September 14 2014 01:04PM
Over two Oilers’ rookie contests I’ve listened to a pair of interviews with general manager Craig MacTavish and one with head coach Dallas Eakins. In each of those interviews, they were asked to name an under-the-radar player who had impressed them favourably in the tournament to-date.
In all three cases, Jordan Oesterle was mentioned in answer.
September 14 2014 10:20AM
At some point in the next 10 months, the Edmonton Oilers are going to make a decision on Nail Yakupov's future. Ideally, the young Russian scores 20+ goals, matures as a player and Dallas Eakins does the same as a coach, and the Oilers have a sniper for 10 years or more. It would be folly to suggest that outcome is guaranteed, and the future with this player and the organization has some uncertainty.
September 13 2014 08:10PM
The Nations Network sent this Jets Nation writer to the Young Stars Tournament in Penticton, BC. I'm judging your team and bringing you the view from the Press Box.
The Oilers kicked things off against the local Canucks in dominant fashion, using their forecheck to take a 1st period lead on the shot clock 17-3. It was the Oilers' forward skill that was the difference to that point. The Canucks opened the game in a 1-4 neutral zone trap and managed their bench throughout to avoid having their invite-heavy roster exposed under the pressure of the Oilers' older, more skilled roster.
Inside we'll begin where we left off last year - systems stuff at the top and then a review of every player to follow. You can see the game on YouTube here.
September 13 2014 05:50PM
This is Greg Chase (No. 36 in photo by Rob Ferguson, all rights reserved) during a mid-April regular season game with the Oklahoma City Barons. Chase signed a contract with the Oilers today, a three-year deal that (apparently) has some things one doesn't ordinarily see in a seventh-round deal (source ahead).
September 13 2014 11:20AM
Rookie games are dicey things to take impressions away from. The usual problem of sample size is there, plus the fact that the talent level of the tournament is pretty low relative even to exhibition games. The players are coming in after long and varied summers and often have very limited knowledge of their teammates. Coaches haven’t had time to get system buy-in. The format tends to favour prospects who are older and from what I’ve seen smaller guys have an easier time of the tourney than they do in the pro game.
With all that said, it’s a time where some individuals stand out, and where general trends can be seen. On Friday night in Penticton, the general trend with the Oilers was that the forward group was the one the team has been looking for forever: big, reasonably talented and aggressive.