khaira ferguson4

Jujhar Khaira played in his first NHL game last night, overcoming incredible odds and fulfilling a dream of many Canadian kids. What’s next? More, please.


This century, the Edmonton Oilers haven’t had many hits in the third round of the annual entry draft:

  • 2000 D Alexander Ljubimov
  • 2001 D Kenny Smith
  • 2002 L Brock Radunske
  • 2003 F Mikhail Zhukov
  • 2003 R Zack Stortini (257 NHL games)
  • 2005 D Danny Syvret (59 NHL games)
  • 2005 F Robby Dee
  • 2006 D Theo Peckham (160 NHL games)
  • 2009 D Troy Hesketh
  • 2009 R Cameron Abney
  • 2010 C Ryan Martindale
  • 2011 G Samu Perhonen
  • 2011 C Travis Ewanyk
  • 2012 F Jujhar Khaira (1 NHL game)
  • 2012 L Daniil Zharkov
  • 2013 C Bogdan Yakimov (1 NHL game)
  • 2013 L Anton Slepyshev (11 NHL games)

I’ve always felt the criticisms leveled at the Oilers for their
second-round selections applied far better when dealing with the third
round. Whereas the second round had injuries and draft for need issues,
the third round for Edmonton has been wingnut central for a decade
(although the Craig MacTavish era improved things). Scott Cullen ran the numbers awhile back and estimates a third round selection has a 27.3 percent chance of playing in 100 NHL games. Source

What does that mean? Well, all picks pack their own odds, but with 17 selections in the round and a 27 percent of a player getting into 100 NHL games, having only two qualify seems a tad low. Fair? If Khaira, Slepyshev and Yakimov eventually make it, maybe we’ll look back on the third round more fondly in the distant future.


  • Redline: we believe this kid could be the
    biggest/best sleeper of the entire draft. Prince George is so far off
    the beaten path teams don’t even travel there for WHL games, much less
    BCHL contests, so he gets zero exposure. But this kid is big, mean,
    aggressive, nasty, and guess what… he can score too. Does the dirty work
    in the corners, bangs bodies and wins battles, and loves to initiate
    heavy contact. Powerful stride with great balance and gets leverage on
    his hits. Has surprisingly soft hands and puck skills with playmaking
    ability. Creates lots of space for smaller teammates and makes everyone
    braver. Very raw defensively.
  • Todd Nelson: “I noticed a drastic change at
    this development camp. He’s improving every time I see him, and after
    seeing his brothers, if everything goes as planned, he’s going to fill
    out nicely.”
  • Kevin McCartney: Khaira
    was one of the few Oilers who was generating offence from down low. He
    drove the net, banged bodies to win pucks, and generally caused havoc
    for the Calgary defenders. It was obvious he’s a prospect of interest.
    He did, however, over-pursue the puck at times and was left stranded on
    plays in which Calgary was able to move the puck off their end wall. He
    may be used to hockey in which his physical skills are superior to those
    around him, or perhaps his college team played an offensive system in
    which the centre went low. In either case, his defensive coverage in
    transition was non-existent. Once the Flames had their half-court
    established, Khaira continued to over-pursue all the way to the side
  • Bill Muckalt, Michigan Tech asst coach“We see
    him as a big time power forward. He skates really well, very good down
    low, strong on the puck, has good vision and great offensive instincts. I
    think he has a lot of potential to be a pro hockey player.”
  • Khaira: “I think I could be a big asset in the offensive zone, holding guys off behind the zone and be a good two-way forward.”


      • First period: 3:24, all at evens, one hit, fairly uneventful. Did get a mention on National Saturday broadcast and that’s pretty cool.
      • Second period: Had a noticeable shift in the second, where he tipped the puck before center and EDM was called for icing. Mike Johnson mentioned it was first game and identified the error. Khaira then finished the shift with a nice sortie into the offensive zone.
      • Second period: Two more solid shifts with Anton Lander, including a nice pass to the Swede and he got a shot off. Solid second period, getting more usage.
      • Second period: 4:01, for a total of 7:25. Very good second period, I know many don’t like possession stats but he’s 6-6 50 per cent through two.
      • Third period: MEMORABLE moment in front of Pittsburgh net when he intercepted a pass and got a great chance on goal. Fabulous play. I believe that was his first NHL shot on goal. Impressive.
      • After three: 13-9 59% in possession. That’s crazy good. Seriously. 10:02 overall, that’s a pretty solid effort.
      • One shot, three hits, one block.

      Welcome to the NHL, Jujhar!


            • passenger

              This isn’t about Connor. It’s about a young man showing he can hold his own against the best in the world (NHL) and giving kudos to the kid on his very first NHL game. Even if it turns out to be his only one, he got there and doesn’t have to omit anything from the story.

              LT how late were you up tracking these stats? Good gawd man you have too much time on your hands! Lol.

              Great Kid, wish him the best.

              • Rob...

                Why is it prejudice? A game where the 3rd ever Punjabi NHL player was playing in his first ever NHL game. I’m betting some of the staff on that show were cursing their obligation to show the Habs game too.

                • BlueHairedApe

                  Because the liberals are in charge now and the sensitivity police are out in full force. You’re not allowed to mention anyone’s ethnic origins even if they’re your own! Take me for example, me and my kids are part Indian but we’re supposed to say “First Nations” even though there’s an Indian Act and Indian Reserves and most of the other Indians I know call themselves Indians. Confusing ain’t it?

                  • Rob...

                    I had a metis Dene recently tell me that all other tribes stole the land from them and the Dene are the only tribe that should have a valid treaty in Alberta. It’s kind of ironic that a divided nation wants you stop using the term Indian in favour of some PC term that is less accurate.

                • Rob...

                  I thought it was leafs and capitals, either way after the oilers game I flipped to it and they had a good 5 min talking about him and showing the Oilers highlights, no idea what was being said, but was pretty cool.
                  They surprisingly didn’t show that interception infront of the net, they cut it right after his hit on hornqvist at the start of that play.

          • tileguy

            I hope there really is a mean streak in him, someone not afraid to take a cheap shot if someone deserves one. Somebody that initiates the facewash, not just receives them.

            • Harry2


              39-16 Eskimos….KISS of Death System!!!

              JC Sherrit you know the routine right….dont forget to thank each other today properly for all of the hard honest work and commitment by EveryMan in every playaction of every Game…and for staying focused and in the Moment.

              JC make sure you LOOK EACH OTHER IN THE EYES…remember how this process began 2 years ago based on honesty and self-respect projecting towards honesty and Group respect.Aknowledge and appreciate and thank each other today so you can let go of yesterday, clear your minds and prepare to earn another chance to thank your teammates tonight…because tonight when you say these words to each other post-game you will ALL be looking into the eyes of Champions.

              You look into each others eyes pre-game and make an honest contract to leave it all on the field and then as Champions look each other in the same eyes Post-game with empty tanks and honest efforts to show for the night and the ability to honestly thank each other for giving everything to the moment ,trust your Process as you do and you and let the game evolve into your arms,find the current and flow early and then simply remember to apply Conservation of Energy and Conservation of Motion gently push and prod till you find your key-stone dynamics then rinse and repeat KISS.Just grab the game by the hand firmly and walk it Home fellas…just remember who you are really sacrificing for today…EveryMan and he has no name but sits beside every single one of you through thick and thin…everybody owes a 100% effort to EveryMan today.Every possesion is a game within a game…remember to KISS and respect every possesion and help it find its way home into their end-zone where it wants to be following the path of least resistance wherever they present it to you.

              JC stay hard on the ball but be patient and find those key-stone dynamic mis-matches by projecting your own consistancy like you have been doing until you can dial in COMMUNICATE WITH EACH OTHER AND YOUR COACHES HARD BOYS…give no ground but keep it simple and basic and honest until you find your System-wide dynamic Key-stones after the first 2-3 playactions …then hit them hard and often over and over methodiclly like your process has been allowing you to do so far.

              Remember to look to dislodge those footballs when you are in pursuit from behind and the sides and hold on tight yourselves, remember the first basic lessons you learned , keep it simple,remember the tip-forward key-stone dynamic pass playaction where your tallest man simply forces his coverage to go WAYYYY up high chasing a high floating pass with him to get the defense into deep waters ,then he tips a high pass at the 10-15 yard line over himself and his own coverage and deflects the football to a teammate in the endzone.Remember the man pulling up at the 10-15 yard line will nearly always draw the 2x coverage by proxy so keep the support man deep in the end-zone with as much seperation as he can get and looking to pick it off way up high the pass has to be a HIGHLY PLACED medium velocity high rotation spinner,you gotta snap it on the release just right because you want it to pick up speed and abruptly change direction on contact with the tippers fingers for you.Do this early and on a deep thrust ,telegraph it from mid-field so they set up to bite on the 2x coverge on the 10 yard man…and sneak a man deep for the tip and dip,even if they pick it off in their own end-zone on their 1-on1 coverage by fluke its ok because of where we pin them.Dont waste a possesion from close-in on this just use it to probe from mid-field ,only use it to stretch em out on a flyer early and look for dynamic key-stone mismatches you may repeatedly exploit

                • Harry2


                  NewAge is in the House….lol.

                  You have to be a believer by now…lol…I can not breach privacy edicate and give you much more…lol….lets say that if “proof” was the swing vote to me being hired by say the Oilers I would ask a favor and request disclosure.

                  You seriously have seen and read enough to be a firm believer by now so why not bang on the drum and force the Oilers to get on board the Gravy Train officially so I can start teaching this stuff formally ….lol.

                • Harry2

                  Woop Woop Eskimos…Grey Cup Champions baby…….woop woop!!!

                  The hell…YES…man!! Whoooheee!!!

                  All I can say is we’ve already covered it but those small details like holding onto balls tightly using the the 2 handed Cradle , which seem small are huge….y’ll were forewarned and were almost 86ed by the exact detail we covered Pre-Game…the start was self inflicted thank god and that was actually reassuring…lol..because the Process remained intact and the HONESTY of the Process kept Eskimos in dominant positions and on the right side of the ball to defeat the video replay aspect of the game…well executed KISS Process = Championship.

              • passenger

                Wow, you’ve got a secret system to football now too…and let me guess, Coach Jones and Ed Hervey have stolen your system and masked it as their own.

                Pull out the foil boys. Not for your knuckles, for NAS’s hat. Hey NAS, hear about the secret UFO moon bases? 😉

                • Harry2

                  Lol…dont mix up the NewAge Hockey System/NHS and the NewAge Football System/NFS…lol.

                  When you aknowledge source respectfully you arent stealing…lol…only NHL types do that…lol

                  The Eskimos have a secret Football System…lol.

                • Spurzey

                  Velostat Hat…not tin foil Harlie…tin foil is passe now.

                  I will have to defer you to Dan Sherman{Intuitive Empath Google him} for moonbase data…lol….its his “area”….lol.

          • TeddyTurnbuckle

            LT you forgot to mention his big hit he had late in the third in the neutral zone. Got a rouse from the crowd. I don’t know who he hit but they went down like a pancake.

              • Harry2

                Ansolutely. JK is the exact type of player that Chiarelli loves.

                I feel PC will give him a taste this year with the intent that he can win a 4th line job next year.

            • passenger

              Everyone knows that for some reason you can’t spell an Oiler’s player name right. If you just stick to “the Russian” or maybe “the big German” you can’t go wrong right?