn sounded signalling the end of the first period, the Flames were outshooting the Oilers 14-1. However, the score remained 0-0 largely because of the play of Fasth. Considering that this is one of a handful of pre-season games for Fasth and the Oilers, it was almost a good thing that the Flames tested Fasth early. It gave him an opportunity to find his rhythm after a summer away from game action. “As long as you save them,” Fasth said of the heavy workload. “But unfortunately they got the win today. But I think we played better and better as long as the game went on. I think we have to take that with us to the next game. I think the PK played really good in front of me and blocked a lot of shots. We’ve got to take those positives with us to the next game.” The Head Coach for the Oilers in this game was Todd Nelson and he was thoroughly impressed with the way Fasth handled 20 shots in 40 minutes of action. Nelson called Fasth’s performance “outstanding” and says it was good to see him get comfortable early. “We’d like to play down quite a bit in their end too,” Nelson said. “There’s nothing like getting Viktor into the game early because Calgary came at us pretty hard. Viktor was good. He was controlled in net and if there were rebounds I felt our guys did a pretty good job of playing desperate there and clearing pucks. He’s definitely on his game right now and hopefully that continues.” Fasth finished the game with 19 saves on 20 shots.Chris WescottSun, 21 Sep 2014 23:36:00 EDThttp://1.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2014/09/20140921_fastpost.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3182331823BLOG: Moroz hoists cuphttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=31808Since 1966 the Memorial Cup well has run dry for the Oil Kings and although they claimed three WHL titles in that span (1971, 1972, and 2012) they failed to bring home any other hardware. Then, last season hopes ran high after Ed Chynoweth’s Cup was brought back to Oil Country and a Memorial Cup title was square in the crosshairs. Comebacks, determination, and fight carried the Oil Kings to the finals where they were crowned the Memorial Cup Champions. Fast-forward to last night and it was time for the fans to get in on the celebration, time for a duo of banners to be raised to the rafters at Rexall Place. First, the arena went black and then through a red and blue fog emerged all of the players who will represent the Oil Kings this year. Minus of course the nine players that were attending pro camps over the weekend. Then, alumni from 1950, 1963, and 1966 were brought out to centre ice to help welcome the WHL hardware carried by Reid Petryk and the Memorial Cup trophy hoisted by Mitch Moroz. “It was cool, a pretty special night. It was a good way to cap off last season and for those guys to look ahead to this year and same with myself.” Over 11,000 fans, a franchise record, watched as the banners were enshrined at the top of Rexall along with all the other reminders of what a historic hockey town Edmonton is. “Definitely a cool night for the fans and it was a good experience.” Next for Moroz a trip down to Calgary for the Oilers-Flames split-squad taking place tonight. He will be lined up with Jujhar Khaira and Chris Baltisberger and when speaking to our Chris Wescott about the game plan for tonight, said the following: “Just keep it simple. I mean I’m playing with two bigger stronger guys. Were going to be asked to keep it simple and be disciplined on all areas on the ice and create some havoc down low.” As for his personal performance: “Just try to play a big game and be a presence.”Ashley DockingSun, 21 Sep 2014 14:02:00 EDThttp://2.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2014/09/644moroz.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3180831808BLOG: Oilers lineup in Edmontonhttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=31807The Oilers are dressing a more seasoned lineup for the game against Calgary at Rexall Place but it's still a youthful set to kick off the pre-season. FORWARDS 4 Hall 15 Westgarth 39 Yakimov 41 Acton 42 Roy 55 Draisaitl 57 Perron 64 Tkachev 67 Pouliot 71 Platzer 72 Chase 93 Nugent-Hopkins DEFENCE 19 Schultz 21 Ference 22 Aulie 59 Hunt 74 Nurse 84 Klefbom GOALTENDERS 30 Scrivens 32 Bachman PROJECTED LINES Hall-RNH-Chase Pouliot-Draisaitl-Perron Roy-Acton-Platzer Tkachev-Yakimov-Westgarth Nurse-Schultz Ference-Hunt Aulie-Klefbom Scrivens BachmanMarc CiampaSun, 21 Sep 2014 11:35:00 EDThttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3180731807BLOG: Oilers lineup in Calgaryhttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=31805The Oilers group which will be travelling to Calgary is currently at Rexall Place skating. The lines the team is going with are: Yakupov-Arcobello-Purcell Pakarinen-Lander-Pinizzotto Hendricks-Gordon-Joensuu Moroz-Khaira-Baltisberger Nikitin-Fayne Marincin-Simpson Oesterle-Musil The goaltenders on the ice are Fasth and Brossoit. A starter has not been confirmed. UPDATE: Fasth is the first goaltender off the ice for the group, making him the likely starter.Marc CiampaSun, 21 Sep 2014 10:35:00 EDThttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3180531805Video & Audio: Day 3 of Training Camphttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=31771Marc CiampaSat, 20 Sep 2014 16:16:00 EDThttp://1.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2014/09/644camp-ewanyk2.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3177131771BLOG: Who Eakins liked todayhttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=31780Coach Eakins talked about who impressed him on the second on-ice day at training camp. "We liked Nuge today," he said. "I thought Nuge had a really good day out there. (He was) competing. For me, the best player on the ice." Eakins also thought that a handful of the off-season acquisitions did well today. "Nikitin and Fayne were a good pair. We'll keep an eye and see how that goes." "The one thing we spoke to Anton about last year at the end of the season (is offence). He's shown that he can put up points and make plays at the American Hockey League level. Today, he was making those plays. He stepped out of his comfort zone here. That's hard to do as a player and I thought that was real encouraging." Lander helped set up a goal by Andrew Ference late in the scrimmage by making a nice play deep in the attacking zone.Marc CiampaSat, 20 Sep 2014 16:07:00 EDThttp://3.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2014/09/644camp-eakins2.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3178031780BLOG: Eakins provides injury updateshttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=31779Oilers head coach Dallas Eakins spoke to the media following the scrimmage on Saturday. He updated on the status of Jeff Petry and Matt Hendricks. "Injury-wise, Petry came in no worse so that's always a good sign with those shoulders. Usually if it's something bad, the next day is not so good," Eakins began. "That's encouraging on him. "Other notes, Hendricks is fine. I just saw him and he took a shot a little too close to that spot where men like to protect with their lives. So he's alright."Marc CiampaSat, 20 Sep 2014 16:05:00 EDThttp://2.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2014/09/644camp-eberle-eakins.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3177931779BLOG: Perron finding chemistry with linemateshttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=31774David Perron has been skating at camp with Benoit Pouliot and Leon Draisaitl. The winger talked about clicking early with the duo. "It was surprising in a way. Ben is a really fast player. I didn't think he had that great of a shot but it's pretty amazing. From the top circle he's a threat to score," Perron began. "Leon put me in a few situations where I was surprised how much time I had. It was good to see his playmaking skills." "I think his pace is going to improve as we go along, too. He'll get to know what the speed is and he's a player that seems to be adjusting to whatever level he needs to." Perron talked about expectations for the German pivot. "He's a player, no matter what's required of him he's going to learn. The best favour you guys could do for him is not put too much pressure on him. (He's not going to) come in and be a saviour. He'll be a regular player and play with hard work and passion every night. The points are going to come."Marc CiampaSat, 20 Sep 2014 15:12:00 EDThttp://1.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/gallery/2014/04/419533_1396670637222.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3177431774BLOG: Blue tops White 3-2 in Saturday's scrimmagehttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=31773Team Blue defeated Team White 3-2 in a scrimmage at Rexall Place on Saturday. The game was played in two 30-minute halves of running time. Ryan Nugent-Hopkins opened the scoring nearly 17 minutes in, banging the puck in past Ben Scrivens on a scramble in front of the goalmouth. Seven minutes later, Kellen Jones took advantage of a loose puck travelling across the crease and neatly backhanded it inside the right post. In the second half, Blue increased its lead to 3-0 after Alex Krushelnyski wired a shot top corner from the high slot. White made it interesting with late goals by Curtis Hamilton and Andrew Ference but it wasn't enough. TEAM BLUE Hall-RNH-Eberle Hendricks-Gordon-Joensuu K.Jones-C.Jones-Westgarth Krushelnyski-Ewanyk-Holmberg Nikitin-Fayne Aulie-Klefbom Hunt-Gernat Fasth Rimmer TEAM WHITE Yakupov-Arcobello-Purcell Pakarinen-Lander-Pinnizzotto Houck-Williams-Tkachev C.Hamilton-Platzer-Miller Ference-Simpson Musil-Rowley Oesterle-Ludwig Scrivens Bouchard 1ST HALF Fasth (blue) vs Scrivens (white) Blue shots - 10 White shots - 6 Scoring: BLUE - Ryan Nugent-Hopkins 16:55 BLUE - Kellen Jones 23:25 Penalties: 11:15 - tripping - Tkachev (white) 14:55 - interference - purcell (white) 2ND HALF Rimmer/Bouchard(blue) vs Brossoit (white) Blue shots - 9 White shots - 9 Scoring: BLUE - Krushelnyski (Holmberg) 16:00 - wired puck top corner from the slot WHITE - Hamilton 24:40 WHTE - Ference (Lander, Pakarinen) 26:42 Penalties: 11:45 - hooking - Gernat (blue)Marc CiampaSat, 20 Sep 2014 13:41:00 EDThttp://1.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2014/09/644camp-ewanyk2.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3177331773BLOG: Oilers on ice Saturday for Day 3 of camphttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=31764The first group is on the ice for the Oilers on the third day of training camp and second day on ice at Rexall Place. Lines, defence pairings and goaltenders: Pouliot - Draisaitl - Perron Roy - Acton - Pitlick Kessy - Yakimov - Chase Moroz - Khaira - Baltisberger Gazdic - R.Hamilton - Ford Marincin - Schultz Nurse - Boland Craig - Betker Bachman Tuohimaa Bunz Connor Boland is skating on defence in place of the injured Jeff Petry. The second and third groups will hit the ice for a scrimmage at 11:10 a.m.Marc CiampaSat, 20 Sep 2014 10:47:00 EDThttp://3.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2014/09/644camp.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3176431764Video, Audio & Photos: Day 2 of Training Camphttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=31729edmontonoilers.com staffFri, 19 Sep 2014 17:08:00 EDThttp://2.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2014/03/644fasth3.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3172931729BLOG: Draisaitl feeling good, line performs wellhttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=31741The third-overall pick in the draft has been looking forward to his first training camp on-ice session for months. Leon Draisaitl centred a line with David Perron and Benoit Pouliot during the scrimmage today. “It felt really good actually,” Draisaitl said. I felt really good out there. Obviously, my two linemates helped me a lot out there. They’re established NHL players, they’re both really skilled guys and I think we had a little bit of chemistry already and I felt pretty good out there.” The talented 18-year-old has already drawn compliments from one of those linemates. “He’s looking good, he’s slick,” Pouliot said. “He’s a big centreman and in this league you need big centres. I think he can do the job. The way he played today, he’s only 18. You don’t want to put too much pressure on the guy, just let him play. Today was exactly that, he put a lot of pressure on their D and he played very well. It’s just a matter of getting comfortable and he’ll be perfect, he’ll be fine.” Pouliot and Perron both scored goals in the scrimmage. Draisaitl’s playmaking ability was something his head coach noticed during the brief time on ice today. “He can distribute the puck,” Dallas Eakins said. “He can make a play on his forehand and his backhand. He showed some spurts that he does have some speed. I think the one thing that you find all the time, especially with guys coming out of junior and they’ve been key guys on their team, their pace usually isn’t where you want it. The pace is there but they aren’t playing at the highest pace because they played so many minutes and they have to find places to rest on the ice. There’s room for improvement there but he shows he can do it. He can certainly move the puck, distribute it and he certainly didn’t look out of place out there.” Eakins was also pleased with the little bit of chemistry that line was already displaying. “They all came as advertised. David Perron loves hockey. He’s one of those guys that I’m sure is out in the street playing with kids. Leon can obviously make plays and Pouliot showed us a lot of why we wanted to sign him, and we’re so fortunate to have him. He was constantly on the puck. That’s a great lesson, those three right there. Watching them from up top you can hear them talking and communicating the whole time. When you’re doing that on the ice it helps focus the other player and he knows where you’re at and it shows your teammates that you’re ready to play. Those three were all yapping out there to each other and it was good that Leon brushed up on his French.”Chris WescottFri, 19 Sep 2014 17:07:00 EDThttp://1.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2014/09/20140917_bears1.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3174131741BLOG: Petry is day-to-dayhttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=31740In today’s scrimmage between Team Messier and Team Kurri, Jeff Petry left the ice after a hit. He did not return for the second half of the skate. Oilers Head Coach Dallas Eakins says it doesn’t look serious. “He left the ice. He tweaked his shoulder, we don’t think it’s anything huge. He’ll be day-to-day,” Eakins said.Chris WescottFri, 19 Sep 2014 16:51:00 EDThttp://2.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/gallery/2014/01/395761_1390622435615.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3174031740BLOG: Fitness test results encouraginghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=31739The Oilers took part in fitness testing yesterday and the results were encouraging for second-year Head Coach Dallas Eakins. “The results from yesterday, just to follow up, I did get to see our fitness results and huge compliments to our players,” he said. “Their commitment and work ethic was certainly there this summer. We’ve had some massive gains by a lot of our players so we’re very encouraged by that. Not only are they fitter but it shows a great commitment level when 99% of your group comes in like that. We’re extremely happy and we’re very proud of our strength and conditioning staff. They’ve done one hell of a job there.” There are several players to report to camp who bulked up over the summer. For example, Martin Marincin gained 15 pounds, Mark Arcobello is up to 172 from 166, Nail Yakupov gained nine pounds and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins says he’s up to 192 from 180.Chris WescottFri, 19 Sep 2014 16:50:00 EDThttp://1.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2014/09/644camp-generic.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3173931739BLOG: Fayne’s simple gamehttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=31730The Oilers signed defenceman Mark Fayne in free agency and it doesn’t take long to understand what his game is all about. As he was with the New Jersey Devils, Fayne is all about being solid defensively and only jumping in the play offensively when his own end is taken care of first. “Simple. I guess that is the best word,” Fayne laughed. “I try to keep the puck out of our own end as much as I can. When it is, just shut it down and get it up to the forwards. I help out whenever I can offensively but my main focus is to cover up the D end and join the rush.” Fayne is 6-foot-3 and 215 pounds. He uses that frame to engage physically when the moment calls for it. “As much as I can without taking too many risks. You want to pick your spots when you know you can have a good physical presence. You’ve got to make them not want to go to the corners, stand in front of the net and that definitely takes a physical aspect.”Chris WescottFri, 19 Sep 2014 12:50:00 EDThttp://1.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2014/07/20140722_fayneraw.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3173031730BLOG: Oilers hit the ice to kick off camp.http://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=31723The Oilers have begun the on-ice portion of training camp. The camp is divided into three on-ice sessions with three separate groups. "Team Gretzky" is on the ice now: Forward Lines: Hall-Nugent-Hopkins-Eberle Hendricks-Gordon-Joensuu K. Jones-C. Jones-Ford Kessy-Ewanyk-Holmberg Westgarth Defensive Pairings: Nikitin-Fayne Aulie-Klefbom Hunt-Gernat Goaltenders: Scrivens FasthMarc CiampaFri, 19 Sep 2014 11:17:00 EDThttp://3.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2014/09/20140918_trainingcamp644.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3172331723CAMP DAY ONE: Audio and Videohttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=31685Chris WescottThu, 18 Sep 2014 18:45:00 EDThttp://1.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2014/09/20140918_eberle306.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3168531685BLOG: Summer of training leads to muscle gainshttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=31695The Edmonton Oilers weighed in at training camp on Thursday and there were a few noticeable changes to some of the players. Defenceman Martin Marincin, who said it was his goal to beef up this off-season, weighed in at 203 pounds. That is 15 pounds heavier than the 188 he was last year. Mark Arcobello is up to 172 pounds from 166 and Nail Yakupov, who even said he felt more muscular, is up to 197 from 186. Ryan Nugent-Hopkins is now listed at 190 (previously 180). An updated list of heights and weights is available on the Oilers roster on edmontonoilers.com.Chris WescottThu, 18 Sep 2014 17:53:00 EDThttp://3.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2014/03/20140309Marincin_DL.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3169531695BLOG: Eakins foresees several position battleshttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=31694The Edmonton Oilers head into training camp with uncertainty at a couple of positions. An influx of depth and talent, as well as exits by some players has created position battles. “We expect there to be some battling at camp,” Oilers Head Coach Dallas Eakins said. “Obviously, there’s going to be some battle down the middle. We have two NHL centremen right now and I have know idea who the other ones will be. That will be for the players to decide.” The battle at centre will feature third-overall pick Leon Draisaitl, as well as players like Mark Arcobello, Anton Lander and prospects like Jujhar Khaira and Bogdan Yakimov. Centre isn’t the only position where Eakins sees a competition. The additions of defencemen such as Mark Fayne, Nikita Nikitin and Keith Aulie, along with prospects like 2013 seventh-overall pick Darnell Nurse, 2011 19th-overall pick Oscar Klefbom and Martin Marincin make for an interesting competition. “We’re obviously going to have a battle on defence. We’ve got some guys that played some games in the NHL last year, we’ve upgraded our D with what I call ‘full-time NHL defencemen’ so there will be a battle going on there. There will also be a spot or two open on the wing we believe. It can only be one. When there is only one spot open, that usually creates a great competition with our players.”Chris WescottThu, 18 Sep 2014 16:23:00 EDThttp://2.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2014/04/20140407topline.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3169431694BLOG: Hall keeping calm in the face of pressurehttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=31692When Taylor Hall was selected first overall in 2010, it was expected he would become the face of the franchise. Since then, the 22-year-old has watched as teammates have left and the roster has changed dramatically. There may have never been an official changing of the guard, but it looks like the 2014-15 Oilers are even more in the hands of Hall and his fellow young stars than they have ever been. Hall has learned to deal with the pressure place on himself and his fellow players, such as Jordan Eberle, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Nail Yakupov and Justin Schultz. “There’s never been an official changing of the guard but it seems every year we come in with more pressure on players like myself and I think that’s a good thing,” Hall said. “As you get older and more mature you learn how to deal with that and you learn who to listen to and who not to listen to and those type of things. Having a more relaxed and more calm, confident mindset coming into camp I think is going to benefit our team a lot more. Trying to exceed expectations instead of living up to them is a good mantra for our team.”Chris WescottThu, 18 Sep 2014 16:01:00 EDThttp://1.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2014/04/20140428_poty644.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3169231692BLOG: Defensive game a focus for Hallhttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=31691The 22-year-old Taylor Hall is coming off his best season offensively, with 80 points (27-53-80). Hall says his main focus going into camp this year is his defensive play. Should he become even more of a complete player, that’s scary for opponents. When asked if he is ahead of where he was defensively to start the season last year, Hall didn’t know. However, he says it is on his radar to improve in that category. “I haven’t played any games yet so I think time will tell, but that’s definitely been a bigger focus of mine this year coming into camp,” he said. “Maybe in past years I’ve been looking forward to getting points and stuff. I want to round out my game as best I can so that from the start of the year I don’t have any glaring deficiencies and I’m helping out my team the best I can.”Chris WescottThu, 18 Sep 2014 15:56:00 EDThttp://2.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2014/07/20140724_hallscream.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3169131691BLOG: Yakupov all positive heading into camphttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=31689Nail Yakupov is one of the players the Oilers will want to take his play to the next level if they want to have a successful season. After some adversity last season, Yakupov is ready to turn the page and put the past in the past. The Oilers winger brought up the Stanley Cup Champion Los Angeles Kings and how they put the past behind them and just focus on the year ahead. Yakupov wants the Oilers to do the same. “You’ve got to be positive this year, because if you’re going to think about all of the negative from last year I don’t think that’s good,” he said. “It doesn’t matter if you did not make the playoffs or if you won the Stanley Cup like Los Angeles. I’m pretty sure they forgot about last season and they forgot that they want to win the Stanley Cup. They just want to improve on things and try to win another one. As an Oiler, as a team and as our teammates I am pretty sure we want to be in the playoffs first and then fight for a Stanley Cup. We have to stay positive and not think about last year and what place we were. Let’s start from a new page.”Chris WescottThu, 18 Sep 2014 15:24:00 EDThttp://2.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2014/07/20140729_yak2.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3168931689BLOG: Purcell says new players add depthhttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=31688The Oilers added Teddy Purcell this off-season, along with Niktita Nikitin, Mark Fayne, Benoit Pouliot and Keith Aulie. Purcell says he expects that group to come in and help the Oilers be more competitive, though they alone are not there to save the day. “We’re not going to come in and save the day but I think we’re going to add some good depth,” Purcell said. “Everyone knows this is a very tough conference and our opponents are all big-bodied guys that I think wear teams down pretty well. We have the skill to compete with those guys, where I think if we add the depth that we did and a bit of size that it will help us in the long run.” Purcell says he senses that the young, talented players in the locker room are hungry and ready to stop losing and start winning. Purcell hopes the new faces in the locker room can help with that. “Those top guys have been in the league a little bit. I think they’re becoming hungrier and they’re ready to prove that they’re the guys to take this team to the next level. I think with some fresh faces around the room it brings in some energy and everyone comes into camp refreshed, especially after a long summer that these guys had. The mood around the room is good and hopefully we can keep that going forward heading into camp.”Chris WescottThu, 18 Sep 2014 14:54:00 EDThttp://3.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2014/06/20140630_Pucell2.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3168831688BLOG: Scrivens not concerned with labelshttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=31686The sentiment around the media is that the Edmonton Oilers boast two solid NHL goaltenders to start this season, but no clear-cut number one. Labels mean nothing to one of those goaltenders, Ben Scrivens, who says the two of them just need to go out and play winning hockey when called upon. “That’s not really my problem to worry about how people want to label us,” Scrivens said. “Whether we are a tandem that switches back and forth or one of us takes the reins and runs with it, that’s going to be a decision for the coaching staff. But I don’t think the team is going to care who is in as long as we are giving the team a chance to win. That’s the biggest thing, not being a liability when either one of us is in net. However it shakes out that it happens we need to give this team good goaltending.”Chris WescottThu, 18 Sep 2014 14:35:00 EDThttp://2.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2014/03/030914Scrivens.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3168631686BLOG: Perron on playing the right side with Draisaitlhttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=31684Oilers David Perron is listed as the right winger on a line with Benoit Pouliot and Leon Draisaitl to start camp. Perron was asked about switching over to the right side and he says it is something he is familiar with, and he’s willing to do whatever is asked of him to contribute. “I’ve always kind of preferred the left side but I’ve had success both sides,” Perron said. “I think one of my strengths, and what Dallas liked about me last year, was I could move from the first to second to third line and try to contribute and that’s what I’m going to be looking to do again this year.” Perron gets an opportunity to skate with the third-overall pick in this year’s draft. He says he is not too familiar with Draisaitl but knows the big centre’s playmaking potential. “I haven’t really seen him. All I’ve heard is about his playmaking skills obviously and how big he is. It looks like I will be starting with him for camp and I’m looking forward to seeing how he’s going to do. I’ve heard that he’s a hard worker and as long as he’s doing that, I’m sure he’s going to be fine.”Chris WescottThu, 18 Sep 2014 14:20:00 EDThttp://1.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/gallery/2014/04/419533_1396670637222.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3168431684BLOG: Eberle says he needs to step uphttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=31683Jordan Eberle is an offensive weapon for the Oilers. The winger is coming off of a 65-point season (28-37-65) but he sees room for improvement. The Oilers are hoping for Eberle to take it to the next level and he not only understands that but he respects it. Eberle says as if the team is going to be more competitive, players like himself need to take the next step. “We touched on it at the end of the year last year,” Eberle said. “I’ve definitely shown I can be a dominant player in this league. I think with the team we have now, with the talent and depth-wise, I think that’s only going to help individually. That being said, I think I still have another level to reach. “I’m still a young player, I’ve shown I can do it but it’s just doing it on a consistent basis. I think I made strides in becoming a better player last year especially. Obviously, they need more out of me production-wise and defensively if this team is going to do well. I think for this team to take the next step, obviously I have to do the same thing.”Chris WescottThu, 18 Sep 2014 14:13:00 EDThttp://2.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2014/08/20140828_schedule644.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3168331683BLOG: Oilers to skate in three groupshttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=31659The Edmonton Oilers will skate in three different groups when they open camp tomorrow morning. TEAM GRETZKY Forward Lines: Hall-Nugent-Hopkins-Eberle Hendricks-Gordon-Joensuu K. Jones-C. Jones-Ford Kessy-Ewanyk-Holmberg Westgarth Defensive Pairings: Nikitin-Fayne Aulie-Klefbom Hunt-Gernat Goaltenders: Scrivens Fasth TEAM MESSIER Forward Lines: Pouliot-Draisaitl-Perron R. Hamilton-Acton-Pitlick Roy-Yakimov-Chase Moroz-Khaira-Baltisberger Krushelnyski Defensive Pairings: Nurse-Petry Marincin-Schultz Craig-Betker Goaltenders: Bachman Tuohimaa Bunz TEAM KURRI Forward Lines: Yakupov-Arcobello-Purcell Pakarinen-Lander-Pinizzotto Winqvist-Williams-Tkachev C. Hamilton-Platzer-Miller Houck Defensive Pairings: Ference-Simpson Musil-Rowley Oesterle-Ludwig Boland Goaltenders: Brossoit Rimmer BouchardChris WescottThu, 18 Sep 2014 12:10:00 EDThttp://1.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2014/03/032614practice.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3165931659BLOG: Yakimov ready for training camphttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=31653When Bogdan Yakimov came to Edmonton from Russia, all he could think about was training camp and competing for a spot with the Oilers. That day has finally come as the team reports to camp tomorrow and takes the ice Friday. “I can’t wait. I’ve waited three months, I’ve practiced three months and all summer. It was such a hard time for me. Just a couple more days and camp starts. I’m so excited,” he said. The Oilers third round pick (83rd overall) in 2013, had three goals in all three games he played this week with the Oilers Rookies. He scored against the Vancouver Canucks and Calgary Flames prospects at the Young Stars Tournament in Penticton, B.C. He added a goal tonight against the Golden Bears. “Three goals is good? Three goals is good yes, but I need to keep going up and I hope I can keep scoring every game,” Yakimov said. Oilers Rookies Head Coach Todd Nelson was impressed with Yakimov’s skill level. Match that with his size (6-foot-5, 232 pounds) and he makes for an intriguing centre prospect to watch. “I think he’s going to have a good training camp,” Nelson said. “I think it’s really interesting for everybody to see how he does against against NHL players. What he showed me over these games that he played was that he’s more skilled than I expected. I knew he had skill but I never saw it at Orientation Camp this past summer in Jasper and also the year before. But I saw it these last two games and it is nice to see a big guy who has some skill to him.” Yakimov is also ready to see how he matches up with NHL players. He seemed to match up well against the competition he’s already faced. “I want to see (what it’s like to play against) NHL players,” he said. “The speed, the strength, the smarts. These are the best players in the world. I want to feel the NHL game.”Chris WescottThu, 18 Sep 2014 00:44:00 EDThttp://1.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2014/09/20140917_bears4.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3165331653BLOG: Jones twins show hearthttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=31652The Oilers drafted Kellen Jones in the seventh round of the 2010 draft. Both he and his twin brother Connor are signed to Standard Player Contracts. Kellen got a goal tonight for the Oilers Rookies against the University of Alberta Golden Bears. His brother Connor chipped in in his own way by blocking shots, without his stick, on a penalty kill in the third period. “Both of those guys are hard not to like, sacrificing their bodies in an exhibition games shows how much heart they have and that they’re tremendous workers,” Oilers Rookies Head Coach Todd Nelson said. “They never quit and for Connor to put himself on the line, he’s an unselfish guy and his brother is the same way. They’re very likeable because of how they work so hard and how they sacrifice.” Connor say he and his brother do what it takes to win and tonight, that meant one of the brothers taking a couple of pucks to the body to prevent a goal. “I’ve only got one gear. I play to win, I work hard every shift and that’s one thing me and Kellen try to do in every practice and every game,” Connor Jones said. “I just wanted to win. If blocking shots is what it took to win tonight, you’ve got to do what you’ve got to do to win the game and it just so happened I got hit by those pucks tonight.”Chris WescottThu, 18 Sep 2014 00:42:00 EDThttp://3.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2014/04/644jonestwins.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3165231652BLOG: Katz on state of the Oilershttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=31649Oilers Owner Daryl Katz was on Oilers Now with Bob Stauffer on Wednesday and discussed various topics including Rogers Place Arena construction and the state of the Oilers. As not only the owner, but as a fan of the team, Katz offered his thoughts on the franchise and the direction they’re headed. “I’m like any other fan Bob, I live and die by the team,” Katz said. “I’m really pleased with our management team with Kevin Lowe, Bob Nicholson and of course, Craig MacTavish. I can see the makings of progress. You could see from this tournament we were in with our prospects the last few days that anyone who watched the games can see the potential out there on the ice. I’m optimistic that we will be improved over last year. Other than that, I’ll leave it to MacTavish and his management team.” Katz understands the frustrations pertaining to the team’s lack of on-ice success in the last several years. He had good things to say about the fans and their patience and understanding of the rebuild process. “Without our fans we wouldn’t be in business and nobody would have jobs,” he said. “I’m one of those fans and the past years have been as tough on me as on anybody. But I have to say that when we decided that we wanted to rebuild the organization and do it right, I said many times that a lot of markets wouldn’t support a rebuild and we’re fortunate enough to be in a market where our fans are sophisticated and understood what we wanted to do.” Katz continued, “Now, every fan as their own opinion and could take exception relative to some of the decisions that were made. Some will turn out to be good decisions and some have turned out to be bad decisions. But from the outset, we had a plan and we had an objective and the objective was you had to rebuild this team in the spirit of trying to create a team that could compete year-in and year-out and win championships. That’s still our objective and I know everybody from top to bottom of our organization is pursuing that objective. I like the way the team is shaping up and I love to hear fan opinions on (Oilers Now) as to what’s happening with the team and I’ve never been more excited about a season. Hopefully we’ll be able to make everybody proud about being Oilers fans.”Chris WescottWed, 17 Sep 2014 16:09:00 EDThttp://cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2008/07/DSC_5272.JPGhttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3164931649BLOG: Katz: Rogers Place is “a bit ahead of schedule”http://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=31648Oilers Owner Daryl Katz was on Oilers Now with Bob Stauffer on Wednesday and gave a progress update on the construction of Rogers Place. “The construction, as you can see from our website, is going very well,” Katz said. “I’ve been told that we’re actually a bit ahead of schedule and that’s really great. Relative to the arena and the design itself, I think that if you have been to other arenas throughout North America and even throughout the world it is pretty safe to say that there is no other arena like this anywhere.” Katz is convinced that there will be “nothing that compares anywhere to what we’re building” when it comes to the new arena and its surrounding district. “From the outset, it was our vision to design an iconic structure in downtown Edmonton and that’s exactly what we’re building. It is pretty exciting to see it coming out of the ground.”Chris WescottWed, 17 Sep 2014 16:08:00 EDThttp://1.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2014/02/20140212_katz644.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3164831648BLOG: Nurse ready for main camphttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=31647The Oilers Rookies game against the University of Alberta Golden Bears tonight is Darnell Nurse’s final tuneup before the club meets for main camp. The seventh-overall pick in 2013 is expected to make a push to make the Oilers roster. He is pleased thus far with his performance in Rookie Camp. “It was a good start,” Nurse said. “The pace was a lot more manageable this year with knowing what to expect and having that year under my belt. I feel good with where I am at right now, it’s just continuing the pace and building on that on a daily basis.” Nurse is well aware that training camp is right around the corner, but he is focused on tonight. “I’m ready to get that going and I’m really excited to get on the ice with the big club at main camp. I’m looking forward to it but you’ve got to take it one day at a time and tonight comes first.”Chris WescottWed, 17 Sep 2014 14:48:00 EDThttp://2.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2014/07/20140706_size3.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3164731647BLOG: Oilers hope to maintain intensity but stay disciplinedhttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=31646Last year the Edmonton Oilers Rookie game against the University of Alberta Golden Bears got a little chippy. Although intensity is something both teams want out of this friendly tune-up game, staying disciplined is going to be of importance. “That was my first experience with the game last year, because we didn’t do it the previous years,” Oilers Rookies Head Coach Todd Nelson said. “It was kind of an eye-opener because I didn’t realize how intense it was going to be. I expect something very similar. I know after the game last year that (U of A Head Coach Ian Herbers) and I talked and we had wanted a spirited affair but we didn’t want it really chippy. Him and I were a bit concerned after the game that our players handled themselves that way. But boys will be boys and they are all competitive. It will be interesting to see what happens but I know Ian mentioned to me that he wasn’t very impressed with the way that things went on in the first couple of periods but things settled down as the game went on.” Oilers defenceman Darnell Nurse played in last year’s game against the Golden Bears and remembers how intense the atmosphere was in Clare Drake Arena. “It was pretty heated, a lot more heated than I thought it was going to get,” Nurse said. “It’s a fun environment to go play in. I don’t even know if anyone was cheering for us last year. It’s a fun game to be a part of.” As an agitator, Oilers winger Greg Chase enjoys that type of game. “I think it’s definitely fun,” he said. “Obviously, they can’t fight (per the rules) so it makes it “scrummier” and it gets heated after whistles when that happens. It’s definitely fun to play in those games and stir stuff up.” Nurse says the intensity is good, but winning this game would put a stamp on what has been a much more successful Rookie Camp than last year. “It would be nice to win this game and keep that intensity up. I think it’s a lot of fun when we’re playing with that type of intensity and pace. We’ll see how it goes tonight.”Chris WescottWed, 17 Sep 2014 14:47:00 EDThttp://2.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2013/09/644JET_1777.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3164631646BLOG: Oilers Rookies know what to expecthttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=31645The Oilers Rookies know what to expect when they hit the ice tonight at Clare Drake Arena for a showdown with the 2014 CIS National Champion University of Alberta Golden Bears. The Oilers are returning a handful of prospects that played in last year’s game. “We all know that they are a fast and skilled hockey team,” said Greg Chase, who scored a goal in this game last year. “From what I’ve heard, I know I’ve only played against them once and I think I watched them once last year in Calgary, we know they are a really disciplined hockey team and they get a lot of pucks on net. They’ve got good goaltending. They’re a good all around team. I think this year we are a little more prepared with a lot of guys knowing what to expect coming back from last camp. It will be a fun game to be a part of.” Travis Ewanyk is also impressed with the team he’ll face tonight. “We’re definitely not going to take them lightly,” Ewanyk said. “Personally, I know from living here that the culture and the history that team has. You look up and you see the banners and you know what that team has done. They’re well-coached, they play together and they are a bunch of guys who could be in pro camps, they’ve played through the Western Hockey League and they are going to play a hard game.” The Oilers know the Golden Bears will show up to play, as this is their opportunity to showcase to the city and the fans how they match up against NHL prospects. Likewise, the Oilers players know everyone is watching them as well. “Any time you come on the ice, people are watching,” Ewanyk. “I think you would be ignorant not to notice that whether you were in their position or this position. They have a lot of guys who move on each year and they’ve got some really good players over there so I’m sure they’re out there to make an impression as well.”Chris WescottWed, 17 Sep 2014 14:46:00 EDThttp://1.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2013/09/644JET_1616.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3164531645BLOG: MacTavish impressed with Draisaitlhttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=31584This weekend’s Young Stars Tournament was the first chance for the Oilers to get a look at their third-overall pick in game action since he was drafted. Leon Draisaitl made an impression on General Manager Craig MacTavish, who was in attendance in Penticton, B.C. “He did what he needed to do,” MacTavish said. “He showed an elite understanding of the game and an elite sense and you would expect a player of that pedigree to be a dominant player at this level. So we can check off the first box in terms of what he needs to accomplish to stay with us.” Draisaitl had two assists on Monday in the team’s third and final game of the tournament. His passes were indications of what kind of player he could be in the NHL. “That’s my game. I am a playmaker more than a finisher,” Draisaitl said. MacTavish says his two assists were examples of the elite hockey sense that made him a top-five pick in the draft. “He knows what he’s going to do with the puck before he gets it. That’s a pretty good indicator of elite hockey sense and he finds people just effortlessly on the rush. When players on the ice are finding players that you’re not seeing while watching the game, you know that that’s pretty special talent.”Chris WescottMon, 15 Sep 2014 18:19:00 EDThttp://2.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2014/09/20140911_Leon644.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3158431584BLOG: Kessy improved from a year agohttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=31583The Oilers acquired Kale Kessy from the Phoenix Coyotes in a trade in March of 2013. He was the 111th pick, in the fourth round, of the 2011 NHL Draft. Kessy is one of several players that General Manager Craig MacTavish says has shown improvement since last year’s tournament. “Kessy definitely played well, did what he needed to do and showed a willingness to be a physical factor,” MacTavish said. “He made a lot more plays than he did last year, which he needed to do. He’s really come a long ways in a year.” Kessy spent the 2013-14 season with the Oklahoma City Barons in the American Hockey League. He had six points (2-4-6) in 54 games, and had 88 penalty minutes.Chris WescottMon, 15 Sep 2014 18:07:00 EDThttp://1.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2013/07/644-kessy.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3158331583BLOG: Jujhar Khaira builds momentum in final gamehttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=31522The Oilers selected Jujhar Khaira in the third round of the 2012 draft. This year, he showed up for the Young Stars Tournament bigger and better than a year ago. Oilers General Manager Craig MacTavish says that after a slow start to his first game of the tournament, Khaira showed flashes of the big, physical player he could be. “I think his first game, he started slowly and today he seemed to get better as the game wore on,” MacTavish said. “I can’t really remember that much of him last year but the things that do stand out when you’re talking about Jujhar are his strength on the puck and his character. He answered the bell physically today. There are some things that obviously he’s going to have to continue to work at but he’s an exciting prospect.” Khaira had a goal, an assist and a fight in his final game of the tournament.Chris WescottMon, 15 Sep 2014 18:06:00 EDThttp://3.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2014/07/20140710_khaira1.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3152231522BLOG: Tkachev makes impressionhttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=31521Rookie camp invite Vladimir Tkachev may be small in stature but that didn’t stop the 5-foot-9, 141-pound Russian winger from making an impression on the Oilers at this weekend’s Young Stars Tournament. Tkachev was creative offensively, finishing the tournament with three assists. “He was a dominant player here,” Oilers General Manager Craig MacTavish said. “I’ve seen him play a few times and every time you see him play he is a dominant player. You want to continue to give him the opportunity and that definitely has caught everybody’s attention and interest at this point.” Tkachev will get his opportunity to further showcase his skills to the Oilers at main camp, but his playtime in pre-season is yet to be determined. “That will be up to Dallas to determine. He saw plenty here too so the next step is to see how he looks amongst NHL players and then we’ll make an assessment from there.”Chris WescottMon, 15 Sep 2014 18:05:00 EDThttp://3.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2014/09/644-edm-van2.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3152131521BLOG: 2014 tournament more successful than 2013http://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=31520It was clear on the ice this year at the Young Stars Tournament in Penticton, B.C. that the Oilers had upgraded the skill and talent level of their roster. This year’s squad finished with two wins and a shootout loss, as compared to last year’s winless tournament. Oilers General Manager Craig MacTavish spoke after the final game and says there were more things to like this year. “I feel better than we did last year coming out of this tournament,” he said. “I’ll just reiterate some of the things we said last year. There are not a lot of conclusions you can draw based on this. I think we saw some of the things we wanted to see for sure. There were some surprises and some guys who elevated themselves through the course of the tournament. Now they’ll get a little bit more of a look coming into training camp and maybe some pre-season games because of it.”Chris WescottMon, 15 Sep 2014 18:04:00 EDThttp://3.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2014/08/2010829_mact306.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3152031520BLOG: The Russians wing it on their goalhttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=31526A storyline of the Edmonton Oilers Rookies thus far in Penticton has been the play of their two Russian players. Vladimir Tkachev and Bogdan Yakimov, in just two games, have gained some chemistry. They hooked up on a goal tonight when Tkachev sent a pass across the face of the Calgary goalie and Yakimov one-timed it from the circle. It looked scripted, but it wasn’t. “It was funny on Yakimov’s goal because we were saying, ‘get in front of the net.’ But I guess they knew what they were doing,” Oilers Rookies Head Coach Todd Nelson said. The two are still learning English, so there was something lost in translation. “I was telling them stuff on the bench and when he was skating to the face-off dot, the three guys turned around and said, ‘he has no idea what you just said.’ “When we scored, the guys snickered to themselves but it always seems to work out that way. They were good. Especially down the stretch there when we had some key draws, Yak was really strong in the face-off dot and Vlady once again was being creative and finding open ice. He’s a very fun player to watch.” Yakimov’s goal was his second in two nights and he also added an assist tonight. Tkachev has three assists in two games.Chris WescottSun, 14 Sep 2014 02:18:00 EDThttp://3.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2014/09/644-edm-van2.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3152631526BLOG: Chase is closer to AHL-readyhttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=31523Oklahoma City Barons Head Coach Todd Nelson got a small glimpse at what Greg Chase can bring to the table last year. After coaching the Oilers prospect in the 2013 Young Stars Tournament and after guiding him through five AHL games at the end of last season, Nelson knows the young man well. Nelson sees much improvement in Chase, who posted career numbers last season in the WHL with the Calgary Hitmen (35-50-85 in 70 games). Nelson was asked today if Chase was ready to make the jump to the AHL this season, considering the progress he’s made in a year. “I’ll tell you what, he’s a lot closer now than he was last year at this time,” Nelson said. “Last year, I thought his conditioning was suspect. He put a tremendous summer in, he really leaned out, his testing was excellent and you can see he is quicker on the ice. I saw improvement when he came to OKC at the end of the year. Maybe it was just a matter of getting into better shape and playing minutes. But he sacrificed this summer, he worked really hard and you have to give him credit.” The Oilers signed Chase to a three-year entry-level contract this morning. “It’s something I grew up always wanting to do; play for the Edmonton Oilers,” Chase said. “Now that I’m one step closer by signing with the team. It’s extremely exciting for myself and my family.” Chase was taken in the seventh round of the 2013 draft.Chris WescottSat, 13 Sep 2014 18:18:00 EDThttp://1.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2014/09/20140913_chase644.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3152331523BLOG: Draisaitl’s exit due to leg cramphttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=31498The Oilers had a scare in the third period of their game against the Vancouver Canucks on Friday night, as the third-overall pick in this year’s draft left the game with an apparent leg injury. The Oilers got good news though because not only would Draisaitl return to the game, but the injury was just leg cramps. “I don’t think anyone knew what really happened but his legs just cramped up,” Todd Nelson said after the game. “With the testing that they did yesterday, a few guys cramped up as well. The guys are going to have to get a lot of fluids inside of them and get ready for our game tomorrow.” Draisaitl says he is fine now. “I think one of my first shifts in the last period I started cramping,” he said. “It hurt pretty bad and I couldn’t really move my legs. I am fine now. It wasn’t too bad but once I hit the ice it hurt pretty bad and I couldn’t really move. So I decided to take a couple of shifts off.” The Oilers play Calgary tomorrow night.Chris WescottSat, 13 Sep 2014 02:02:00 EDThttp://1.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2014/07/20140706_size4.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3149831498BLOG: Lineup notes for Oilers vs. Canuckshttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=31490The Edmonton Oilers rookies lace up the skates against the Vancouver Canucks group tonight in Penticton at the Young Stars Tournament. Oklahoma City Barons Head Coach Todd Nelson is the bench boss for the Oilers tonight and he gave some insight as to what the lineup will look like. On the ice at practice the lines were as follows: Moroz-Draisaitl-Chase Kessy-Khaira-Holmberg Jones-Roy-Jones Tkachev-Yakimov-Houck Winquist-Ewanyk-Krushelnyski Platzer The defensive pairings were: Gernat-Nurse Simpson-Oesterle Boland-Musil Craig-Ludwig Sitting out tonight will be Winquist, Ewanyk, Krushelnyski and Platzer. All four will rotate into the lineup tomorrow night. Ludwig, Betker and Craig are out defensively. Laurent Brossoit gets the start in net tonight. Another lineup note is expect Nurse and Gernat to see more time on the power play while the pairing of Boland and Musil will see more time on the penalty kill.Chris WescottFri, 12 Sep 2014 16:33:00 EDThttp://2.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2014/09/644396lb1.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3149031490Video, Audio & Photos: Day 1 of Rookie Camphttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=31467Marc CiampaThu, 11 Sep 2014 13:44:00 EDThttp://2.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2014/09/20140911_Leon644.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3146731467BLOG: Moroz healthy and ready to competehttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=31468Mitch Moroz was a second-round pick by the Oilers in 2012. He is coming off a Memorial Cup Championship season with the Edmonton Oil Kings, in which he scored 63 points (35-28-63) in 70 games. Moroz was a little banged up in the playoffs and at the Memorial Cup but fought through to help lead the Oil Kings to victory. Now fully healed from his shoulder and knee injuries, Moroz is ready to hit the ground running in Penticton, a tournament he missed last season while recovering from a different knee injury. ‘Compete’ is the key word for what Moroz is looking to accomplish in Penticton. “They’ve put a lot of emphasis on coming in and kickstarting the season in Penticton and get the ball rolling in that sense,” Moroz said. “They want to filter that right into main camp so everybody has been asked to compete, to push and win. That’s the message, to win games now and that’s from the top to the bottom.” Moroz’s offensive game excels when he is physically involved in the game. Coming off of a short summer in which he only had 6-7 weeks of full off-season training, Moroz says he would have been nervous about jumping back into game action a few weeks ago but he’s as ready as he’s going to be and confident there won’t be any hesitation. “It might have been three or four weeks ago if you had asked me that but I’ve come such a long way that I’m not thinking about those things on the ice anymore. It will be nice just to go in and play and be able to play my game right away. Hopefully I will be able to bang some bodies and create some stuff out there.”Chris WescottThu, 11 Sep 2014 13:31:00 EDThttp://1.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2014/05/644moroz2.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3146831468BLOG: Draisaitl ready to make a good first impressionhttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=31465The third-overall pick in the 2014 NHL Draft is ready to make a good first impression when he puts on the Oilers crest for the first time in game action. The Young Stars Tournament in Penticton, B.C. is Leon Draisaitl’s opportunity before training camp to put the Oilers management on notice that he's ready to compete. “Definitely, I want to make a good first impression and I think everyone does,” he said. “I can talk for everyone here. It’s special to put that jersey on, play some actual games and get in game shape.” Draisaitl, along with the rest of the Oilers prospects, will use Penticton as an opportunity to make a good first impression and return to game shape heading into training camp. “I talked to the guys who were there last year and they all said it was a great tournament,” Draisaitl said. “They’re all top prospects and high draft picks and they are all really good players and potentially will play one day in the NHL. It’s a really good tournament to get used to playing again and get ready for training camp.” For Draisaitl, it’s just exciting to get back to playing after the summer away from game action. “Now it gets going and I think everyone is really excited, and so am I. It has been a pretty quick summer and also a pretty long summer. Everybody wants to get going and play games. I think we are all really excited to get going.”Chris WescottThu, 11 Sep 2014 12:49:00 EDThttp://2.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2014/07/20140723_draisaitl.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3146531465BLOG: Draisaitl works all summer, gets biggerhttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=31464Leon Draisaitl heads into rookie camp and the Young Stars Tournament in Penticton bigger than he was at the draft. Draisaitl stayed in Edmonton all summer working on getting bigger and stronger with the Oilers training staff. “I worked on my weaknesses over the summer with the trainers and they helped me a lot throughout the summer. It’s been a really good summer,” Draisaitl said. When asked what his weaknesses are, Draisaitl said, “I think it’s just strength. I’m 18-years-old, I’m not a grown man and there are some things I had to work on with my foot speed and strength. That’s what I did.” The third-overall pick in this year’s draft says he is up to 215 pounds.Chris WescottThu, 11 Sep 2014 12:47:00 EDThttp://2.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2014/09/20140911_Leon644.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3146431464BLOG: Messier on his role with the Oilershttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=31367Mark Messier spoke with the Edmonton media on Tuesday and confirmed that he serves in an advisory role with the Oilers organization. “Advisor or consultant," Messier said. "I am available for anything that they need me to do or talk about. For example, just coming in today and lending some of my experiences as a captain with the coaches here and the organization. Any kind of way that I can help with the players, with the coaches and with decisions. I just told (Kevin Lowe) and (Craig MacTavish) that I would be available 24/7 for whatever they needed me to do. I am looking forward to taking this into the next generation of these kids and turning it around.” Messier says he is there to help the management with anything they need. He understands the frustration considering where the team’s performance has fallen in the last several years. But Messier feels the right management is in place and now is the time to stay the course. “It takes a lot of courage. It’s been a tough few years here. It takes a lot of heart, it takes a lot of courage and it takes a lot of belief to grind your way through it in the lean years here. In my opinion, and of course I would probably get lots of arguments, that they have the right people in place,” he said. “It’s been a long few years for the management, it’s been a long time for the fans but you don’t turn your back when things get tough. You stick with it. And you’ve got to have the heart and have the courage to stare it down, not flinch, believe in yourself and believe that you are doing the right things. Eventually, that current will turn. I believe we are going to see that.”Chris WescottTue, 09 Sep 2014 19:06:00 EDThttp://3.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2013/04/3_messier.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3136731367BLOG: Gretzky was quite the characterhttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=31366During a hot stove conversation and media availability, Mark Messier discussed the 1984 Stanley Cup Championship season and some of his memories from that great era of Oilers hockey. Messier was asked who the biggest character in the locker room and, in a dressing room packed with varying personalities, it was none other than Wayne Gretzky. “I don’t think there was a more fun guy to hang around than Wayne,” Messier said. “He was a walking encyclopaedia of stats.” Messier says that one of the things that made the Oilers such a great team was the multitude of characters in the locker room, from the leaders to the jokesters.Chris WescottTue, 09 Sep 2014 18:27:00 EDThttp://3.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2014/09/20140909_mess6441.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3136631366BLOG: Flames rivalry pushed ’84 Oilershttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=31365Mark Messier spoke with the Edmonton media on Tuesday and talked about some of his memories of the Oilers 1984 Stanley Cup winning season. One of the things Messier talked about was the Battle of Alberta and how the rivalry with the Calgary Flames unfolded during that era. Messier went as far as to say the Flames were a big reason for the Oilers success as they challenged them to become the team they could be, and eventually became. “Any great fighter, any great boxer had someone who made him better,” Messier said. “I think Calgary forced us to be better. I don’t think we would have become the team that we did without them.” Messier says the Flames put together a team that could challenge the Oilers and they did. Messier knew about the rivalry between the two cities but it hit a different level at that time. “Without them, I don’t think the Edmonton Oilers would have been who they (became).”Chris WescottTue, 09 Sep 2014 18:21:00 EDThttp://3.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2013/04/3_messier.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3136531365BLOG: Messier relishes connection to communityhttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=31364As a young hockey player in the city of Edmonton, the legendary Mark Messier has nothing but fond memories. As part of a winning organization, Messier had the chance to share the celebration with the people and the fans. “I think the beauty of it was that we were able to share it with the community,” Messier said at a hot stove media availability in advance of the 1984 Stanley Cup Championship Reunion. “Even without the social media aspect we were out in the community… We were entrenched in the community. We weren’t afraid to go out in the community. In fact, we relished it.” The players on the Oilers teams of the 80’s were very much involved with the city and their relationship with the fans became more of a friendship. “That relationship with the fans became really close,” he said. “That relationship became one of the things that was so compelling to the players and the fans.” Messier said the players enjoyed blending into the community and the only regret is that there weren’t more seats in the arena to allow more of the city an opportunity to enjoy the games. But because of the players’ relationship with the fans, even the people who couldn’t attend the games, “still felt a connection to the team because of our overall emersion into the community.”Chris WescottTue, 09 Sep 2014 18:18:00 EDThttp://2.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2013/04/2_messier.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3136431364BLOG: Perron’s advice to the young oneshttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=31321As the Oilers prospect pool develops, the more pressure the up-and-coming players will bring to the roster. As the young guns begin pushing the veterans and competing for spots, the organizational parity should make everyone perform better. Perron’s message to the young prospects in town ahead of training camp is for them to bring that pressure and push the veterans to show management they’re close, if not ready, for the NHL. “I think for them personally, if you’re going to want to make the team then you are going to have to make an impression,” Perron said. “It’s not going to be just tiptoeing around. You have to come in and really make a big impression and work the veterans respectfully but work them really hard. You’re trying to show the management that either you are ready or you’re going to be ready very soon. It’s a good strength for an organization to have when a lot of young guys are pushing.”Chris WescottMon, 08 Sep 2014 17:14:00 EDThttp://1.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/gallery/2014/04/419533_1396670637222.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3132131321BLOG: Team success leads to individual successhttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=31320David Perron tied for the team lead in goals last season (28), on his way to a personal best 57 points (28-29-57). Just as with any player in the NHL, Perron is hoping to build off those numbers heading into a fresh season. The veteran winger believes that team success will lead to better numbers for everybody. “Stats-wise, you always want to get better but I think the more wins this team is going to get the more points everyone is going to get. That’s going to mean we score more goals as a team and that’s the only thing you need to worry about. More wins will mean more points for everyone,” he said.Chris WescottMon, 08 Sep 2014 17:13:00 EDThttp://3.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2014/03/644perron.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3132031320BLOG: Perron pleased with off-season attendancehttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=31318More and more Oilers players are filtering back to the city as training camp approaches. On the ice today, about 30 players and prospects gathered at Millennium Place in Sherwood Park for an informal skate. Among them was David Perron, who is pleased to see so many teammates arriving in Edmonton. He hopes the early arrivals help the team get ready for training camp and pre-season which are quickly approaching. “We’ve been done playing since April and it’s something we’re trying to change,” Perron said. “With more and more teams, their veteran guys are showing up earlier and earlier so as soon as camp starts they are ready to go. Three days after camp starts I think we have an exhibition game so it’s something where we have to be as ready as possible. When I asked the trainers a couple of days ago about how many guys were in town they said roughly 30. I thought he was kidding at first but it’s a nice showing of veteran guys and prospects. We’ll see who is going to be able to make the team.”Chris WescottMon, 08 Sep 2014 17:12:00 EDThttp://3.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2014/09/20140908_perron644.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3131831318BLOG: Perron on his hip injuryhttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=31319Though he was invited by Hockey Canada, David Perron was unable to participate in the 2014 IIHF World Hockey Championship in Minsk, Belarus this May due to a hip injury. The Oilers forward says the injury was something he dealt with this summer but it is getting better. He skated with about 30 Oilers players and prospects on Monday in Sherwood Park and says everything went well and he’s been able to do more lower-body work lately. “My off-season was different though as far as training,” Perron said. “With my hip, I had to miss the World Championship. I had some inflammation in there. It has kind of dragged on for a lot of the summer actually. I got to do a lot of upper body stuff but not too much lower body to start. I’ve been doing a lot more lately and it is starting to feel good. I had a real good session out there on the ice today. I’m going to just try and keep building off of that and try and get as good as possible for camp.” Perron tied Jordan Eberle for the team lead in goals last season with 28.Chris WescottMon, 08 Sep 2014 17:12:00 EDThttp://2.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2014/03/306perrongauge.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3131931319BLOG: Klefbom knows what to expecthttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=31316Oscar Klefbom learned a lot last season. “It was a huge season last season,” he said following an informal skate with fellow Oilers players Monday at Millennium Place in Sherwood Park. “It was a big ego boost. Now I know how it is and the coaches know that I am ready for the NHL too. It was a really good season for my confidence so it was a big one.” The 19th overall pick by the Oilers in the 2011 NHL Draft got his first taste of North American hockey last season. Not only that, he also earned 17 games in the NHL and even chipped in with a goal and two assists. Now heading into training camp, Klefbom knows exactly what to expect in Edmonton, which is all thanks to the 2013-14 season. “It’s huge. It helped me a lot and now I feel more prepared. I know what I have to do and how it works up here. I just try to prepare myself the best way to get ready.” In addition to his 17 big league appearances, Klefbom played 48 games in the American Hockey League with the Oklahoma City Barons and added two playoff games there as well. Confidence is one thing that Klefbom wants to transition over from last season. That confidence will eventually lead to him not only defending well but also gaining more offensive bravado, allowing him to jump up in the play more. “I just want to stay confident on the ice with the puck. Last season at the end of the season was really good for me. It feels like I have more confidence on the ice right now with the puck. I am not just out on the ice to make the play but I can hold the puck and follow up some rushes too.”Chris WescottMon, 08 Sep 2014 16:50:00 EDThttp://2.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2014/04/20140409_klefbom1.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3131631316BLOG: Klefbom welcomes increased competitionhttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=31315Oscar Klefbom, 21, is heading into his second season with the Oilers. The former first-round pick gained 17 games of NHL experience last season and now knows what is expected of him. The Oilers added some depth on the blue line during the off-season with veterans like Keith Aulie, Nikita Nikitin and Mark Fayne. Those experienced rearguards, along with other young defencemen such as Martin Marincin and Darnell Nurse, provide Klefbom with more competition for a roster spot heading into training camp. Klefbom isn’t shying away from that competition and embraces it, knowing it could make him a better player in the long run. “It’s always good when you have to compete hard for your spots on the team. I think that will make us better players in the future so it’s a really good thing.”Chris WescottMon, 08 Sep 2014 16:49:00 EDThttp://3.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2014/04/20140409_klefbom3.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3131531315BLOG: Eakins & Ference unite with Olympian in racehttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=31222Oilers Head Coach Dallas Eakins and Captain Andrew Ference teamed up with a Canadian triathlon legend to compete in the corporate sprint relay race at the ITU 2014 World Triathlon Series at Hawrelak Park in Edmonton. The pair of Oilers partnered with their long-time friend Simon Whitfield to complete the three-sport event. Whitfield is a four-time Olympian who won gold in Sydney (2000) and Silver in Beijing (2008). “I’ve gone out to some of his races, I’ve trained with him in Victoria and have gotten to know him very well over a number of years,” Ference said. “He’s a great competitor. He’s taught me a lot about nutrition, recovery or just going out and raising the bar with training and stuff.” Ference first met Whitfield over a decade ago and the two have remained good friends since. Eakins has also been friends with the triathlete for quite sometime. Being able to compete with Whitfield on Sunday was “an honour” for Eakins. “Simon and I have been friends for a long time now and I know Andrew has developed a relationship with him too. It’s always interesting because you forget who your friend is sometimes. He’s a great ambassador for Canada and we’re proud to be on the same team supporting this great event today,” Eakins said. Whitfield started off the race with the 740 metre swim. Ference followed Whitfield with the 20 kilometre bike ride and Eakins wrapped the race up with a 5 kilometre run. The head coach drew the short straw as he was the last to respond to the email from Whitfield setting up the event. “I jumped on the bike as soon as I could because I didn’t want to run so Dallas had to run,” Ference said. Eakins finished the race strong for the team, who was the first trio of participants to cross the finish line. They were bested only by a solo athlete -- Paul Tischler -- who just so happens to be an Olympian. “It was interesting coming in and being in the lead because there were so many switchbacks out there,” Eakins said. “The guys seem to be closing in on you and you’re just in a panic. It’s like you’re being hunted. I probably ran faster than I should have and I’ll probably pay for it tomorrow but that’s okay. It was a lot of fun being a part of this.”Chris WescottSun, 31 Aug 2014 15:17:00 EDThttp://2.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2014/07/20140703_eakins306.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3122231222BLOG: Ference and Eakins to take part in Triathlonhttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=31220Oilers captain Andrew Ference and head coach Dallas Eakins will be taking part in the Sprint Relay prior to Sunday's ITU Trathlon Grand Finale event at Hawrelak Park. "I've seen the preparation that they do and they're outstanding athletes," Ference remarked. "I have a lot of respect." Ference and Eakins will team up with Canadian Olympic Gold Medalist Simon Whitfield to form their team for the event. Ference will bike 20 kilometres, Eakins will run five kilometres and Whitfield will swim 750 metres. "I called bike right away. I'll be doing the course. I definitely didn't want to swim. Simon's going to be by far the fastest doing that. Dallas was the last to email back so he got stuck with the run," Ference chuckled. Edmontonoilers.com will provide coverage of Sunday morning's event with a report back on how Ference, Eakins and Whitfield did.Marc CiampaSat, 30 Aug 2014 18:07:00 EDThttp://3.cdn.nhle.com/nhl/images/upload/2013/08/EakinsFinishDL.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3122031220BLOG: Oilers rookies battle U of A Sept. 17http://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=31219The Oilers announced today that they will be concluding Rookie Camp with a game against the U of A Golden Bears. It will be held on Wednesday, September 17 at 7:00 p.m. at Clare Drake Arena. Check the full press release in the Oilers Mobile App for more details.Marc CiampaFri, 29 Aug 2014 15:33:00 EDThttp://2.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2013/09/644JET_1777.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3121931219Video and Audio from Friday's Schultz Signinghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=31217Marc CiampaFri, 29 Aug 2014 13:08:00 EDThttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3121731217BLOG: High praise for Schultzhttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=31218Oilers General Manager Craig MacTavish spoke to the media following the announcement that the club has agreed to terms with RFA defenceman Justin Schultz on a one-year contract. MacTavish didn’t hold back when speaking about the high potential of Schultz and what he could possibly become someday. The most bold statement was perhaps the following. “I think that Justin has Norris Trophy potential and I don’t think there are too many people who would disagree with me in that regard,” he said. The James Norris Memorial Trophy is awarded annually to the NHL defenceman who demonstrates the greatest all-around ability throughout the season. That’s high praise for the 24-year-old, who heads into his third season with just 122 NHL games under his belt. The 2014-15 season is a big one for Schultz as he tries to earn himself a long-term deal. But the Oilers clearly view him as an important piece of the club’s future. “He is right in the mix with the most important guys on our team, there is no question about that,” MacTavish said.Chris WescottFri, 29 Aug 2014 13:07:00 EDThttp://3.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2014/08/2010829_mact306.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3121831218BLOG: Schultz hopes to build off strong finishhttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=31216Like the rest of the Edmonton Oilers, the 2013-14 season didn’t get off to the best start for Justin Schultz. Admittedly, Schultz saw room for improvement at the start of the season. But as the year wore on, Schultz came around defensively to the point where there was a noticeable improvement in his game. Schultz says that it wasn’t only him who saw personal improvements but the team improved overall in the defensive category as well. It’s a finish to the season that Schultz hopes he and the Oilers will build off of. “Defensively, the start of the year was a little rough for me and the team but I thought as the year went on everything improved. Our team was improving. We obviously didn’t finish the way we wanted to but it was a good finish for us and hopefully we build off of that and start strong this year,” Schultz said. The RFA has agreed to terms with the club on a one-year contract.Chris WescottFri, 29 Aug 2014 12:04:00 EDThttp://2.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2014/02/jschultz02262.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3121631216BLOG: Schultz eager to improve number from last yearhttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=31215RFA defenceman Justin Schultz has agreed to terms with the Oilers on a one-year contract. In doing so, Schultz has the opportunity to prove his worth this season on the road to a longer term contract. That makes the 2014-15 season a big one for the 24-year-old blueliner. This season, the main area of his game he wishes to improve upon his on the defensive side of things. He was -22 last season and cites plus-minus as a number he wishes to improve. “I want to be a plus player,” he said. “Improving my plus-minus is something that’s going to come with being better defensively. Also, having a better team game and winning more games. Hopefully we get off to a good start and build off that.”Chris WescottFri, 29 Aug 2014 12:01:00 EDThttp://3.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2014/02/JSCHULTZ6440226.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3121531215BLOG: Schultz was confident a deal would get donehttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=31214The Edmonton Oilers announced on Friday that they have agreed to terms with defenceman Justin Schultz on a one-year contract. Schultz, a restricted free agent, just knew that a deal would get done before camp opens in September. “I knew it was going to get done,” he said. “I didn’t want to drag it on into training camp and be a distraction. I wanted to get something done, they were the same way and it worked out well.” Schultz is happy with the term of the contract, citing his need to prove himself more at the NHL level as the reasoning behind the one-year deal. “I think we are both pretty happy in getting it done, having this drag on. I’m happy with the contract. I obviously have to prove myself more to get a longer term. Hopefully I have a good year this year, the team does better and we’ll get it done.”Chris WescottFri, 29 Aug 2014 11:58:00 EDThttp://2.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/gallery/2014/03/413736_1395371981246.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3121431214BLOG: Oilers agree to terms with Justin Schultzhttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=31212The Edmonton Oilers announced today they have agreed to terms with defenceman Justin Schultz on a one-year contract. Schultz, 24, had a career year in 2013-14, posting 33 points (11G, 22A) and 16 penalty minutes in 74 games. He set career highs in several categories including points, goals, assists, blocked shots (107) and hits (30). Schultz led all Oilers defencemen in points, assists and goals, as well as led the team in time on ice, averaging 23:20 per game. The 6’2”, 188 pound blueliner has accumulated 60 points (19G, 41A) and 24 penalty minutes in 122 career NHL games. The Kelowna, British Columbia native also had a standout rookie campaign in 2012-13, splitting the season between the Edmonton Oilers and their AHL affiliate Oklahoma City Barons. He appeared in 34 games with the Barons, registering 48 points (18G, 30A) and six penalty minutes. Schultz’s impressive numbers with Oklahoma City earned him the Eddie Shore Award as the American Hockey League’s Defenceman of the Year. He is the first rookie in the 56-year history of the Eddie Shore Award to earn the honour.Marc CiampaFri, 29 Aug 2014 10:43:00 EDThttp://3.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2014/02/JSCHULTZ6440226.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3121231212BLOG: Marincin working hard ahead of training camphttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=31157Martin Marincin, 22, got a taste of NHL action last season, playing in 44 games for the Oilers. Now heading into training camp he knows what the coaches expect from him. Even having already played on the team, Marincin feels like he still has to continue to work even harder to make the roster this year. He is no different from any other defenceman. “I am like every player now,” Marincin said. “I was playing in the NHL last year but that’s nothing for me though because I need to work hard every day. There are lots of new guys and new defencemen so I need to be working hard and we’ll see after camp.” Getting bigger and stronger was an emphasis for Marincin this summer. He says he has gained five pounds during the off-season. His one goal now is to make the Oilers team out of camp and then take the season from there. “Right now it is to make the NHL. First make the team and then we’ll see.”Chris WescottFri, 22 Aug 2014 18:08:00 EDThttp://3.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2014/03/20140309Marincin_DL.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3115731157BLOG: Marincin’s big seasonhttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=31156Martin Marincin couldn't have scripted last season much better from a personal standpoint. The 22-year-old defenceman got just about all the experience he could ask for, playing in 44 NHL games, the Olympics and the IIHF World Championships (both representing Slovakia). Marincin was even praised at times for being the Oilers “most solid defenceman” by his head coach and his growth on the ice did not go unnoticed. As Marincin continues to develop, he can look back on last season and be grateful for the experience he gained. “That was a big season for me,” he said. “I played everywhere so that was great for me. I learned a lot of things so it was good for my hockey life. Now I need to keep working hard and keep going to be the best.” While playing internationally at the Olympics and World Championships, Marincin learned even more. He watched the established veterans around him to try and learn things in addition to what the NHL had already taught him. “I was just looking around me at these guys and what they are doing. I was trying to learn on the ice and in the locker room and everything.”Chris WescottFri, 22 Aug 2014 18:05:00 EDThttp://2.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2014/05/644marincin2.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3115631156BLOG: Lander’s confidence growing each seasonhttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=31155After being selected 40th overall in 2009, Anton Lander has played 94 NHL games. He has also spent time in the American Hockey League, posting his best offensive numbers to date last season (18-34-52 in 46 games). Lander cites physical growth along with more confidence as to why last season he saw more success in the AHL. “I think I’ve been getting stronger and a little bit quicker on my skates and of course, the confidence,” he said. “You get used to the leagues and that was a huge thing for me, to get used to the different leagues and different teams. I think when you’re coming back from another year and you’re more used to the players, coaching and the organization that it helps you with everything. I don’t know if I can point to one thing as to why things have been going better but that’s my feeling right now.” Lander’s next step is to translate that success from last year to the NHL level. He says his play in 27 games with the team last year left him feeling like he has more to offer. The path to prove himself starts in training camp. “I got a lot of big opportunity from (Oilers Head Coach Dallas Eakins) but I wanted to play a lot better than I did. That’s something that’s been bugging me during the summer and something I want to prove when camp starts.”Chris WescottFri, 22 Aug 2014 17:59:00 EDThttp://2.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2014/01/CaptainLander_2.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3115531155BLOG: Lander’s goals come down to winning gameshttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=31154The Oilers inked centre Anton Lander to a one-year contract extension this off-season and the 40th overall pick in 2009 is excited for the opportunity to return to Edmonton. Knowing that this is a big training camp and season for the 23-year-old, Lander has set goals for himself and it’s all about winning hockey games. “I want to win as many games as I can. I want to win, I want to be a better player and of course my first step is to make the team here in Edmonton. From there, it’s all about winning,” Lander said. This year’s training camp provides Lander with an opportunity to prove to the club that he is ready for full-time NHL duty. Lander is coming off of a season in which he scored 52 points in 46 games with the Oklahoma City Barons and skated in 27 games with the Oilers. “I’m really excited about the camp. The only thing I can do right now is work really really hard to get better and to show at camp, just go out there and try to do what I can do best to help the team win games. That’s what it’s all about.”Chris WescottFri, 22 Aug 2014 17:56:00 EDThttp://1.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2014/03/644lander2.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3115431154BLOG: No clean slatehttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=31149The pressure is on for the Oilers to have more success this season. Jordan Eberle said this summer that “more so this year than anything I think we have a lot of expectations on us.” Taylor Hall mirrored those sentiments when speaking with Oilers TV at the Perry Pearn’s 3-on-3 Camp on Thursday. Hall says there is no starting over when you play hockey in this city. “In Edmonton, there’s never really that clean slate. There is always pressure on us,” he said. “I like that, I’m excited for that and I’m ready to get back to that. It is a quiet summer back in my hometown and you come here and everyone is excited for the season. I think everyone on our team knows last year was not good enough and hopefully we’re all willing to improve on that.”Chris WescottThu, 21 Aug 2014 18:34:00 EDThttp://2.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2014/07/20140724_hallscream.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3114931149BLOG: Come to camp humblehttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=31148Taylor Hall was at the Perry Pearn’s 3-on-3 Camp on Thursday and he spoke to the media about the mindset of the team heading into a season in which there are several new faces. “There are a lot of changes and all that really matters is how we do this year,” Hall said of the free agent and trade acquisitions. “I think those guys are going to do really well for us. Speaking for our team, we’ve just got to come into camp humble because really, we have to be. Then we make strides and go from there.”Chris WescottThu, 21 Aug 2014 18:33:00 EDThttp://3.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2014/08/20140821_hall644.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3114831148BLOG: Hall on consistency at head coachhttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=31147Oilers Head Coach Dallas Eakins is returning for his second season at the helm and his players are grateful for the consistency. “That’s a really nice way to go into the year,” Taylor Hall said. “Like I said at the end of the year, there is no awkward handshake at the start.” Without having to start over, the Oilers have the opportunity to just hit the ground running. “It’s a business-like attitude and let’s get this thing going. Dallas feels very comfortable in that way and I think all of us players, over the course of 82 games last year, got to know what Dallas expects from us. Now we can hit the ground running at camp.”Chris WescottThu, 21 Aug 2014 18:32:00 EDThttp://1.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2014/08/20140821_HALLCAMP.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3114731147BLOG: NHL announces changes to draft lotteryhttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=31144BLOG: NHL announces changes to draft lottery The NHL announced today changes to the draft lottery, which will be phased in over a two-year period beginning in 2015. The odds of winning the first overall selection in the NHL Draft for the 14 non-playoff teams will be adjusted “to more appropriately reflect the current state of competitive balance in the league.” This means the 10 highest-finishing non-playoff teams will receive higher lottery odds than before and the four lowest finishing teams will receive lower odds. The following is the revised list of odds: Non-Playoff Team (Fewest Pts. to Most) New Draft Lottery Odds Odds Under Former Allocation 1 20.0% 25.0% 2 13.5% 18.8% 3 11.5% 14.2% 4 9.5% 10.7% 5 8.5% 8.1% 6 7.5% 6.2% 7 6.5% 4.7% 8 6.0% 3.6% 9 5.0% 2.7% 10 3.5% 2.1% 11 3.0% 1.5% 12 2.5% 1.1% 13 2.0% 0.8% 14 1.0% 0.5%Chris WescottWed, 20 Aug 2014 15:37:00 EDThttp://2.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2014/06/644396table.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3114431144BLOG: ’84 Oilers felt comfortable with fans in Edmontonhttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=31124Wayne Gretzky is familiar with NHL fans everywhere. But it is Edmonton where the fans are different from the rest. Gretzky said the difference between Edmonton fans and other NHL fans is that the Oilers group made the players of the 1984 Stanley Cup Championship team feel very welcome. “The difference with fans in Edmonton is you feel like you know the fans and they’re your friends,” Gretzky said via Skype at a press conference on Tuesday. Gretzky says that seeing the people of Edmonton and all of their old friends is something the ’84 players are looking forward to the most with their reunion on October 10. “The fans and the people in Edmonton always made it comfortable for the players.”Chris WescottTue, 19 Aug 2014 14:57:00 EDThttp://3.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2014/08/20140819_gretz.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3112431124BLOG: ’84 Oilers were “unselfish”http://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=31123Oilers greats Kevin Lowe and Wayne Gretzky spoke to the media and a group of fans on Tuesday as the ’84 team reunion was announced. Both players reminisced about just how unselfish that team was and how it helped them become one of the best teams in NHL history and hoist the cup. “The season started with Lee Fogolin unselfishly giving up the captaincy for Wayne,” Lowe said. “It was really the beginning of an unselfish year for the team.” “All the records and all of the personal accolades didn’t matter to anyone, particularly those players. It was about winning the Stanley Cup.” Gretzky said the team rallied, using the lessons learned from their loss to the New York Islanders the year before to eventually defeat the familiar opponent in the ’84 Final. “It’s a really special group,” Gretzky said. “We beat a really great hockey club, a dynasty team that taught us how to win from the previous year.” “When anyone scored, we all felt like we all scored. We were such and unselfish group.”Chris WescottTue, 19 Aug 2014 14:48:00 EDThttp://2.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2014/08/20140819_84teamphoto.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3112331123BLOG: Oilers hoping to relive the magic of ’84http://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=31102The Oilers announced on Tuesday that the entire 1984 Stanley Cup Champion team will be in Edmonton on October 10, for a reunion in support of the Stollery Children’s Hospital. “This will be the first time that the group has been together in Edmonton since hoisting that cup in 1984.” Oilers Vice President of Communications Tim Shipton said. The Oilers are welcoming fans to purchase tickets and enjoy, “a magical evening of story telling and laughs.” It was a magical season and a team unlike any other. Those players on the roster are hoping to relive that magic with the fans that supported them so well throughout their cup run. "The entire city played a part in making us champions. It’s only fitting we invite fans back to where the magic happened." Kevin Lowe.”Chris WescottTue, 19 Aug 2014 14:46:00 EDThttp://3.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2014/08/20140819_gretz.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3110231102BLOG: Gretzky hoping ’84 team can influence new Oilershttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=31101The entire roster of the 1984 Stanley Cup Champion Edmonton Oilers will be in town on October 10, for a reunion benefiting the Stollery Children’s Hospital. Gretzky addressed the media and a group of fans at the announcement press conference on Tuesday. Gretzky said that it is his hope that the players from their championship team have some impact on the current Oilers, who open their season at home on October 9, against the Calgary Flames. “Hopefully this will be a rub off on the new team with us being there for the home opener and having the excitement of the fans,” Gretzky said. The 1984 Oilers created a legacy that has lasted in the city of Edmonton and the NHL for years. “Hopefully we can pass that legacy onto the new players.”Chris WescottTue, 19 Aug 2014 14:44:00 EDThttp://2.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2014/08/20140819_gretz2.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3110131101BLOG: Yakupov feeling refreshedhttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=31093Oilers winger Nail Yakupov is one of the many pros taking part in the Perry Pearn 3 vs. 3 Hockey Camp. Now a few weeks into training here in Edmonton, Yakupov says he is feeling refreshed and ready for training camp. After making his way to Edmonton from Russia, Yakupov has had the opportunity to work out with the Oilers trainers and skate with teammates and prospects. “I’m refreshed and just waiting for the season. I’m having a pretty good time here and just having fun this summer. There are a lot of things to do here before the season, especially when you’re waiting for training camp,” he said. Travis Ewanyk and Yakupov were the Oilers representatives at the hockey camp on Monday, though more current players and prospects are expected to participate later this week.Chris WescottMon, 18 Aug 2014 15:17:00 EDThttp://3.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2014/07/20140729_yakraw306.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3109331093BLOG: Yakupov has worked on everything this summerhttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=31092Oilers winger Nail Yakupov was on the ice at the Perry Pearn 3 vs. 3 Hockey Camp on Monday. When asked what area of his game or fitness Yakupov focused on this summer, the 20-year-old said there wasn’t just one. “Just kind of everything,” he said. “I can’t say I have one spot where I should work on. But I am trying to get bigger, be stronger, be faster and get some conditioning going and at the same time work on my hands, my shot and everything. It’s all together.” After dealing with some adversity and injuries last season, Yakupov is looking to bounce back to his rookie-season form when he scored 17 goals and 31 points in 48 games.Chris WescottMon, 18 Aug 2014 14:54:00 EDThttp://3.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2014/07/20140729_yakupov306.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3109231092BLOG: NHL Scouting Combine moving to Buffalohttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=31090The NHL Scouting Combine will be held at the First Niagara Center and HarborCenter in Buffalo, NY for the next two years. The event gathers around 100 of the top NHL draft prospects in one place for interviews with teams as well as medical and physical testing. HarborCenter is set to open in the fall. It houses two full-size NHL rinks. The Scouting Combine had been held in Toronto since 1999. Edmontonoilers.com and Oilers TV will continue to provide exclusive and in-depth coverage of the annual event.Chris WescottMon, 18 Aug 2014 13:24:00 EDThttp://3.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2014/05/20140531_haydn.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3109031090BLOG: Eberle excited about additionshttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=31045With the additions made by the Oilers through free agency and trades, there is some more optimism in advance of the 2014-15 season. That optimism is felt by Jordan Eberle, who attended the Oilers Hockey School presented by Rogers on Tuesday in Leduc. “We’ve added some great pieces with Teddy Purcell, Benoit Pouliot, Mark Fayne, Nikita Nikitin and Keith Aulie,” Eberle said. “I like it and I think the thing that sticks out to me is the size that we’ve added, especially on the backend. Those guys are all 6-3 and above and obviously there’s some bigger skilled guys up front. I think anytime you get into August you start getting a little antsy to get back to training camp and that’s how I feel right now. Especially with the additions we’ve added I think you have no reason not to go into the season with positivity.” It wasn’t only skill the Oilers added but size and maybe more importantly NHL experience. “I think that’s huge,” Eberle said. “I think you’ve got guys who know how to win and have been there… and I think we all want to play here too. I look forward to this year too.”Chris Wescott & Marc CiampaTue, 12 Aug 2014 18:52:00 EDThttp://1.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2014/01/20140122_eberle644.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3104531045BLOG: Eberle: "We have a lot of expectations on us."http://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=31043Oilers GM Craig MacTavish has executed a roster overhaul in his time at the helm. That turnover has left players like Taylor Hall, Jordan Eberle, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins as that expected next wave of leaders in the locker room. In a lot of ways, it’s now their team. But Eberle says it’s been that way for a little while now. “I’ve felt that way the last few years,” Eberle said at Oilers Hockey School presented by Rogers on Tuesday. “Obviously it hasn’t happened. But more so this year than anything I think we have a lot of expectations on us. I think we did last year too that’s why it was a more disappointing season than ever just because we didn’t perform. This year I will take a lot of pressure on myself and I know those other guys will too just to perform. The city has been very patient and we need to start winning some games.” Eberle says the pressure felt by the core group of players, not only the three aforementioned, puts the responsibility on them to win above all else. “Just to take control of the team and win hockey games,” Eberle said of what is expected. “I think more than anything this league is about winning and we obviously haven’t done much of it. I think anytime you have a fresh start and you add some pieces there is a lot of optimism and I am looking forward to training camp to get things going.”Chris WescottTue, 12 Aug 2014 18:51:00 EDThttp://1.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2014/04/20140407topline2.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3104331043BLOG: Consistency with head coach is a plus for Eberlehttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=31044Since being drafted 22nd overall in 2008 by the Oilers, Jordan Eberle has seen some turnover at the head coach position. Heading into this season, Eberle is happy to have Dallas Eakins return in that role keeping some consistency on the bench, despite two new assistant coaches. “I think more than anything this year it’s going to be nice to have some familiarity with the head coach,” Eberle said. “I think for me, and this is my fifth year coming up, I’ve had three new head coaches now. I think it can be a good thing and a bad thing sometimes too. We finally have a guy where we can pick up where we left off and I definitely look forward to that for sure.” Eberle says that consistency at head coach is huge for the team and not having that turnover means not starting fresh. “It’s huge. It’s one thing that really hurt us at the start of the year. No knock against Dallas obviously. He was coming in and things change and that’s how it is. I’ve had that a few times. It will be nice to have the same guy come in and we’ll have a lot of familiarity when it comes to practicing, the way he speaks and what he expects so I think that for sure will help.”Chris WescottTue, 12 Aug 2014 18:51:00 EDThttp://2.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2014/04/20140407topline.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3104431044BLOG: Draisaitl on his contracthttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=31022The Oilers announced Tuesday that they have signed centre Leon Draisaitl to a three-year entry level contract. Draisaitl spoke to the media at Oilers Hockey School presented by Rogers shortly after the news was announced. “It’s really exciting,” he said at the Leduc Rec Centre. “First of all, I want to thank Daryl Katz, Craig MacTavish and all of the other people who are part of the Oilers organization for giving me the opportunity to make this happen. It’s really exciting for me and my family for sure.”Chris WescottTue, 12 Aug 2014 18:50:00 EDThttp://3.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2014/08/20140812_draisaitl306.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3102231022BLOG: Thompson’s interview “blew the socks” off Eakinshttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=31013The Edmonton Oilers appointed Rocky Thompson as an Assistant Coach on July 16. Thompson had previously spent the past four seasons with the Oklahoma City Barons in the same position. Oilers Head Coach Dallas Eakins said prior to the search for a new assistant that he was looking for a younger coach who would be willing to spend games serving in the eye in the sky role instead of on the bench. It was clear to Eakins when he interviewed Thompson that he was the candidate who best understood and fit those responsibilities. “I’ll be really honest, I talked to a lot of people about that job,” Eakins said. “The one thing that comes up right away is that person has to be confident enough in their skin to know that they have an equal voice in that dressing room, they’re respected equally by the staff and players but during those games they are going to be upstairs. Some guys have a problem with that and they can’t get their head wrapped around it. Rocky is a really confident guy and he’s hungry. He wants to learn and he’s got a lot of stuff he can provide us. He was totally comfortable with that aspect of it.” Eakins says that of all of the candidates he spoke with, Thompson clearly made an impression. “The reality of it is when I sat down with him for the interview he blew my socks off. I knew Rocky a little bit but I didn’t know a ton about his coaching. I had talked to some people inside of our organization that I greatly respect their opinions and guys that are excellent coaches and they spoke so highly of Rocky. I thought he would be good in the interview but he was excellent.”Chris WescottMon, 11 Aug 2014 13:29:00 EDThttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3101331013BLOG: Eakins on Thompsonhttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=31012Edmonton Oilers Head Coach Dallas Eakins chose Rocky Thompson to join his staff as an Assistant Coach. Eakins had a lot of praise for his new assistant, saying that Thompson is the right person for the job. “I think he’s going to fit in great,” Eakins said. “He’s that bridge between the players’ ages and myself and the rest of our staff. He’s got a hunger to teach, he’s got a passion for the game and he’s got a passion to continue on his career as a coach. I think for him personally, this is a perfect stepping stone. The great thing about Rocky is that he didn’t want to talk about him he just wanted to talk about the team and that’s what Rocky has always been. He’s a guy of high character and the only thing that matters to him is the team. That’s what’s got to be from all of our staff, all of our players, anybody who works for the Edmonton Oilers and any decision that they make, this is about our team first and there can’t be anything else underlying their decisions.” Thompson will serve as the eye in the sky on game nights, radioing down to the bench information and adjustments. But he will also have a hand in teaching the players in practice and has experience in pre-scouting opponents and developing plans and adjustments for systems. “He’s going to provide that information during games but that won’t be his most important role. His most important role is going to be on a day-to-day basis with prepping and preparing our players to go out there and play. Hopefully the information coming down is not a lot because we have the game under control all of the time.”Chris WescottMon, 11 Aug 2014 13:28:00 EDThttp://1.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2014/07/20140716_Rocky4.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3101231012BLOG: Chase back in the lineup for finalehttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=30974Canada is playing its final game at World Juniors Summer Development Camp and the play of Oilers prospect Greg Chase has been quite good, with a pair of assists in two games so far. Chase, an Oilers seventh-round pick in 2013, has warranted himself a look in a more offensive role after playing on the fourth line in the first two games. He is on a line with Nick Petan and Max Domi and in the starting lineup. The game started at 10:00 a.m. MDT.Marc CiampaFri, 08 Aug 2014 11:59:00 EDThttp://2.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2013/11/Chase1.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3097430974BLOG: Nurse has assist as Canada beats Russiahttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=31003The seventh overall pick of the Edmonton Oilers in 2013, Darnell Nurse, had an assist in Canada’s 6-3 win over Russia at summer development camp, while Curtis Lazar recorded a hat trick. The talented Lazar (Edmonton Oil Kings) put Canada on the board first at 6:29 of the first period. Nurse recorded the assist on the shorthanded breakaway. Nurse also recorded a head contact minor and a 10-minute unsportsmanlike conduct penalty in the game. Fellow Oilers prospect Greg Chase finished the game with two penalty minutes. Russia tied the game at 1:16 of the second period courtesy of a Nikita Cherepanov power play goal but goals by Buffalo Sabres prospects Nick Baptiste and Sam Reinhart, along with a goal from Calgary’s Sam Bennett gave Canada a 4-1 lead after 40 minutes. Lazar scored his second of the game at 4:49 of the final frame to make it 5-2. Russia pulled within two at the 16:16 mark of the third period. Lazar finished off his hat trick at 19:32 of the third period with his second shorthanded goal of the game.Chris WescottFri, 08 Aug 2014 01:10:00 EDThttp://1.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2014/08/644nurse.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3100331003BLOG: Nurse & Chase return to lineup vs. Russiahttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=30972Darnell Nurse and Greg Chase both return to the lineup for Team Canada tonight as they take on Russia in the third of their four games at summer development camp. Nurse will be paired with Haydn Fleury while Chase plays once again with Frederik Gauthier at centre. Jayce Hawryluk will be on the right side of that line.Marc CiampaThu, 07 Aug 2014 17:57:00 EDThttp://1.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2014/08/644nurse.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3097230972BLOG: Nurse & Chase out of lineup tonighthttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=30969Both of the Oilers prospects participating at Canada's World Junior Summer Camp will not be in the lineup tonight as Canada takes on Russia (5:00 p.m. MDT). Canada plays again Thursday and Friday. It's expected Nurse and Chase will play in at least one and potentially both of those contests.Marc CiampaWed, 06 Aug 2014 18:12:00 EDThttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3096930969BLOG: Chase nets two assists for Canadahttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=30949In Canada's first exhibition game at Summer Development Camp, Greg Chase impressed with a pair of assists in Canada's 6-2 win over the Czech Republic. Chase also had two penalty minutes. The other Oilers prospect at the camp, defenceman Darnell Nurse, had two PIM as well. Oil Kings centre Curtis Lazar scored for Canada along with Nick Paul, Fredrik Gauthier, Sam Reinhart, Anthony Duclair and Haydn Fleury. Chase assisted on Canada's fourth and fifth goals, by Paul and Fleury respectively. Canada plays three more games this week: Wednesday versus Russia, Thursday versus Russia and Friday against the Czech RepublicMarc CiampaTue, 05 Aug 2014 23:09:00 EDThttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3094930949BLOG: Watch Nurse, Chase LIVE for Canadahttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=30926Darnell Nurse and Greg Chase are playing for Team Canada at the World Junior Summer Development Camp in Montreal. All four of Canada's games can be seen live on HockeyCanada.ca. Nurse and Chase are both in the lineup for tonight's contest, which began at 5:00 p.m. MDT.Marc CiampaTue, 05 Aug 2014 19:12:00 EDThttp://2.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2014/05/20140509_worlds3_644.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3092630926BLOG: World Juniors Camp starts todayhttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=30925Canada's World Junior camp kicks off today with an exhibition game against the Czech Republic. Two Oilers prospects are vying for a spot on Canada's roster: Darnell Nurse and Greg Chase. Canada is scheduled to play four games this week and Nurse and Chase are both in the lineup for tonight's opener. Nurse is on the second pairing with Roland McKeown, L.A.'s 50th-overall pick from this past draft. Chase is on the fourth line with Nick Paul and Frederik Gauthier. Canada plays again Wednesday, Thursday and Friday this week with games against Russia, Russia and Czech Republic respectively.Marc CiampaTue, 05 Aug 2014 18:53:00 EDThttp://2.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2014/06/20140623_CAMP.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3092530925BLOG: Lazar to wear 26 at WJC in honour of Pelsshttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=30924Edmonton Oil Kings forward and Ottawa Senators prospect Curtis Lazar will wear the number 26 now internationally in honour of former teammate (with the Oil Kings) and Oilers prospect Kristians Pelss, who passed away last year.Marc CiampaTue, 05 Aug 2014 18:48:00 EDThttp://2.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2013/03/Lazar-Oil-Kings644.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3092430924BLOG: Moroz on the mendhttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=30894Mitch Moroz is hoping to be completely healthy heading into the Edmonton Oilers training camp in September. Following a WHL Championship and Memorial Cup winning season, the Oilers 32nd overall selection in the 2012 draft was a little banged up. Now Moroz is feeling much better and is getting closer to skating again. “A lot of people didn’t know that I was pretty banged up by the end of playoffs,” Moroz told Bob Stauffer Friday on Oilers Now. “My knee was blown out and I had a separated shoulder. It took a few weeks to get mentally and physically rested then I was right into rehab and trying to get healthy enough to jump into an off-season program. I’m feeling a lot better now and I’m pretty much taking part in full workouts and I’m able to get a good six weeks in before camp.” Moroz says he believes he will be ready to compete at the rookie tournament in Penticton, B.C. prior to main camp but the final decision rests with the Oilers. “I’m confident in where I’m at and how it’s progressed so I don’t think that’s out of the question at all.”Chris WescottFri, 01 Aug 2014 16:32:00 EDThttp://2.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2014/07/20140704moroz.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3089430894BLOG: Moroz eyeing Oilershttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=30893A second-round pick in 2012, Mitch Moroz has now turned his focus to beginning his professional career. Although he is on the mend from a couple of injuries sustained late last season, Moroz feels like he will be ready for training camp in September. Not only does Moroz feel he will be healthy but he also says his focus is on making the NHL roster out of camp. “I’ve said it before. You want to go in and make the team you are trying out for and that would be the Oilers. Then it’s up to them to make a decision and I want to make it a hard one. It’s up to them at that point to put me wherever they see fit. That’s a long ways down the road but we’ll see,” Moroz said Friday on Oilers Now. Moroz is coming off of a 63-point season (35-28-63) with the Edmonton Oil Kings.Chris WescottFri, 01 Aug 2014 16:29:00 EDThttp://2.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2014/05/306172mitchie.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3089330893BLOG: Buchberger talks Houle hiringhttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=30889In his new role in player personnel for the Edmonton Oilers, Kelly Buchberger was in Bakersfield this week to help introduce the Condors new head coach J.F. Houle. “I think with any coach in any league, if he doesn’t have good leadership skills you are not going to have a winning team,” Buchberger said. “With J.F. and the time that we talked with him and the people we talked to about him he brings those qualities. He can bring it and pass it along to the players and the players can develop a lot quicker than we thought they would.” Buchberger also talked about the importance of developing players now that the Condors are owned by the Oilers. “That’s part of the ECHL and the AHL, to develop players for the next level. We want to make sure we send players down here and they are getting the right coaching from J.F. and whoever the assistant will be and the development guys from Edmonton that are coming down here. We feel that J.F. has the right skill to get the most out of the players and develop them as quick as possible so they can maybe raise to the next level. It doesn’t come over night and we know that. He’s willing to put the work in it to make the players better and make the team better.”Chris WescottThu, 31 Jul 2014 14:48:00 EDThttp://2.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2014/07/20140731_bucky1.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3088930889BLOG: Yakupov skating, says foot is 100%http://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=30864Nail Yakupov is back in Edmonton and back skating after suffering a foot injury back in February when a big shot from defenceman Justin Schultz caught the 20-year-old in the skate. At first, Yakupov was hesitant to get back on the ice but after testing the foot out a couple of months ago he says he is now all systems go. “The foot is feeling pretty good,” Yakupov said. “I’ve been skating a lot and actually, my foot is 100%. It’s pretty healthy. I was scared to start the summer and trying to go on the ice. I was a little confused about my foot but I stepped in and I had a really good practice, I skated, I did some drills and my foot feels pretty good. I am ready to go.” It doesn’t seem like his foot will hold him back at all when the team meets for training camp in September. He has been training in Russia this summer and is now back in Edmonton to continue his Oilers workout program. “It feels pretty good. I can’t feel it now and I’m just ready to go 100 percent and I can do everything with my foot.”Chris WescottTue, 29 Jul 2014 17:13:00 EDThttp://1.cdn.nhle.com/oilers/images/upload/2014/03/yakupov-edm-vs-ott-644-x-396.jpghttp://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=3086430864