Billy Moores Cup recap….

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It was only a four-on-four no-hit scrimmage, but Connor McDavid impressed the diehard fans who showed up at Rexall Place. McDavid scored five goals (McCarron goal was changed to McDavid) and added an assist in team white’s 8-6 win. His skating ability, explosiveness and vision had the 7,000 (estimate) fans giddy with excitement.

“He is special,” said teammate Greg Chase. “He is fun to watch. He is smart, fast and he makes plays with the puck that you don’t think people can make. But the biggest thing about Connor is how he is off the ice. He is a terrific guy. He is extremely humble. You don’t see that a lot nowadays. That is something I noticed and something I can take away from him,” said Chase.

McDavid impressed everyone during the orientation camp and his performance tonight will only make Oilers fans even hornier for the start of the season. 

The “game” was forty minutes of four-on-four and seven minutes of three-on-three. The only faceoffs were after goals. It was quick without much contact, which makes sense considering it is July 6th. McDavid was clearly the best player on the ice, but a few others did stand out, and it was the players you’d expect to shine.

Darnell Nurse strength and speed stood out. He will compete for a job in training camp and Peter Chiarelli said, “We told him not be disheartened by the amount of one-way contracts we have. We are going to have a competition,” Chiarelli also added, “I’m not basing this on tonight, because it was a four-on-four and three-on-three, but you notice his size and skating and he is up ice a lot. He’ll need to learn not to go up as much, but he is strong, he defends, he is a good pupil and he is young. He has a lot of positives going for him.”

Leon Draisaitl’s playmaking was outstanding. He is an effortless passer. He moved his feet well, especially when he had the puck. He and McDavid are very different players, which I think is good, and Draisaitl’s size, strength and skill will be a welcome addition to the lineup whenever he makes the team.

Joey Laleggia skates like a pro. He should stand out in a game like tonight because of his age and experience. His size and ability to defend will be his biggest hurdles, but he can skate at the NHL level. He reminds me of Brad Hunt, but skates better.

Greg Chase felt his way into the game, but once he found the pace he was solid. He learned a lot playing with Ryan Hamilton and Jason Williams in OKC during the playoffs and you could see he was very alert away from the puck. A no-hitter is not where he can excel, but he has the offensive instincts to be able to play with skilled players. The Oilers don’t have many skilled, gritty forwards and if he continues to develop he could challenge for a spot on the team in 2016 or 2017.

Kevan Bouchard was the best goalie on the ice. He made some huge stops, including two back-to-back on McDavid in the first period.

Luke Esposito had a solid effort. He took the puck to the net with conviction many times.

Kyle Platzer sees the ice well. He needs some seasoning in the AHL for a few seasons, but his skill stands out.

John McCarron is thick. I’m curious to see how he adapts to the pro game where everyone else is strong, but he is big, 6’2, 232 pounds. He is already 23 so he’ll need to adapt to the pro level quickly if he wants to go farther than the AHL.

CHIARELLI TIDBITS…

He addressed the Justin Schultz arbitration and the Anders Nilsson trade.

He expects no problems getting Schultz signed, which isn’t a surprise, and said the buyout window will start right after they reach an agreement. He said it is a good option, but was not certain if they will buy out a player. Of course he would not address which players were candidates.

Nilsson signed a one-year, one-way deal. It does not have an out clause to return to Europe. If he doesn’t make the Oilers he’ll need to clear waivers. Chiarelli was adamant Nilsson will get a good opportunity to compete for a job and said players should take notice. I think we can assume he was referring to Ben Scrivens.

Nilsson has a strong KHL season and was average at the World Championships. His game was leaky at times. He also struggled controlling the puck with his catching glove. Chiarelli added the former New York Islanders draft pick, who has 25 NHL games experience, was ecstatic about getting another chance in the NHL and the GM loves his size and feels he is young enough to emerge into a solid goalie.

At the very least he will add some competition in camp, and if he doesn’t make the Oilers and Laurent Brossoit will have a battle for icetime in Bakersfield.

WRAP UP…

McDavid’s first appearance at Rexall was a rousing success. He impressed everyone in the Oilers organization with his off-ice demeanor and he wowed the fans with his on-ice play. It was only a no-hit scrimmage, but McDavid scored five goals and dominated.

Enjoy your summer thinking about McDavid in a regular season NHL game. Something tells me you won’t be disappointed.

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      • paul wodehouse

        Oh god not this again. I made the same kinda quip in a tweet tonight while at the game. Then got yelled at for 40 min by some panthers fan who said we were all ignorant and disrespectful in Canada. And that our education system is a joke because of my opinions. I had to ask how lower than average attendance in Fla is an opinion because I’m pretty sure it’s a fact. But you know, must be our poor education….

    • Jordan McNugent-Hallkins

      That’s probably more than a Panthers playoff game, even. I felt bad for the players last year during that game that had 20 people in the stands. What an embarrassment.

      Put teams in markets that will support them.

  • B_Oliver

    Nurse is a monster. Shades of Chris Pronger.

    McDavid… can’t find a comparison. He’s like Peter Forsburg and Sidney Crosby combined. Still doesn’t do him justice.

    Drai, so good at protecting the puck. He’s going to be great on the cycle

    Chase is great, a bigger meaner Brendan Gallagher. Could score 20 goals in the NHL one day while also being “gritty”

    Ben Betker really looked good tonight. I wish he could play in Bakersfield but he might end up in the ECHL if it gets crowded.

    LaLeggia is a better Justin Schultz. He has a better shot and IMO he is a better skater.

    “The Future” is coming sooner then some may think.

  • Double Dees

    Sick. Just sick hands. McDavid lives up to the hype!!!

    Seriously. Who wants to wait til OctobeR?!!

    can’t forget a shout out to Mr. Nurse out there. This kids the real deal. 🙂

    #futureisbright

  • toprightcorner

    Not sure who it was, I think Derrick Van Deist, asking McDavid 3 questions and assuming the answers for Conner for all of them and each time he says “no” and then tells him his answer. Terrible journalism but smart skills from McDavid to listen to the question and answer it intelligently.

    • shanetrain

      Feel sorry for the kid. Same questions over and over again. He needs to go home. Workout in peace and enjoy the summer “media free” with his family. We are an extremely fortunate franchise to get this outstanding young man. Very lucky.

    • Mike Krushelnyski

      Lots of similar comments. We will be lucky to make the playoffs…..A no hit scrimmage with young inexperienced players is not indicative of high calibre NHL play. Lots of time and space to make plays will not happen at the NHL level. I admit it looks more promising but we will have to substantially improve to get from here to there.

      I am not planning the Stanley Cup parade just yet.

  • freelancer

    I’ve seen all the highlight reels of McDavid, watched his performance in the World Juniors, watched him against Saul St Marie on tv. Nothing does this kid justice until you watch him live. Absolutely floored by him, and this was just a practice game, can’t wait to see him playing at 100%.

    Unbelievable.

  • JackB

    Don’t know how many people noticed (I posted this on another string as well) but after the game all the players signed a white Oiler’s cap, then skated to the glass and threw them to the fans. McDavid went to the glass, looked around, saw a little tyke (looked like about 5 years old), pointed to the kid then threw the hat. A bigger girl grabbed the hat, Connor looked at her and pointed to the little guy, pointed at the the girl, then pointed to the kid again . . . and she gave the little guy the hat.

    Boy is this McDavid an impressive guy !

    (And he sure made the little guy’s day !! A little kid who will never forget this day)

  • shanetrain

    Whooooooooa guys take it easy! Mc D is gunna be awesome there’s no doubt about it but he’s 18 and hasn’t played against men yet so lets be realistic ok! Don’t hand him the Hart trophy and expect to win us the Stanley Cup next yr! Don’t wanna rain on the parade but this could take a few more yrs. Go Oil! PS; Nurse is a freakin STUD! I’m just as excited about him that I am Mc D

    • Jordan McNugent-Hallkins

      I was perusing Flames Nation a couple days ago during an ON article drought, it was truly hilarious. One mention of the Oilers and damn near the entire comments section devolves into a giant hatefest. They talk about the Oilers as much as we do.

      • CMG30

        Of course. There’s nothing going on with that team. They basically exist as a reaction to the Oilers. The only reason they got Dougie Hamilton is because the Boston Bruins wanted to shaft Chirelli. Lol.

        But enough about those goofballs. Lets talk about the real show in Alberta: The Billy Moors Cup! It was the first time I’ve really got to watch McDavid in action…

        Mind. Blown.

        I don’t know how long it will take to get his feet under him in the NHL but when he does… this guy is not just another level, this guy is in another dimension!

    • Mike Krushelnyski

      You cant be serious..

      But to answers your question yes, yes they do.

      It probably feels worse since we have had more ammo given the dumpster fire that has been the oilers the last 10 years

  • AussieOil

    I was also impressed with the play of Leveille, Loiseau and Betker. There is a lot of fine prospects bubbling under… To bad most will never make the Oilers!
    Love the idea that PC found another prospect goalie … The competition is a good idea for the org.

  • Jordan McNugent-Hallkins

    The TSN reporters say the Oilers are now Canada’s team. How convenient for the rest of the country, they got to skip the decade of incompetence. Maybe I’m just bitter at being crapped all over for ten years, then all of a sudden we’re “Canada’s team”, but this is going to be a crowded bandwagon.

  • It was only a Prospect Scrimmage in July but man o man did some players ever make me feel I cant wait til Sept to October.

    McD was spectacular and magic.. 5 goals WOW!!!. Speed and skill combined so rarely… Look out NHL!!!!

    Isn’t that an Oiler Prospect Scrimmage record???

    Nurse was a horse with awesome strength and speed…. an almost Chris Pronger with a bit of Scott Neiermayer.
    Draisaitl is the newest excellent version of Joe Thornton but I think with a touch more speed that is almost misleading.
    Chase played very well, Platzer was a gamer who fought for a goal and he had several other good chances, and then Joey Laleggia was impressive with his skating and passing skills plus he scored a nice goal.

    I also enjoyed watching Lagesson, Caleb Jones, Betker, and that Braden Christopher. Messier’s nephew Luke Esposito was very noticeable in a good way too. Most of the kids did good.
    To the Prospects…Great Camp kids….See you in the Fall!!!

  • Butters

    I might be mistaken but wasn’t Billy Moores just released from the Oilers organization. Maybe time to change up the name of this game, perhaps the Ryan Smyth Cup or something. I just thought it was a little weird playing a game named after a guy who was fired recently