Through two games at the 2015 Young Stars Classic in Penticton, BC the Edmonton Oilers have given its fans all it could ask for after what could be described as the longest summer ever!
Before this tournament started I think it’s safe to say that Oilers fans were all in agreement that it would be the Connor McDavid Show but so far it’s been the Leon Draisaitl, Darnell Nurse, Anton Slepyshev, and Josh Winquist Show. McDavid’s only notable highlight is the one below.
McDavid has only played one game and that might be all he plays albeit but Draisaitl and Nurse have come to play! The big German has 2 goals and 2 assists whilst going +5 throughout the first two games and his backhand might be the best the NHL has seen since Mats Sundin’s. I know Crosby has a helluva backhand too but Sundin’s was something to behold.
Nurse is kicking ass and taking names, not so much on the score sheet mind you as he only has a goal, 11 penalty minutes and has gone +2. But ask Rasmus Andersson if anyone is talking about Nurse’s stat line today. If you can get him to take the ice pack off his face long enough to give you an answer.
Josh Winquist is definitely letting the Oilers brass know that he’s the real deal with his 4 pts (3 of those goals) and should be a top-6 consideration in Bakersfield this season. The mystery man that is Anton Slepyshev is slowly being uncovered game by game. His chemistry with Leon Draisaitl is very intriguing and something I will be keeping an eye on this season if they’re paired up in the AHL. Oh and Kyle Platzer is looking a player. Hopefully the Oilers won’t let him walk like they did another Kyle… Brodziak.
McKenzie’s Interview with Chiarelli
Bob McKenzie sat down with the GM of the Oilers and for 30 minutes covered such things as:
- What would a successful season entail: PC mentioned “developmental progress” for the teams younger players and named every notable Oiler but Nail Yakupov and Justin Schultz… Hmmmm.
- Connor McDavid’s expected point totals: PC said 20 goals and 40 assists with a bit of tongue in cheek.
- What aspect of the Edmonton Oilers roster is it lacking: PC said team heaviness. Also mentioned that one of the philosophies that will be stressed throughout the organization is team toughness, team resiliency, and push back.
- Todd McLellan: PC said this team is going to be a team that pushes the puck.
My take on all of this is that the 2015/16 season is going to be an audition for everyone on the roster. This year’s trade deadline and next summer is when we’ll see the true upheaval. McKenzie asks Chiarelli about making a deal that would include one of the top-6 skillers and Chiarelli doesn’t shy away.
FYI: Milan Lucic is a FA next summer… Expect him to feature prominently in rumors to Edmonton this season.
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Thanks for reading! Let me know in the comments section what you think about this year’s crop of Oilers rookies so far!