The Edmonton Oil Kings captured the imagination of Edmontonians in the spring with an unlikely run to the WHL championship. As luck would have it, they are the only (hockey) game in town this fall and fans may come in droves to see a winning club on Rexall ice.

A year ago, the Oil Kings won 50 games in a 72-game schedule, outscored their opponents by 117 goals during the regular year and won the championship in a season the experts expected a more veteran team like Portland to win the day.

The club’s stars–Mark Pysyk, Griffin Reinhart, Keegan Lowe on the blue, Michael St. Croix, Dylan Wruck, TJ Foster and Kristians Pelss up front and goalie Laurent Brossoit–were joined by a strong group of rookies.

  • Curtis Lazar, big kid with size and a complete skill set. A possible lottery pick at the 2013 NHL entry draft
  • Martin Gernat, a big kid with tools and a nice range of skills. Gernat helped in every area.
  • Henrik Samuelsson, the proverbial bull in a china shop and an outstanding young talent.
  • Cody Corbett, effective if sometimes inconsistent defender.
  • Mitch Moroz, power forward who improved markedly over the season.
  • Ashton Sautner, a young defenseman who showed flashes and should emerge this season.

The combination of the veteran group being of a certain quality, the rookies emerging into significant roles and the quality and depth of the defense won the day.

And they’ll be better this season, according to the experts.


I’m no expert, but Riga native Edgars Kulda posted some good pre-season numbers and has the attention of a few onlookers; Aaron Irving and Dysin Mayo are two outstanding D prospects who may or may not have an impact on this season (they’re both 16).


It could be a long boring winter, but for hockey fans the Edmonton Oil Kings offer a quality alternative to the now defunct National Hockey League. Names like Lazar, Moroz, Jarry, Sautner and others are waiting to be discovered and this season should be another winner for the OK.

Bless you boys, be safe and bring home that Cup one more time.


  • I am so sick of pissy millionaires that the Oil Kings are a bit of fresh air, this lockout does a couple good things for me, and it gives me the opportunity to focus more on the CHL a lot closer.

    I have Lazar high on a list of possible lottery players, I’m actually really excited to see Hunter Shinkaruk of the Medicine Hat Tigers – Seth Jones of the Portland Winter Hawks and a possible 1st overall pick, Ryan Pulock of the Brandon Wheat Kings, all these players have an excellent chance of becoming an Oiler next year.

    Also a personal favorite this year will be watching Travis McEvoy of the Saskatoon Blades as he is a dear close family friend.

    I’m also interested in following Sasha Barkov but there really isn’t a lot of information on him with the exception he is the youngest 16 year old to score in the WJC and he’s an absolute truck, anyone got any inside info?

  • RexLibris

    I’m getting ahead of myself here obviously, but from this Oil Kings squad Lazar and Kulda are the two players I’m most interested in watching.

    With Lazar, I expect the Oilers will be drafting in the top ten this June (barring a Crosby-esque lottery) and believe it is plausible that they could trade their 1st and a 2nd, perhaps both 2nds, to move up to take Lazar. They can afford quality over quantity now, and perhaps there will be a team that requires the opposite.

    As for Kulda, I think he is eligible for the 2014 draft and from what I have read thus far, and expecting the Oilers to be drafting closer to the middle of the pack (okay, how about 30th overall?), I think he might be a prospect to watch. The Oilers and Oil Kings have a history of integrating their drafting/scouting so the fact that the Kings took Kulda from Latvia might be tipping the Oilers’ hand here. What little I have been able to find on him suggests that he is a very talented young man.

    • RexLibris

      Yeah, Pysyk, Pelss, Rachinski and a few others have moved on. It’d be interesting to see if Dysin Mayo could make the group. Man that is a stacked blueline.

  • RexLibris

    To bad we could not be watching the baby Oil at Rexall like in 04′.I don’t care anyways, if the Oil Baron games are on the net like last year, Ill watch that, and enjoy it more. Its the good Oilers minus Horcoff, Belanger,and Hordichuck. No Yak is the only sucky thing. I was hoping he went to the KHL so I could watch him too online every game. With the availability of games on the net, the NHL better get their in crap together cause you should be able to watch a good share of the leagues talent. Unlike previous years where you get shafted on premium hockey, this years not the case. Can’t wait to watch Malkin suit up Thursday, oh yeah, soon Crosby will join him too. Say-la-vie? NHL, I don’t plan on missing you. Shoot yourself in the foot for all I care.