GDB -11: OILERS AND CANUCKS’ YOUNG GUNS

Penticton, BC – None of the six players in the pic will be on the ice tonight for the Oilers — Larsson is in NJ and the other five will be at Rexall Place next Saturday — but the Oilers would be over the moon if five of the kids playing tonight end up in as NHLers in the next few years.

Oilers hockey is back, at least hopeful Oilers of the future, but when you haven’t watched a game since April 10th I’m sure many of you will take what you can get.

You can watch the game on Sportsnet at 8:30 MDT and here is what the lineup will probably look like.


Curtis Hamilton (2nd round, 2010) – Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (1st, 2011) – Kristian Pelss (7th, 2010)
Phillipe Cornet (5th, 2008) -Anton Lander (2nd, 2010) – Tobias Rieder (4th, 2011)
Drew Czerwonka (6th, 2011) – Ryan Martindale (3rd, 2011) – Antti Tyrvainen (not drafted played in Finland, 22 years old)
Colin Smith (not drafted plays for Kamloops, 18) – Cameron Abney (3rd, 2009)

Martin Marincin (2nd, 2010) – Colten Tuebert  (1st, 2008 for Kings)
David Musil (2nd, 2011) -Taylor Fedun (Not drafted played at Princeton, 23)
Martin Gernat (5th, 2011) – Ryan Lowery (not drafted played at Colorado College, 23)
Tyler Schmidt (not drafted, played at Tri-City, 21)

Olivier Roy (5th, 2009)

I said probable, because it sounds like the Oilers might dress seven D-men and only 11 forwards which would be a bit strange considering they have 15 healthy forwards. It sounds like the Oilers are going with 11 forwards because they want their 3 centres to get more ice time.

Milan Kytnar is here, but his ankle is bothering him a bit so we’ll see if he plays tomorrow or Wednesday. Tough break for Edmonton native and 3rd round pick in 2011, Travis Ewanyk. He didn’t make the trip due to a nagging shoulder injury. He is hoping to be ready for the season opener with the Oil Kings.

I’ll be curious to watch Tyrvainen. He racked up 186 PIMs in 52 games in Finland last year. An Oiler scout told me he plays with an edge, and considering how many scraps I saw in this tournament last year, I’m curious to see if he is just an agitator or willing to drop the flippers. I have no problem if he is just an agitator, because the Oilers’ cupboard is pretty bare of that type of player.

FAMILIAR FACE

Former Oiler bench boss, Craig MacTavish, will be coaching the Canucks young guns tonight. MacT is now the head coach of the Canucks’ AHL affiliate Chicago Wolves. It was a bit strange seeing him in Canucks colours earlier today, but I’m happy he is back coaching. Whether you liked him as a coach or not, he is a smart hockey guy. Many of the media feel that if the Canucks don’t have another long playoff run Alain Vigneault might be in trouble, and Mike Gillis, MacT’s former agent, might promote his former client.

That seems ridiculous to me, but Vancouver is a finicky place so you never know.

Unless you are prospect junkie you probably won’t know many of the Canuck players, so here is their lineup.

Bill Sweatt – Jordan Schroeder – Anton Rodin
Steven Anthony – Nathan  Longpre – Alexander Grenier
Prab Rai- Michael Curtis – Jonathan Lessard
Darren Archibald – Alex Friesen – Nicklas Jensen

Kevin Connauton – Frankie Corrado
Adam Polasek – Sawyer Hannay
Yann Sauve – Sebastien Erixon

David Honzik
Karel St. Laurent

I will have a quick post-game report later and I’ll be interested to see who you liked tonight.